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Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. ARE WE?

 
Anonymous Coward
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11/20/2012 12:55 PM
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Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. ARE WE?
Are People Getting Dumber? One Geneticist Thinks So

A Stanford geneticist says humans have so many genetic mutations that we're less intelligent than our ancestors, and it's getting worse. Eugenicists 100 years ago had similar hypotheses.



Caveman Diorama A diorama showing ancient cavemen stands inside the National Museum of Mongolian History in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Wikimedia Commons

There’s this great recurring “Saturday Night Live” skit from several years back where Phil Hartman plays an unfrozen caveman who goes to law school. He pontificates on the American judicial system while marveling at modern technology like “the tiny people in the magic box” (a TV). It fits a common stereotype: Human ancestors were, well, cavemen, and not as smart as we are today. A provocative new hypothesis from a Stanford geneticist tries to turn this stereotype upside down.

Human intelligence may have actually peaked before our ancient predecessors ever left Africa, Gerald Crabtree writes in two new journal articles. Genetic mutations during the past several millennia are causing a decline in overall human intellectual and emotional fitness, he says. Evolutionary pressure no longer favors intellect, so the problem is getting exponentially worse. He is careful to say that this is taking quite a long time, so it’s not like your grandparents are paragons of brilliance while your children will be cavemen rivaling Hartman’s SNL character. But he does posit that an ancient Athenian, plucked from 1000 BC, would be “among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions.”

His central thesis is that each generation produces deleterious mutations, so down the line of human history, our intelligence is ever more impaired compared to that of our predecessors.

Not surprisingly, the hypothesis, published in the prominent journal Trends in Genetics, has several geneticists scratching their heads.

“It takes thousands and thousands of genes to build a human brain, and mutations in any one of those can impair that process, that’s absolutely true. And it’s also true that with each new generation, new mutations arise ... but Crabtree ignores the other side of the equation, which is selection,” said Kevin Mitchell, associate professor at the Smurfit Institute of Genetics at Trinity College Dublin, who operates the blog Wiring the Brain. “Natural selection is incredibly powerful, and it definitely has the ability to weed out new mutations that significantly impair intellectual ability. There are various aspects in these papers that I think are really just thinking about things in a wrong way.”

Crabtree said he wanted to examine the cumulative effect of generation-to-generation mutation on intelligence, which is thought to be controlled by many genes. Using indices that measure X-chromosome-related mental retardation, he comes up with between 2,000 and 5,000 genes related to human intellectual ability. Using another index measuring average mutations that arise in each generation of children, he calculates that within 3,000 years, “we have all sustained two or more mutations harmful to our intellectual or emotional stability.”
“There is a general feeling that evolution constantly improves us, but it only does that if there is selection applied,” Crabtree said in an interview. “In this case, it is questionable about how much selection is occurring now compared to the process of optimizing those genes, which occurred in the jungles of Africa 500,000 years ago.”


[link to www.popsci.com]

5a
shenandoah

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11/20/2012 01:09 PM
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Re: Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. ARE WE?
“There is a general feeling that evolution constantly improves us, but it only does that if there is selection applied,” Crabtree said in an interview. “In this case, it is questionable about how much selection is occurring now compared to the process of optimizing those genes, which occurred in the jungles of Africa 500,000 years ago.”

Actually, generally speaking, people ARE becoming dumber. And contrary to the expert's statement quoted above, it WAS selected for: in ancient times, Human beings were deliberately bred with certain Apes and Monkeys -- in order to produce slave races. What they created that way, is Hybrids -- creatures which are not fully Human. What I'm claiming, is supported by DNA and archeological evidence. So, if you're wondering why 'people' are not as noble and great as you might expect them to be -- that's the reason.
shenandoah

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11/20/2012 01:15 PM
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Re: Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. ARE WE?
"A Stanford geneticist says humans have so many genetic mutations that we're less intelligent than our ancestors, and it's getting worse. Eugenicists 100 years ago had similar hypotheses."

He's correct, and most all of those random mutations were triggered by the acts of ~hybridization which occured in ancient times when Agriculturalists crossed female Human slaves with male Apes and/or Monkeys.

Eugenicists, whether 100 years ago or now, simply have had no CLUE what they really were dealing with, when trying to select for "superior" (Human) traits. They didn't and don't yet know, which traits are truly Human, and which are those of lower Primates. In other words, massive confusion surrounds the subject of recognizing real Human ~identity.
Anonymous Coward
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11/20/2012 01:26 PM
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Re: Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. ARE WE?
just watch the movie idiocracy
Anonymous Coward
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11/20/2012 01:30 PM
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Re: Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. ARE WE?
just watch the movie idiocracy
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1158127


Dum? Mi? No, dummy you.

Hahaha i no dumbo you are hahahahahahahahahhAh dumbo dumbo dumb.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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11/20/2012 01:33 PM
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Re: Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. ARE WE?
just watch the movie idiocracy
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1158127


will check it out.
Lada D

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11/20/2012 01:40 PM
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Re: Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. ARE WE?
Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. ARE WE?
 Quoting: J-Honey


This should read: "Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. DO WE BE?"
Anonymous Coward
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11/20/2012 01:43 PM
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Re: Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. ARE WE?
just watch the movie idiocracy
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1158127


will check it out.
 Quoting: J-Honey


It is called negative social darwinism and civilizations keep stumbling over it.
Anonymous Coward
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11/20/2012 01:46 PM
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Re: Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. ARE WE?
Idiocracy was a documentary made in the near future and sent back in time as a warning.
Anonymous Coward
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11/20/2012 01:47 PM
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Re: Genetisist claims people are getting dumber. ARE WE?
Crabtree said he wanted to examine the cumulative effect of generation-to-generation mutation on intelligence, which is thought to be controlled by many genes.

 Quoting: J-Honey


This is true. Intelligence is genetic but it's considered racist to speak the truth.

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