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Op-Ed: Humans evolving into bigger idiots? Stanford professor thinks so

By Paul Wallis     Nov 21, 2012 in Science
Sydney - Yep, evolution is a two way street. With a bit of effort you can evolve to get dumber in every generation. Prof. Gerald Crabtree, a geneticist seems pretty convinced that Homo Sap is long gone in that direction. reports:
...Crabtree argues that “human intelligence may have actually peaked before our ancient predecessors ever left Africa...Genetic mutations during the past several millennia are causing a decline in overall human intellectual and emotional fitness...Evolutionary pressure no longer favors intellect, so the problem is getting exponentially worse.”While this may make the last few hundred thousand years look a bit futile, that line “Evolutionary pressure no longer favors intellect” is a bit hard to ignore.
It’s also hard to refute. The last few decades of disasters are hardly support for any argument of massive intelligence by humans. From great prosperity to great stupidity is apparently easy, if you’re dumb enough.
The sheer hatred of intellect in media, with “nerds”, “geeks” and other pre-pubescent language, is also pretty obvious. If you’ve got ten broken legs, apparently you go and get a celebrity, not a doctor.
TV is also a great example of total loss of intelligence across society. Find a group of layabouts, stick them in front of a camera, give them a few circus tricks to do and call it entertainment. The most boring people on Earth are the new norm. In the 60s, you’d never have lasted a second. Now, we’re on the umpteenth year of Big Brother, “talent” shows with old has-beens as judges, and of course endless revivals of every movie ever made. Intelligent? No. Nothing like it.
The rot goes deeper, though. We now have highly qualified people who can’t think outside their training at all. They will not question one word of anything they’ve “learned”. We have academics fearlessly upholding century or more old theories as though they’ll never change.
They’re like little kids. This is how you learn, and they just don’t take it any further. They don’t know how to do any sort of original interpretation. There’s even a sick statistic running around that about 40% of college grads don’t read a book ever again after graduation.
Meaning they’re hopelessly out of date with all the new thinking and too damn stupid to realise they should be up to speed. One of the reasons for Continuing Education is to keep these lazy bastards up to speed with their own subjects, because they obviously aren’t motivated to do it otherwise. That’s “applied ignorance” at its worst.
Then there’s the “intellectuals”. These cliché factories are a mass of quotes. They don’t even understand the logic of their quotes, just use it when a word comes up. This is “malapropism by other means”, but it’s also illiteracy incarnate. They solemnly recite these things as proof of their intellects!
(As a matter of fact, these clowns also turn people off the arts, sciences and anything else. They browbeat younger people with their assumption of superior knowledge, and most of those kids don’t know any better or how to handle them. These cloistered bullies are true vermin.)
So Prof Crabtree isn’t really talking about a theory. He’s talking about an observable range of facts. Look at the lifestyle now. Expensive cupboards, not real apartments. Absurd prices draining every economy in the world. Brattish political movements which can barely claim to be housetrained. Appalling culture, lousy aspirational goals and social skills animals to which animals would object.
Dumber with every generation? Maybe. Dumb, definitely, but it’s hard to imagine a population any dumber en masse than this one. Gadgets aren’t a manifestation of intelligence. Just watch the fools driving while texting and the ones who never look where they’re going while texting about walking down a street. Look at the sheer number of fools pretending to do useful work while merely obstructing work by being pedantic. That’s work? Since when?
Crabtree’s argument is far more complex and relates to an accumulation of "delterious mutations" over time, but think about that line “Evolutionary pressure no longer favors intellect” . It doesn’t. It favours irresponsible, infantile morons who can’t remember anything and can’t think a second ahead. This truly is the antithesis of the Renaissance, the Age of Stupidity.
I, of course, seceded from Homo Sap some years ago and formed my own species, called Homo Awfullyniceanthropus. We reproduce by thought and music, and we also hold massive orgies regularly. So there!
You want intelligence? See the video and compare to So You Think You Can Dance as a cultural reference. The dog keeps better time with the tempo than those ridiculous aerobics dropouts on music videos. Intelligence is also said to involve knowing what you're doing while your're doing it. Nobody's ever accused humanity of that.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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