View Poll Results: Do large civilizations cause brain size and intelligence to downsize on average?

Voters
53. You may not vote on this poll
  • This theory makes perfect sense

    2 3.77%
  • This is a possibility

    8 15.09%
  • I disagree with the theory

    10 18.87%
  • People are actually getting smarter

    16 30.19%
  • Brain size has nothing to do with intelligence

    17 32.08%
Page 4 of 8 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast
Results 31 to 40 of 76

Thread: Has the average person become stupider in last 5000 years?

  1. #31
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In your dreams...
    Last Seen
    05-29-12 @ 02:53 PM
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    10,621

    Re: Has the average person become stupider in last 5000 years?

    I would actually argue that the average person in modern, western contexts is actually dumber than the average aborigine. They are less than equal in basic problem solving (using tools to an end), less physically capable, and are placed into societies with ideological constructs they choose to side with and cannot see out of.

    Intelligence, is rather subjective, however. We could be addressing booksmarts, in which the subjects seem more intelligent after acquiring higher knowledge, or we could be addressing the smarts on standardized army entrance testing. Cause if you get less than ace on those, you're a dumb dumb.

    I teach tae kwon do and I've done TKD in a third world country. The western students arent as coordinated, sharp, quick to learn or capable of following directions or controlling themselves like the third world students are.

    (Though the question is whether people have gotten smarter over the past few thousand years)

    The answer would be no. The potential for intelligence is the same. Dolphins have larger brains than us, yet they cannot read.


    Elaborate on this underclass you speak of.

  2. #32
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Last Seen
    12-23-09 @ 05:40 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Libertarian
    Posts
    616

    Re: Has the average person become stupider in last 5000 years?

    we are probably getting smarter and stupider at the same time.

    the type of intelligence used to navigate in a forest is not the same as what is used to write a poem or software.

    we are probably losing intelligence in areas such as visual and audio processing ( being able to see/hear other animals from distance ) while at the same gaining in areas such as language processing, abstract thought or even emotional intelligence.

    of course on the whole surviving today takes much less effort ( both physical and mental ) which is why both our muscles and our brains are getting smaller.

    and pretty soon life will be so easy that you won't need anything at all. it won't matter if you have arms or legs or a brain. they will just plop you on life support from the day you're born and you'll watch your MSNBC or FOX for your 115 years then die.
    Last edited by NEUROSPORT; 11-16-09 at 02:49 AM.

  3. #33
    Banned
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Last Seen
    09-22-10 @ 04:36 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    11,430

    Re: Has the average person become stupider in last 5000 years?

    It certainly explains the Messiah's victory.

  4. #34
    Banned
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Last Seen
    09-22-10 @ 04:36 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    11,430

    Re: Has the average person become stupider in last 5000 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by SE102 View Post
    I would actually argue that the average person in modern, western contexts is actually dumber than the average aborigine. They are less than equal in basic problem solving (using tools to an end), less physically capable, and are placed into societies with ideological constructs they choose to side with and cannot see out of.
    Hand the average aborigne a calculator and see if he can figure out how to balance a check book. Hand him the jack and lug wrench and see how long it takes him to change the tire on the jeep. And lets not pretend your average aborigine isn't loaded to the gills with ideology aka religious superstitions.

    Take your average city dweller, give him a stick and tell him to dig for kasava roots, and he'll have at least a general idea of what to do. Give him some vines and tell him he needs to make a fishing net, and he'll figure it out.

    Don't confuse the aborigine's culturally transmitted behaviors and knowledge with his native intelligence, which is, on the average, no different than the city boy's.

  5. #35
    Professor
    Phoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South Carolina
    Last Seen
    04-27-17 @ 10:56 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Libertarian
    Posts
    1,782

    Re: Has the average person become stupider in last 5000 years?

    Has the average person become stupider in last 5000 years?
    Nah the average person is still not too smart but not too dumb, just kinda middle of the road.
    From the ashes.

  6. #36
    The Almighty
    Kelzie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Last Seen
    10-21-17 @ 11:47 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    13,534

    Re: Has the average person become stupider in last 5000 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    The male homosexual brain differs in several ways, the main one being that the corpus collosum (the conduit which connects the two halves of the brain) is less massive. Homosexual men, on average, tend to be better at languages and verbal articulation, as well as spatial thinkers. There hasn't been enough study into potential evolutionary reasons for homosexuality, but I think gay men are meant to serve a special role in society that is hard to observe because of our modern social order. Maybe in tribal society it would be more clear.

    Also, to the general aspect of the OP, food sources for humanity in the world have increased in the whole since the advent of agriculture, and, in the past 50 years, the Green Revolution. People are getting taller and our brains are receiving more nourishment. It'll be interesting to see how this affects our brain output. Not to mention the internet and access to a wide array of information and stimulus which we are processing in ever larger quantities!
    People have actually been getting shorter since the agricultural revolution (except for a slight up-tick post-Industrial Revolution). The trend appears to be continuing, at least for the specific area mentioned in the article

    Human Evolution: Are Humans Still Evolving?



