Daniel Doherty

Yah don’t say. Setting aside the fact that literacy rates are generally higher today than they were, say, a hundred years ago, can there be any doubt that people are becoming increasingly less intelligent? A new study merely “suggests” human intelligence is in free fall, but I don’t think it takes a social scientist or dedicated academic to reach that conclusion. Do you?

Our technology may be getting smarter, but a provocative new study suggests human intelligence is on the decline. In fact, it indicates that Westerners have lost 14 I.Q. points on average since the Victorian Era.

What exactly explains this decline? Study co-author Dr. Jan te Nijenhuis, professor of work and organizational psychology at the University of Amsterdam, points to the fact that women of high intelligence tend to have fewer children than do women of lower intelligence. This negative association between I.Q. and fertility has been demonstrated time and again in research over the last century.

But this isn't the first evidence of a possible decline in human intelligence.

I didn’t think so. Maybe one reason why so many Americans are less intelligent today than they were a century ago is because of the utter filth we expose children to these days. Instead of reading or attending the theatre, for example, children nowadays watch MTV and play violent video games to pass the time. Progress!

Of course this is not to say that these types of “activities” aren’t entertaining or fun or even necessary at times, but it is a fact of life that such forms of entertainment do not help one grow intellectually. Only long hours of studying and reading and oral communication can do that – things we, as a society, no longer seem to value as much as we once did. In other words, I don’t think I need a scientific study to convince me that human intelligence “is on the decline.” One need only read this hilariously sad Buzzfeed article for conclusive evidence.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography