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(Telegraph)   They may have been tea drinking, wig wearing, sexually repressed prudes but new research suggests that people from the Victorian era were smarter than people in our modern society. The literal Aristocrats   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 131
    More: Interesting, Victorians, Victorian, modern society, reaction times, Blue Bloods  
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3631 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 May 2013 at 7:12 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-18 09:41:57 PM

Arthur Jumbles: FTFA:  Our declining intelligence is most likely down to a "reverse" in the process of natural selection, he explained. The most intelligent people now have fewer children on average than in previous decades, while there are higher survival rates among people with less favourable genes.

There has not been enough time for that to have happened. However, I could believe that environmental pollution and stress have caused a general decrease in IQ. We know that leaded gasoline caused a significant decrease in IQ for people born and raised in cities until it was banned.


It's been 40 years since lead was removed from gasoline and in those 40 years every measure of environmental quality (except greenhouse gases) has dramatically improved.
 
2013-05-18 09:43:12 PM

make me some tea: I've always had sort of a theory conjecture that better nutrition, medical, and environmental technology is causing a drift in human genetic quality over time. In the "bad old days" more of the dumb or weak people just simply didn't survive long enough to procreate, or perhaps they couldn't adequately care for their children, who then perished.


FTFY
 
2013-05-18 09:43:58 PM

clab: I mean when it comes down to it natural selection is simply a numbers game. You cannot deny that less intelligent people on average have more children. While this may have been the case in the past as well, the more intelligent people could compete to a certain extent.


It's not that the wealthy had so many more children back then; more, it's that the children of the poor were so much more likely to die before reaching reproductive age.  Whether starvation, illness, getting crushed in a factory, whatever, the children of the poor had a very poor survival rate, whereas wealthy children were much more likely to reproduce.  In our society today, no matter how poor you are your children aren't going to starve and they'll get medical care quite on par with the richest.
 
2013-05-18 09:44:36 PM

mr lawson: LowbrowDeluxe: [imgs.xkcd.com image 729x520]

came for it...leave happy


Me, too.
 
2013-05-18 09:44:43 PM

clab: Lady Indica: I love the assumption that intelligence is the apex for selection. Since Pinker was already referenced, I'll use his...if elephants were writing this it might be about trunks as the apex.

We value intelligence, it doesn't mean that it's going to help our species survive. Quite the contrary may be true.

Have you read "Galapagos" by Vonnegut? Really good book and basically puts forth this viewpoint. BUt at this point in time, I think a majority of people value their intelligence and want to think that this is the apex for selection, but like you said that remains to be seen. And with the increasing number of people valuing their ignorance will likely change in the future


Time will tell, but you have to admit that bug brains is a pretty nice adaptation. It's basically bringing a BFG-9000 to nature's evolutionary arms race.
 
2013-05-18 09:45:55 PM
BIG brains. I think my phone's autocorrect was programmed by Rotsky.
 
2013-05-18 09:46:12 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Since the study was based on measuring reaction time, I wonder if part of the results could be attributed to better measuring techniques today than over one hundred years ago.

Society today is also less physically demanding, as many of the physical tasks of the past are now accomplished by machines.  Using all of our muscles and reflexes less may well have led to them being less honed while not having an effect on brainpower.


What, you don't think in the 19th century they had the ability to accurately measure reaction time to the thousandths of a second?
 
2013-05-18 09:46:31 PM

meanmutton: Arthur Jumbles: FTFA:  Our declining intelligence is most likely down to a "reverse" in the process of natural selection, he explained. The most intelligent people now have fewer children on average than in previous decades, while there are higher survival rates among people with less favourable genes.

There has not been enough time for that to have happened. However, I could believe that environmental pollution and stress have caused a general decrease in IQ. We know that leaded gasoline caused a significant decrease in IQ for people born and raised in cities until it was banned.

It's been 40 years since lead was removed from gasoline and in those 40 years every measure of environmental quality (except greenhouse gases) has dramatically improved.


I'll add that it is very possible for "higher survival rates among people with less favorable genes" to already have an effect on our current evolutionary situation. When a trait that is as inheritable as IQ or intelligence (or the lack thereof) is selected for one can see the difference in the overall population in very few generations. It all relates back to how heritable and selected for the trait is.
 
