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Dysgenics


Uncle Martin
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YES!! We have interfered with natural selection. No longer is there competition to survive and procreate. Not only the strongest or smartest succeed now, everyone succeeds, and those that are less able to excel are those that are having disproportionately more offspring.

 

Ok, I'm really sleepy, but this seems to contradict your earlier thought in a way...

 

If the 'stupid people' are the ones that are having more children, wouldn't they then become the ones that are able to excel at creating offspring? So in a way, natural selection has taken over... the 'stupid people' have found a way to survive - they PROCREATE at a greater and faster rate than the 'smart people' thereby allowing the continuation of the 'stupid' race...

 

hmmm, just a thought, not that i necessarily believe it...

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Without the help of society,...government social programs, modern medicine, guidance from individuals, a multitude of scientific advancements, etc,... I think a certain portion of the current population would be incapable of surviving on their own. These people are not alive because of what they've done, but because of what the rest of society has done for them. Natural selection should have weeded these weaker individuals out but our interference is what perpetuates their genetic lines. I suppose it could be argued that what we do as a society is part of the natural selection process,.... Maybe instead of the meek,...the weak shall inherit the Earth.

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Originally posted by: Uncle Martin

Without the help of society,...government social programs, modern medicine, guidance from individuals, a multitude of scientific advancements, etc,... I think a certain portion of the current population would be incapable of surviving on their own. These people are not alive because of what they've done, but because of what the rest of society has done for them. Natural selection should have weeded these weaker individuals out but our interference is what perpetuates their genetic lines. I suppose it could be argued that what we do as a society is part of the natural selection process,.... Maybe instead of the meek,...the weak shall inherit the Earth.

 

So what you are saying, in a nutshell, is that the entire socio-economic system, by wich the strong support the weak, must be shattered and anarchy left to reign for sufficient time to kill off all the weak?

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BTW Unc, I really love the thought and idea behind this topic. It's of much interest to me...

 

I'm sure there are many people that would consider me to be one of the stupid people, I wonder who gets to draw the line?

 

This brings up a really good question, and ties in with the "What is intelligence?" category in a very nice way. I think this is where the theory of dysgenics falls apart. Please let me explain my thinking...

 

I don't think that there is really an accurate way to measure overall intelligence. I think that there are just too many factors that contribute to intelligence to have an accurate, un-biased way to determine what 'intelligence' is. With that in mind, if 'intelligence' can not be measured, then who is to say which category - smart or stupid- any given person falls into at any given time? If there is no way to determine which category a person fits, then how can it be determined which 'group', smart or stupid, is getting bigger or smaller?

 

Anyhow, that's just my 2 cents, and now I'm a CHATTERBOX!!

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So what you are saying, in a nutshell, is that the entire socio-economic system, by wich the strong support the weak, must be shattered and anarchy left to reign for sufficient time to kill off all the weak?

 

Gahd, I believe that you have captured the essence of the argument, but I have to disagree with your conclusion, if it is in fact YOUR conclusion. I don't think it is possible to 'kill off all the weak'. If there are no 'weak' then there are also no 'strong', right? You can't really have one without the other, can you? So if there are no more 'stupid' people, then who is 'smart'?

 

Just a thought...

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Originally posted by: IrishEyes

So what you are saying, in a nutshell, is that the entire socio-economic system, by wich the strong support the weak, must be shattered and anarchy left to reign for sufficient time to kill off all the weak?

 

 

 

Gahd, I believe that you have captured the essence of the argument, but I have to disagree with your conclusion, if it is in fact YOUR conclusion. I don't think it is possible to 'kill off all the weak'. If there are no 'weak' then there are also no 'strong', right? You can't really have one without the other, can you? So if there are no more 'stupid' people, then who is 'smart'?

 

 

 

Just a thought...

 

anyone left alive? Or would that just be divine favor?

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Originally posted by: GAHD

So what you are saying, in a nutshell, is that the entire socio-economic system, by wich the strong support the weak, must be shattered and anarchy left to reign for sufficient time to kill off all the weak?

No,...that is not what I'm saying in a nutshell. I have offered only my opinions and observations. I don't know for sure if this is even a real problem, and certainly have no answers if it is. I wish to discuss this with as many people as possible, with hopes of gaining a better perspective. What is your take?

