This explains a lot: Falling IQ. Or does it?

dunce_capThe human race never fails to astound us in its perpetuation, despite the existence of large numbers of people with the terminal dumbs. Life, after all, is an ongoing IQ test, and humans have come up with an incredible range of ways to fail at it. But one news story says that whole populations are getting dumber:

IQs have largely increased since the 1930s thanks to better living conditions and education – a trend known as the Flynn effect. But IQ test results suggest people in the UK, Denmark and Australia have become less intelligent in the past decade.

Opinion is divided as to whether the downwards trend is long-term. Some studies have shown the average IQ of Westerners has plunged 10 points or more since Victorian times and others claim it will keep decreasing. But other experts argue that even if we are becoming more stupid, better healthcare and technology means the ‘problem’ will regulate itself.

via Are we becoming more STUPID? IQ scores are decreasing | Mail Online.

Maybe it’s just the triumph of the Neanderthal genes in us. That’s been in the news, too, lately.

But maybe the original populations are still getting smarter — but smaller, relative to the whole. And a new generation of immigrants is responsible for this turn on Flynn. Maybe the three nations in question are undergoing a demographic shift that is depressing national IQs, given that different populations have different mean IQs and that each individual population appears to have an IQ distribution centered about the mean in a bell-shaped normal curve.

Data points: Most common boy’s name for newborns in the UK is Mohammed. Arab IQs are about 1 SD (10-15 points) below the Eurasian mean (~100). South Asian IQs are not as depressed, but they are still depressed relatively to European or East Asian IQs (most Moslems born in Britain are descended from South Asians).

A generation where many youths have no prospect beyond government or protected clerical and menial work, or the dole, and who lack the impulse control thad keeps higher-IQ people away from violence and crime. What could possibly go wrong? Will declining mean IQ be the cause of a coming dystopia, or merely a comorbid condition?

11 thoughts on “This explains a lot: Falling IQ. Or does it?

  1. expat

    As I understand it, the reason is smart working women are having fewer children and dumber tax subsidized women continue to have however many grandma can take care of.
    LBJ’s Great Society is as Anti-Darwinian as any program could be. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.

  2. RobRoySimmons

    A firearm “instructor” was allowing a 9 year old girl shoot a select fire Uzi and it did not work out for him, don’t know what this has to do with falling IQ test scores but I had to put it somewhere.

      1. Hognose Post author

        There was a mishap four or five years ago with an Uzi and a boy. His father let him shoot the gun at a kind of “try the Uzi” booth, and the kid killed himself. Hell of a thing.

        Some guns appeal to kids because they’re small. Like Uzi, MP5K, etc. But those guns are harder to handle.

      2. RobRoySimmons

        The whole guns as toys idea is as dumb as hell, but even we gun owners have our fringe elements to deal with.

  3. Aesop

    Saying that IQs are falling as more low-brow imports are trundled into the mix is about like saying that the winds are failing because a fully loaded clipper ship doesn’t go as fast as an empty one.

    But a mental exam is unnecessary to make the observation that people in the UK are, on average, not as bright today as they were in, say, 1941. We could tell that just from watching the news.

    What wasn’t killed off in the trenches of the Somme has been taxed to flight by fourscore years of nearly uninterrupted socialism after that. That they’re now collectively facing a future as bleak as the Soviet Union’s in 1985 is really no surprise at all, but supplies a sobering cautionary tale, as we repeat the same experiment a couple of generations behind them.

      1. Aesop

        Peter has long been the brighter of the pair of Hitchens’, and while I miss his late brother’s incisive wit, Peter got the better of the bargain on insight. I’ll have to add that volume to my “to read” pile.
        I think nothing but undisguised patriotism keeps him in Britistan, rather than relocation to more politically hospitable climes.
        Living in California, I can certainly identify with that.

  4. Bill K

    Maybe the three nations in question are undergoing a demographic shift that is depressing national IQs, given that different populations have different mean IQs and that each individual population appears to have an IQ distribution centered about the mean in a bell-shaped normal curve.

    And on a similar note, it is a saying in Iowa, “We should just cede the bottom tier of counties to Missouri. The IQ of both states would rise.

  5. Y.

    Genotypic IQs are and have been falling slightly on average due to low intelligence people being worse at family planning..since at least Victorian times.

    Does not mean Victorians were smarter, there is a significant environmental component to intelligence.

    But nothing to worry about, considering that every sane country is going to press for embryo selection or similar technique as soon as it’s workable.. Low IQ people are worse than useless in a high tech society using automation.

  6. WyomingBound

    Not a day goes by when I don’t wonder how we got to the top of the food chain as a species.

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