2013-05-18 09:47:10 PM
Also, I think TFA relies on an overly simplistic definition of what intelligence is, and how much of it is heritable. Even something like height is affected by environment. If your DNA specifies that you'll grow to be taller than average, malnutrition during development can permanently stunt your growth, and keep you from reaching your genetic potential. Intelligence is a much more complicated bundle of qualities, with much more potential to be positively or negatively affected by your environment.
 
2013-05-18 09:47:26 PM

clab: I mean when it comes down to it natural selection is simply a numbers game. You cannot deny that less intelligent people on average have more children.


Wrong. More educated people on average have less children. There is actually fairly limited correlation between raw intelligence and education level (education is mainly based on who your parents are), and thus any evolutionary effect will be small even if it exists. You also have to consider that in most developed countries the trend to increased maternity/paternity leave and other such policies has been rebalancing the differential in birth rates across social class/educational levels to a significant extent anyway, so even if your theory was correct and it was intelligence and not education that affected birth rates, current policies would already be mitigating the imagined problem.
 
2013-05-18 09:51:20 PM

Yes please: clab: I mean when it comes down to it natural selection is simply a numbers game. You cannot deny that less intelligent people on average have more children. While this may have been the case in the past as well, the more intelligent people could compete to a certain extent.

It's not that the wealthy had so many more children back then; more, it's that the children of the poor were so much more likely to die before reaching reproductive age.  Whether starvation, illness, getting crushed in a factory, whatever, the children of the poor had a very poor survival rate, whereas wealthy children were much more likely to reproduce.  In our society today, no matter how poor you are your children aren't going to starve and they'll get medical care quite on par with the richest.


I meant compete in the evolutionary sense (as in survive) which the more intelligent/rich (at that time) were very capable of. Thanks for clarifying my point. I should have been more specific. But now, the intelligent have lost the cushioning, so to speak, that early death of the poor's young provided them.
 
2013-05-18 09:53:05 PM

LowbrowDeluxe: [imgs.xkcd.com image 729x520]


That XKCD has always annoyed me because it has too narrow of a focus on societal actions that "culled the herd". Gov't institutions that played a role in societal pressure have drastically changed. Simple breeding alone was never an issue as class lines didn't always dictate intelligence. The issue isn't as cut and dry as presented.
 
2013-05-18 09:55:43 PM

meanmutton: Arthur Jumbles: FTFA:  Our declining intelligence is most likely down to a "reverse" in the process of natural selection, he explained. The most intelligent people now have fewer children on average than in previous decades, while there are higher survival rates among people with less favourable genes.

There has not been enough time for that to have happened. However, I could believe that environmental pollution and stress have caused a general decrease in IQ. We know that leaded gasoline caused a significant decrease in IQ for people born and raised in cities until it was banned.

It's been 40 years since lead was removed from gasoline and in those 40 years every measure of environmental quality (except greenhouse gases) has dramatically improved.


Your timeline is not correct. It wasn't completely banned as a gasoline additive for standard passenger car gasoline until 1995. It's still allowed in aviation gasoline. Looking at the history, it should never have been allowed in the first place.
 
2013-05-18 09:56:01 PM
The other correlation he failed to mention was liberals largely taking over education and emphasizing self esteem and culture over basic education.
 
2013-05-18 09:56:20 PM

Yes please: clab: I mean when it comes down to it natural selection is simply a numbers game. You cannot deny that less intelligent people on average have more children. While this may have been the case in the past as well, the more intelligent people could compete to a certain extent.

It's not that the wealthy had so many more children back then; more, it's that the children of the poor were so much more likely to die before reaching reproductive age.  Whether starvation, illness, getting crushed in a factory, whatever, the children of the poor had a very poor survival rate, whereas wealthy children were much more likely to reproduce.  In our society today, no matter how poor you are your children aren't going to starve and they'll get medical care quite on par with the richest.


And they will be smarter than their parents.
 
