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The gradual decline of human intelligence??

Discussion in 'Australia' started by nl689, May 5, 2012.

  1. nl689

    nl689 Member

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    Is it just me or are people in the world getting dumber and dumber? I base this on the idea that regardless of what advice you give to patients or people in general you still see this being disregarded and other ridiculously stupid behaviour still runs rampant in society.

    With the expansion of technology in this modern day and age you would think that people become more educated but outside Facebook and Twitter the only thing that people do well is tell others how to do their job or to hypocritically give out advice. :bang:

    Sorry felt I needed to vent :cool:

    All the best!
  2. markjohconley

    markjohconley Well-Known Member

    ... mmmmh dunno ....
  3. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Thus it was and forever will be.

    So to answer your question, 'Is it just me or are people... getting dumber and dumber'.

    It's just you!

    Of course, like you, I limit my opinion to humans inhabiting the world but if I was pushed I would be pretty sure that the same rule applies to humans not inhabiting the world.

  4. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    Interesting question. There is clear evidence in other mammals with regard to the advantages of being domesticated (Professor Groves, Australian National University) . There is also clear evidence that dogs do not fit in this paradigm. What I understand to be the case, is that there is a case for dog domesticated humans, not the other way around. Rob
  5. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member

  6. Its perfectly simple.

    Stephen Hawking said “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance…it is the illusion of knowledge”

    The rise of the internet means anyone can write anything and A: consider themselves an expert and B: make other people do likewise.* Never has the illusion of knowledge been so strong or widespread.

    I've had "expert" patients tell me with a perfectly straight face that they've done some much research they probably know more about it than I do. Have I ever heard of a hyperpronated foot? I suspect we all have.

    So long as the illusion of knowledge is rampant, actual knowledge will increasingly come under threat.


    * Now, having read this post on the subject from an expert, you too can consider yourself to be one ;)
  7. nl689

    nl689 Member

    This is exactly my point but much more properly put. Well said Robert!

  8. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    According to most authorities, there is no real decline in intelligence in the human race. However, (and I can only speak for the UK) there is definitely a process of 'dumbing down' going on.

    There are two extremely controversial points:

    i) until about 50 years ago only the top 5% of the population could access university. Yes, as always in the UK social standing came into it but nevertheless extremely bright youngsters from poor backgrounds could and did get into the top universities through scholarships etc. At that time the main areas of study were the classics - these people went largely into the law or civil service (painting with a necessarily broad brush) and the sciences - and these people went into, well, sciencey things like medicine, physics etc. Over the past 30 or so years, 30% of the population can access universities, which is good. However, at the same time there has been a huge rise in subjects such as media studies and the social 'sciences' such as sociology. The result overall is that there has been a decrease in people who 'know things' and people who 'do things'. (Douglas Adams had a pithy take on the subject in 'The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy'). 'A' levels have now lost so much credibility that our best universities do not rely on them and are setting their own entrance examinations.

    ii) with more highly intelligent women working in top jobs and no longer willing to be 'housewives' (and there's nothing wrong with that), the intelligent are breeding less - or at least producing children later in life and hence fewer, whilst the unintelligent continue to have large families. At the same time, medical science is tacking diseases which previously resulted in a high incidence of childhood mortality. Whilst this has not, as yet, resulted in a decrease in the overall intelligence of the population, in future years it will

    Before anybody shouts 'elitist' or 'eugenicist', I find both philosophies repugnant. However, facts must be faced and I suspect that what these overcrowded islands are now experiencing will be noted in other 'western' populations over time.

    Factually yours

  9. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    Dear Bill,

    With reference to ii) above.

    Is intelligence not subject to reversion to the mean, ie the general tendancy in high IQ families is, over a number of generations for the IQ to reduce to the mean and in low IQ families, over a number of generations to increase towards the mean?

    Do you think it is the unintelligent or the socially underprivileged who are having large families?

    Do you think that unintelligent is synonymous with underprivileged?


