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 Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Imperfect information and the political toilet seat Sometimes, in the multiple choices of life, the answer is quite simply 'E', "Not enough information to draw a conclusion."

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Moreland panel comes back to haunt Cuomo Let's get this straight. That was Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at the microphone in the Syracuse radio station, Dec. 4, 2013, explaining the need for reactivating the anti-corruption panel called the Moreland Commission. "The commission clearly has the legal authority to look at anything they want to look at, including the governor, the attorney-general, the comptroller, etc.," the governor told the listening audience.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Immigration issue belongs to everyone I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up my digital edition of the Washington Post yesterday and found something that I think captures part of the dilemma America faces right this minute; it's a simple question: Who are we, or to put it another way, what do we really stand for?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: It's time the U.S. stopped giving aid to Israel When you see some of the atrocities that Israel has committed in Gaza, including last week's bombing of a United Nations school that was being used as a civilian emergency shelter, you should really wonder why we count them as an ally and why we devote so much of our financial and political resources to the scoundrels.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: A cupcake gets the Niagara Beautification Commission spotlight Not a cupcake per se, but a cute shop in LaSalle operated by a "sweet" lady who is a real dynamo when it comes to running a business.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug [Duplicate] GLYNN: A key factor in luring the convention A natural wonder in the nation's oldest state park isn't the lone factor for selecting Niagara Falls as a convention site.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Regional poetry and sad realities If that isn't (or wasn't) poetry, I don't know what is! I'm referring to the self-satisfied, sluggish trot of ice chunks emanating from Lake Erie in early May 2014 -- sauntering, it felt, along the lovely Niagara.

    July 27, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Quest for an appointment comes up short We're rolling up our sleeves for Quest. The Big Mac of blood tests, the Tops of tourniquets, the Sears of screenings, opens on our Island at Monday's crack of dawn.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Davis, Vincent mug VINCENT DAVIS: Pledge your allegiance to the Slurpee, America's treat By now you must be aware that it is, in fact, summer. And since summer is a season not characterized by any obvious weather events (sometimes it's hot for days in a row, sometimes you get a bunch of rainy days and chilly nights) but instead activities, I'd like to bring attention to an underrated staple of summer sun enjoyment: Consuming the brain freeze-inducing snack classic, the Slurpee.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
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