2013-05-18 09:56:29 PM

xria: clab: I mean when it comes down to it natural selection is simply a numbers game. You cannot deny that less intelligent people on average have more children.

Wrong. More educated people on average have less children. There is actually fairly limited correlation between raw intelligence and education level (education is mainly based on who your parents are), and thus any evolutionary effect will be small even if it exists. You also have to consider that in most developed countries the trend to increased maternity/paternity leave and other such policies has been rebalancing the differential in birth rates across social class/educational levels to a significant extent anyway, so even if your theory was correct and it was intelligence and not education that affected birth rates, current policies would already be mitigating the imagined problem.


I find it hard to believe that on average more educated people are less intelligent than those without education. Which is basically what you're saying.
 
2013-05-18 09:59:00 PM
It amuses me how many people here are so ready to go right down the eugenics rabbit hole, despite it being demonstrably disproven over and over.
 
2013-05-18 10:00:36 PM

MyRandomName: The other correlation he failed to mention was liberals largely taking over education and emphasizing self esteem and culture over basic education.




The TFA was about raw intelligence, not education. Individuals can be educated idiots, or ignorant geniuses.
 
2013-05-18 10:02:44 PM

meanmutton: It amuses me how many people here are so ready to go right down the eugenics rabbit hole, despite it being demonstrably disproven over and over.


Eugenics should have nothing to do with it. There should never be any restrictions on anyones desire to procreate. But that doesn't mean we can't look back from where we have been to where we are potentially going and comment on it, or hypothesize on what is likely to happen. Like has been stated numerous times in this discussion, evolution doesn't have a "correct" endpoint.
 
2013-05-18 10:22:27 PM

meanmutton: eugenics rabbit hole, despite it being demonstrably disproven over and over.


disproven?

how can it be disproven? Disproven...what?
 
2013-05-18 10:24:10 PM

DrPainMD: 2wolves: jehovahs witness protection: They DID build nicer looking houses back then.

Labor and materials were less expensive then.

Back then, housing cost a much higher percentage of the average person's income than it does today. But, they didn't have TVs, iThingies, and Disney vacations back then. After paying for food and clothing, there wasn't much else to buy other than a house.


yeah, people never traveled or went on vacation back then.
 
2013-05-18 10:26:19 PM

meanmutton: Arthur Jumbles: FTFA:  Our declining intelligence is most likely down to a "reverse" in the process of natural selection, he explained. The most intelligent people now have fewer children on average than in previous decades, while there are higher survival rates among people with less favourable genes.

There has not been enough time for that to have happened. However, I could believe that environmental pollution and stress have caused a general decrease in IQ. We know that leaded gasoline caused a significant decrease in IQ for people born and raised in cities until it was banned.

It's been 40 years since lead was removed from gasoline and in those 40 years every measure of environmental quality (except greenhouse gases) has dramatically improved.


I bet the number of pharmaceuticals in the water supply have increased.

Also, even though air quality has improved children's IQ can still be affected by a mother's exposure to urban air pollutants.

And, here's an interesting article that argues that lead pollution lead to high crime rates in the 60s and 70s.
 
2013-05-18 10:26:29 PM

clab: evolution doesn't have a "correct" endpoint.


citation?

/do you know how I know that you didn't read Wallace's letters?
 
2013-05-18 10:33:19 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: citation?


ummm..that is correct. The only thing evolution cares about is successful reproduction.
 
2013-05-18 10:35:36 PM

MyRandomName: The other correlation he failed to mention was liberals largely taking over education and emphasizing self esteem and culture over basic education.


Bullshiat
 
2013-05-18 10:36:28 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: clab: evolution doesn't have a "correct" endpoint.

citation?

/do you know how I know that you didn't read Wallace's letters?


He was also the original Jenny McCarthy, as he too was against vaccinations, specifically the one against smallpox
 
2013-05-18 10:39:12 PM
All I know is that I'm smarter now than I was during the Victorian era.
 
2013-05-18 11:01:41 PM

Yes please: clab: I mean when it comes down to it natural selection is simply a numbers game. You cannot deny that less intelligent people on average have more children. While this may have been the case in the past as well, the more intelligent people could compete to a certain extent.

