IQ scores are rising at a remarkable rate according to livescience.com. Some scientist have argued against this saying the tests today are easier, but a study done by intelligence researcher James Flynn, an emeritus professor of the University of Otago in New Zealand, put this argument to rest for the most part. To see the “Flynn Effect”, volunteers took old IQ tests but still tested higher than the scores of the previous generations who originally took those tests.
Despite these findings, however, the claim that people today are smarter today than ever remains as controversial as ever. Many scientists argue IQ is not an accurate measurement of intelligence. Gerald Crabtree, a Stanford University School of Medicine researcher, published two papers in the journal Trends in Genetics. He didn’t agree that the “Flynn Effect” proved our generation’s superior intelligence and instead claimed humanity peaked between 2,000 and 6,000 years ago. He based this assertion on the development of mutations harmful to intellect determining genes. He concluded that between 2,000 to 5,000 genes control human intelligence and he calculated that at the rate at which genetic mutations accumulate, humanity has likely suffered from at least two mutations harmful to intellect-determining genes.
This was not the only theory arguing against the claim that today’s humans are of superior intelligence. Dysgenic Mating may also be at fault. This theory points to the fact that people of higher IQs produce fewer offspring than people with low IQs, therefore, decreasing the IQ level of the next generation. The problem with this theory, however, is that despite this phenomenon IQ test are still increasing every generation.
In conclusion, wether we are smarter or dumber than previous generations depends on how it is measured. Yes, we have higher IQs, but our cognitive skills, reaction skills, and number of mutations in our brains may not necessarily point to us being the smartest generation yet. Do you think we are the smartest generation to step foot on this planet? Will new technologies have a positive or negative effect on our IQs? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.