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Stanford Professor: People Are Losing Intelligence

By James Donahue

A new book by Stanford University geneticist Dr. Gerald Crabtree tends to support something a lot of us have been thinking for a while now . . . the human race is falling into a pit of general stupidity.

In his book, Trends in Genetics, Crabtree suggests that we are losing our intelligence because our environment and contemporary life style no longer demands constant acts of survival. Without being forced to meet such daily challenges, the complex web of genes that comprise our brains have become susceptible to dumbing down mutations, Crabtree theorizes.

Perhaps we can go even farther down the causes for a growing level of human stupidity than Dr. Crabtree dares to go in his book. Because we no longer must deal with the old rules of survival of the strongest and smarter members of our species, we have allowed the purity of the genetic makeup of our brains to degrade.

Our medical community, perhaps driven by a religious conviction that all life is sacred, has found ways to capture and save the lives of human babies born with defects that used to prevent them from growing to maturity. Thus these genetic defects have been added to the human gene pool.

That nations seem unable to avoid warfare is another factor. We send our best breeding stock . . . our strongest and best young men and women off to battle. Consequently we are killing the best of human genetic capability. Left to carry on the species are the genetically damaged members of society . . . the ones rejected by the military as incapable of fighting to win.

Adding to these factors is the strange breakdown of the public education system in the United States. The days when an eighth grade education gave most children the basic tools to get a job and earn a good living are over. College graduates are showing in inability to spell, write a complete sentence or make proper change in a financial transaction.

French historian David McCullough, in a recent 60-Minutes interview with Morley Safer, told how shocked he was to realize how historically illiterate American children have become.

"I ran into some students on university campuses who were bright and attractive and likeable. And I was just stunned by how much they didn’t know. One young woman at a university in the Midwest came up to me after one of my talks and said that until she heard me speak that morning she’d never understood that the original 13 colonies were all on the East Coast," McCullough said.

"I thought, ‘What are we doing that’s so wrong, so pathetic?’ I tried it again at several other places, colleges and universities. Same thing," he said.

McCullough has pointed out something that should be of serious concern to the United States. Perhaps we can blame a lot of it on the eight years of the Bush "No Child Left Behind" federal plan for education that forced teachers to concentrate on having students pass government prepared exams instead of spending time actually teaching.