It's not that the wealthy had so many more children back then; more, it's that the children of the poor were so much more likely to die before reaching reproductive age.  Whether starvation, illness, getting crushed in a factory, whatever, the children of the poor had a very poor survival rate, whereas wealthy children were much more likely to reproduce.  In our society today, no matter how poor you are your children aren't going to starve and they'll get medical care quite on par with the richest.


Okay, that makes exactly zero sense.  By your logic, there should be a vanishingly small number of poor people and heaps upon heaps of rich people, since the poors would never have grandchildren and the rich would be blasting out new generations in ridiculous numbers - unless you are seriously saying the nobility of Europe were constantly disinheriting their scions to be dirt-farmers.  Instead, the percentage of rich in the population was reasonably stable (~10%, depending on time, place, and definition of "rich").  The rich ate crap - they were basically slamming a diet that would shame McDonalds - and medicine before the late Victorian Age was useless at best and actively homicidal at worst (treatments basically being enema, vomitting, or goth-girl levels of cutting - oh, and drink enough heavy metals and toxic chemicals to make a corpse technically a WMD).  Infant mortality was high regardless of social class.  Henry VIII had way more than 3 legitimate children, but several died - and the less we say about Queen Anne's reproductive success the better (her numbers alone would drag your hypothesis down a dark alley and stab it several times in the gut).  On the other hand, it took the freaking Black Death to tamp down European peasant populations, and even that was a temporary fix.

This all also sidesteps the idea that the rich were smarter - which is kinda implicit in your hypothesis.  Any look at geopolitics from the Whatever-Dates-You-Want-To-Name Era, is rather conclusive that the guys in charge were congenital morons
 
2013-05-18 11:05:55 PM
And now to measure the speed of light.

video.google.com

Wow that's fast!
 
2013-05-18 11:06:36 PM

phalamir: Okay, that makes exactly zero sense.  By your logic, there should be a vanishingly small number of poor people and heaps upon heaps of rich people, since the poors would never have grandchildren and the rich would be blasting out new generations in ridiculous numbers - unless you are seriously saying the nobility of Europe were constantly disinheriting their scions to be dirt-farmers.  Instead, the percentage of rich in the population was reasonably stable (~10%, depending on time, place, and definition of "rich").  The rich ate crap - they were basically slamming a diet that would shame McDonalds - and medicine before the late Victorian Age was useless at best and actively homicidal at worst (treatments basically being enema, vomitting, or goth-girl levels of cutting - oh, and drink enough heavy metals and toxic chemicals to make a corpse technically a WMD).  Infant mortality was high regardless of social class.  Henry VIII had way more than 3 legitimate children, but several died - and the less we say about Queen Anne's reproductive success the better (her numbers alone would drag your hypothesis down a dark alley and stab it several times in the gut).  On the other hand, it took the freaking Black Death to tamp down European peasant populations, and even that was a temporary fix.

This all also sidesteps the idea that the rich were smarter - which is kinda implicit in your hypothesis.  Any look at geopolitics from the Whatever-Dates-You-Want-To-Name Era, is rather conclusive that the guys in charge were congenital morons


lol
Excellent!
Would read again!
/(treatments basically being enema, vomitting, or goth-girl levels of cutting - oh, and drink enough heavy metals and toxic chemicals to make a corpse technically a WMD).  Rotflmao
 
2013-05-18 11:07:13 PM

phalamir: The more proximate cause for the "people are really dumb today" effect is probably simply more literacy and better record keeping.


While I suspect this to be true, I'd like to point out that reaction speed tests as a carnival attraction were not unheard of. If the researchers got their data that way it would be a decent cross section of the population with a bias towards people who like carnivals (I can't think of a reason why that would matter but I'm sure someone will mention some variable which might impact scores in a few comments). On the other hand there would be quite a bit of self selection bias because, much like online "iq" tests, people who are above average are more likely to participate. That way actual intelligence wouldn't depend on literacy, just on the record keeping.

On the other hand, we don't know where anyone got the data because this is a journalist reporting on a paper without giving us the title of said paper.

