We’re Becoming Dumber and Dumber

Be stupid @ AmsterdamSorry folks, but human intelligence is declining per leading Stanford University geneticist Dr. Gerald Crabtree, as reported by Natural Society:

Would you be surprised to hear that the human race is slowly becoming dumber, and dumber? Despite our advancements over the last tens or even hundreds of years, some ‘experts’ believe that humans are losing cognitive capabilities and becoming more emotionally unstable. One Stanford University researcher and geneticist, Dr. Gerald Crabtree, believes that our intellectual decline as a race has much to do with adverse genetic mutations. But there is more to it than that.

According to Crabtree, our cognitive and emotional capabilities are fueled and determined by the combined effort of thousands of genes. If a mutation occurred in any of of these genes, which is quite likely, then intelligence or emotional stability can be negatively impacted.

“I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas, and a clear-sighted view of important issues. Furthermore, I would guess that he or she would be among the most emotionally stable of our friends and colleagues,” the geneticist began his article in the scientific journal Trends in Genetics.

Further, the geneticist explains that people with specific adverse genetic mutations are more likely than ever to survive and live amongst the ‘strong.’ Darwin’s theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ is less applicable in today’s society, therefore those with better genes will not necessarily dominate in society as they would have in the past…

[continues at Natural Society]

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85 Responses to We’re Becoming Dumber and Dumber

  1. zobop republic February 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    “… becoming more emotionally unstable.”
    I guess this explains why certain people among us turn out to be killers who go on mass-killing spree’s.

    • Phillipede February 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

      People throughout history, spanning multiple continents and very many countries have always had a tendency towards violence. All you have to do is find any history book for any given group of people from any era to see that. There are entire regions that have been engulfed in war for thousands of years. If anything people have become less inclined towards violence, as evidenced by laws that condemn, rather than condone it.

  2. Ted Heistman February 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    The human domestication process at work. This process makes all the other domesticated animals stupider too, so why wouldn’t it do the same to humans?

    • Robert Delarue March 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      the mob mentality.The “wal-martization” of ideas.

  3. SuperSerial February 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    You can thank the ease of technology for people becoming dumber. Everything is done for you these days, how are you supposed to learn something through struggle and difficulty if it’s just done for you in the blink of an eye?

    • LucidDreamR February 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

      One could argue though that our lives becoming less physically demanding
      allows us more time and energy to put toward philosophy and thought.
      When I look at some of our greatest minds in history; I don’t often see
      people who were spending their days toiling with some menial task- quite
      the opposite in fact. I know for me personally not having to spend time
      doing things like keeping warm and finding food allows me time to study
      whatever may interest me, to create art and music- even just being able
      to sit and think/meditate without any distraction. All actions I would
      consider much better at furthering my intelligence than menial physical
      tasks. Not to say there was not a great amount of knowledge to be gained
      from that phase of human development; but I think we have evolved into
      needing much more to teach us and push our limits now. Or, if you think the article is right on: HAD evolved into needing much more.

      • Anarchy Pony February 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

        I dunno, I do my best thinking when I’m doing physically but not intellectually demanding work (mowing lawn, pruning trees, mucking out stalls). When I do work that requires concentration, I am unable to engage in philosophical, political or even scientific(unless it pertains to tests I’m performing) thought.

        • lazy_friend February 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

          I agree that thinking can be done while doing some “mindless” physical tasks that are not too demanding. But you can’t think of abstract concepts when doing tasks that require your senses to be fully engaged such as sports, ain’t nobody got time for that. Reading and meditating requires full concentration. So to ingest information from written text, one needs some alone time, but to process such information and think beyond its concepts one can be doing mindless robot like tasks needed for everyday survival. As for me, I can’t be thinking of something else when tuning my drums or running many wires into a mixer from various audio sources or else it all gets messed up, I have to be fully engaged.

  4. LucidDreamR February 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    Couple this with an educational system and society that condition ignorance and dependence into it’s populace (at least here in the U.S.), and the outlook gets even more grim…

  5. LucidDreamR February 20, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    My question is: From what we understand about evolution, no species has ever devolved. So these genetic changes, if cued by Nature- should be some sort of improvement, no? Or have we actually managed to screw up the natural course of evolution so royally that this has become the case? As with many other subjects; I personally feel as though it’s a bit of human ego-stroking to really believe it’s even in our capability to do so.

    • mannyfurious February 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

      My philosophy professor used to say, “Intelligence is not an evolutionary trait.” He and I were from a similar background and we understood that for most people, being smart doesn’t get you laid. Being practical does. There are a lot of practical people out there. There are a lot of people who can go to some mindless fucking job every day and not really think twice about it. They can buy their big trucks, and watch their football games every Sunday and drink some Bud Light with the “bros” on Saturday nights, and live perfectly happy, content lives. There are much fewer “smart” people who can’t fucking stand the way life is lived in this day and age.

      What I’m trying to say, I think it’s a fallacy to automatically assume that intelligence is desirable in nature, and there’s really not as much evidence to the contrary as many might think.

      • Grim Reaper February 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

        I agree and empathize with your initial paragraph. I don’t want to sound conceited or appear to have an inflated ego, but I hold the same sentiments with regards to individuals who “can’t fucking stand the way life is lived in this day and age.”

