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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Back to the Garden of Eden

Many people are concerned about (allegedly) increasing inequality and some people are concerned about fertility rates permanently decreasing to below non-replacement leading to eventual extinction of the human species.  While I'm not personally worried about either of those issues, the good news is that there are long term forces that may eliminate both of these "problems."

I base this on the glorious and well-known (though not universally accepted) fact that stupid people have more children than smart people:
Demographic studies have indicated that in humans, fertility rate and intelligence tend to be inversely correlated, that is to say, the more intelligent, as measured by IQ tests, exhibit a lower total fertility rate than the less intelligent.
We're getting stupider at a pretty good clip:
Retherford and Sewell examined the association between the measured intelligence and fertility of over 9,000 high school graduates in Wisconsin in 1957, and confirmed the inverse relationship between IQ and fertility ..., they calculated a dysgenic decline of .57 IQ points per generation.
So that's 20 to 30 IQ points per millennium, making a person of average intelligence, one-thousand years from now, borderline imbecilic.

And probably plenty fertile.

The intelligence range of humans will probably be quite compressed as well.  That has the added benefit of compressing inequality since nobody will be smart enough to "get ahead" and humans will eventually become one big happy tribe wallowing in the muck in a new Garden of Eden, where ignorance and stupidity is bliss.

Hopefully, no one will then be stupid enough to eat the fruit of knowledge and bring the numerous problems associated with intelligence upon humanity again.


Howard said...

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Our elites have already embraced ignorance of that matter. On other matters they are walking briskly in the same direction.

Bret said...

In my garden of Eden, there is no good and evil, only knowledge and those too weak minded to use it.

Dang, I'm channeling Voldemort again. I hate when that happens! :-)

Somewhat more seriously, distinguishing good and evil is the most difficult knowledge that the intellect can contemplate. Makes modeling manifolds seem like child's play (for example).

erp said...

... but Bret it was the knowledge of good and evil that brought our downfall, not the knowledge of manifoldia and other esoterica.

BTW, I had a good laugh when you said in a post below that you guys had a good laugh about curved and unpredictable manifolds being called womanifolds.

If there were any real women in the group they might have been able to explain to you how the word might be interpreted to include both sexes.

Good to have you back.

Hey Skipper said...

... they calculated a dysgenic decline of .57 IQ points per generation.

The amply demonstrated Flynn effect says otherwise.

Clovis e Adri said...

That should give us a tip on how seriously we should take IQ tests.

Or much of psychology indeed.

Anonymous said...

IQ tests are useful and interesting data but they have the elephant problem. It's interesting to read the original work on that where those people were clearly aware of this issue, but it got lost along the way.

But I'll agree with Clovis that we shouldn't take them with any deep seriousness.

Bret said...

Hey skipper wrote: "The amply demonstrated Flynn effect says otherwise."

From the same article: "The Flynn effect may now have ended or reversed in some developed nations."

I think the Flynn effect was due to better nutrition and other environmental factors, just like people got taller. That won't go on forever.