Back OT:

I did a reaction time test with regards to learning curves and simply displaying the stimuli under a 45 degree angle instead of straight was enough to drop the average reaction time by 100 ~ 150 milliseconds.

www.piccer.nl

Who knows what the difference is between a Victorian aged reaction time test and a modern one.
/Axis labels suck because I cut a piece out of the larger figure
 
2013-05-18 11:07:46 PM
The causes of low intelligence are numerous. Some are genetiic, some congenital, some epigenetic, and some environmental. Over time there are considerable shifts in all of these factors except the genetic factors.

Since performance on IQ tests have bee rising consistently since the invention of these tests, it seems unlikely to me that there has been a serious decline in genetic IQ (the kind that results from decisions to breed or not breed), or if there has, it has been overwhelmed by the other factors.

I expect that IQs have risen significantly because of improvements to pre-natal care of mothers, health care, nutrition, education and the enrichment of home and public environments with media and activities.

Some questions do come to mind.

Could the decline in reaction times be simply the result of a shift from physical to sedentary life styles?
Could the decline in reaction times be irrelevant because the kind of intelligence we need now and are developing most is not related to physical reaction times?
How did the Victorians measure reaction times and more importantly, whose reacton times did they measure?

Most testing of psychological or physical theories today is done on college students. Another large source of test subjects is housewives and people who need money, and a third body of test subjects is enlisted men in the armed forces.

Who did the Victorians test?

If they were innately more intelligent, then the data is biased. If they were more active (factory workers, say) then the data is biased. After all, we have lost almost all agricultural labour since the invention of farm machinery by the Victorians, and almost all of the mechanical and industrial labour has been replaced by machines or outsourced to China and elsewhere. Americans and other developed country populations are now sedentary to a high degree compared even with themselves twenty or more years ago. They are certainly less active than their parents and other ancestors.

Of all the factors that increase or decrease the average intelligence level, genetics (or evolution) is the slowest and perhaps the weakest. It seems very unlikely that this study has found a legitimate way to measure general intelligence  across the generations. In any case, measuring long term trends in intelligence must be even trickier than measuring intelligence in the same cadre of test subjects.

My conclusion: NOT PROVEN.

In any case, I am highly skeptical of the theory that poor or stupid people are outbreeding the rich, smart few, and that too much Civilization is a bad thing.

It's good for intelligence not to be exposed to lead. It's good to eat a healthy diet. It's good to not get fevers that fry your brains.

The idea that the poor are a threat to the rich and the stupid to the smart is a conservative shibolleth. It has been kicking around for centuries. But if the Victorians were smarter than we are because they didn't have our comforts and safety mechanisms, why were the Puritans smarter than the Victorians and Medieval Man smarter than the Renaissance Man? Why weren't the Greeks and Romans smarter than us all?

I am sure they weren't. But they thought the world was going to Hades in a handcart just as every generation of Conservatives has been sure that Progress will be the ruination of us all.

Looking at the low levels of intelligence in the servant classes in Africa or Brazil, I find that there are many causes (diseases such as sleeping sickness and malaria, nutritional deficiencies by the score, poor education, lack of enviromental stimulation, etc.) which adequately explain why it may take eight weeks to train a maid or a gardener in Africa or Brazil--even though the rich and middle class employers are of the same race as the servants and slaves, which was not the case in the US in 1840. Many environmental factors can knock down an IQ by 20, 30, 50 points but genetics wouldn't do this in centuries because the stupider your competition is, the greater the advantage to the intelligent.

Not being a conservative, I expect progress to make us smarter. I expect there to be many impediments  to progress that can be removed for the poor and the stupid as well as the rich and the clever (namely us liberals). I believe that freedom, democracy, a reasonable degree of equality, charity, and education are good things, not grease on the wheels of the handcart to Hell.

So the Victorians can bite me. I bet they were NOT applying their reaction time tests to the slaves in the cotton fields or the human hamburger in the mines and the Dark Satanic Mills of Middle England. I bet when we test people we test a broader section of a larger population.

And look a the source of this article: it's the Farking Daily Telegraph. If there are 10,000 studies of intelligence, they will find the one that most flatters the religious, political and cultural assumptions of Daily Telegraph readers, the singlemost stupid group of people this side of the Sun or Murdoch's Tabloid TV.
 