    As far as intellectual capability I'm not quite sure. I don't see any evidence that we are getting smarter, only that we are gaining more knowledge. In a recent philosophy class I took, we had to read passages from some older philosophers. It was damn hard to understand them and not just due to changes in writing style. I'm not sure however, if this is indicative of a decrease in intelligence or simply that people used to focus on the intellectual much more in the past.
    be humble for you are made of earth; be noble for you are made of stars

    Serbian proverb

  7. #37
    Sage
    Hatuey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Last Seen
    Today @ 02:45 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Moderate
    Posts
    42,019

    Re: Has the average person become stupider in last 5000 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    Yes, but is that intelligence?

    I think creativity and intelligence are unrelated
    Creativity happens as a result of intelligence. Just look at the greatest minds of the last century. All highly creative individuals.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

  8. #38
    pirate lover
    liblady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    St Thomas, VI
    Last Seen
    03-14-16 @ 03:55 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Progressive
    Posts
    16,165
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Has the average person become stupider in last 5000 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    Yes, but is that intelligence?

    I think creativity and intelligence are unrelated - though it is an interesting study. (I tried to find the article that I read about this in but can't quite land my hands on the exact one - it wasn't biased, it was in a science-journal of sorts....anyway)
    i can't agree with that. the most creative people i know are highly intelligent. of course, that's anecdotal only.

    Originally Posted by johnny_rebson:

    These are the same liberals who forgot how Iraq attacked us on 9/11.


  9. #39
    Cheese
    Aunt Spiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Sasnakra
    Last Seen
    09-10-16 @ 06:10 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Moderate
    Posts
    28,433

    Re: Has the average person become stupider in last 5000 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Creativity happens as a result of intelligence. Just look at the greatest minds of the last century. All highly creative individuals.
    (several people quoted me so I just picked you out of the hat to continue the questioning...)

    It depends....

    Someone can be highly creative - but still be quite ignorant, unable to comprehend subjects and think logicaly or even to communicate for a variety of reasons.

    Others can be quite logic, overall considered smart, able to comprehend what they're taught and so forth - yet still be very uncreative.

    I think it dpeneds on how we're defining "intelligence" and "creativity"

    Intelligence:

    1.capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.

    2.manifestation of a high mental capacity: He writes with intelligence and wit.

    3.the faculty of understanding.

    4.knowledge of an event, circumstance, etc., received or imparted; news; information.

    Creativity:

    1.the state or quality of being creative.

    2.the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts.

    3.the process by which one utilizes creative ability: Extensive reading stimulated his creativity



    So - I stand by my belief:

    Intelligence can exist without what we define as "creativity."
    And creativity can exist without what we consider to be "intelligence."

    Part of the reason why I consider there to be a strong separation and difference between the two is that my two older children are both autistic and their differences are quite noticable (between eachother and between themselves and 'regular' children) One is very creative, the other is not. one is highly intelligent in certain areas, the other is not. . . so on, so forth. Their lack of ___ or presense of ____ shows, every day, that one can exist without the other in a human being - and that human being can function quite well without it.
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 11-16-09 at 11:09 PM.
    A screaming comes across the sky.
    It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
    Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow

  10. #40
    Human 2.0
    Maximus Zeebra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Western Europe
    Last Seen
    09-07-17 @ 10:19 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    6,568

    Re: Has the average person become stupider in last 5000 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyOwnDrum View Post
    Interesting article here on recent human evolution. Apparently brain size in humans has shrunk in the last 5000 years. A possible reason is given in the article I will link to:

    Humans Still Evolving as Our Brains Shrink - Evolution | Human | Theory | Man | Paleontology - FOXNews.com

    In other words, the need to be intelligent isn't as much of a biological imperative as society becomes more complex. Stupid people are able to survive and reproduce. The phenomenon that we see today, with the less intelligent underclass reproducing itself at a higher rate, has been present for some time.

    Please vote on your opinion of this theory.
    Very interesting. I do believe in intelligence devolution. Humans before needed to be a lot more able to do things, now we just get everything served. Also we are less able physically as we never use our bodies anymore, which I also think is in general decline. People seems to be on average pretty dumb, simple minded, and obsessed with fun and pleasures, as oppose to intelligence, abilities, skills and so fourth.

    I believe its very possible that humans in generals are less and less intelligent by each generation. If the despise of intelligent ideas as oppose to fun ideas, in media, politics and such is not a clear proof of it, then other things is a clear proof.
    On average humans are also less and less diverce and more specialiced, which makes many humans blind to intelligent opinions, that arent related to their speciality.

    Also, back to the physical aspects.. Look at parkour/freerunning for example, which is getting popular again these days, but is most likely thousands of years old(proven Asian skill), and was much more frequent per 1000 pop. then than now.

    I do believe in exceptions. I do believe the smartest people today are far smarter than the smartest people 500 or 1000 or 5000 years ago, but then again, that could be wrong. Jesus was very smart, many historical figures have been extremely smart.
    Last edited by Maximus Zeebra; 11-18-09 at 04:25 PM.
    Europe is illegally occupied by the US

Page 4 of 8 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •