Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Use it, or Lose it ? --- The Last Ditch

British teenagers have lower IQs than their counterparts did 30 years ago - Telegraph.

Had the results of this study shown that Intelligence Quotients had risen over the same period, I have no doubt that our educators would have claimed the credit. Indeed they did claim the credit for the previous steady rise in IQ scores. However, they seem to think this reported fall is nothing to do with them. It is all down to bad parenting and video games, apparently. I doubt Britain has a monopoly on those.

Perhaps neither explanation is right? It seems reasonable to theorise that IQ could be influenced by the regular exercise of independent thought. After all, if you fail to exercise any attribute, it will atrophy.

The nanny state; the concomitant move from education to propaganda; the switch from free expression to stock "right on" words and phrases and the indoctrination of all but the most unsophisticated to avoid "bad" words that reveal "inappropriate" attitudes have all arisen in the same period that IQs have fallen. We must beware of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy of course, but could it be the infantilisation of the British population has caused this interesting effect? If all wisdom is received and beyond challenge, where is the need for analysis? In such an environment, is it so surprising IQs should fall?

Sadly, if true, the effect might well be self-perpetuating.


jmb said...

I can imagine the IQ results levelling out over the years, unless they change the test drastically but it does seem hard to imagine that it would go down in this day and age of knowledge being so easily accessible to everyone.
I have to say that I was a pretty uneducated teenager when I graduated from high school and came into my own at university, albeit on the humanities side I would have to say I was self educated by voracious reading.


But education is not accessible to everyone JMB-nor even 'knowledge' as your ilk do not believe in the minorities or underclasses being given a fair shake at either. And even 'knowledge' requires an outlay of funds,say for net connection.
Great post Tom. I wonder though ow much enviornmental polution, genetically engineered food and programs to epsilonize us are to blame?
A friend worked on the Canadian Spicer Commission who spoke of horror stories of Gov't intervention to create and monitor an experiment to deliberatley affect one's IQ.