This is a question I've been thinking about for some time now.
And when I saw a cartoon pic in one of the discussions here, it reminded me of this question and decided to post this thread. (Sorry if it's repeated, I didn't really check)
If we invented many things that help us live our lives and do our jobs much easier, will that make us evolve backwards to the point where we lose some of our naturally selected organs that give us some abilities?
I know that all of us won't witness it if it happens but I'm just wondering!
Actually, the post you linked to made it clear that the gain in IQ was related to cultural and societal factors--not biological ones. Evolution is a biological process, so I don't think you have addressed Sadly's question.
I think his question is a legitimate one and one I have been worried about for a long time. Now, I know someone will post and say that evolution is not a progression forward, just change. That is true, but I think Sadly is getting at the idea that human intelligence, abstractly defined without reference to IQ tests, is greater than that of most or all other species and that this is our great gift that sets us apart. We have evolved to possess this intelligence and this evolution could be considered a "forward" development--one which may not continue.
Defining the question in that way: Could it be that our level of intelligence is decreasing relative to other species or to our own in the past? Could it be that we will someday be unable to produce any more Einsteins? That we will become nothing but talking monkeys with automatic weapons?
I am sorry to say that I think this is a distinct possibility. There are numerous factors that arguably create an environment where average or below average intelligence actually increases one's chance for successful reproduction.
For instance, there is the herd mentality of the average and below average and their intolerance for intellectuals. There are other social factors, like religion, that ensure or encourage greater rates of reproduction and greater economic means for making one's offspring successful amongst the non-intellectual.
I think that religion is at the heart of this threat. By empowering the herd and the psychopaths who lead it, religion represents a real threat to the biological success of intellectuals.
You are right about my differentiation between forward and backward progression. And all the other questions you asked that I meant by my question.
But I think also that IQ tests are one way to test intelligence, and evolution is a biological change(like you said) to adapt to the surrounding environment, and I personally think that cultural and societal factors are considered parts of our environment as an intelligent organism.
"Just because someone is religious does not mean they have a low IQ or that there children will not have a high IQ. Here are other reasons
why we do not need to worry about 7 billion people running out of many
geniuses or near geniuses"
High intelligence and religious belief are all but incompatible. If conditions are created in which high intelligence is a cause for ostracism, physical violence, or economic persecution, then that trait will eventually become even more rare if not non-existent.
Since reasoning is one factor of intelligence, does witnessing the lack of reasoning --even here in this site-- by religious people mean that religion has in fact a big affect on intelligence?
Yes they can solve problems and memorize well, but they can't reason because of their religious beliefs.
Yes you are right, I was wrong! My claim that they can't reason is not valid, because they may not reason when they argue about religion, but they may do in other subjects.
But also in religion-based countries like here in the arab world, religion takes a large percentage of the cultural and social environment, hence the environment's 50% of intelligence. Don't you think?
As you said, times change, people change.. And I hope the change will happen soon here!
Religion and the reasoning that is used to support it are so patently ridiculous that true religious belief in adults is a sign that the person either can't reason or won't. When they won't, then I have to suspect some form of mental or emotional illness is preventing them from doing so.
The question isn't whether the relatively unintelligent can be useful members of society. The question is what kind of society will we have if they are the only ones who successfully reproduce for a significant period of time.