Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Humans Invent)   If you score the people a century ago against modern norms, they would have an average IQ of 70. If you score us against their norms, we would have an average IQ of what's making us more intelligent?   ( divider line
    More: Cool, cargo bikes  
•       •       •

3275 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Oct 2013 at 8:54 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-10-11 09:16:58 AM  
3 votes:
I'm curious how much of the effect is due to better nutrition, improved public health measures, prenatal care, and better medical technology.

For example, the authors of this paper ( ) posit that iodization of salt accounts for a big chunk of the IQ increase.  The effects are large enough to account for one decade of the Flynn effect.

Article with less science-y prose here: o -salt-boosted-americans-iq/#.Ulf4Nfarkqgs
2013-10-11 08:56:55 AM  
3 votes:
Certainly not's web design.

Skip the bullsh*t, here's the source.
2013-10-11 11:08:40 AM  
2 votes:
Average IQ of 130?  REALLY?  RREEAALLYY??  Have these folks seen people on the freeway when it's time to merge?  Try 30, and that's optimistic.
2013-10-11 09:32:05 AM  
2 votes:
Race mixing. As humans become "mongrelized", we will get smarter and healthier, just like dogs do - diversity is the key to genetic success.
2013-10-11 09:17:55 AM  
2 votes:

LasersHurt: Could it be that health and nutrition, especially early in life, are hugely important?

Not as much as you'd think.

More likely IQ tests are just a fairly bad measure of real intelligence. That's why there's strong cultural biases.
2013-10-12 10:03:30 AM  
1 vote:
Simple, leisure time has increased. When people have to spend less time out at the farm or at the bottom of a coal mine they have more time for bettering themselves intellectually. Even if it might not seem like it because theyre in general being more flippant with their time. That's why agriculture was such an important development for humanity. It freed us from the constant need to hunt for our next meal to be able to contemplate our further existence. Automation of processes frees us to contemplate. Thats why we're smarter now than we ever were before.
2013-10-11 03:32:35 PM  
1 vote:
It's largely impossible to design an "intelligence" test that really doesn't just boil down to a "knowledge" test.

People getting more education = higher "IQ" even though they might no smarter.
2013-10-11 01:33:19 PM  
1 vote:

Richard C Stanford: Poor education could result in someone with a high IQ being really stupid.

Ignorant more than stupid, but I agree it gets back to the point of the IQ test being a poor measure of actual intelligence.

Its possible that we haven't really gotten smarter biologically. Just that, with at least a public education being the norm now for all races and social classes, we've gotten better at taking tests.
2013-10-11 10:49:11 AM  
1 vote:

CrazyCracka420: Being able to find information on Google doesn't make us more intelligent.  Just easier to find that information.

This is true, but having the information available gives you something else to think about. Being able to compare information from different sources gives you something else to think about. Reading critiques of information from different sources gives you even more to think about. This process can help you exercise something that looks remarkably like intelligence.

A hundred years ago, a typical school might have had a single shelf of books - maybe. A few (*ahem*) decades ago when I was a young'un, the typical source of information was the (note the singular)encyclopedia. There is a lot of information in an encyclopedia, but we're talking about something with all of two whole paragraphs on topics like "Taiwan" (OK "Formosa" back then) or "The Ottoman Empire" or "Aerodynamics". Even for those few children who might have the extra time and energy to look up confirmatory or conflicting sources, most topics only had a single source of information (if you were lucky!).

While there were a few heretics like Feynman or Heinlein (or my father) who corrected books when they were wrong, most people just went with what a book said. The effort required for information access led to a focus on memorization, not critical thinking.
2013-10-11 10:27:20 AM  
1 vote:
s15.postimg.orgView Full Size
2013-10-11 09:35:56 AM  
1 vote:
Our IQ's have gone up over time due to a variety of reasons, some of which have been mentioned.

Better nutrition, less exposure to heavy metals (lead from leaded gasoline lead to generations of people with higher than average rates of mental disorders, especially violent ones, and lower IQ), early childhood education that focuses rather heavily on problem solving abilities which are the foundation of human intellect, and also unfortunately 'teaching to the test'.

Overall, a modern child of the same age as someone from 100 years ago would on average be MUCH better at abstract problem solving thanks to these causes, though im guesstimating that a good 60% of that is due to mere early childhood education.

seriously, intelligence is only loosely linked to genetics. the major determining factor of a persons later life intelligence is the level of early childhood education, which just so happens to be much higher in middle and upper class families than the very poor...
2013-10-11 09:26:51 AM  
1 vote:
Really we're getting dumber. They're just revising the curve so 80 is the new 100. Now everybody who can spell and define "antidisestablishmentarianism" is a SUPER-DOOPER genius.
2013-10-11 09:25:32 AM  
1 vote:
Prolonged exposure to internet porn has rapidly advanced the evolution of the brain. In forty years the average farker will be Dr Xaiver
2013-10-11 09:25:06 AM  
1 vote:
This is especially remarkable considering IQ tests (or at least not the simon binet) weren't even available 100 years ago.

We're so smart, not only do we know how to perfectly measure intelligence (IQ tests -- obviously), but we know how to infer the intelligence of others without even giving them this test!

2013-10-11 09:18:46 AM  
1 vote:
The same reason for the decline in violent crime, PORN.

2013-10-11 09:14:55 AM  
1 vote:
Multiple choice tests.
2013-10-11 09:14:03 AM  
1 vote:

Billy Mays?

a twerking Billy Mays?
2013-10-11 09:13:15 AM  
1 vote:
Could it be that health and nutrition, especially early in life, are hugely important?
2013-10-11 09:03:14 AM  
1 vote:
I am calling BS. I have seen on the internet schoolhouse exams for 6th graders from the golden age of America individualism that show people were much smarter back then. This was of course due to the non-liberal education that has transformed America in to a bunch of commies or something.

How many bushels are 3 hogsheads again?
2013-10-11 08:50:56 AM  
1 vote:
What's making us more intelligent?

Reality TV shows.
Displayed 20 of 20 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking

On Twitter

Top Commented
Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.