Study Says Victorians Were Way Smarter Than Us
A new study says that people in the Victorian era of the mid-1800's to the early 1900's were not only smarter than we are today...
....they were much, much smarter.
A team of researchers from colleges in Sweden, Amsterdam and England say that reaction times, a reliable indicator of general intelligence has dropped considerable since the turn of the previous century. For example, the average man in 1889 had a reaction time of 183 milliseconds. That number has slowed to a dull 235 milliseconds in modern times.
That drop when translated means that average I.Q. has dropped 14 points since the days of H.G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Even more startling is the cause. The researchers speculate that decline in intelligence is because of a reverse in the natural selection process. Intelligent people over the past one hundred years have been having fewer children while, at the same time, while the less mentally gifted have begun having more offspring.
If you've ever taken my advice to watch the movie "Idiocracy", you'll know that this is precisely the plot of that movie. The opening scene of that brilliant but possible pro-eugenics movie can explain the basic principle far better than I ever could.