2013-05-18 11:12:40 PM

thisispete: We do live in a much safer environment than those who lived 130 years ago. There's much less violent crime, and a reduced chance of dying in war, according to Steven Pinker. Plus there's less famine, food is for the most part safe to eat, water is safe to drink and hygiene has dramatically improved. Universal education only started in the mid 19th century. I'm sure many of these social factors influenced intelligence.


So crime, patriotic murder, sewage water, and wallowing in your own filth increase your intelligence?  The third world is a breeding ground for Einsteins, and the West is letting them go to waste to our own detriment.
 
2013-05-18 11:19:47 PM
Considering that we can't reliably measure intelligence today, what makes anyone assume that the IQ could be measured accurately over 100 years ago?
 
2013-05-18 11:23:28 PM
they did invent the vibrator during the Victorian Era
 
2013-05-18 11:23:48 PM

Arthur Jumbles: Also, even though air quality has improved children's IQ can still be affected by a mother's exposure to urban air pollutants


Well... We aren't burning coal in our fireplaces, and we've gotten the lead out of everything... Most mothers are aware of fetal alcohol syndrome, and in general nutrition has been improved and diversified.

This abstract of an abstract doesn't tell us anything about what they actually tested. The most basic reaction test I can think of is the ruler drop, where a subject puts their fingers around a ruler and the tester drops it, then you measure how far it gets before the subject grabs it. But I don't see how it can correlate to overall intelligence so much as the length of someone's arm.
 
2013-05-18 11:28:19 PM

E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: they did invent the vibrator during the Victorian Era


Just to soothe the nerves though.
 
2013-05-18 11:29:13 PM

brantgoose:

*snip*



A lot of good points, I did some googling and I found this.

In this study we used the data on the secular slowing of simple reaction time described in a meta-analysis of 14 age-matched studies from Western countries conducted between 1884 and 2004 to estimate the decline in g that may have resulted from the presence of dysgenic fertility. Using psychometric meta-analysis we computed the true correlation between simple reaction time and g, yielding a decline of − 1.23 IQ points per decade or fourteen IQ points since Victorian times.

So, it is a meta-analysis which means that everyone measured in a different way. As my previous post stated: presenting the stimuli at a 45 degree angle, in an otherwise identical test and setting, is enough to add a decent 100 to 150 milliseconds to the results of a reaction time test as compared to the stimuli being presented on a horizontal line. I also like the double negative that is a decline of minus 1.23 IQ points.
 
2013-05-18 11:29:16 PM
eugenics rabbit hole, despite it being demonstrably disproven over and over.

Horseshiat. We have manipulated domesticated mammals genetics for generations. People are no damm different. Eugenic manipulation of people is currently unethical, because it tramps all over human rights, but there is no question that if we did, we could dramatically reduce genetically influenced disease, and improve the human species over time, just as we have with dogs, horses, cows, etc.

With a little luck, we'll develop genetic engineering that will allow us to fix up our genetic code without oppressing people.
 
2013-05-18 11:29:35 PM

DrunkenBob: thisispete: We do live in a much safer environment than those who lived 130 years ago. There's much less violent crime, and a reduced chance of dying in war, according to Steven Pinker. Plus there's less famine, food is for the most part safe to eat, water is safe to drink and hygiene has dramatically improved. Universal education only started in the mid 19th century. I'm sure many of these social factors influenced intelligence.

So crime, patriotic murder, sewage water, and wallowing in your own filth increase your intelligence?  The third world is a breeding ground for Einsteins, and the West is letting them go to waste to our own detriment.




Not the point you were making, but the lost potential of so many millions in the poorer countries is a great loss to humanity. People who have the innate intelligence to greatly advance our search for new medical or renewable energy technology (to give just two examples of things that could greatly enhance the quality of life everywhere) end up spending their lives just getting by in the hardscrabble day to day battle for food and shelter. This also happens in first world countries, but the odds of truly exceptional individuals never having a chance to live up to their potential are obviously much higher in the poorer countries.
 
