Human Knowledge No More?

A new idea has emerged that may lead to the downfall of human intelligence. A controversial hypothesis by a leading geneticist suggest that the capacity of the human brain to continue to learn is under attack from an array of genetic mutations that have been accumulating since people began to live in cities a few thousand years ago. It has been suggested that rather than becoming more intelligent, human intelligence peaked thousands of years ago and there has been a slow decline in intellectual and emotional abilities.

Professor Crabtree’s argument is based on the fact that “more than 99 per cent of human evolutionary history, we have lived as hunter-gatherer communities surviving on our wits, leading to big-brained humans. Since the invention of agriculture and cities, however, natural selection on our intellect has effective stopped and mutations have accumulated in the critical “intelligence” genes”(Crabtree).

“I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas and a clear-sighted view of important issues,” Professor Crabtree says in a provocative paper published in the journal Trends in Genetics.

I agree with professor Crabtree and his fellow geneticists. Today we live in a time where artificial intelligence dominates our lifestyles. We don’t have to rely on human knowledge like our ancestors were required to do. If something is lost or forgotten, you can simply Google the answer. Our modern day lives are less intellectually demanding than those who lived thousands of years ago. That gives rise to the idea that human knowledge is going down the drain, it is only time before it runs out.


Hunter-gatherer man

The human brain and its immense capacity for knowledge evolved during this long period of prehistory when we battled against the elements

Athenian man

The invention of agriculture less than 10,000 years ago and the subsequent rise of cities such as Athens relaxed the intensive natural selection of our “intelligence genes”.

Couch-potato man

As genetic mutations increase over future generations, are we doomed to watching  soap-opera repeats without knowing how to use the TV remote control?

iPad man

The fruits of science and technology enabled humans to rise above the constraints of nature and cushioned our fragile intellect from genetic mutations.

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1 Comment

  1. Interesting ideas…do you think that we are deteriorating? (cannot tell if that is your opinion)…I will say that I notice students have fewer facts in their brains….like say, the multiplication tables?? Maybe we are headed for the Simpsons?!
    new information on the topic; attempts to synthesize information and form new meaning; well organized
    written in an interesting style and voice; words chosen mostly reflect author’s personality and brings content to life for the most part; sentence fluency is mostly achieved
    few errors; multimedia adds new information or perspective to post; may be categorized or tagged


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