    • Threedinium February 20, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      Yeah, when I was reading the article I remembered that stuff RAW was saying about the rational circuit being the fast forward on change and evolution and institutional religion being like slow down. I thought about how it is widely held knowledge that human technology has been advancing exponentially, and considered that maybe the article’s claim is highlighting nature’s solution to a species spinning out of control.

    • symbiont February 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

      “My question is: From what we understand about evolution, no species has ever devolved.”

      This isn’t true. Many species have. Just look at domesticated/farm animals of all sorts. Many of them can’t even live on their own anymore and have undergone some pretty big changes.

    • Chaorder Gradient February 23, 2013 at 1:22 am #

      The concept of “devolution” is sort of a myth that stems from the belief that evolution has a sort of “direction” in the way of something called progress. But it really has no such direction, so devolution becomes sort of a meaningless term. Symbiont makes a good point that where animals have “devolved” away from what is considered “ideal”(surviving in a natural habitat for a long period of time etc.) but in reality they have evolved in a direction that makes them suitable for factory farming, as a symbiont to humanity(found it interesting that “symbiont” was the one that brought this up). The pressures of their evolution have changed, surely, and what they are now is ugly in comparison to what they may have been, but it is still all evolution.

      Out of curiosity though, if no species has ever “devolved” before, what would convince you that it had? a chicken turning into a dinosaur? What real-world conditions could actually achieve something like this? i cannot think of anything that would actually fall under the realm of the term devolution that wouldn’t be so far out of all likelihood.

  6. Phillipede February 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    The problem is, is that humans have a tendency to support the weak and stupid, rather than weeding them out of the population. We allow for the mentally unstable and retarded to reproduce. Every time I go out in public my stance on mandatory sterilization strengthens.

    Darwin’s stance on survival of the fittest rings true for much of the natural world, except for humanimals. It’s my belief that humans aren’t any dumber now than people have ever been. We just happen to be more aware of it nowadays, because the people of the world are no longer completely separated and isolated.

    • Andrew February 20, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      It seems to me that your last two sentences contradict your first four.

      • Phillipede February 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

        After rereading it, it kinda does a little bit. However, humans have been supporting the weak and stupid for quite awhile except in certain parts of the world where they have been or are killed. People such as schizophrenics have been around for awhile, although in the past mental instability of that nature was often called demon possession or seen as behavioral problems. The point is, is that stupid and unstable have been around for longer than most people are aware of. Saying that humans are getting dumber is subjective at best. I also think there needs to be some distinction made between stupid and ignorant.

        • mannyfurious February 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

          How do you define “weak” and “stupid”? You do realize that while in many cultures, those who presented with schizophrenic symptoms were often burned at the stake or otherwise disposed of, there are other cultures where those same people would’ve been made in shamans and priests and oracles and other “conduits” to the “spiritual” side of things? So who was right in their assessments? Those who burned otherwise innocent people, or those who used what was different about them positively? (Also, really, how many fucking schizos are running around having babies? How many autistic people? I doubt these weaklings are responsible for the mess we’re in.)

          I get it, you’ve read Nietzsche. You’re an ubermensch. We need to extol the virtues of power and libido. Fuck the Jewish sensibility. Yada, yada, yada. You know he probably died a virgin? And I sounded a lot like him when I was in high school. That was before I got laid and learned to how relax.

          Whoops! But that’s all beside the point. I don’t think it’s genetic weakness or anything like that. I think it has to do with the effects of civilization on the human mind. It’s made us lazy and it’s taught us to let other people do the thinking for us. This goes for a lot of very smart, very strong people. People who I can admit are smarter and stronger than myself also get caught up in the “rat race” far more than I’d allow myself to. But, then again, those are the people who are “celebrating life” or whatever. It’s not a coincidence that the healthiest, smartest, happiest societies are those that actually care for the weak and stupid.

          • Phillipede February 20, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

            >I get it, you’ve read Nietzsche. You’re an ubermensch. We need to extol
            the virtues of power and libido. Fuck the Jewish sensibility. Yada,
            yada, yada. You know he probably died a virgin? And I sounded a lot like
            him when I was in high school. That was before I got laid and learned
            to how relax.

            You are obviously overreacting to something I said. Was it the mandatory sterilization thing? Honestly, I’m sick of sharing space with dead-eyed, slack jawed people who tend to drag around dead-eyed, slack jawed kids. People who couldn’t take care of a single child, but end up having entire minivan fulls and who then demand that everyone else help raise their dumb kids. The kinds of people who discover at least three times a day that they’ve been drooling on themselves are what I would call stupid and weak.

            It seems to me that stupid in the context of the article seems to mean ignorant more than anything else. That’s why the article really should have made the distinction between stupid and ignorant. The difference being that ignorance is curable whereas stupid is not.

            >(Also, really, how many fucking schizos are running around having babies?

            My sister married into a family that has a long history of undiagnosed schizophrenics and there is also mental retardation apparently floating around in that shallow, stagnant gene pool as well. She managed to reproduce with him three times before she realized what a bad idea that was. Two out of the three are having very hard lives and there’s nothing that can make it better. Unless you’ve dealt with it directly, it’s difficult to imagine what those people go through and why anyone would bring a child into that kind of hellish world.

