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Author Topic: Is society becoming thicker?  (Read 3836 times)

Steve Bijok

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Is society becoming thicker?
« on: 07/04/2009 19:30:02 »
Steve Bijok  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hello From Dubai!   

A good friend and I were talking the other day about a possible trend
towards natural selection working in reverse in today's world. She
theorised that with modern society as it is, highly skilled/intelligent people are either having less children, or putting it off all together due to time constraints and lifestyle choices. Leaving those (while trying to be PC) less intellectually gifted the job of providing the bulk of population growth.

On face value this seems to have some merit, what with the celebration of stupidity and the general dumbing down of society, but is there any scientific evidence to back it up?

 
Regards,
 
Steve Bijok

What do you think?


 

Offline LeeE

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Is society becoming thicker?
« Reply #1 on: 07/04/2009 20:53:41 »
Actually, this is something that I've wondered about too.  It certainly seems that intelligence cannot be regarded as a universal evolutionary advantage.
 

Offline RD

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Is society becoming thicker?
« Reply #2 on: 07/04/2009 20:54:37 »
Q. Is society becoming thicker?
A. Yes

Q. any scientific evidence to back it up?
A. Jails are overflowing with unsuccessful criminals.
« Last Edit: 07/04/2009 20:59:31 by RD »
 

Offline JimBob

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Is society becoming thicker?
« Reply #3 on: 08/04/2009 00:14:34 »
I doubt that manual labor or criminal behavior and low intelligence are synonymous. I have worked in the oil business all of my life and one of the most difficult and intensely physically demanding jobs I have ever been exposed to is the job of a "roughneck" -  the workers on an oil drilling rig. Yet out of these ranks of laborers come some of the most intelligent people I have ever met. I know one man who started as a manual laborer and is now a shift drilling supervisor for a drilling company with over 40 drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia. He runs the whole 24-hour operation of all rigs when he is at work. And some of the dumbest people I have met are well educated persons who have inherited wealth.

I believe that the difference we are seeing is one of personal exposure and the environmental demands to which we are subjected. If you do not mingle with those who provide the backbone and muscle for society, you do not have a chance to meet those who might be intelligent. It isn't bad or wrong; it is a matter of our circle of acquaintances. 

I do not think generalizations such as these are applicable. If for some reason I wanted to survive in nature, I would team up with a hillbilly - they know how to survive in the wild. I do not. And there are some damned smart people that live in abject poverty - not because of their intelligence but because of lack of opportunity. That is why the drug lords here in the US are making more money than I am. They are highly intelligent, they only have a different line of work.

 
 

Offline RD

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Is society becoming thicker?
« Reply #4 on: 08/04/2009 00:25:38 »
Quote
In 1993, when there were fewer than 45,000 prisoners, 53 per cent were being reconvicted within two years.
 In 2004, 65 per cent of those leaving prison were reconvicted [within two years].
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/reoffending-rates-rise-as-the-prison-population-expands-872411.html

Surely this increase in reconviction rates means our criminals are becoming more incompetent, (as well as more numerous) ?
 

Offline JimBob

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Is society becoming thicker?
« Reply #5 on: 08/04/2009 02:42:23 »
.... (as well as more numerous) ?

This is most likely it.
 

paul.fr

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Is society becoming thicker?
« Reply #6 on: 08/04/2009 09:30:17 »
I don't understand the question.
 

blakestyger

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Is society becoming thicker?
« Reply #7 on: 08/04/2009 10:37:16 »
A significant number of male prisoners have learning difficulties and there is a high incidence of chromosomonal abnormality - in that many have sex chromosomes that are YYX rather than the normal YX.

If there is a genetic link to criminality then the implications could be serious as the criminal justice system is predicated on free will.
 

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Is society becoming thicker?
« Reply #7 on: 08/04/2009 10:37:16 »

 

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