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Humans may be becoming less intelligent

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Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby Glacier » Nov 13th, 2012, 1:25 pm

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A new study suggests that humans may be (slowly) losing our intellectual and emotional abilities because they're at risk from mutation or loss from the genome.

The discovery that our intelligence and emotional capabilities are coded for by thousands of genes makes them 'fragile', according to Dr Gerald Crabtree of Stanford University.

Human intelligence and behaviour requires the optimal functioning of an estimated 2000-5000 genes. Crabtree’s theory is based on the idea that these genes are particularly vulnerable to mutations, and that our modern environment does not remove these mutations by natural selection. This means that our intelligence and emotional capabilities are expected to decrease over time as more mutations enter the genome.

"It is very likely that within 3000 years (~120 generations) we have all sustained two or more mutations harmful to our intellectual or emotional stability," writes Crabtree in a study published in Trends in Genetics.

By contrast our ancestors would have had highly selective evolutionary pressures on the genome.

"The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples before our ancestors emerged from Africa," says Crabtree.

Without a well-functioning intellect, our ancestors would not have been able to survive in an environment that required them to constantly to adapt to new dangers. But our modern environment doesn't select against deleterious mutations in the same way, leading to a gradual loss in our emotional and intellectual abilities. To make matters worse, neuroscientists believe that genes involved in brain function are particularly susceptible to mutations.

But not to worry just yet. The loss is likely to be relatively slow, and judging by society's rapid pace of technological development, we should be able to develop ways to counter this problem.

"I think we will know each of the millions of human mutations that can compromise our intellectual function and how each of these mutations interact with each other and other processes as well as environmental influences," says Dr. Crabtree.

"At that time, we may be able to magically correct any mutation that has occurred in all cells of any organism at any developmental stage. Thus, the brutish process of natural selection will be unnecessary."

Crabtree’s theory is based on the estimate that in every generation there are around 60 new mutations per genome and about 100 heterozygous per mutations genome (mutations that only affect one copy of a gene). Some of these mutations are likely to affect genes involved in human intellect.
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby LoneWolf_53 » Nov 13th, 2012, 3:06 pm

Plenty of proof to be found easily enough. :coffeecanuck:
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby Woodenhead » Nov 13th, 2012, 11:23 pm

I blame internet forums & iGadgets.


(this was my 2984th post, made while listening to my ipod)
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby Captain Awesome » Nov 13th, 2012, 11:27 pm

Humans are more and more educated and less and less intelligent.
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby StraitTalk » Nov 13th, 2012, 11:28 pm

My dad can fix my car.

I can fix his computer.

But yes, old farts would think this knowledge is useless. Carry on, we'll take it from here..
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby Glacier » Nov 13th, 2012, 11:46 pm

We are talking genetically less intelligent due to gene mutations here, which is a naturally occurring phenomenon in nature. I am reminded of an article a while back about how researchers were mystified to find that nethanderals possessed more advanced tools, larger brains, and stronger bodies than those that followed them. Perhaps these genetic mutations have been going on for 10s of thousands if not millions of years.
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby LoneWolf_53 » Nov 14th, 2012, 1:32 am

StraitTalk wrote:My dad can fix my car.

I can fix his computer.

But yes, old farts would think this knowledge is useless. Carry on, we'll take it from here..


I wouldn't quite agree with you there.

I'm the only one able to fix the kid's cars, though health has limited that to far less than what I once could do, and they bring me their computers to fix too.

Not one in the bunch that does their own computer repairs. Too busy texting on their iphones. LOL
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby Bsuds » Nov 14th, 2012, 7:02 am

My kids can barely start their computers so I guess it's all ready happening!
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby Lady tehMa » Nov 14th, 2012, 7:42 am

Makes me wonder if Reality TV is cause, or effect.
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby Bsuds » Nov 14th, 2012, 7:52 am

Lady tehMa wrote:Makes me wonder if Reality TV is cause, or effect.


I think effect. Dumb people making dumb shows for dumber people.
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby Woodenhead » Nov 14th, 2012, 11:49 am

I've always said that stupid breeds faster than smart.
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 15th, 2012, 1:53 am

Woodenhead wrote:I've always said that stupid breeds faster than smart.


I can agree with that.
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby StraitTalk » Nov 16th, 2012, 12:01 am

Woodenhead wrote:I've always said that stupid breeds faster than smart.


You just have to hope they die faster than smart as well.
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby JayByrd » Nov 16th, 2012, 2:10 pm

Whether we're intelligent or not, whether we're healthy or not, the vast majority of us are still able to procreate, or at least there's nothing stopping us from doing so. You can have lots of things wrong with you and still survive in our society. The downside of that, if you can even call it a downside, is that all these issues that make us less than perfect, stay in the gene pool.
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Re: Humans may be becoming less intelligent

Postby Poindexter » Nov 16th, 2012, 2:22 pm

I'm with Joe Rogan on this one. Basically; if we still can't figure out how the pyramids we're built, it may indicate that the intelligent master race who engineered them died out and we're all the decendants of the idiot slaves that built it.
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