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Old 11-14-2012, 11:10 PM
 
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I would be willing to bet that the average American is more intelligent now than 100 years ago. That doesn't mean that we're all cut out to be Rhodes Scholars, but the general levels of literacy, ability to perform math problems, and general science understanding is much higher than it was at the turn of the previous century. It's just that most of what was unknown or fledgeling back then is now common knowledge. This creates the illusion of diminishing intelligence. In reality, we're plenty intelligent as a collective. It's just that the rest of the world (with certain notable exceptions) has caught up and presented a challenge.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,102 posts, read 20,360,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleveland_Collector View Post
I would be willing to bet that the average American is more intelligent now than 100 years ago. That doesn't mean that we're all cut out to be Rhodes Scholars, but the general levels of literacy, ability to perform math problems, and general science understanding is much higher than it was at the turn of the previous century. It's just that most of what was unknown or fledgeling back then is now common knowledge. This creates the illusion of diminishing intelligence. In reality, we're plenty intelligent as a collective. It's just that the rest of the world (with certain notable exceptions) has caught up and presented a challenge.
This is a good point and it will continue to advance at a exponential rate.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:39 PM
 
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I would speculate that we humans are slightly less intelligent than our ancestors. Back then natural selection was weeding out dummies quicker than today. Of course, 30,000 years ago there were many more predators and dangers in the world. Today, it's no longer survival of the fittest, but nearly everyone is permitted to survive until reproductive age. Therefore, the gene pool is severly diluted without the mentally challenged succumbing to Darwin's theory.
Granted, we are more educated now than our ancestors, but that doesn't prove a greater innate intelligence. I can almost guarantee that if we could bring those ancestors back they would be able to learn anything we can. To my knowledge, aborigines have already proven this.
The only way we can raise the bar for human intelligence is to allow only our most intelligent to breed. We know that hasn't happened!
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:37 PM
 
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Isn't there a well established scientific fact called 'Flynn effect' that says IQ scores has been going up 3 points every decade? And they have been going up everywhere in the world not just developed countries. Of course higher iq may not necessarily mean higher intelligence but it has to be connected somehow. Perhaps we are more intelligent in different things than our ancestors. I look at my 6 year old using a computer/tablet etc...and I am sure I was not as intelligent at that age. We are simply exposed to more complex things nowadays.
I think there were few articles about Flynn effect in scientific American recently - either August or September 2012 issue.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
3,738 posts, read 6,219,282 times
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Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
No it makes me more intelligent and in the coming years when we merge with the technology we will even be more intelligent. At some point in the next 10-20 years we will all be as smart as Einstein hell we will actually be smarter then he was.
Hopefully the technology we are to merge with comes pre-installed with a reliable grammar check program.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
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Originally Posted by cjg5 View Post
Hopefully the technology we are to merge with comes pre-installed with a reliable grammar check program.
Agreed!
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 8,771,174 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyvictoria View Post
Isn't there a well established scientific fact called 'Flynn effect' that says IQ scores has been going up 3 points every decade? And they have been going up everywhere in the world not just developed countries. Of course higher iq may not necessarily mean higher intelligence but it has to be connected somehow. Perhaps we are more intelligent in different things than our ancestors. I look at my 6 year old using a computer/tablet etc...and I am sure I was not as intelligent at that age. We are simply exposed to more complex things nowadays.
I think there were few articles about Flynn effect in scientific American recently - either August or September 2012 issue.
I wonder if the IQ tests have changed? Just a thought.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:46 AM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,367 posts, read 8,275,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyvictoria View Post
Isn't there a well established scientific fact called 'Flynn effect' that says IQ scores has been going up 3 points every decade? And they have been going up everywhere in the world not just developed countries. Of course higher iq may not necessarily mean higher intelligence but it has to be connected somehow. Perhaps we are more intelligent in different things than our ancestors. I look at my 6 year old using a computer/tablet etc...and I am sure I was not as intelligent at that age. We are simply exposed to more complex things nowadays.
I think there were few articles about Flynn effect in scientific American recently - either August or September 2012 issue.
Exactly. And I've seen similar studies where the average IQ necessary just to cope with modern society continues to increase. At the end of the 1900's it was estimated that an average IQ of around 100 was sufficient to handle everyday life then, while nowadays the average IQ for the 21st century western world needs to be at least 115-120!
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,603,351 times
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It is simply a meaninglessness question, until the participants in the discussion agree on the meaning of the word "inteloigent".

As I understand it, the meaning of 'intelligence' is the ability to extract information from observation, and quickly use that to form new ideas. An intelligent person is one who not only possesses this capacity, but has developed, through practice, an agility at using it. If you take enough IQ tests, you can steadily increase your score.. just as you can improve your piano playing, golf, or Turkish speaking with sufficient repetitions. Up to your level of capacity.

This is where the OP may be harvesting his theory. People in the modern era are called upon less frequently to use their intellect, since so many problem solutions are presented ready-made in the marketplace of ideas. Modern industry has removed failure from the application of everything from a cake mix to a rototiller. So intellectual agility is reduced, through lack of practical repetitions. One is no longer required to observe failure and intellectualize compensating refinements to a process -- these have already been done by product design.

Take driving an automobile, for example. A century ago, driving a car was a demanding task, requiring an understanding of a complex of different mechanical processes, and being able to recognize how well the machine was running and make manual adjustments to improve its efficiency. Such as advancing the spark and choking the fuel and changing gears smoothly. The modern driver needs to know only how to start, steer and stop the machine and the 800-number for road service. while everything else is done without the driver even being aware of it or being intellectually challenged by an understanding of it.

Last edited by jtur88; 12-01-2012 at 10:16 AM..
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:02 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,533 posts, read 29,257,812 times
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Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
Humans may be gradually losing intelligence, according to a new study.


The study, published today (Nov. 12) in the journal Trends in Genetics, argues that humans lost the evolutionary pressure to be smart once we started living in dense agricultural settlements several thousand years ago.


"The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples [living] before our ancestors emerged from Africa," said study author Gerald Crabtree, a researcher at Stanford University, in a statement.


Since then it's all been downhill, Crabtree contends.
The theory isn't without critics, with one scientist contacted by LiveScience suggesting that rather than losing our smarts, humans have just diversified them with various types of intelligence today.
I would say it is a matter of definition. Does being able to make a spear out of natural materials (branches, stones), mean that you are "more intelligent"? I don't know. Does it? I will agree that each succeeding generation seems to be less informed about more diverse subjects, i.e. History, Geography, etc., since modern society seems to be focusing more on technology and cultural matters, but I don't know that they are less intelligent just "differently" intelligent.

It is very easy to judge people by our own standards, but who is to say whose standards are right? Personally, I believe it is important to be able to solve mathematical problems without the use of a calculator, but that is me. It would be nice if people knew history, to keep them from making the same mistakes over again, but that is MY personal opinion.

20yrsinBranson
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