            My youngest niece is what could be called a worst case scenario. She has been having auditory and visual hallucinations since she was 6. She also has no concept of cause and effect. i.e. She has on occasion walked up to other kids in the neighborhood and said something like, “Why are you so fat today?” and then has no idea why other kids don’t want to be her friend, even after it was explained to her by a few different people. Before she was old enough to be medicated she had to be physically restrained, because of her daily meltdowns. She also has an I.Q. of 62 and will never have the capacity to learn how to read.

            As far as real sterilization is concerned those are pretty much the only two groups of people I have a problem with. If you’ve got a problem with that then so be it.

          • lazy_friend February 20, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

            You should not have a problem with anyone, relax. Your views and methods are too extreme to be true nor practical. In my circles extremists know it all’s are the ones that are hated on, they get no respect. Natural selection is natures job, not ours. Ew, such rubbish. I rather see humanity fall than to be so extreme and crude in regards to its salvation. Even if you were to weed out genetic defects that are on the surface new ones will crop up, I do it with my guppies when breeding and it only works to a certain point and for the most superficial traits. Environment and resources seem to be bigger factors when it comes to health. If you tried to apply around here where I reside, we would give you a reason to complain. Live and let live, you will be 6 six feet under in a few years anyway, no need to take yourself so seriously. Now that the little girl is alive it does not matter if she is smart, she is still a human and is to be loved, no one is perfect, look at all the supposedly sane politicians. It better to live a little bit than not like at all, and she has the right to live and be respect even if she is deficient. I choose not to have kids, but if I made one by accident I would love that little child with all my heart, even it it was not a superhuman. You don’t seem very pleasant, can we cull that out of the gene pool as well? When did tolerance and compassion become taboo? When it comes to sterilization, you should only be concerned with yourself, you do not have more of a right to live than anyone else. You fit the profile of a sociopath. In society you have to deal with people that don’t fit your mold and just suck it up and smile.

          • mannyfurious February 20, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

            This is a really good post that I hope gets a little more recognition. Again, it comes back to how we’re defining things like “smart,” “strong” and “useful.” I have two children and I look at other parents who do have to take care of disabled children and I wonder to myself how they can be “strong” enough to handle it. In that way, they are infinitely stronger than I am, and they are stronger than our pal Phillipede.

          • lazy_friend February 21, 2013 at 1:58 am #

            I hope he is trolling. He said he want to put a little chlorine in the gene pool, the nerve. The funny thing is that he acts like he knows genetic and the human body because he is around one family where a characteristic has propped up more than once. I am almost sure they are inbred in some way if that’s happening. And if we start sterilizing people we will also become inbred bring the no so dominant flawed genes in what appear to be healthy people come to life. The solution to such genetic flaws are most likely going to come from under a microscope from a brilliant mind, not from a crude tyrant. If people want to have kids, they are going to have kids. In contrast, I pushed by family to want to have kids, when I don’t for now. By this guy’s logic we should start sterilizing everyone and everything, because we all have some faulty gene waiting for the right combination to come to the fore. People live and people die, we don’t have to be the ones who choose for them tho. Plus there is a host of industries and job that cater to people that are deficient. If we cut them off we would need to sterilize the ones that work for them because they would not have an easy time finding work and would probably start displacing some unwanted qualities themselves. The world is complex place and solutions to such complex problems have to be sophisticated and ethical (sophisticated does not necessarily imply complex in this case).

          • Phillipede February 20, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

            So, based on two comments you can adequately psycho analyze someone as a sociopath? Now who’s being extreme? As far as tolerance and compassion are concerned, what’s more compassionate, allowing a child to be born with a mental disability that will make them social pariahs and leads to a nightmarish life that usually includes jail time, or preventing children from having to live with a disorder such as that? You and that manny fruit also seem to be under the impression that I was talking about all children with disabilities. I was not. I was very specifically referring to schizophrenics and the slack jawed stupid. Like I said in a previous post, I have worked in the MHMR biz and it’s not a happy place to be, however I should have added that there are occasional rays of sunshine, but not many.

            It’s easy to say that you would love a little child with all your heart, but the reality of it is, is that the screwed up kids are the ones who are neglected and abused the most. If you’re honestly suggesting that a nightmarish existence is better than no existence at all, then you are the one who is selfish. Unless you’ve dealt with a little screwed up kid, you don’t really have any room to talk. That kid has been nothing but a constant burden. She’s gotten herself and my sister arrested on several occasions, they are constantly being hounded by CPS, the neighbors have filed court orders to have them evicted, she’s been kicked out of every school she’s ever attended, and nothing will ever change.

            She also has an aunt that is exactly like her who has reproduced and that poor kid has never and will never have a chance at anything even remotely resembling normalcy. He wore a diaper until he was 8, he didn’t speak in complete sentences until he was 11 and he’s now 15 and a burden of the state, mostly because he simply does not have the capacity to know the difference between right and wrong.

            >I should not have a problem with anyone.