    PS Is intelligence the main determinant for following or not following advice?
  10. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    Interesting thoughts above. I was always taught that intelligence reverted to the mean, but actuallly, IMH experience of life, that has not been the case. I did read once (in a journal, not a newspaper) that the Irish potato blight dropped the IQ of Ireland - that is, those with the where-with-all, got out (mainly to Canada and Australia); thus those that didn't, didn't, and the IQ dropped. Rob
  11. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Man... I hear you! :empathy: I've experienced similar... & resonate with your frustration. The patient leaves my clinic & I sometimes just sit & wonder :confused:. Not only on some patient's professed body / injury knowledge (hence physiology & biomechanics) but also on their lifestyle awareness (diet, poor habits, lack of exercise etc...) & how their choices impact their life, their health - including the cause of the reason / problem they come to see me in the first place. [I'm actually considering formulating a "universal theory of everything" based on this phenomenon ;)].

    Then there are those who expect me to perform near miracles on their feet within 30 min. despite the fact they have spent most of the previous 60480 min.'s (6 weeks) neglecting them due to the persistent wear of inappropriate footwear. One even questioned my ability of removing the corn when it came back within their desired time frame! :craig: I sincerely feel I articulate my professional opinion clearly so not only should they understand why a problem is present (or persists)... but also equips then to make appropriate adjustments to aid their own health status.

    Anyway, I suspected it was just one example (or case for) genetic entropy (I still resonate with this hypothesis). Yet recently, the optimistic side of me has been more inclined to think it has more to do with lifestyle factors i.e. refraining from toxic substances (i.e. alcohol & poor dietary choices), poor physical health... & keeping away from moronic varieties of supposed entertainment (i.e. T.V programs). All of which (i.e. lifestyle factors, genetic entropy) again tends to support my "universal theory of everything" hypothesis :rolleyes:.

    Yes, by all means... vent (it's no doubt healthy for you); & yes... all the best - to all! :drinks (herbal teas that is).
  12. nl689

    nl689 Member

    I genuinely would subscribe to any publications based on your theory mate! It's good to see that someone catches my drift. It's not merely me ranting on or debating the neurological basis of 'stupidity' but merely observing the way a lot of people are today gets me thinking.

    On the topic though do you think its a debate of 'nature vs nurture'?. I base this on hearing a podiatrist being told by a patient that she was there to get her 'feet fixed' and not 'fashion advice' when he advised her to refrain from wearing high heeled shoes due to her pes cavus and very prominent and painful callouses on the PMA of both her feet.

    This sort of mentality has got to be wrong right? Can't help those who don't want to be helped!

    Herbal tea all the way. Good call!

  13. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

  14. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    I think I read that somewhere as well.

    I think the 'journal' (nice one Bob) was Playboy and the article, entitled 'Can'e Willy', used the latest research to show that the size of the male penis is directly related to IQ or was it inversely related to his IQ? Just a second while I check.

  15. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    Actually no, and no. There is no evidence at all about penis size being related to intelligence - in fact, the "scientific racists" have argued the opposite for years, insomuch as penis size in Negroids is greater than Caucasoids (the correct term for Caucasian), yet they have tried to suggest that (erroniously)that Caucasoids have better brain power.

    It was actually in the Proceedings of the Australian Journal of The Society For Human Biology, though I suspect that this did not reach your shores.

    And as for the potato blight, I now forget where I read it, but just in case you think I am being racist, my mother was Irish.......

    No offence taken, you have my word; nothing I ever write on this or any other forum is personal. Rob
  16. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    I was wrong the article wasn't in Playboy. It was, quite uncannily, in the 'Journal for Scientific Racism/Caucasoid edition'.

    There were infact two articles. One supporting the hypothesis 'In caucasoid men there is a direct relationship between penis size and IQ and the other supporting the hypothesis 'In caucasois men there is an inverse relationship between penis size and IQ.

    The articles were followed by an opinion poll. After reading the article five hundred caucasoid male scientists and five hundred caucasoid female scientists were asked to state which of the hypotheses they agreed with. The male scientists were divided almost 50:50 and the female scientists concluded that 80% of men were pricks.

    The other issues of the 'Journal for Scientific racism', ie the, Mongaloid edition, Caucasoid edition, Australoid edition, Negroid edition, Capoid edition and Mongrel edition each ran the same article. Where the scientists were reading their own racial edition of the Journal they came to same conclusions.

    However when male scientists of one race were asked to vote on the same articles appearing in another edition of the 'Journal for Scientific Racism' the results were different.

    Male Negroid scientists voted 100% for the hypothesis 'penis size shows a direct relationship to IQ'. Other races of male scientists after reading the article in the Negroid edition voted 100% for the hypothesis 'penis size is inversely related to IQ.

