With Human Intelligence Reportedly on the Decline, How Do We Reverse the Trend?

A leading scientist at Sanford University says man is no longer as bright as his ancestors, and it’s only going to get worse.

According to a recent article in USA News, we’re not as smart as we used to be — and the trend is headed in the wrong direction.

Dr. Gerald Crabtree, a geneticist at Sanford, published a study that supports this finding. According to Crabtree, we peaked some 3,000 to 6,000 years ago.

“I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas, and a clear-sighted view of important issues," Crabtree is quoted as writing. "Furthermore, I would guess that he or she would be among the most emotionally stable of our friends and colleagues. I would also make this wager for the ancient inhabitants of Africa, Asia, India or the Americas, of perhaps 2000–6000 years ago."

Crabtree says we were smarter when “every individual was exposed to nature’s raw selective mechanisms on a daily basis.” In other words, when we had to think for ourselves in order to survive. It appears the smarter we get collectively, the dumber we become individually. Having someone else think for us has actually shrunk our ability to think for ourselves, according to this theory. Crabtree's study is based on genetics and our ability to adapt to our circumstances through mutations.

Do you think this study has merit, and if so, how would you suggest we go about reversing the trend?

r patton February 21, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Look who is President. 'Nuff said.
George Wilson February 21, 2013 at 06:17 PM
@ r patton Look who was President...George Bush.The big improvement with Obama means that the theory may not be true and that is hope.
K DelBove February 21, 2013 at 09:48 PM
Is this another rewrite of history? Wasn't Athens Greece 1000BC called the Greek Dark Ages? I would hate to think that was a peak for humankind.
Johnny Morgan February 22, 2013 at 07:46 PM
The association between public water fluoridation & reduced IQ is predicted by, and entirely consistent with, a large body of evidence (fluoridealert org). Other human studies, for example, have found associations between fluoride and neuro-behavior in ways consistent with fluoride being a neuro-toxin. In addition, animal studies have repeatedly found that fluoride impairs the learning and memory capacity of rats under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. An even larger body of animal research has found that fluoride can directly damage the brain, a finding that has been confirmed in studies of aborted human fetuses from high-fluoride areas. Say NO to Fluoride in the Public Water supply (while you still have enough brain cells to say NO).
Tammy Osier February 23, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Think about it Elizabeth...multiple choice means that some of the test is a good guess and the other, you recognize an answer. Nothing wrong with using it as long as tests have a variety of ways to find an answer. When I was a kid, we had "fill in the blank" mostly. You had to know the answer beforehand and think it through. The thinking process has certainly tchanged the last 30 years. Might explain why people get their news from headlines rather than exploring all the possibilities beforehand and coming to a conclusion. We live in a society where we like to let someone else think for us. Just a societal change that has evolved since the advent of the television age. lol


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