            Kinda of like you don’t have a problem with me? Calling me names is not very tolerant of you either. But I guess most people don’t really practice what they preach. Most people have their own concept of an idealistic society and it almost always does not include one group or another. I just happen to think not being a slack jawed idiot or having a debilitating mental disorder that ruins peoples lives from the very beginning are things that people can actually prevent from happening and would make very many people’s lives ever so much better.

            That’s another group of people we could certainly do without. The self righteous who think that every opposing viewpoint they come across was put out there by someone who is a sociopath. Even though you can’t realistically defend your end of the argument other than to use some tired old lie, like all people have a god given right to reproduce or exist.

            Just so the ignorant are not too confused by all of this, I am by no means suggesting that we try to make a master race of any kind. All I’m suggesting is that we add a little chlorine to the gene pool. Seriously, what would be the harm in that?

          • lazy_friend February 21, 2013 at 1:30 am #

            Dude, you know you are out of line and too extreme. If you are so sensitive about a personal attack you need to get yourself checked out. I can psycho analyse anyone, it’s a gift. If the boot fits, wear it. You obviously do not understand genetics completely and is just throwing pseudo scientific jargon out there as if you know for certain it’s the way to go. Where is the proof? If you don’t want to be called a sociopath, try not to sound like one. Life is hard bro, some will be capable others won’t. Lazy people are the ones who wish to escape hardship forever with run about ways that are highly unethical, completely impractical . You don’t know the ultimate truth about life and neither do I but I know compassion is part of it, ill bet my left nut on it. Got to earn my respect, and a personal attack is very fitting in this case and I use it when I see fit. Only the ones insecure in their views concerns themselves with the personal attack instead of elaborating on the statement that causes me to have this reaction in the first place. Go back to the hole you came from little Hitler . The only thing you can do to make people do what you say is influence them with rhetoric, one should never use force. People like you make sick *puke* but you can still stay around, I just wont listen to you.

          • Phillipede February 21, 2013 at 3:39 am #

            I gotta say I still think it’s a little funny that people like you sling around words like compassion and tolerance, but when you’re subjected to an opposing viewpoint, you never even try to put together a viable argument in support of your own position. Instead you engage in personal attacks as a way of trying to discredit the person making the argument. Simply put, it’s childish. It also seems like you haven’t actually read the entirety of my posts. Is it the blind rage you’re feeling from coming across someone who holds an opinion that is different from your own?

            You act as though your opinion is an absolute and there must be something wrong with anyone who thinks differently. Have you ever considered that some people have been in places other than where you have been and have had experiences that are better or worse than the ones you have had? Don’t you ever wonder what types of experiences other people have had that shapes their world view? And just for kicks, Have you ever even considered that making personal attacks rather than forming a viable argument is probably not the best way to sway people to your way of thinking? I guess the real answer to that question would be that some people really can’t think outside of preconceived notions.

            Well it’s late now. Time for little Hitler to get some sleep. There is still much work that needs to be done if my plans for world domination are going to come to fruition.

          • Matt Staggs February 22, 2013 at 9:42 am #

            Tolerate my advocacy of forced sterilization and state mandated eugenics!

          • mannyfurious February 20, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

            This response is hilarious. You’re telling me the relatively tiny amount of the population that falls into the category you talk about accounts in any meaningful way for the lowering intelligence of our species?

          • Phillipede February 20, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

            No. What I was originally suggesting is that ignorance is not the same thing as stupidity, but you’ll have to read up a bit further for that. What I was suggesting in the comment above is that there are people who exist that it would better for them and all those around them if they did not exist. We’ve had a way to prevent this for awhile, but I guess the new definition of compassion includes forcing people to live a horrible existence and to force everyone around them to suffer, so that people like you can feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

          • jnana February 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

            If it were up to small communities and villages rather than a centralized globalist nation or empire, that would be a different story. I don’t think, though, that a centralized state bureaucracy should determine who can have kids or not.

          • Calypso_1 February 22, 2013 at 10:10 am #

            They are not as ‘tiny’ as you might think. I work with this population as well and what miniscule resources the state devotes are tasked to the limit. It’s not that any ‘upper echelons’ of the gene pool are being affected. In a major population area you will find groups of these individuals clustered way above any statistical norm in the most poverty stricken areas because that is where society forces them. These individuals interact solely with each other because they are in group homes and day centers. They interact as any normal group would and and have children, which more often then not become wards of the state and end up in the cycling back into the same system their parents came from.

            There is already a two year waiting list to even get into our day treatment system….and it is growing all the time.

          • mannyfurious February 22, 2013 at 11:13 am #

            Yeah, I’ll concede that the population of such individuals is probably higher than I made it sound in any of my previous posts. I still contend that the numbers are still too low to attribute to that population any significant effect on the macro-intelligence of our species.

            My sister is actually mentally disabled and has two kids. The whole situation is a mess, and I’ve seen first-hand how few resources there are for such people and how taxing on the system that exists each case is. Even though it was stupid for her to have children, twice, I’m not sure I’d support sterilizing her against her will (although, thankfully, she chose to do so herself after the second pregnancy). After seeing how ruinous her decisions have been (one child is autistic on top of everything else), I’m not necessarily against forced sterilization, but I do need more convincing. I think I’d support, first, taxing the rich, shrinking the military budget by at least half, and shifting some of those funds toward resources to support people like my sister.