 

By the way,...don't know where you've been but welcome back. You were noticeably missed.

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Originally posted by: IrishEyes

Hey, I think I've done my part, and you're a slacker...

Yes, I have two children,...both grown and recently moved out. I wish that made me fall into the intelligent group,...but I'm afraid it takes more than that.

Unless of course you are trying to imply by this entire thread, in your very subtle way, that *I* am one of the STUPID people??!!??

Now,...you know,....i just don't think that far in advance. Or do I?

 

Hmmmmm....

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Originally posted by: IrishEyes

This brings up a really good question, and ties in with the "What is intelligence?" category in a very nice way. I think this is where the theory of dysgenics falls apart.

The "what is intelligence" thread is a spinoff of this one designed specifically for our commander in chief. I mean King. Oh,...whatever,...you know,...Tormod.

 

I don't think that there is really an accurate way to measure overall intelligence. I think that there are just too many factors that contribute to intelligence to have an accurate, un-biased way to determine what 'intelligence' is.

You are in good company, and may be right. I don't agree or disagree at this point. I have much to learn and contemplate on this subject before I commit to either stance.

With that in mind, if 'intelligence' can not be measured, then who is to say which category - smart or stupid- any given person falls into at any given time?

That will be my job. Better think twice before you post from now on. And I'm a real nitpick about grammar;-)

If there is no way to determine which category a person fits, then how can it be determined which 'group', smart or stupid, is getting bigger or smaller?

I think it could be possible to determine whether the population as a whole is getting smarter or not. Granted, current IQ tests are less than perfect, but they do offer an adequate approximation of ones intelligence,...in my opinion. I have found that most people who reject the accuracy of IQ tests,..were less than satisfied with the results they received.

Anyhow, that's just my 2 cents, and now I'm a CHATTERBOX!!

NOW?. So what has actually changed?

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Hmmm. Dysgenetics is no new idea. I remember reading much on the topic about 30 years ago. It wasn't new then. My apologies if I can't give you references, but I no longer have those books.

 

Anyway, Dysgenetics is based on flawed statistics. It is true that people with an IQ of slightly lower than normal have more kids than those with high IQ's but you have to take the whole into context. The populations IQ follows the normal bell distribution pattern. The number of children relative to IQ does not! The peak is at about 90 and drops slowly as IQ rises. Leave it at that and you would conclude that average IQ should drop, however number of children drops very fast indeed below 90. The end result is a population that in genetic terms is stable.

 

In reality the average IQ is rising fast. Better food and education are given as explanations.

 

As an ex Mensan I am in no rush to promote further methods to raise the average IQ. Sadly, a high IQ appears to interfere with common sense.

 

As to the argument that by protecting the weak we are meddling with natural selection, this is debatable. We have evolved as a group forming animal. We evolve as groups. A group that protects it's weak, and thus inspires group loyalty, is stronger than an anarchy. It survives better. Kindness can be a survival factor.

 

The nurture/nature debate is old too. In this case there is good evidence tests carried out on identical twins raised in different environments. Last I heard the conclusion was genetics being slightly more important than environment. Perhaps 2 to 1. However while with identical twins we can eliminate genetic difference, the amount of environmental change involved can only be considered as a bit arbitrary. The twins were raised in the same country by foster parents considered acceptable by the adoption agencies. Larger environmental changes are possible. Leave it as this. Genetics and environment both count.

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Originally posted by: Uncle Martin

I think it could be possible to determine whether the population as a whole is getting smarter or not. Granted, current IQ tests are less than perfect, but they do offer an adequate approximation of ones intelligence,...in my opinion. I have found that most people who reject the accuracy of IQ tests,..were less than satisfied with the results they received.

 

I smell a rat here. You admit that intelligence a) may not be accurately measured and B) depends on social setting (ie, different folks, different strokes).

 

Which makes me wonder why you keep thinking IQ tests have any value at all?

 

Of course people who score badly on IQ tests dislike the whole idea. Likewise, those who score well will be more likely to think IQ tests are a good thing. This does not make the test more accurate, nor more valid. I dislike them, yet I don't know how I scored (I did score 580 out of 620 on a TOEFL test once, though, so that MUST be a good test - TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language, required for foreigners who want to study in the US).