2013-05-18 11:41:50 PM

meanmutton: It's been 40 years since lead was removed from gasoline and in those 40 years every measure of environmental quality (except greenhouse gases) has dramatically improved.


The movement to eliminate leaded gasoline sales may have started 40 years ago, but it was still readily available in the United States as of 30 years ago, and has been outlawed for automotive use for only about 20.

But yes, anthropogenic pollutants represent an enormous and generally unacknowledged threat to the realization of human potential.
 
2013-05-18 11:49:01 PM
They certainly were smarter than us!

That's why I'm sitting here wearing my uranium jewelry and sipping Cod Liver Oil for my gout waiting for the Ether-powered flying machine that will take me on a tour of the canals of Mars!
 
2013-05-18 11:51:22 PM
As a species we may be stupider, but educational homogamy will ensure one human subpopulation will get smarter, more myopic, autistic, and allergy prone.
 
2013-05-18 11:58:53 PM

phalamir: Yes please: clab: I mean when it comes down to it natural selection is simply a numbers game. You cannot deny that less intelligent people on average have more children. While this may have been the case in the past as well, the more intelligent people could compete to a certain extent.

It's not that the wealthy had so many more children back then; more, it's that the children of the poor were so much more likely to die before reaching reproductive age.  Whether starvation, illness, getting crushed in a factory, whatever, the children of the poor had a very poor survival rate, whereas wealthy children were much more likely to reproduce.  In our society today, no matter how poor you are your children aren't going to starve and they'll get medical care quite on par with the richest.

Okay, that makes exactly zero sense.  By your logic, there should be a vanishingly small number of poor people and heaps upon heaps of rich people, since the poors would never have grandchildren and the rich would be blasting out new generations in ridiculous numbers - unless you are seriously saying the nobility of Europe were constantly disinheriting their scions to be dirt-farmers.  Instead, the percentage of rich in the population was reasonably stable (~10%, depending on time, place, and definition of "rich").  The rich ate crap - they were basically slamming a diet that would shame McDonalds - and medicine before the late Victorian Age was useless at best and actively homicidal at worst (treatments basically being enema, vomitting, or goth-girl levels of cutting - oh, and drink enough heavy metals and toxic chemicals to make a corpse technically a WMD).  Infant mortality was high regardless of social class.  Henry VIII had way more than 3 legitimate children, but several died - and the less we say about Queen Anne's reproductive success the better (her numbers alone would drag your hypothesis down a dark alley and stab it several times in the gut).  On the other hand, it took the f ...


Umm...you are kind of making my point. Everyone had equal footing regardless of intelligence back then, because medicine was worse and infant mortality and mortality in general was higher. However, now that all of this is basically equal, those that have more offspring will represent a greater portion of the gene pool. Given that intelligence is highly heritable, one will be able to see some evolutionary shift relatively quickly. Hence the findings in this study (regardless of how non-reproducible and flawed this study might be).
 
2013-05-19 12:33:12 AM
Ok guys, now that everyone else is asleep can we finally hash out our plan to implement eugenics?
 
2013-05-19 12:34:33 AM
 
2013-05-19 12:42:16 AM
Pffff they had humans cleaning up.  We have little robots that get stuck in stairs.

Clearly we are superior to them.   Also my roomba gets angry when I don't bow to our robot overlords... send help.
 
2013-05-19 12:42:34 AM

clab: Ok guys, now that everyone else is asleep can we finally hash out our plan to implement eugenics?


positive or negative?

/I don't subscribe to negative eugenics at all.
//positive is fairly easy via the right of disassociation.
 
2013-05-19 12:48:00 AM

mr lawson: clab: Ok guys, now that everyone else is asleep can we finally hash out our plan to implement eugenics?

positive or negative?

/I don't subscribe to negative eugenics at all.
//positive is fairly easy via the right of disassociation.


Well of course I mean the positive...Wink, wink ( I don't think we are all alone yet. Soon. Very soon)
 
2013-05-19 12:53:32 AM

clab: Well of course I mean the positive...Wink, wink


Lol...no wink, wink. needed.
I DO BELIEVE IN POSITIVE EUGENICS.
 
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