          • Chaorder Gradient February 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

            with an attitude of “She managed to reproduce with him three times before she realized what a bad idea that was”, I can understand why these kids might have a bad time…

            presuppositions of genetic problems(especially from the parents themselves) can sometimes have worse effects than the genetics themselves…

          • Matt Staggs February 21, 2013 at 10:16 am #

            The “sterilize the weak and unstable” stuff is both repulsive and hilarious. Who gets to be the judge of that? Do you really want a bunch of civil servants assessing whether your genes are worthy of addition to the super-race? I don’t. I’ve got a nice, long history of suicides, alcoholics and mental illness in my family, but I like to think that I’ve been a net gain in the world. Neither of my parents would have been allowed to reproduce under the shiny, happy eugenics program proposed by some of our supposed intellectual superiors. Hell, I’ve got some serious depression issues. Guess I’d be sterilized, too. The Nietzsche thing is spot-on.

          • Ted Heistman February 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

            I don’t think he believed in Eugenics. Nietzsche gets mis-quoted by a lot of assholes. But I agree about eugenics. I think Nietzshe would have considered you “a lucky stroke.” Anyway, he would have had to euthanize himself. He was wicked sickly.

            he reserved his stongest venom for German nationalists and anti-semites. I think he is greatly misunderstood.

          • mannyfurious February 21, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

            I would agree wholeheartedly. But with a couple of caveats.

            1. He’s greatly misunderstood by many of the people who read him and quote him, many of whom are pathetic, power-jealous, slimy little weasels. So, that doesn’t help his cause.

            2. It is my contention that Nietzsche wrote specifically to antagonize a certain population of people, and in doing so, he comes off like an asshole. What I mean is, imagine someone of today writing a philosophy book while wanting to piss off all the people who vote for Mitt Romney, who are the exact motivation for writing the book in the first place. To piss those people off, you’re going to hyperbolize and polarize a little more than you normally would. It would be a great, funny, powerful, penetrating read, but you’d come off as a little bit of a jackass at the same time.

            Nietzche’s message is precisely that it’s up to each individual person to decide their fate, their own destiny, their own morality, which is a counter to all the “Jews” and “Christians” he had to deal with during his time. But I believe besides countering their dogmas, he also wanted to “get their goat” a little bit. And while it was probably satisfying for Nietzsche to do so (and while it probably makes for better reading), it kind of ends up muddying his message a bit. I mean, a superficial reading of Nietzsche might grant comparisons to Ayn Rand, while a deeper, more careful approach would show that Nietzsche would probably have major issues with that woman.

            Long story somewhat shorter: It’s sort of Nietzsche’s own fault that he’s misunderstood (which is sort of odd to say because he’s one of the few western philosophers who could actually write).

          • Ted Heistman February 22, 2013 at 12:53 am #

            I think its especially ironic, that the population he wanted to “piss off” was the German Bourgeois.

          • mannyfurious February 21, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

            I’ve been thinking about this and the amount of “great” people we wouldn’t have because of this kind of Eugenics would be more than I’d like to think. Things like mental illness and other “shortcomings” in artists, athletes, activists, spiritual leaders is probably pretty high.

          • Ted Heistman February 22, 2013 at 12:55 am #

            Yeah. I think there is there is a link between genius and madness.

          • Threedinium February 22, 2013 at 3:36 am #

            Have you read ‘The Act of Creation’ by Arthur Koestler? Some pretty good insights on the whole process in there.

          • Ted Heistman February 22, 2013 at 10:44 am #

            No I haven’t read it. I think creative people are a little different, and simply being bright makes you a little different. You are still a freak, in a way, even if you are on the right hand side of the bell curve.

            What gets left out of the discussion on eugenics, is that something very akin to it has been going on for millenia on the level of the collective. People associate it with shadowy elites, but anthropologists have documented primitive tribes culling children that are either especially beautiful or especially bright. The idea is that people like that will cause problems for the tribe.

            The forces of conformity most often come horizontally.

          • Calypso_1 February 22, 2013 at 9:55 am #

            There is an even bigger link between MR and mental illness.

          • Ted Heistman February 22, 2013 at 10:25 am #

            Speak for yourself! LOL!

          • Ted Heistman February 22, 2013 at 10:33 am #

            seriously, though I think the link is mostly because MR adults and children are sitting targets for mental health practitioners to practice their diagnosing skills on. They like to take turns and one up each other, so that by the time a MR adult is 30 years old they have a file filled with nifty labels from the DSM

            I am talking about people on the other end of the bell curve.

          • Calypso_1 February 22, 2013 at 10:49 am #

            Not so seriously. You like to think, or shall we say ruminate, a great deal on topics for which you have absolutely no underlying qualifications or experience.

            I’ll let you get back to your regularly scheduled pontificating.

          • mannyfurious February 22, 2013 at 11:04 am #

            Well, as a “mental health” professional, my personal experience tells me that Ted’s more right than you’re giving him credit for. It’s easier to diagnose MR clients because they’re “in the system” for a much longer period of time, starting typically from an early age. Right now I’m working with primarily Middle School and High School students and the amount of undiagnosed mental illness is staggering (and probably a good thing in some ways since the vast majority of those kids would be put on some kind of medication they probably don’t need.)

