by Anniel 8/23/14
Western peoples have lost 14 IQ points on average since the Victorian age, according to a study published by the University of Amsterdam last year. [As reported on Drudge, August 20, 2014.]
Isn’t this an interesting study? Since Alfred Binet didn’t develop the first accepted IQ testing until the early 1900’s, and even he said there were other factors in play than what could be tested, how is it possible to make any correlation between the Victorian age and now?
There are so many obvious impossibilities in such a study that it beggars belief any reputable psychologist could reach such a conclusion, let alone get it published.
How were any studies conducted, who were the people studied, what were their ages, what criteria were referenced, what controls were established? Good grief, this is what a scientific study is like today?
We are finally told through the great scientific reporting institution of the Huffington Post, that the tests were based on mental processing times, determine by how long it took for the subjects to push a button on command. The reaction time is supposed to mirror mental processing time, an indication of IQ. The results of 14 such intelligence studies between 1884 and 2004, showed the average visual reaction times of the subjects tested was 194 milliseconds in the late 19th Century, but in 2004 that time had increased to 275 milliseconds. How does one measure milliseconds? and how many milliseconds are there in each IQ point? 14 points sounds pretty specific.
From such nonsense are studies done and conclusions reached today. And what is the political agenda of those touting such a study? Is this to prove we’re all sheep and need Common Core and herders to guide us?
Some researchers believe we have reached our intellectual peak. I guess that means we have nowhere to go but down – so, sorry. Others say the cause of IQ loss is that smart women are having fewer babies. However the HuffPo says this is a very contentious issue.
I wish I could remember who said that his most humbling experience was to realize that the human brain was built to house a certain amount of knowledge, and the only difference between people is the kind of knowledge they possess. It might be in one age that an intimate knowledge of nature, of the seasons and planting times, is more important than reading and writing. That in a different age warfare is more important than either nature or scholarship. The civilization we live in determines the value of individual achievement.
Even within the same civilization there are extreme variations of what is valued. One could think high and low culture or class here. Street smarts vs. scholarship. English vs. Spanish. Liberal vs. Conservative. Look around the USA today and see what the goal of e pluribus unnum has become as we are divided along tribal, political, social and economic lines.
Many years ago I heard on the radio program Coast to Coast a discussion Art Bell had with some mystic on intelligence. The mystic claimed a heavenly being had told him that on the following Tuesday earth would pass through a space cloud that would raise the IQ of every being on the planet by 10% overnight. Art acted impressed, while I was laughing myself silly and asked Bear how anyone would know what had happened if everyone increased IQ at the same time? Bear said that Art was laughing, too, all the way to the bank.
We have a choice here, we can bank with Art Bell and think we’re 10% smarter, decide that the Victorians were smarter, or that the sides cancel each other out, and IQ doesn’t matter. Because you see we really cannot measure it in the end, and faith in science only is very misplaced.
At least we can be thankful the European Union paid for this worthless study. • (876 views)