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Slow Thinking

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Yup – Human Intelligence Is On A Slide

By James Donahue

Researchers in human behavior are finding strong evidence to support something a lot of us have suspected for some time . . . the human race is falling into a state of inane airheadedness that may parallel the mental state of early cave dwellers.

One study, published by Dr. Gerald Crabtree, a geneticist at Stanford University, suggests that humanity has been on a downhill mental trajectory for several hundred years. He points to mutations in the human genetic make-up and modern technology that have combined to alter our collectively ability to think quickly and decisively during moments of crisis.

For example, humans were forced to think fast and develop survival skills when we were forced to hunt for our food and forge tools out of metals and rocks found in the earth. Like all of nature, it was a matter of survival of the fittest. Those that dropped behind perished.

Crabtree notes that humans were at their highest level of intelligence when "every individual was exposed to nature's raw selective methanisms on a daily basis."

The research points to a distinct difference between collective knowledge and the human ability to acquire new information and react quickly and correctly to unexpected events.

In a paper published in the April 13 issue of Intelligence, Dr. Jan te Nijenhuis, professor of organizational psychology at University of Amsterdam, agrees that the general decline in human intelligence probably began with the invention of agriculture and community living about 12,000 years ago. This led to community protection from outside enemies and a steady supply of food.

Unlike the contemporary "IQ test" given to school children, which measures student math, language, history and government knowledge, the testing used for the studies referred to by Crabtree and Nijenhuis measured gauged reactions to test stimulus. The tests measured how long it took people to mentally process a problem and react to it. The reaction time reflected the person's mental processing speed, which was considered an indication of general intelligence.

Since this kind of timed reaction test was first used during the Victorian Era, it was discovered that Westerners have lost an average of 14 I.Q. points.

How can we explain this decline? There are various causes that appear to be involved. For example, Nijenhuis notes that because of inflation and a general monetary crunch occurring, women of high intelligence tend to have fewer children so the children born today are more likely to be carrying inferior genes.

People living in the more industrialized nations are experiencing more comfort both on the job and in home life, thus the demands for creative response for survival are removed. Instead of living in a complex social environment, people are watching simulations of such human behavior on their television sets.

The food supply at the local grocery store is filled with toxic chemicals, and much of it is already prepared, thus making it possible for people to prepare meals without even knowing how to cook meals from scratch. Home gardening and harvesting fruit and vegetables for home consumption has been nearly a lost art until only recently.

Yet another factor that is obviously affecting the human thought process is the constant bombardment of advertising aimed at all of our senses. It slams our brains when we watch television, listen to a radio program, surf the Internet, enter a grocery store, attend a public event or just drive down a roadway. Our nightly television news programming is just exactly that . . . "programming," designed to make people believe whatever it is the powers want them to believe.

This is how the masses have allowed themselves to become enslaved within a system designed to make people willing to work long hours for low wages, no benefits and no job security. This is why so many people are living in the street, going hungry, and living without the comforts of the old Middle Class.

We have submitted to the programming. We have allowed our schools to stop teaching our children the things they need to know to understand what is happening to us. Without understanding what has been done to us, we lack the mental capability to collectively fight back.

The dumbing down of the people is having its impact.