Not every sausage is the quickest.
An interesting piece helps reinforce that which is readily observable to any who wish to see the truth of the matter
The most pessimistic explanation as to why humans seem to be becoming less intelligent is that we have effectively reached our intellectual peak. Between the 1930s and 1980s, the average IQ score in the US rose by three points and in post-war Japan and Denmark, test scores also increased significantly – a trend known as the ‘Flynn effect’
So, in the 50 years spanning the nuclear and space ages, IQs went up. The so-called Flynn Effect posits the most retarded reasoning available to account for the rise:
This increase in intelligence was due to improved nutrition and living conditions – as well as better education – says James Flynn of the University of Otago, after whom the effect is named
The entire breadth and depth of the decline that these statistics reveal occurred in a time and place where material comfort was at its zenith – living conditions across Europe have been a far sight better from 1980 to the present then they were from 1930 to 1980, to say nothing of access to cheap, nutritional food for even the poorest of the poor.
Or did WWII – and the necessary couple of decades of rebuilding in the aftermath – not happen?
Now some experts believe we are starting to see the end of the Flynn effect in developed countries – and that IQ scores are not just levelling out, but declining. Scientists including Dr Flynn think better education can reverse the trend and point out the perceived decline could just be a blip.
Oh, sure, “education” ought to help innate intelligence, right?
However, other scientists are not so optimistic.
Some believe the Flynn effect has masked a decline in the genetic basis for intelligence, so that while more people have been reaching their full potential, that potential itself has been declining. It has previously been claimed that quick-witted people have fast reactions and Dr Woodley’s study showed people’s reaction times have slowed over the century – the equivalent to one IQ point per decade.
How bad is it?
Jan te Nijenhuis, a psychology professor at the University of Amsterdam, says Westerners have lost an average of 14 IQ points since the Victoria Era … Dr Woodley and others think humans will gradually become less and less intelligent.
Nutrition and living conditions, my ass.
But don’t fret.
Dr Flynn says if the decline in IQ scores is the end of the Flynn effect, scores should stabilise. He thinks that even if humans do become more stupid, better healthcare and technology will mean that all people will have fewer children and the ‘problem’ will regulate itself.
I think our Dr. Flynn is a bit beyond his depth.
Look, IQ is one of those metrics best considered in the statistical aggregate, rather than on an individual basis. And I say this as someone who’s spectacularly lackluster IQ might surprise you, but the metric is best suited for tracking trends over time, just as this study has done.
And the results don’t portend much in the way of anything good.