 

I maintain that IQ tests have absolutely no relevance whatsoever to what a person's intelligence is. They simply cannot possibly measure anything beyond what the person who created the test wanted to test, PROVIDED the results are interpreted by that same person, and PROVIDED that the results are not up for discussion. As soon as you start to *interpret* the results of an IQ test, it will be impossible to argue which aspect of the IQ test is most important, because all of the subjects taking the test will be completely different people.

 

Your POV that the "whole population" is getting smarter or dumber...heck, is it really interesting? I would ask - compared to WHAT, exactly? Neanderthals? Seagulls? Smoking cheeseheads?

 

Sorry Unc, I mean no offense, but I completely fail to see the relevance of the question "is the entire populationg etting smarter or not". Now, if you ask "Is the entire population getting better health care" or "is the entire population given a fair chance to seek education", and you compare the US with, say, any African or South-American country, that would be an interesting issue. But the IQ of the US population?

 

*But* then again I keep failing to provide you with my ultimate answer to what intelligence is (hey, you're the intelligence officer, shouldn't you know?).

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Originally posted by: Tormod

I smell a rat here. You admit that intelligence a) may not be accurately measured and B) depends on social setting (ie, different folks, different strokes).

Which makes me wonder why you keep thinking IQ tests have any value at all?

I also said that IQ tests provide an adequate approximation. You have repeatedly made it clear that you completely reject the validity of IQ tests, we GET it!! Yet you have offered no alternative. I maintain that IQ tests are less than perfect, but the best we have at present. Since, in your infinite wisdom you can reject something that is accepted as having some degree of accuracy by the majority, please provide a more accurate means of measuring intelligence. If IQ tests are so useless, you must have a better means of determining intelligence, please share it with us.

 

The importance of a persons social setting on intelligence is something you advocate, not I. I maintain that a persons social setting can limit one from realizing their full potential. It can't increase their inherent potential. No matter how good the social setting,... you can't make a dumb person smarter. Poor nutrition and lack of education can keep an otherwise intelligent person from learning all that they are capable of, conversely,..... 10 years of study and training could not teach my brother what most would consider simple math. We tried,...and TRIED!!! YES..... I know you really hate this concept also,..... but I do maintain that we are born with inherent limits. NO,.... we can't measure or predict them now,.... that does not mean their effects are not eventually seen.

Of course people who score badly on IQ tests dislike the whole idea. Likewise, those who score well will be more likely to think IQ tests are a good thing. This does not make the test more accurate, nor more valid. I dislike them, yet I don't know how I scored (I did score 580 out of 620 on a TOEFL test once, though, so that MUST be a good test - TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language, required for foreigners who want to study in the US).

I am part of a group of 25 people, mostly friends and family, that have all taken several IQ tests. Mostly as a competition. Of these 25, all have scored within 5 points of where they should have based on the concensus of the group. Some individuals were surprised at their scores, but the group agreed with the results. Not one has scored a surprisingly high or low score based on the expectations of the majority of the group. This is not evidence of their validity, but I do see a pattern that I can't easily dismiss.

I maintain that IQ tests have absolutely no relevance whatsoever to what a person's intelligence is. They simply cannot possibly measure anything beyond what the person who created the test wanted to test, PROVIDED the results are interpreted by that same person, and PROVIDED that the results are not up for discussion. As soon as you start to *interpret* the results of an IQ test, it will be impossible to argue which aspect of the IQ test is most important, because all of the subjects taking the test will be completely different people.

The tests I have taken measure math skills, spatial concepts, verbal ability, pattern recognition.

Your POV that the "whole population" is getting smarter or dumber...heck, is it really interesting? I would ask - compared to WHAT, exactly? Neanderthals? Seagulls? Smoking cheeseheads?

How could you NOT be interested in knowing whether the human population is getting smarter or not? Compared to a generation ago? Your childrens generation compared to yours. The world your heirs will live in doesn't interest you?

Sorry Unc, I mean no offense, but I completely fail to see the relevance of the question "is the entire popu

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