          • Calypso_1 February 22, 2013 at 11:20 am #

            It’s not a matter of ‘time in system’. It is a matter of underlying pathology. MR is the result of massive developmental/structural anomalies in the brain.

          • Ted Heistman February 22, 2013 at 11:36 am #

            You realize of course that that mental health diagnoses don’t exist apart from a diagnostician right?

          • Ted Heistman February 22, 2013 at 11:06 am #

            So what’s my job history?

          • Ted Heistman February 22, 2013 at 11:29 am #

            I’ve actually experienced it from both ends. I was diagnosed with learning disabilities as a child, and briefly placed in special ed class. Then later in another school system I was labeled “gifted” and placed in advanced classes, than in another school they decided I was learning disabled again. So I am not exactly over awed by this system. I was also sexually molested by a child psychologist. I am not throwing that in there to be some kind of trump card or as a judgement against all mental health professionals, but I think it illustrates the fallibility of the system.

            I also have five years experience working with adults with brain injuries and developmental disabilities, and gave them all their medications and got to know their doctors and counselors, read their files etc. The ones I read did have a long list of (often conflicting) diagnoses over time.

          • Calypso_1 February 24, 2013 at 1:46 am #

            I suspect during such a period of interaction with such patients you have had many profound & moving experiences. Given your previous disclosure of pursuits in
            ministerial studies no doubt you also found yourself interacting at such levels. I respect and truly appreciate the endeavors that all caregivers make towards those in these vexing, often tragic and sometimes triumphant expressions of the human condition in states of frailty, disability & healing. As a caregiver there is so much to learn, levels of humility and gratefulness & a natural human tenderness that surpasses what most encounter outside of life’s extremes.

            I also understand the divide, both in reality & perceptually between those who get their hands dirty and those who stay above the fray. I’ve come up through this. I don’t doubt the validity of your experience in the same.

            The statement that rubbed me the wrong way was the taking turns one upping each other on diagnosis. Sure there are people with ego driven performances but I know medical teams, I know the focus, I know the stress of trying to help people in serious
            crisis & illness and it’s not based on competition*. It involves cooperation and coordination and getting the job done to the best of everyone’s abilities.

            (*yes I know there are politics at all levels –human nature)

          • Ted Heistman February 24, 2013 at 10:07 am #

            well, to me, i guess i never thought it mattered that much, what a profoundly retarded person’s other diagnoses are. Because it had no bearing on relating to them as a person. To me labels aren’t that important. I guess maybe it matters in terms of their meds. I think one thing that irked me was a diagnoses one client had of “Narcissistic Personality disorder” because it had negative connotations and basically he was like a big kid and kids tend to be self centered anyway, so I thought it was dumb.

            But I think a lot of good has been done, with people with autism.

          • Calypso_1 February 22, 2013 at 10:38 am #

            If you felt my comment had some personal intent directed at you that is incorrect.
            I simply wanted to reflect on the oft bandied notion of genius/madness with a more precise awareness of the actual distribution of such afflictions.

          • Ted Heistman February 22, 2013 at 10:45 am #

            I was just joking dude.

    • Chaorder Gradient February 21, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

      Theres this strange thread of permanence in the standard understading of a theory fundamentally about change.

      Assuming the weak and stupid are by definition weak and stupid is like saying the poor and starving are born that way as well.

      If you step away from your malthusian death hypothesis that the bad needs to die, and instead turn it on its head, saying that the bad needs to be trained, and taught, you see a much more effective way of benefiting the world. Society isn’t a piece of corn that needs the dead to be shucked. Its an organic system, where the individual modules are being tossed through a rough “GOOD/BAD” filter rather than being allowed to benefit society in its own way.

      • Dingbert February 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

        “Assuming the weak and stupid are by definition weak and stupid is like saying the poor and starving are born that way as well.”

        Indeed, that’s exactly how it used to be defined. In VA, our gov’t sterilized thousands until the 1970s. Being poor was thought to be hereditary. The Sheriff in a certain SW VA county used to go up into the mountains to find families that had children without shoes–evidently proof of the “poor gene.” They were taken from their families and forcibly sterilized.

        In any case, if the purpose is to rid the world of the supposedly inferior hazards to humanity, it would be far more logical to eliminate the murderous, tyrannical, and hateful, rather than the poor, weak, and humble.
        But, I don’t believe anyone should be forcibly sterilized or euthanized and, luckily for Phillipede, no other rational human being does, either.

      • Ted Heistman February 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

        I think the bourgeoisie is actually an open thermodynamic system that exports entropy. I mean its not very touchy feely to say that put that’s how it seems to work.

        A lot of people who identify as being on the Left, kind of viscerally side with those they perceive as weak and turn a jaundiced eye on those they perceive as strong and privileged. A lot of it is simply envy. Its human nature. But anyway, I mean, upper middle class people, in general are taller, healthier better looking and smarter. You might say they are boring, but that’s probably not true either, because they are often more well travelled and have more enriching exposure to different life experiences. That’s just the fucking way it is.

