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The Decline Of The World's Iq

1390 words - 6 pages

What will end the world as we know it? It could be climate change, disease, famine, or global war. If none of those come to pass there is always the truth that we are breeding our IQ into the basement. It’s called dysgeneic fertilization, and it has been happening for as long as we’ve been recording intelligence. Although this decline can be seen across the board, not everyone is affected the same way or to the same extent. With each generation that passes a gap widens between those retaining intelligence and those hemorrhaging intelligence. Action must be taken to prevent the gap from widening in order to stem a social divide and dystopia from forming.
Declining intellect is a problem that has been of interest for over a century. Sir Francis Galton, English scientist, published works on the matter as early as 1869 with Hereditary Genius and followed by Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development in 1883. His two major works lay out the groundwork for future study of eugenics, dysgenics, and genetics. When it comes to the genetics of intelligence there are now two recognized types of intelligence, phenotypic and genotypic. Richard Lynn and John Harvey, geneticists, define these types as “phenotypic intelligence is measured intelligence,” and “genotypic intelligence is the genetic component of intelligence” (113). It is the genotypic intelligence that has been declining through dysgenics. James Flynn, emeritus professor at the University of Otago, was credited with the “Flynn Effect”. The “Flynn Effect” describes IQ changes in population over time (Graham). Flynn is commonly cited for the decline in the idea of dysgenics, which is a decline in IQ in a genetic pool over time by dysgenetic fertilization. Though Flynn didn’t gather his own data he analyzed a large set of data that supported the idea that dysgenics had disappeared (Herrnstein, Murray, Flynn 851). The gains suggested by Flynn are hypothesized to be largely environmental factors: higher living standards, food quality, education quality, and availability. This effect is greatest in developing nations where strides have been made in those environmental factors. While the Flynn Effect is commonly cited as a counter point to the idea of dysgenics, continued analysis of data has proven that both intelligence trends are concurrent (Dutton, Lynn 818). The real problem is in the testing methods described by those recording and analyzing the results. Critics often will cite the varying test methods as their weakness, but the continual results that offer similar and parallel data substantiate the claims analyzed by the experts on the subject.
It's often said the rich get richer. This doesn't just apply to financial gains, but intellectual too. With the emergence of the "cognitive elite" as a social class, those intellectually wealthy individuals can congregate easier with the technological advances of the last century (Herrnstein, Murray 31). Humans, being social...

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