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Monday, July 09, 2018

Dumb and dumber (Science, bitch)

Oh dear. Just as I suspected, we are getting stupider. I thought the anecdotal evidence for this thesis (ie, the news) was pretty strong, but now science has stepped with the hard evidence to back it up. And it’s even worse that I thought, in the sense that Darwin was right and natural selection is a thing and it works. Unfortunately it selects for traits that lead to reproductive success, which means that the whole idea behind the movie Idiocracy (that the stupid will outbreed the smart) turns out to be true.

this analysis suggests genetic contributions to intelligence and educational achievement are currently disfavoured by natural selection

[From Data from half a million people show that natural selection has not stopped - Evolution in the modern world]

Yes, you read that correctly. Natural selection favours the Jeremy Kyle show over the Andrew Marr show. There is absolutely no hope, and the result of natural selection operating in this reckless manner is measurable. And has been measured. Broadly speaking, our IQs climbed steadily from our time in the caves through the anthropocene age until roughly when Shirley Williams was the Secretary of State for Education and then went off the cliff.

Since around 1975, average IQ scores seem to have been falling… “The drop is around 7 to 10 IQ points per century,” says Michael Woodley of the Free University of Brussels in Belgium.

[From We seem to be getting stupider and population ageing may be why | New Scientist]

Basically, the robots are getting smarter and we are getting stupider, so the crossover point at which the robots are smarter than us is actually closer than we thought and, frankly, unless the robots take over fairly soon we are totally buggered. I mean, I feel humanity has given it our best shot, but we’re just not up to it. Do you think robots will watch Mrs. Brown’s Boys? No - of course not - they’ll be getting shit done.

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