        It would be nice to think we live in a fallen world that rewards vice and that because of this the poor are inherently noble, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.

        We don’t live in a state of nature, where the weak fall prey to lions or tigers. But they do lose out in competition for jobs, mates and nice places to live. For example if you have money you can shop at Whole Foods and eat an organic and diverse diet, you can have nice teeth, you can join a gym etc. You can marry a beautiful woman. You can have good looking well adjusted kids that go to a good college and get a well paying job. Some of them won’t make it and will be ostracized and rejected by their peers and then drift down into a lower caste. Other people will move up.

        So there is a type of natural selection at work.

        • Chaorder Gradient February 22, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

          I get you, and i’ve never been against the concept of natural selection, but theres something very unnatural (but lets not get into the discussion of “what is natural”) about the way humans select the best of us.

          The “fittest” in society are not those that have successfully learned the best way to live, but those who have attained the money and status to be -allowed- to epigenetically improve themselves through, as you said good food and healthy lifestyle.

          It is a subtle but important difference that a hypothetical person born poor and stupid by poor an stupid parents is a social cause, not a genetic cause. You begin to see that people are poor and stupid because they lack quality of life, and not that they are genetically deficient thus they are poor and stupid, thus they lack quality of life.

          • Ted Heistman February 23, 2013 at 12:55 am #

            yeah, its a vicious cycle.

        • Matt Prather February 28, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

          The list of “you can have”-s that follows from “if you have money” is first limited by the “if”.

          I must point out to you that our money system has a permanent scarcity of money built into it. Money comes from debt, and there’s always more debt than money. Worse yet, some people are always either bankrupt / insolvent or in significant danger of becoming so. (Being in such a situation makes a normally-peaceable or -peaceful person desperate. At any level of status or power.)

          By simultaneously disallowing sovereign bankruptcy and also backstopping the privately-owned corporate asset portfolios of the global “capital” elite with sovereign debt (and other forms of non-dischargeable debt), we’ve tied the existence of our money itself (the same $$$-Bills you received in your childhood you expect to exist when you are old, right?) into a never-ending Ponzi game of debt and credit.

          The masters of this systems are nothing more than masters of (1) accounting, (2) arbitraging paper and ownership positions, and (3) creating and maintaining power / information asymmetry. And they will always be in a position of superiority when the economy turns down and debts are still due. Not because they’re the Value Creators, but because they’re the rent-seekers, the debt-creators, the debt-collectors — The Owners. Masters of the Money Game. Bankrolling a bankrupt world empire near you.

          (Note further and note well the irony of making state / national / sovereign fees and taxes matters of paramount “duty” and obligation for citizens even as the ownership elite lives, thinks, and acts trans-nationally and supra-state.)

          We have a money system which crashes if it does not grow, and must grow until it crashes. The “competition” for money and for the things money can buy is an economic “game” that is arbitrary and administered by people unfit to administer it on a global level, and I would love to prove to that to you.

          This selection is not natural, but rather one of fraud and abuse. And it comes out of something ultimately quite arbitrary: the accounting and creation of money.

          And they have committed so many crimes in the past 100 years that they’ve got to try to financially engineer a “Cartel Capitalism Utopia” for themselves which is a Dystopia for everyone else.

          I’m serious. The centralization of authority and capital (ownership, credit, and cash) has gotten to the point where the central powers are now trying manage everything, even the existence of roles for which humans are to be competitive in this system.

          Such a type of natural selection — owing to a permanent scarcity of (arbitrary) liquidity — is to me intolerable.

          In a world of twice as much bounty and wealth and health, we would arrive in a place just as problematical, perilous, desperate, corrupt, and bankrupt as this one in 2013 — and just because of the way we conducted our financial accounting!

          As beings of consciousness and will, we need not be slaves to our machines, nor to the paperwork pushed on us by an insane Ownership Class Elite. Nor should we let them tell us who will move up, and who will waste away.

        • Matt Prather February 28, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

          The list of “you can have”-s that follows from “if you have money” is first limited by the “if”.

          I must point out to you that our money system has a permanent scarcity of money built into it. Money comes from debt, and there’s always more debt than money. Worse yet, some people are always either bankrupt / insolvent or in significant danger of becoming so. (Being in such a situation makes a normally-peaceable or -peaceful person desperate. At any level of status or power.)

          By simultaneously disallowing sovereign bankruptcy and also backstopping the privately-owned corporate asset portfolios of the global “capital” elite with sovereign debt (and other forms of non-dischargeable debt), we’ve tied the existence of our money itself (the same $$$-Bills you received in your childhood you expect to exist when you are old, right?) into a never-ending Ponzi game of debt and credit.

          The masters of this systems are nothing more than masters of (1) accounting, (2) arbitraging paper and ownership positions, and (3) creating and maintaining power / information asymmetry. And they will always be in a position of superiority when the economy turns down and debts are still due. Not because they’re the Value Creators, but because they’re the rent-seekers, the debt-creators, the debt-collectors — The Owners. Masters of the Money Game. Bankrolling a bankrupt world empire near you.

