Knowledge (scientia in Latin) steadily increased each generation from the beginning of man until about 1970. Then, we started getting dumber.
I blame television for the reversal, but the television generations (Boomers, Gen X) were only slightly dumber than the previous generations (Silent and GI, in reverse order.) Computers and, especially, the internet accelerated the stupification of humanity, but not nearly as much as the culture itself.
Whatever the cause, it is now undeniable that today’s elementary school children are measurably less intelligent than their parents. They know less, they can retain less, and their powers of reason are and will remain awful.
The latest evidence comes from the New York City Public Schools board, which was forced to lower standards across the board to accommodate this generation of idiots we’ve managed to unleash on the world.
Attorney and writer, Jonathan Turley, writes:
New York will permanently lower the math and reading proficiency standards after embarrassing results in state testing. It is akin to shortening the 100 yards dash to 50 yards to stay competitive on speed.
Turley blames public schools and teachers’ unions, which are, in fact, major contributors to humanity’s intellectual downfall. But I think the problem is deeper than that. I think our species is just getting dumber with each successive generation. And it’s getting dumber at a faster rate than it got smart.
For example, look at what happened at Stanford Law School last week.
A federal judge who was invited to speak to the students was shouted down and forced off the stage before his remarks even began. Victor Davis Hansen describes the intellectual quality of the protestors, which included law students, faculty, and administrators:
Two, they seem incompetent. To the degree there were any questions and answers, few knew how or even attempted to engage the judge on matters of the law and judicial theory. In other words, any grammar-school students could have matched their performance since it required no knowledge of the law, just an ability to chant and—in groupthink style—cry, scream, and mimic the majority.
These low-IQ law students will, of course, get their law licenses simply because they went to Stanford. It’s automatic. Yet, they will know less about the law than the average fifth grader in 1960.
Also, because they went to Stanford, they will become judges. Judges who will use the power of the gavel to compensate for their imbecility.
Look, I’m not saying there aren’t exceptions to the rapid drop in human intelligence. I have no doubt there are children as smart as Einstein in preschool right now. What I am saying is that the species is in sharp decline. The few intelligent youngsters will suffer greatly as they watch humanity return to its lower primate roots.
Finally, I write this as an act of charity. If younger generations possess only sub-human intelligence (and there’s every indication they do), then we must be more forgiving of their stupid behavior and ignorant belief systems. Their idiocy must inspire the kind of pity we feel for the ignorance of raw beasts, to paraphrase William F. Buckley. We must understand they lack the capacity to reason, to remember, to learn, and to think. They simply act on impulse, like a snake striking at movement.
For all of human history, older generations looked askance at their juniors. Those elders mistook the kids’ lack of experience and surplus of youthful energy for generational deficiencies. But we now have quantitative evidence that human beings, at least in the United States, are significantly dumber than their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. The laws of genetics tell us that each successive generation will grow dramatically dumber than the one that produced it. In just 60 years, humans could return to caves, not because of nuclear war, but because we simply lack the intelligence to build other types of shelters.
Pity the youth: they just might be as stupid as they seem.
I don’t think we can discount the role our disastrous diet of processed frankenfood is playing in the epigenetic reset of our gene pool. There’s no reason to think effects it’s having on obesity, gastric disorders, CVD, cancer, dementia, diabetes, etc, etc, won’t also manifest in IQ.
Your screed reminded me of this quote attributed to Malcom Muggeridge and I thought it was appropriate:
My best friend from high school posted this Malcolm Muggeridge quote today on his Facebook account. In light of the world’s unrest, and our need to pray for international peace, they are quite fitting. In an essay entitled “But Not of Christ,” Muggeridge writes,
We look back upon history and what do we see? Empires rising and falling, revolutions and counter-revolutions, wealth accumulating and wealth dispersed, one nation dominant and then another. Shakespeare speaks of ‘the rise and fall of great ones that ebb and flow with the moon.’
I look back on my own fellow countrymen ruling over a quarter of the world, the great majority of them convinced, in the words of what is still a favorite song, that, ‘God who’s made the mighty would make them mightier yet.’ I’ve heard a crazed, cracked Austrian announce to the world the establishment of a German Reich that would last a thousand years; an Italian clown announce that he would restart the calendar to begin his own ascension to power. I’ve heard a murderous Georgian brigand in the Kremlin acclaimed by the intellectual elite of the world as a wiser than Solomon, more humane than Marcus Aurelius, more enlightened than Ashoka.
I’ve seen America wealthier and in terms of weaponry, more powerful than the rest of the world put together, so that had the American people desired, they could have outdone an Alexander or a Julius Caesar in the range and scale of their conquests.
All in one lifetime. All in one lifetime. All gone with the wind.
England part of a tiny island off the coast of Europe, threatened with dismemberment and even bankruptcy. Hitler and Mussolini dead, remembered only in infamy. Stalin a forbidden name in the regime he helped found and dominate for some three decades. America haunted by fears of running out of those precious fluids that keep her motorways roaring, and the smog settling, with troubled memories of a disastrous campaign in Vietnam, and the victories of the Don Quixotes of the media as they charged the windmills of Watergate.
All in one lifetime, all gone. Gone with the wind. (pp. 29–30)
Then according to Justin Taylor, it is Ravi Zacharias who added this fitting postscript.
Behind the debris of these self-styled, sullen supermen and imperial diplomatists, there stands the gigantic figure of one person, because of whom, by whom, in whom, and through whom alone mankind might still have hope. The person of Jesus Christ.”
Take rest in him and in this fact: All nations sit under his feet. All authority has been given to him and all the reeling and rocking experienced on this war-torn planet is no more than then wind and the waves that he stilled when he woke from his sleep (Mark 4). The world and its rulers will continue to pass away, but nothing will wipe away the power and the glory of King Jesus and all those who trust in him from their eternal hope.
Soli Deo Gloria, ds