Anyone who saw Idiocracy might not be shocked to learn that the human species might be growing dumber, despite living in the most advanced time in history. Some scientists credit this to a large number of mutations, which are declining cognition. They propose that if we were to take an average citizen of ancient Athens, that they would be among the brightest people in our society.
My first thought was that ancient societies like that were much more broad in their intelligence, but then I stopped to think at what was accomplished by previous centuries with such little help. Ancient cultures like the ones in Greece, Egypt, Asia, etc were able to work out so many mysteries without the advanced technology or knowledge we have now. People today have access to much more information, but does that make us smarter or just luckier? This isn’t saying that we’re in a rapid decline. These decreases are seen only over hundreds and even thousands of years.
Natural selection might also have something to do with it. Those with questionable judgment and forethought are not as in danger of dying off as they might have been when they had to rely on their wits. This is not something we need to fear terribly. The decline won’t mean the end of times, and we are fortunate enough to be able to utilize so much more to compensate for what’s found wanting. I would like to see the results a few hundred years from now when they repeat this test beginning with the introduction of the Kardashians and Honey-Boo-Boo into our electrons.