In the latest issue of Skeptic magazine, one James Allan Cheyne makes the claim that not only is atheism of the rise but so is intelligence (pg. 33). Cheyne sez that according to social scientist J. R. Flynn intelligence rises 3 points every ten years in the 30 industrial societies studied. That's a whopp'n THIRTY I.Q. point increase in the 20th century. I guess that kids born today are flat out SMARTER than their g-grandparents who apparently could hardly muster the brain power to tie their shoe strings! I'd be more skeptical of this claim if it hadn't appeared in Skeptic magazine. Whatta you think?

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I greatly enjoy that periodical.

It doesn't appear to be out of line with a number of studies that have looked at the effect technological advancement and the internet are having on human intellect; of course, one recent study showed that certain parts of these activities, (computer multitasking, social network sites), can also have the converse effect.

It appears to stand with what is currently known and being studied. The only caveat being that IQ assessment never seems to be overly accurate; take three different tests, get three different results.
Looks like we are getting stupider if you ask me. Religion is ever pervasive, rednecks elect Joe six pack (twice) instead of an intellectual, Octo-mom who can afford her kids..
Unscientific I know, just my observation.
I also think we have stopped natural evolution. In the wild, the weak die off and the strong breed. Put people protect the week, and allow them to breed.
Again, just an observation.
This is another case of confusing, for want of a better term, "robotic" intelligence, or IQ and applied intelligence, again for want of a better term, "wisdom".

IQ as commonly perceived, especially by organisations like Mensa (don't hit me Krusty), isn't actually of that much use. Who cares if you can memorise the sequence of 800 cards with one flick through ? It means shit and doesn't mean you're not generally a knucklehead.

Intelligence may be rising, but wisdom is dropping like a rock. I would posit that today's typical person is actually dumber than a typical person from 20 or 50 years ago. Critical thinking has gone out the window entirely. There are the cults of folksiness that allow Palin to be some kind of hero, and the cults of airheads that create Paris Hilton worship. Stupidity and vapidity is triumphing. Literacy and knowledge is slurred as "elitism", attention spans and historical memory are shrinking and everyone wants just soundbites and spectacle - Faux News and Big Brother. A general collective retardation is becoming entrenched and is being praised as desirable.

Their optimism is premature.
As I say to anybody who will listen, "By definition, half the [American] public is below average. The scary part is that the average is slipping."
It it went up one point/year that'd be 100 points in a century and that's pretty optimistic I think.
Just think of the advances in modern medicine and that "good old days" stuff pretty much goes out the window.
"By definition, half the [American] public is below average. The scary part is that the average is slipping."

Below average American citizens should be euthanased every, say, 4 years. I suggest you start before November 2012.
Hey, natural selection would finally have a comeback!
Uh, "natural" selection?!
Haha, Yeah, I thought about that when I wrote it. It was meant to be more funny than logical.
Dwight Eisenhower was shocked when told that half the American population was below average in intelligence!
I wonder which half he fell into at that moment...


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