Sometimes you explain something to a person for the 7th time in a row, but they still don’t understand. Or ask a colleague to help with the report, but then three times redo everything and correct it. In such situations, one involuntarily begins to wonder: “Well, why, if there are evolution and natural selection, is there still stupidity in the human world?”
We decided to look for the answer to this question in scientific articles and finally understand why low intelligence did not die in the process of human development. We want to share with you the most interesting discoveries that explain a lot.
The term “natural selection” does not apply to modern humanity
Natural selection is a struggle not of specific individuals, but of species. Manhood has long won this battle; we don’t have to fight animals for survival. Thanks to technological progress and medical developments, we have received protection that is unique in evolutionary terms. Now people can retain the most diverse traits within their species without looking at evolution.
Therefore, the term “natural selection” is not applicable to modern people. According to a geneticist at the University of London, Steve Jones, natural selection, if not stopped, at least slowed down. University of California professor Jaleal Sanjak adds, that social factors and social trends significantly weaken its effects.
High intelligence isn’t necessary for survival
For millions of years of human development, intelligence has never been a criterion for natural selection. At least, in the form in which this concept exists now. Evolution doesn’t give a damn whether the student will get an ‘A’, whether they will go to college or get a degree. The strongest survives, not the smartest.
From the point of view of evolution, it is not IQ that matters. Not the ability for logical analysis and synthesis, but emotional and social intelligence. According to recent studies, 2 million years ago, the most important factor necessary for the survival of people was the ability to cooperate and negotiate. This has affected the size of the brain, and many other signs that are observed in modern man.
The higher the intelligence, the less likely it is to leave offspring
Researchers agree that less educated people leave more offspring than their relatives with high intelligence. According to statistics, women who gave birth at a very young age study for fewer years. And genes that contribute to a good education, reduce reproductive success in both sexes (and stronger in women).
But this does not mean that the intellect of humanity as a whole is declining. The statistics that scientists receive in short time periods cannot be considered as a factor of natural selection. After all, evolutionary changes have been going on for millennia.
In addition, parents with average and even low intelligence often have genius children. Heredity is far from the main factor influencing this. Equally important is the environment: both access to knowledge and quality education, as well as ecology.
Geniuses – unsuccessful evolutionary partners
One of the driving forces of evolution is the so-called stabilizing selection. It reduces the chances of success in personal life for those who are very different from most. According to Jaleal Sanjak, this factor still affects the development of mankind, although the consequences of this selection are not too strong.
For example, very tall or very short people have fewer children on average. The same applies to intelligence: geniuses are less likely to have offspring, as are those with reduced intelligence. The highest reproductive performance is characteristic for people with an average IQ.
Actually, modern men are not dumber than their ancestors
According to Cole’s comic axiom, the amount of intellect on Earth is constant, and the population is growing. Therefore, the IQ of each individual is reduced. This is actually not the case.
From 1932 to 1978, scientists recorded an inexplicable leap in IQ: its average value exceeded one hundred. This phenomenon is called the Flynn effect. In short, the wording sounds like this: for almost 50 years, humanity has sharply wised up, but it is not clear why. Researchers have various assumptions: it is possible that good nutrition, a high level of health care, and the availability of education contribute to the development of the brain and nervous system. However, there is no agreement among scientists yet.
In the XXI century, the level of intelligence began to decline slightly and such jumps are no longer noticed. However, it is impossible to draw conclusions that humanity is on an evolutionary path to stupidity. So far, our IQ is still higher than before the leap in the twentieth century.
Low intelligence is a humanistic value that is not worth fighting at all
Preservation of individuals with low intelligence is one of the main humanistic achievements. Zoos take care of animals with autism or Down syndrome that could not survive in the natural environment. For people, high IQ is also not always the main value. Empathy, kindness, and loyalty are often far more important. And in general, the division of people into varieties by any innate signs has never brought humanity to good.