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We Now Have Scientific Proof That People Are Getting Stupider

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Brain - Public DomainAre people dumber than they used to be?  Were previous generations mentally sharper than us?  You may have suspected that people are getting stupider for quite some time, but now we actually have scientific evidence that this is the case.  As you will read about below, average IQs are dropping all over the globe, SAT scores in the U.S. have been declining for decades, and scientists have even discovered that our brains have been getting smaller over time.  So if it seems on some days like you woke up in the middle of the movie “Idiocracy”, you might not be too far off.  Much of the stuff that they put in our junk food is not good for brain development, our education system is a total joke and most Americans are absolutely addicted to mindless entertainment.  Fortunately we have a lot of technology that does much of our thinking for us these days, because if we had to depend on our own mental capabilities most of us would be in a tremendous amount of trouble.

Sadly, this appears to be a phenomenon that is happening all over the planet.  As a recent Daily Mail article explained, IQ scores are falling in country after country…

Richard Lynn, a psychologist at the University of Ulster, calculated the decline in humans’ genetic potential.

He used data on average IQs around the world in 1950 and 2000 to discover that our collective intelligence has dropped by one IQ point.

Dr Lynn predicts that if this trend continues, we could lose another 1.3 IQ points by 2050.

One IQ point does not sound like a lot, but when you go back even further in time the declines become a lot more dramatic.  For example, a psychology professor at the University of Amsterdam named Jan te Nijenhuis has calculated that we have lost a total of 14 IQ points on average since the Victorian Era.

And we don’t need a professor to tell us that this is true.  Just go back and read some of the literature from that time period.  Much of it is written at such a high level that I can barely even understand it.

There is other evidence that people are getting stupider as well.  For instance, SAT scores in the United States have fallen significantly in recent years…

There appears to be a disturbing trend in American high schools. If we judge the quality of education by the scores that students get on their SATs, then it appears that things are getting worse. Since 2006, the overall average SAT score has fallen by 20 points, dropping from 1518 to 1498 in 2012. Scores are also down in each of the three categories tested, with reading dropping 9 points, mathematics dropping 4 points, and writing falling 9 points. It’s a fair bet that students aren’t becoming less intelligent, so exactly what is going on?

And this decline in SAT scores is not just limited to the past few years.  As the following chart from Zero Hedge demonstrates, SAT scores have been declining in America for decades…

SAT Scores declining - Zero Hedge

There are even some scientists that are convinced that this decline in the mental ability of humans goes back for thousands of years.  Some blame genetic mutations for this decline, and others point to the fact that our brains have been getting smaller.  For example, just check out what one study conducted at Cambridge University concluded…

An earlier study by Cambridge University found that mankind is shrinking in size significantly.

Experts say humans are past their peak and that modern-day people are 10 percent smaller and shorter than their hunter-gatherer ancestors.

And if that’s not depressing enough, our brains are also smaller.

The findings reverse perceived wisdom that humans have grown taller and larger, a belief which has grown from data on more recent physical development.

The decline, said scientists, has happened over the past 10,000 years. They blame agriculture, with restricted diets and urbanization compromising health and leading to the spread of disease.

Most of us today just assume that people are smarter than they ever have been before.

Most of us today look down on our ancestors and mock them for being so primitive.

But the truth is that if we had to go up head to head against them in mental challenges, we might find ourselves greatly humbled.

At the end of this article, I have posted an eighth grade exam from 1912 that was donated to the Bullitt County History Museum in Kentucky.

As you can see, it is far more difficult than anything that eighth grade students have to do today.  In fact, most eighth grade students today are doing pretty good if they can point out the United States on a map of the world and can string a few sentences together.

I should know – for a short period of time I once taught eighth grade students.

So when I first came across the exam posted below, I was amazed at how difficult it was.

Could you pass such an exam?

I don’t know if I could.

But these are the kinds of questions that eighth grade students were expected to be able to answer back in 1912…

-Through which waters would a vessel pass in going from England through the Suez Canal to Manila?

-How does the liver compare in size with other glands in the human body?

-How long of a rope is required to reach from the top of a building 40 feet high to the ground 30 feet from the base of a building?

-Compare arteries and veins as to function. Where is the blood carried to be purified?

-During which wars were the following battles fought: Brandywine, Great Meadows, Lundy’s Lane, Antietam, Buena Vista?

A full copy of the exam is posted below.  Please notice the absence of multiple choice questions where a student can guess by circling an answer.  In the old days, kids were actually expected to be able to think and to be able to write…

Eighth Grade Exam

So what do you think about all of this?

Do you believe that people are actually getting stupider?

And is “stupider” actually a word?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

  • Jodie Lynn Gaeta

    New World Dictionary of American English 1988 edition does not list “stupider” as a word. Anyway, a couple of years ago I tried to read
    a well-known novel by Virginia Woolf that was published in 1925. Forget about it. Way over my head. I could read that thing 5 or 6 times and I still wouldn’t get it.

    • Annette Calkins

      Jodie, so true. I actually feel brain pain when I attempt stuff that is normally “beyond” me. But, the good thing is, you tried! Too many just flip a channel with the remote…which I must have just lost, cause I can’t find it, darn it…I was going to surf the channels…sigh…

  • TheSkeptic

    The SAT is a test that requires SAT prep courses. Unfortunately, most parents do not have the money to pay for the prep courses. I have known people that received high SAT scores, went to college, then flunked out. The eighth grade test posted is a function of being taught, more than it is intelligence. The problem is more societal.