    Asian male scientists upon reading the same article in each of the other editions voted 100% for the hypothesis 'penis size shows in indirect relationship to IQ'.

    Female scientists independent of race and independent of which edition they read the article in consistently voted that 80% of men were pricks.

    I think that just about sums it up.

  17. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    I have just been asking myself what would have to be true for the idea that the Irish potato famine would reduce the Irish IQ to be true.

    In the great famine in the middle of the 19th Cenury about one million people died and another million emigrated, ie the population reduced by 20% to 25%.

    For the hypthesis to be correct people with an above average IQ Would have either died or emigrated.

    The central idea supporting the view that the potato famine affected IQ must rest on some idea that more intelligent people avoided the famine by emigrating and that those left behind were less intelligent? Of course it takes money to emigrate so the sitaution can be restated as there was a direct relationship between wealth and intelligence?
    However that would suggest that the million who died were the less intelligent. So if a million of the less intelligent died and a million of the more intelligent emigrated where does that leave the average IQ?


    PS I would imagine that Whoever proposed the idea that the great famine reduced the Irish IQ was not an Irishman and or was not a lover of the Irish?

    I am not Irish but it is easy to replace Irish with 19th C miner, factory worker, agricultureral worker, 20th C African, Indian, British poor etc.
    I am questioning the idea that there is a meritocracy and that IQ and wealth are well correlated.
  18. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Too right! I have just spent about 9 hours of my Sunday digging a deep trench around my parent’s (who live about 100km away) above-ground/in-ground pool (that being, it is an above ground pool but partly submerged into the earth). Why digging the trench? - the sides of the pool was rusting (some parts badly). Now it doesn't take Einstein to figure out where this rust will potentially lead to. It also doesn't take Einstein to figure out that some materials should not be used if rust is a potential problem (i.e. submerged in wet soil)... or to at least protect the material from the potential to rust. Whilst digging away I was thinking that the people who built the pool (only 3 years ago mind you) were morons... subsequently it got me thinking about this thread.

    Whilst I may think the above individuals were morons, does it mean they were clinically morons? (I doubt it) Same applies to issues in our previous posts - we may get frustrated at our patients & people around us & question their intelligence... yet clinically they may be of average intelligence if not higher. Whilst I still question some people's intelligence, there is also a behavioural problem (amongst other things) . Some people these days just don't give a stuff... about themselves, about others or service.

    I personally feel it is both nature & nurture – they work together. Along with my previous post, I feel it also is associated with genetics, environmental (i.e. lead), substance abuse (i.e. drugs, alcohol etc...), as well as lifestyle choices (i.e. diet, exercise). All of which can have an effect on neurochemicals i.e. neurotransmitters. Now neurotransmitters can affect other neurotransmitters i.e. noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin levels etc... Serotonin (happy hormone) being the most expansive neurochemical – the functions of which are numerous – affecting mood, memory, pain sensitivity, aggression, emotional balance, appetite control, cardiovascular function & depression (i.e. psychiatric symptoms). Serotonin is important for helping brain function at the frontal lobe – the cognitive area. In fact serotonin is a growth factor for new nerve cell growth. The reason I bring this up is because it was once common thought that once brain-nerve cells die then there was no hope of building new ones (often cited to alcohol drinkers); yet fairly recently it has been shown that new nerve cells can be produced (there is hope yet). Yet alcohol adversely affects biochemicals including serotonin – leads to lower levels - thus leading to impulsiveness, poor reasoning, irritability, anxiousness etc... all of which may reflect on intelligence... but most likely, or more appropriately - biochemical bewilderment!

    Too right it is wrong – it is poor behaviour, disrespectful & inconsiderate to say the least. A comment like the above would certainly bug me & I would have calmly stated some clear facts to her – in a quest to direct her “mentality” in line with the reality of the situation (I think I’m allowing the 9 hours of digging affect my tolerance level here). Then again, she has a right to wear her inappropriate footwear in the lame quest for desired foot fashion. However, it is our duty of care to provide appropriate foot care advice to this lady as well as “fix” up her feet – both aspects go part in parcel for Podiatry – without both advice & treatment we could be negligent of our duty of care – people of this ilk need to be aware of this!

    However, what bugs me more is when they continue to wear clearly inappropriate footwear – based on their own history of pain – based on clear observation (i.e. fitting 5 toes into a space which accommodates 3) – based on my advice... then have the audacity to then blame me because their @$#%!@#!! corn has returned – 6 weeks later!

