A new study from researchers in Europe claims that the average IQ in Western nations dropped by a staggering 14.1 points over the past century.
On average, the general intelligence of those populations measured dropped by 1.23 points per decade. “These findings strongly indicate that with respect to general intelligence the Victorians were substantially cleverer than modern Western populations,” the study says.
The study had other positive observations about the Victorian era, noting that economic efficiency began to flourish during the period and that the “height of the per capita numbers of significant innovations in science and technology, and also the per capita numbers of scientific geniuses,” occurred during that time, followed by a steady decline.
So why has there been such a steady drop? As UPI notes, previous research studies have found that women of higher intelligence tend to have fewer children on average, meaning that population growth may be driven by those with a lower IQ. And over time, the abundance of less intelligent offspring would affect the overall IQ average.
Intelligence and the capacity for abstract thought evolved in our prehistoric ancestors living in Africa between 50,000 and 500,000 years ago, who relied on their wits to build shelters and hunt prey.
But in more civilized times where we no longer need to fight to survive, the selection process which favored the smartest of our ancestors and weeded out the dullards is no longer in force.
“A hunter-gatherer who did not correctly conceive of a solution to providing food or shelter probably died, along with his or her progeny, whereas a modern Wall Street executive that made a similar conceptual mistake would receive a substantial bonus and be a more attractive mate. Clearly, extreme selection is a thing of the past.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9672790/Civilisation-is-making-humanity-less-intelligent-study-claims.html
So are humans getting dumber? It depends. The gap between the smartest 1% and the rest is widening and may create a situation where the gap will become unsustainable.
In America the trend of wealth redistribution continues: “From the end of the recession in 2009 through 2011 (the last year for which Census Bureau wealth data is available), the 8 million households in the U.S. with a net worth above $836,033 saw their aggregate wealth rise by an estimated $5.6 trillion, while the 111 million households with a net worth at or below that level saw their aggregate wealth decline by an estimated $0.6 trillion.” http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/04/23/a-rise-in-wealth-for-the-wealthydeclines-for-the-lower-93/
It has been widely observed that the birthrate of countries tends to fall as they become more wealthy. Most countries in Western Europe now have birthrates below the replacement rate; in the absence of immigration, their populations can be expected to fall in the future.
Putting these two pieces of information together, one might expect that since low IQ countries tend to be less wealthy, they should also be expected to have higher birthrates than countries with a high IQ. If population IQ and wealth remain constant, the average IQ of the world should then fall over time, since a larger portion of population growth will occur in low IQ countries. http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1867279/pg1
—the political backlash against income inequality, both in advanced and emerging economies, could widen. “Governments may use more taxation instruments and globally there may be a further attack on tax havens. Recent governmental and intergovernmental activity in these areas is not a passing phase,” he says. “It’s going to be a tougher playing field for the rich.” http://thewealthreport.net/economic-trends/rise-of-the-new-rich.aspx
Normally the most adaptive and successful deviations in species survive while the least successful perish.
There is an opposite trend with humans. The most educated and the most successful have less kids than the poorest and less educated (with some religious exceptions).
Also the rich are getting richer and the poor multiply.
According to some researchers the IQ divide is growing in tune with the wealth distribution.
So my message to the rich. If you continue on the path to more riches, the planet of the apes is coming. And you will rule it…until the apes eat you.