I’ve been saying for years that we are smarter than our ancestors simply by default. By being surrounded by the sum total of human knowledge, even those of us who don’t actively pursue intellectual pursuits are smarter just by having cursory knowledge of ideas that in our grandparents' days would have us all mobbed for heresy.
But now I know that my general suspicions were right. (Yes, this is me taking a self-congratulatory victory lap.)
The average IQ is increasing. Despite our perception that people are getting dumber, that appears just to be because the dummies are getting louder. According to the Flynn Effect (a study of IQ tests done over 60 years conducted by James R. Flynn), society is getting smarter. Approximately three IQ points every…I don’t know, decade? I didn’t read the whole article.
Now that we know this, why are we getting smarter? Sure, it could be what I said about us all having the collective knowledge to build upon, but I must allow for the probability and inevitability of my wrongness with every thought that escapes my brain.
Maybe we are measuring IQ with a faulty yard stick. Collective intelligence has changed, but how we understand intelligence may not have. What’s the point of studying the evolution of human intelligence if our methodologies haven’t changed?
There’s an alternate explanation I think is more likely, and that is, maybe it’s society’s way of overcompensating for an unsatisfying love life. “What makes you think society has an unsatisfying love life?” According to an Italian study, the average size of male genitalia is 10% smaller now than it was 50 years ago (Grandpa had a HOG!). Thus, it stands to reason that 50 years ago they were too busy utilizing the men’s gigantic swinging sausages (good name for a Limp Bizkit cover band, but please don’t ever create a Limp Bizkit cover band) in sexing to have time for reading or practicing chemistry. Nowadays the men are so unsatisfying because of their tiny ding-a-lings that no one wants to waste their time trying to manipulate their slightly-larger-man-clitoris. Hence, mastery and expansion of human knowledge.
Oh, I’m wrong? Okay, you’re right, the guy who invented the internet had a Liam Neesonesque trouser-serpent. Yeah, my bad. Yes, Stephen Hawking has a…never mind, bad example, he probably does have a Large Hadron Collider, dude has cheated on both his wives. Statistically, though, smart men probably don’t have enormous rhino dinguses.
|Now you know why baby is mad at Grandpa. Source|
In conclusion, next time you have a family dinner, look at the youngest male at the table, then at the oldest, and remember, that in comparison that kid is smarter than Grandpapa but he would weep if he saw dumb ol’ Grandpappy shuffle out of the bathroom after forgetting to pull up his pants.
Thank you, and spread the knowledge. (I'm way too proud of this post.)