Scientists sound the alarm: at the end of the 19th century, people were much smarter and more creative than they are now. The fault is on the natural selection, since the more intelligent the person is, the fewer children he or she has, and vice versa.

Every new century humans become less clever and creative. This assumption was made by British scientists who studied the rate of the perception of people of the Victorian era, and one of our contemporaries.

As the results of the study showed, the rate of general intelligence has been gradually decreasing. Thus, in 1889 the rate of perception in men was 183 milliseconds, while in 2000 it fell to 253 milliseconds. A similar tendency was observed in women – the speed of their perception has dropped from 188 to 261 milliseconds during the same period.

As said by the researchers, the diminished reflexes also indicate a decline in overall intelligence quotient (IQ), which is down by 1.23 points every decade, and since 1880 it has fallen by 14 points.

The researchers said they did not directly compare the IQ level of the representatives of different eras since the opportunities in education, medicine, and food of modern people are much better than the ones of the previous generations. Though, according to the study authors, the high rate of perception in people of the Victorian era shows that they were more inventive and creative.

“The decrease in the intelligence level can most probably lead back to the indicators that people used to have when the natural selection started,” said the author of the study Dr. Michael Woodley.

He claims that the intelligence of modern people is getting poorer because of natural selection since smart people tend to have fewer children than those with lower intelligence.

“This is a very interesting study since it seems to reject the theory according to which the last three or four generations of people have become more intelligent”, said Doctor of Psychology James Thompson.

He also added that the results of the study are alarming and require further research.

What do you think? Do you agree that humanity is becoming less intelligent or do you have a different point of view?

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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the power of misfits

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    david k waltz

    Not sure I’m buying these results. There sure seems to be lots of smart people doing very interesting, thoughtful, and challenging work in the world these days. Hopefully that’s the case, as I have more than 2.2 kids!

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