Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 23, 2012

HAMILTON: Were we really ever that smart, anyway?

Niagara Gazette — Sometimes we marvel at how smart our children are, just because they can turn on and play a game on their computer.

News flash, folks: That ain’t smart, that’s just being a kid.

A generation or two ago, our parents were just as marveled by us when they saw a child who was able to open the child-proof medicine bottle that grandma had a hard time with. In both cases, if we are not careful, both of those things will kill the mind, not enhance it.

And that brings me to my point. The Trends in Genetics journal is one of those highbrow trade publications that I would have a difficult time reading and understanding, and it has reportedly included an article by Stanford University geneticist Gerald Crabtree indicating the opposite of our collective offspring actually getting smarter. In fact, it blatantly suggest that we all, on a whole, are slowly getting dumber.

To me, Crabtree also suggests, more mildly than I would, that there is a good reason for it. Whether you believe in evolution or not, it doesn’t matter. Even creationist, such as myself, understand that throughout human history, smart people did and do the kinds of things that make and keep themselves more secure; and dumb people do the opposite.

Crabtree suggests that, at the deeper genetic level, the more mutated flaws we inherit, the more counter-evolution is that modern societies accommodate them by virtually eliminating most of the pitfalls of ill-thought-out behavior. Additionally, dumb people are no longer taking themselves out of the human gene pool as quickly as they once did. In other words, they are not killing themselves with stupidity as quickly as they once did. Therefore, they continue to live amongst us and increasingly dilute our collective brilliance.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Bringing your own parts to repair shop is a bad idea The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Neither long ago, nor far away ... If you did not catch documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' latest masterpiece, "The Address" on PBS last night, it will be well worth your time to look for the re-run, or to find it online as soon as possible.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals New York is one of two states â€" North Carolina being the other â€" that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in misdemeanor and felony cases. Other states do so only on a conditional basis at the whim of the presiding judge.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: Gothic architecture -- a fitting structure for church services Before we get involved in the new church building, we need to know what happened to the former structure on First Street which was utilized for St. Peter's Church services for 30 years until 1880 when the present stone church was ready for use.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • GLYNN: Local interest mounts in India's big election A number of people whose families have emigrated from India to the U.S. -- a solid sector of the hotel and restaurant business in the Niagara area -- are expected to hear a message today directly from the homeland.

    April 13, 2014

  • SINGER: Locating the next Shaq or Bird? With hallowed college hoops programs thriving around here, plus March NCAA games held in Buffalo (featuring champ-to-be UConn, upstart Dayton and a winnowed 'Cuse), will some new Shaq or Bird be located?

    April 13, 2014

  • Rick Pfeiffer COPS NOTEBOOK: Road rage and turkey shooting

    It would be fair to say Ryan Jackson, of Youngstown, has had a difficult couple of weeks.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Chronicling crime on the 'Island' Why is Rick Pfeiffer never around when you need him? The guy whose cubicle we shared during the Koop-Jasen-Rice era at Channel 4 now carefully chronicles criminals for the Gazette, notably those a few flakes short of Raisin Bran, but his crime wave is a mere ripple compared to ours.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page