Us researchers: people are getting stupider and stupider

uS researchers: people are getting stupider and stupider

His reasoning: thousands of years ago, when people still roamed the wilderness in small groups, intellectual abilities were crucial for the survival of every human being. But since mankind started farming and living together in coarser communities, the intelligence of the individual has become less important, writes developmental biologist gerald crabtree of stanford university in california in the journal "trends in genetics".

Human intelligence depends on about 2000 to 5000 genes. These brain hereditary traits are particularly susceptible to mutation, according to studies, crabtree writes. He suspects that humanity has gradually increased in intelligence over the past 120 generations, or about 3000 years. If we were to receive a visit from a burger from ancient greece today, the time traveler would be far superior to us intellectually: he would be more imaginative and have a better memory.

Crabtree’s theory: those who didn’t use their brains in the past couldn’t feed themselves or protect themselves from wild animals. Only the smartest survived. This selection pressure loves to increase the human intelligence constantly. After the development of agriculture, however, people lived together in coarser groups, which also supported weaker individuals. According to crabtree, more important than intelligence for the individual was the ability to protect himself from diseases that occur more frequently in larger groups.

He contradicts studies that show that the average intelligence quotient has risen since the beginning of the 20th century. Century rose from generation to generation. This phenomenon became known as the flynn effect after the intelligence researcher james robert flynn. But crabtree puts this into perspective: the increase starts from a low level. Furthermore, the increase was due to better education, not to genetic mutations.


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