Researchers argue modern technologies are making us dumber
Conducting an evolutionist research, Professor Gerald Crabtree of Stanford University is struggling to prove that humanity is subject to an unavoidable process of intelligence decrease.The phenomenon is directly proportional to the technological evolution of our species, says Crabtree, as cited by Time.com.
It is a well known fact that contemporary society generally believes itself to be on top of all previous generations in all the existential fields. It wouldn't be a reprehensible opinion, since our time sums up all the anthropic achievements that come before us.
Nevertheless, scientists have shown that we are gradually losing our intellectual and emotional abilities. Not only we are not the smartest generation, but we are getting dumber than even our hunting ancestors.
Although this sounds like a “Golden Age” nostalgic affirmation, the assertion has a good, scientifically based explanation.
Conditioned as they were by the hostile circumstances in their everyday life, forced to maintain themselves in a continuous fight for survival, the early humans were in a state of perpetual intellectual development. Having no such thing as technological support, every day they had to come up with new tricks for survival.
”The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples before our ancestors emerged from Africa,” professor Crabtree declares.
As far as we’re concerned, we already have it all, at least on a level of basic needs. With the challenges of survival off our shoulders, the intellectual effort we are obliged to make is minimum.
Thus, it has been determined that, in the past 3 millenniums, human genes have suffered two important mutations that led to the alteration of our intellectual and emotional skills.
As it covers a subject of great interest for both the scientific and social field, Crabtree's paper was subject to a controversial reception. Scientists as Steve Jones, Genetics professor at University College London, confuted his thesis, saying it lacked relevant data.
“I could just as well argue that mutations have reduced our aggression [and] our depression […], but no journal would publish that. Why do they publish this?,” Jones declared for The Independent.