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Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:12 PM

Mutations in the human brain are making us stupider, new research shows

"A Stanford University professor presented evidence Monday that mutations in the human brain brought on by advances in society that have made survival less stressful are eroding our intellectual and emotional capabilities."

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/human-beings-stupider-research-article-1.1200985

21 replies, 2476 views

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Reply Mutations in the human brain are making us stupider, new research shows (Original post)
damnedifIknow Nov 2012 OP
FirstLight Nov 2012 #1
left on green only Nov 2012 #5
left on green only Nov 2012 #2
Igel Nov 2012 #20
RegieRocker Nov 2012 #3
damnedifIknow Nov 2012 #4
RegieRocker Nov 2012 #6
barbiegeek Nov 2012 #10
caraher Nov 2012 #7
LeftishBrit Nov 2012 #13
Ash_F Nov 2012 #14
RegieRocker Nov 2012 #15
bemildred Nov 2012 #11
Kablooie Nov 2012 #18
eyewall Nov 2012 #8
Exultant Democracy Nov 2012 #9
Igel Nov 2012 #21
LeftishBrit Nov 2012 #12
marmar Nov 2012 #16
pnwmom Nov 2012 #17
Octafish Nov 2012 #19

Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:19 PM

1. I could have told you that!



the electronic-gap, all our survival needs met, sprinkled with toxic water and air, genetically modified foods, etc...
we are SO on our way to Idiocracy, it aint funny...



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Response to FirstLight (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:31 PM

5. Great excerpt from "Faux and Friends"! n/t

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:20 PM

2. Could that be the reason why the scoring of the SAT's.......

..........is now easier than it was during the 60's?

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Response to left on green only (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:56 AM

20. Not necessarily.

In the 60s a restricted set of students took the SAT. Mediocre students assumed they weren't going to college. Those with little money assumed they weren't going to college.

Over the years a more diverse--and I mean by achievement level--body of students have taken the SAT. It's pulled the average down, even as the top students, those who would have taken the SAT in the late '60s, continue to do better.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:25 PM

3. This professors brains fell out

 

and he researched his own brain and didn't know it. I say b.s. on this one big time.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:27 PM

4. I don't know.

It's true we used to have to think to survive instead of watching the tube and burping.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:41 PM

6. We didn't have to think

 

about not getting run over by a semi, rear ended by another car etc 2 hrs a day. Nor did we think about retirement and have to plan for that. We didn't pay a multitude of bills. Somewhat learn to manipulate electronic numerous gadgets. Life is intrinsically more complex by a thousand fold than the days of our distant forefathers. Total b.s. I would say to this nimrod " move to the worst part of Detroit, stay for 3 months and get back to me if you're still alive dipshit".

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:37 AM

10. That part about Detroit was pretty funny

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Response to damnedifIknow (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:45 PM

7. It's a pretty badly-written article

It does sound a bit like the professor has a screw loose, but it's just as likely the reporter did a lousy job. The claim isn't crazy, but the speculations outlined sound like something one step removed from quotes in an Onion piece.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:21 PM

13. Our ancestors didn't have to think about traffic; did not have to deal with the complex social

systems that we have now (mostly they met the same small number of people every day); did not have to 'earn a living' in the way that people do now, etc.

They had their own problems. You had to think about finding shelter and hunting enough food to eat; and about avoiding being hunted yourself. But it's not clear that this needs MORE thought than e.g. negotiating a busy road; avoiding being burgled or mugged; going to school for a minimum of 10 or 11 years; training for a job; meeting your work targets; socializing with varied and diverse groups of people; selecting a partner and being selected by one where there is far more choice than in the primeval hunter-gatherer village; etc; etc; etc. Few people are able to spend their entire lives 'watching the tube and burping'.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:04 PM

14. Man, that second paragraph stressed me out. /nt

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 05:29 PM

15. Hahaha

 

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:51 AM

11. Sounds like horseshit to me.

Thinking has changed a lot, but I doubt very much we are dumber in any intrinsic way.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 03:28 AM

18. Horseshit sound like =plop=. This sounds like human speech so I disagree.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:04 PM

8. I'm sure his research was impeccable.

[link:|

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 11:02 PM

9. IQ test have been going up every generation we have measured.

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Response to Exultant Democracy (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:05 AM

21. Flynn has a very nice explanation for the Flynn effect.

That's the fairly consistent IQ increase.

IQ tests set out to measure a certain kind of thinking and we think of it as innate. Educated, abstract sorts of things. To do this, they use certain kinds of questions and assume that it's IQ that helps us to solve or answer those questions.

We know that there's some innate component to IQ because IQ increases with age. We know that you get better at the kinds of things that the tests test, and norm the tests by age as a consequence. Ultimately the only way to test that is to test things that aren't innate.

If the average IQ score is increasing, it means average IQ is increasing, we are improving at test taking, or both. If IQ is innate, the question has to be, Why is it increasing?

However, we increasingly teach the kind of thinking that IQ tests target because we want students to do well on tests--learning isn't the goal, scores are the goal. We increasingly focus on teaching the question-answering strategies that the IQ tests use. There's no actual evidence that IQ's increasing.

Our vanity tells us to take the Flynn effect at face value. We're better than others, smarter than others. We trounce our parents and grandparents when it comes to what's important, smarts.

Instead we teach to the test and are taught to the test. What's funny is when the people who think they have higher IQs (and who have higher IQ scores because of teaching to the test) complain about how teachers teach to the test.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 03:10 PM

12. This sounds like one of those bullshit 'evolutionary psychology' theories with no evidence

We don't really know how intelligent our prehistoric ancestors were compared with ourselves, or what proportion of them did survive to reproduce. Evidence from tool use, communication, cave-painting, etc. shows signs of intelligence - but no real way of comparing their cognition with ours. Indeed, it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to find suitable ways of making accurate comparisons of intelligence in people from radically different cultures at the same time, let alone millions of years apart.

Since soft tissue does not fossilize, we don't have much evidence of subtle brain changes, even if there were any.

The most likely scenario is that our ancestors' genetic brain capacity was similar to ours, but that they were more likely to show reductions in intelligence due to malnutrition, disease, birth injuries, etc. What does not kill us does not always make us stronger; often it makes us less healthy and less intelligent.


What can be said is that, if IQ is taken as a measure of intelligence, IQ has been steadily going UP during the last 100 years, i.e since IQ tests have been in large-scale use. Not due to brain mutations - there hasn't been enough time - but to changes in culture, education, health, nutrition, etc.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 05:57 PM

16. The Teabaggers disagree





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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:10 AM

17. Then why do people today score higher on IQ tests of decades ago

compared to people then?

I don't think the situation is nearly as clear as the Stanford professor would like us to believe.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:16 PM

19. Stanford, the Home of Eugenics

Edwin Black explains:

Eugenics and the Nazis -- the California connection

EXCERPT...

Stanford President David Starr Jordan originated the notion of "race and blood" in his 1902 racial epistle "Blood of a Nation," in which the university scholar declared that human qualities and conditions such as talent and poverty were passed through the blood.

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