  • Annette Calkins

    Hey, I’m stupider than a 8th grader! My gosh…well, they had time to study and read. They didn’t have rap music to dance to and look like a thug. They didn’t have the internet and casino games to occupy their time with. Naw…they had a better life in a lot of ways…they were the “greatest generation”, right?

  • Twisk

    You’re generally right, Michael, but I am not sure about this time. If we look at the countries listed, we have the USA, Canada, Denmark, the UK. Hardly the whole of the planet…
    What we have, here, are only Western countries, that’s to say, countries where incoherence and Orwellian political correctness are the new norm.
    When you’re bombarded with contradicting informations and summoned to agree to them/make sense of them all at the same time, either your brain goes into overload or it shuts partially down.
    Also, when your identity is constantly challenged and the old social roles patterns are in a constant flux, you logically lose your footing. Your only mental defenses are 1) take a strong stand for who you are, and risk losing friends, jobs, ‘socially acceptable’ self-image, etc or 2) accept playing the game, censor yourself and risk losing your thinking capacity, or worse: you said yourself the levels of mental disorders are on the rise.
    Same causes, other side-effects.

  • DJohn1

    What were they eating every day in 1912? I would
    bet it is all natural and it was full of natural nutrition not found in your grocery today.
    I would suggest that there is a problem between what you eat and how your brain either develops or not.
    Lecithin in various forms helps with memory retention.
    We have a lot of lab chemicals in the food we eat every day. The key to ingredients is they almost always list the ingredient with the largest amount in the food first. Then it moves down the list of ingredients by amount.
    How good is the child’s ability to retrieve memory? Most human memory is visual. We barely use that in school.
    Yet properly trained children can memorize entire long documents easily. It is all dependent on how they are taught as much as what they are taught.
    If the brain is not functioning it is probably a problem with what you eat.

  • K

    Home run Michael. When I was young, I greatly enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes books. It introduced me to a new way of thinking, also to better focus on all the information in front of you. Now among younger people, the books seem way over their heads. But are they really? I offer a second theory. It is not intelligence that is falling. But rather a lack of ability to focus. At least that is what I have found, in children of family friends. Their problem is lack of focus, and do to that, a lack of success. In the few, I have been able to convince, that focus is a valuable asset. The change has been remarkable..

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      Very good points. I know that I have a hard time focusing myself these days. I think that the Internet has really shortened our attention spans.


      • CynicalGuy42

        I think there’s a study claiming the Internet has really shortened our attention spans, not sure where ’tis, though.

  • CynicalGuy42

    Michael Qualls Jr – You are doing it right. Unfortunately, so many other people are doing it wrong.
    Jens Josefsen – Some studies say certain popular shows (like Spongebob) are bad for children’s attention spans. They also say that switching from one thing to another like we do on the Internet keeps things from entering long-term memory. I think it depends on the Internet or TV content you’re consuming as well – some of that entertainment really is mindless, other times it’s more intellectually stimulating.
    Michael Snyder – Why are brains getting smaller? I could definitely see nurture reducing intelligence, with mindless entertainment, bad education, and chemicals in the food. But the only the chemicals seem like they could reduce brain size.
    Annette Calkins – Seems like you believe it’s nurture and not nature (those who would blame genetic mutations).

  • jonny

    There is no filtering of the weak and stupid. This may sound mean, but if all the idiots live and pass on their genes then you have DEVO – de-evolution

  • Tatiana Covington

    Read Kornbluth’s “The Marching Morons”.

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    Please tell me nobody’s surprised by this?

  • stormrider

    Yep. I’ve been saying this for a while now. Soon, we will see people’s eyes spread further apart, their foreheads slope and a unibrow appear. Then comes the drooling…..

  • Kim

    I believe my ex-husband is the “index case” for this study.

  • lily

    Took that test a few years ago, and scored a D+. I had four years of college as a science major, music minor. I think there are multiple factors involved on the ground: as is mentioned below, the ignorance of God’s word, the loss of classical education, including learning to think independently and critically, to cross reference, question, see in context, articulate one’s ideas in a civil arena, junk food full of chemicals and deteriorated soils, pollution, and over dependence on technology. Western society has few problems to solve for daily living compared to 100 years ago or so. (“Necessity is the mother of invention”).

    I disagree with another comment about the lifestyle of children and teenagers in the late 1800s and early 1900s, though. Most kids were working almost as many hours as adults, helping their families on farms, or in a factory, yet those educated, were given the needed tools to articulate, think objectively, etc.

    Have read a couple of scientific articles in the last few years which point to the deterioration of the whole planet, not just in areas of overworked soils. We indeed cursed the earth from the very start, and now, pun intended, God is letting us reap what we have sown. Human history is wrapping up as we know it, and the Lord’s return is surely near. I believe He still cares much more about the state of my heart than my mind, and so as a Christian, I have hope, although I can tell, I can’t reason or remember as well as I used to.

  • cara

    I do not think that the people are getting dumber through natural means, it is the flouride in the water, which by the way drastically reduces IQ! There is a saying that once you drink fluoride your brain is changed in ways that can never be repaired. Stopping water fluoridation is a good first step!