          (Note further and note well the irony of making state / national / sovereign fees and taxes matters of paramount “duty” and obligation for citizens even as the ownership elite lives, thinks, and acts trans-nationally and supra-state.)

          We have a money system which crashes if it does not grow, and must grow until it crashes. The “competition” for money and for the things money can buy is an economic “game” that is arbitrary and administered by people unfit to administer it on a global level, and I would love to prove to that to you.

          This selection is not natural, but rather one of fraud and abuse. And it comes out of something ultimately quite arbitrary: the accounting and creation of money.

          And they have committed so many crimes in the past 100 years that they’ve got to try to financially engineer a “Cartel Capitalism Utopia” for themselves which is a Dystopia for everyone else.

          I’m serious. The centralization of authority and capital (ownership, credit, and cash) has gotten to the point where the central powers are now trying manage everything, even the existence of roles for which humans are to be competitive in this system.

          Such a type of natural selection — owing to a permanent scarcity of (arbitrary) liquidity — is to me intolerable.

          In a world of twice as much bounty and wealth and health, we would arrive in a place just as problematical, perilous, desperate, corrupt, and bankrupt as this one in 2013 — and just because of the way we conducted our financial accounting!

          As beings of consciousness and will, we need not be slaves to our machines, nor to the paperwork pushed on us by an insane Ownership Class Elite. Nor should we let them tell us who will move up, and who will waste away.

  7. equip February 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    I think part of the problem is an inability to identify and deconstruct disinformation that we personally deal with daily. A lot of us have been taught about argumentation and various propaganda techniques but certainly may have problems seeing ourselves as being inept and manipulated. When reading the comment sections for news articles etc… I’m surprised at how many people employ disinfo tactics that are unaware that that is what they’re doing.

    So yeah, genetics, sheeple, blah blah blah… I think some of this “dumbness” is simply that some haven’t been taught any better.

  8. Raz February 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    “Idiocracy” is really our future? I thought it was just a movie!

    • Hadrian999 February 20, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      I would vote for Dwayne Elizando Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho

  9. IokSotot February 20, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    Is weze become dumber coz we dont all rave with magic mushrooms no more. Someone told me that.

  10. BuzzCoastin February 20, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    humanity isn’t becoming dumber
    the number of dumb people is increasing exponentially
    because the population is increasing exponentially

    more people = more dumb people
    ya know how dumb the average guy is?
    half the people are dumber than that

    and BTW Dr. Crabtree
    the average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC
    was an illiterate slave or an uneducated woman
    only a small percentage received an education
    and they had to be male
    additionally
    1000 BC was a incredibly tumultuous time in Mediterranean history
    when entire civilizations fell to invading hordes know as The Sea People

    • mannyfurious February 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

      You bring up a good point. Any way we define intelligence is going to be subjective and only partially correct. Are we really dumber than a bunch of illiterate slaves? It just depends on what your parameters for measurement are.

      • BuzzCoastin February 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

        Dr. Crabtree is buying into his own psyop
        that civilization leads to intelligence
        when in fact, civilization always leads to mass ignorance.

        In “uncivilized” societies, everyone has some knowledge or skill
        that benefits the whole group
        whereby the consequences of stupidity
        which is caused by civilization
        is mitigated and defused.

    • Chaorder Gradient February 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      But.. But… clearly… uhm… Genetic mutations.. and uh…… nevermind.

      • BuzzCoastin February 21, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

        But.. But… clearly… uhm… Genetic mutations
        increase with exponential population growth
        and the growth’s effluent

        of the billions of humans whom we have known to exist
        less than a few hundred have been really brilliant
        and less than 1000 have herded the herd through its stupidity

  11. Sam Hamilton February 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    That’s ridiculous. These are the same people who made Socrates eat hemlock for questioning the reality of their gods.

  12. lazy_friend February 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    I blame the food sources and daytime tv.

  13. symbiont February 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    This reminds me of Tony Wrights theory on how we’re all suffering from species wide brain damage. http://leftinthedark.org.uk/

  14. Ted Heistman February 21, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    I think the Ancient Greeks were a bit stunted, from grain based diets. The true bad asses lived in the
    Pleistocene and hunted mammoths and painted in caves for initiation into their mystery schools.

  15. Ted Heistman February 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    if i were to delve deeply into this topic it would no doubt be disturbing for a lot of people, but really not in the way you might think. I mean the eugenicists of the past had it wrong. genetic diversity is the way to go, and also wild is better than domesticated/civilized.

    • Ted Heistman February 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

      a lot of it has to do with nutrition and epigenetics, but anyway, a genetic monoculture adapted to life in technological civilization is a dead end.

  16. Mason M. Mieczkowski February 22, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    I for one think this article is just…well dumb. Ancient Athens enjoyed the slaughter of slaves and thought gross dismemberment enjoyable. Most were uneducated and couldn’t read or write. Only a select few, those who were creative and smart, recorded history for us to say, look how advanced they are. In otherwords we haven’t evolved all that much. As far as the weak surviving in todays society is because we are capable of supporting a mentally challenged individual to achive more today then they ever could have in the times of Athens. Therefore, I call this article and Crabtree dumb in their presumptions.

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    I KNEW IT!!! I TOTALLY CALLED IT!!!!!!

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