May 14 2013
The Daily Mail
Thank fuck for the Daily Mail and the MSM as a whole.
Turns out the Victorians were cleverer than us and we do in fact have 14 IQ points LESS than our 19th Century ancestors.
This steady decline in brainpower is apparently due to what is called ‘reverse natural selection’.
Well, haven’t I got egg on my fucking face.
You see, I have been harping on for years about how dummed down the population has become, especially noticeable within the last 20 years or so.
Course, muggins here put this down to fluoride in the water, vaccination programs, and GMO’s in food.
How silly do I feel. If only I had studied for a white coat.
Were the Victorians cleverer than us? Research indicates a decline in brainpower and reflex speed thanks to ‘REVERSE’ natural selection
- Study claims we have 14 IQ points LESS than our 19th Century ancestors
- Findings contradict the Flynn effect, which claims IQ has risen three points every decade since the Second World War
PUBLISHED: 19:44, 13 May 2013 | UPDATED: 09:13, 14 May 2013
It was an era of glorious scientific discovery.
And the reason for the Victorians unprecedented success is simple – they were ‘substantially cleverer’ than us.
Researchers compared reaction times – a reliable indicator of general intelligence – since the late 1800s to the present day and found our fleetness of mind is diminishing.
They claim our slowing reflexes suggest we are less smart than our ancestors, with a loss of 1.23 IQ points per decade or 14 IQ points since Victorian times.
While an average man in 1889 had a reaction time of 183 milliseconds, this has slowed to 253ms in 2004.
They found the same case with women, whose speed deteriorated from 188 to 261ms in the same period.
The research team from Umea University, Sweden, the University of Amsterdam and University College Cork said IQ scores are excellent predictors of job performance and those with higher intelligence are both more productive and creative.
But the scientists were unable to directly compare IQ from different eras as earlier generations had limited access to education, improved nutrition and hygiene, which would have boosted modern results.
Instead, they compared reaction times, which they claim ‘can be used to meaningfully compare historical and contemporary populations in terms of levels of general intelligence’.
The figures indicate a decline in brainpower since the Victorian era, which contradicts the so-called Flynn effect, which has found a worldwide increase in measured IQ scores of three points a decade since the Second World War.
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Researcher Dr Michael Woodley said: ‘They actually indicate a pronounced decline in IQ since the Victorian era, three times bigger than previous theoretical estimates would have us believe.’
Michael Faraday, left, the physicist who discovered the laws of electrolysis and electromagnetic induction. Right, Charles Babbage, who invented the his analytic engine, the precursor to the modern computer, in 1837
The report in the journal Intelligence found: ‘The Victorian era was characterized by great accomplishments. As great accomplishment is generally a product of high intelligence, we tested the hypothesis that the Victorians were actually cleverer than modern populations.
‘We used a robust elementary cognitive indicator of general intelligence, namely measures of simple reaction times.’
And with the research looking at historical reaction time data, the scientists claim the drop in modern IQ could be even more dramatic than predicted.
‘It should also be emphasized that whilst our value of a −14.1 IQ point decline is an estimate based on the best meta-analytical data available, a simple inspection of our figure shows there is a non-negligible amount of scatter around the regression line.
‘The real magnitude of the effect might therefore be several IQ points lower or even higher,’ they wrote.
‘In conclusion however these findings do indicate that with respect to “genetic g” [general intelligence] the Victorians were indeed substantially cleverer than modern populations.’
Commenting on the study, Dr James Thompson, honorary senior psychology lecturer at UCL and member of the British Psychological Society, said: ‘This is a very intriguing paper, which seems to give the lie to the comforting notion that we have all been getting brighter for the last three or four generations.
‘Reaction times are a real measure, with a reasonably large correlation with IQ, so this is an alarming finding and needs further investigation.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2323944/Were-Victorians-cleverer-Research-indicates-decline-brainpower-reflex-speed.html#ixzz2TGG0HsY7
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