Are We Heading To A Dumber Version Of Human Era?

The current idea of a future homo sapiens would be a one with Megamind like giant head, super high thinking ability and what not, we would be the supreme of all. But wait. What are the hot topics of discussion just ringing in our ears? It looks like researches have indicated a gradual drop in the intelligence level of human kind. Besides the growing literacy rate, when we look back a few generations, mankind is getting dumber. A current study published in the journal trends in genetics shows that humans have lost the evolutionary pressures needed to bring out their hidden abilities and tactics to fight the impossible. Every individual was exposed to nature’s raw selective methods and the result was evolution. After our ancestors began practicing agriculture and began living in farming communities, the need for further exploration has gradually waned. In the present world everything starting from the very basic needs of food and shelter are at our reach in ease. The modern day children have lost the opportunity to think own their own. We don’t realize the stunting that grows with each generation, and that we are nurturing a mass of brain which serves no purpose. The ancient men had no choice other than to find ways using their intelligence for their existence ranging from the now simplest tasks like making fire, transportation, food etc. to raising a child. In fact, there has occurred a stark fall of I.Q among the westerners by about 14 units since the Victorian era.

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Dr. Gerald Crabtree, a researcher at the Stanford University says, 

The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples before our ancestors emerged from Africa. 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. 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. The basis for my wager comes from new developments in genetics, anthropology, and neurobiology that make a clear prediction that our intellectual and emotional abilities are genetically surprisingly fragile.

There is yet another fact that humans harbor atleast two intelligence stunting genetic changes that could have evolved over the past 3000 years. Like an other gene, the ones which code for human intelligence is also susceptible to mutations. But never is this going to mean the mutations are gonna make us retarded, says psychologist Thomas Hills of the University of Warwick, since we can actually see the rise in average I.Q through the past 100 years. This is a phenomenon called ‘the Flynn Effect’. Neverthless Flynn effect doesn’t correlate with the outcome through natural selection and the human intelligence. It might be an indirect result of the better living conditions, prenatal care, nutrition as well as reduced exposure to the brain damaging chemicals like lead. But it’s still true that the mutations have led us to be only a fraction as bright as our ancestors. Thomas Hills also states, ”removing the pressure for everyone to be a superb hunter or gatherer may have allowed us to evolve a more diverse population with different types of smarts.”

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