In an announcement that comes as no surprise to middle school teachers across the country, a Stanford researcher has proclaimed that human beings are getting stupider.
Responses to the report, authored by Dr. Gerald Crabtree, have ranged from “duh!” to “huh?” showcasing the wide range of idiocy that characterizes modern Americans.
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And the issue, according to Crabtree, is modern life. The intellectual and emotional capabilities of human beings have been encoded in our genes, which makes them quite fragile. Crabtree estimates that the 2000-5000 genes responsible for intelligent human behavior are vulnerable to mutation, and that the process of natural selection does little to remove mutations (despite what the folks at the Darwin Awards might tell you).
What does this mean? And can I express it in simple terms so that human beings of the next century can understand? Let’s hear it in the Doctor’s own words:
"It is very likely that within 3000 years (~120 generations) we have all sustained two or more mutations harmful to our intellectual or emotional stability," he stated in the study, published in the journal Trends in Genetics. This will undo centuries of advancement, according to Crabtree. "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."
For those of us who have witnessed the slow and steady decline of common sense, this comes as no surprise. Whether we are outraged by the political ignorance of our close friends, astonished by the lack of common sense of people who post on Facebook (News - Alert) or shocked at the lack of knowledge and skills demonstrated by the typical grade school student these days, we might imagine that Crabtree’s future is already here, and that we are, indeed, living in an Idiocracy.
Still, there is hope…
Nah, forget it. The doctor is correct. Intelligence and common sense are going the way of the dinosaur, the dodo and common courtesy on the highway and the Internet. Let’s just hope that the robo-apocalypse comes soon -- and that our robotic overlords don’t jeopardize their intellects by watching too much reality TV…