    We all at some point in time have to pay as the result of the above type mentality. Recently my health fund boastfully informed its clients of the top ten payouts for 2011. Now I don’t have the document in front of me – but the accumulation of which was in the millions! – for just 10 individuals! I made a point of noting how many of these 10 operations could have been related to adverse lifestyle factors – 8, possibly 9 out of the 10!

    Yes, far better than that legalised stimulant – coffee... or that legalised class 1 carcinogen – alcohol. Yet, I’m looked at as the weird one for stating such blasphemy... I won’t get started on food/diet.

    Anyway, it’s late & I’m tired – it's showing - I’d better quit at this point. Vent over ;)


    Note: I certainly don't subscribe to Freud's views... yet resonate with this of late (adjusted to be of less offence).
  19. All you need to do is look at some of the Podiatry Trolls who continue to post here on Podiatry Arena who just want to sell their orthotic-related products to see real-life cases of the decline of human intelligence.
  20. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Yes, I thought of this (i.e. recent barefoot related thread) - yet refrained from citing.
  21. Yeah, I thought that. Didn't like to say though:rolleyes:;).
  22. Tuckersm

    Tuckersm Well-Known Member

    This reminds me of a film,that outside of the US went straigt to Video

  23. wdd

    wdd Well-Known Member

    This thread has tapped a deep vein of frustration, ire, venom, resentment, intellectual jingoism, etc.

    Maybe it needs a warning sign DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS

    Even Kevin is helping to whip up a frenzy.

    I think I will put my tin helmet on and retire rapidly to my bunker.

    Here's tae us whae's like us dam few an' th're aw deed.

  24. DTT

    DTT Well-Known Member

    AND what is the missing link in this thread and modern society=


    Bring that back through removal of "health and safety / political correctness, Let the young learn by their mistakes :bang:

    Then and only then will we all be able to talk to people on a level that is simple for them to understand because they have learned and practice the art of

    COMMON SENSE:empathy:

    Drives me bloody mad, simple instructions and get just, "hello wall how are you today" intelligence:bash:

    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  25. nl689

    nl689 Member

    I really liked this response! You have managed to out a smile on my face in an otherwise frustrating discussion. Kudos mate! I look forward to more of our collaborations!

    Take care, stay intelligent and most of all SANE!!!!

  26. nl689

    nl689 Member

    Well said mate!! :good:
  27. Tkemp

    Tkemp Active Member

    Common sense has a lot going for it. After all, having a high IQ does not necessarily correlate to "intelligence" per se.

    I went to school with an individual whose IQ was incredibly high and who entered an Ivy League Uni to study maths. However, they could burn water! Life skills virtually non-existent. :empathy:
  28. NeedingMassage

    NeedingMassage Active Member

    Think about it - half the population of the world is below average intelligence.
    Oh yes, that world does include podiatrists.
    Just gotta love statistics!!
  29. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Yes, I have also been aware of this - an interesting phenomenon. On the other hand, I have a Down Syndrome friend who is very polite, respectful, conscientious, methodical & obedient... yet clinically would be on the lower end of the intelligence scale.

    Intelligence encompasses a wide spectrum of qualities. The issues discussed above I suppose primarily encompasses the issue of appropriate conduct i.e. attitude, behaviour, respectfulness... of which full within the realm of "intelligence" & "common sense".

    I know intelligent people who do stupid things... higher intelligence (I.Q) does not guarantee immunity from doing “dumb”/”stupid” things... & we all here have done stupid things :D. Maybe some are more aware of their short comings & deal with them accordingly... learn from their mistakes & make changes along the way (thus reducing the potential for reoccurrence). After all, this is one of the processes which also encompasses the meaning of life ;).
  30. I do not think there is any decline - gradual or otherwise - in human intelligence. I do think there is a significant and growing number of uneducated children and adults in the species - the two are not synonymous with each other.

    PATSHORT Welcome New Poster

    A patient has the right to refuse advice, just take the money and convince her to come every four weeks, thats her choice, as long as the tax payer is not funding it. I had a rheumatoid patient in yesterday in 13 cms heels. It was the geniuses in Wall Street who have just destroyed the economy of the world, spare us from these intelligent people. But then I'm Irish and we survived the famine, maybe that took intelligence! Actually we had resources and thats why we survived, it was the poor who had nothing left after paying the rent to absentee landlords who died.

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