Niagara Gazette

Opinion

November 23, 2012

HAMILTON: Were we really ever that smart, anyway?

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Not having actually read anything other than the abstract of Crabtree’s article, I felt compelled to possibly add to it by saying, “… and those irresponsible members of our society breed at a much higher rate than do the more responsible people.”

Crabtree says. “Intelligence doesn’t play as significant a selection in our present, supportive wonderful society,” adding, “I don’t think we should revert back to the terrible times of extreme selection where only the strongest survive.”

I don’t think that we should either; and I am certainly not in favor of eugenics, the intentional removal of what some may consider to be those who are not as superior as themselves.

But the “smart thing” is to recognize what Jason Koebler of the US News and World Report recognized in his introduction of Crabtree’s assessment. He said, “In the last century, humans have landed a man on the moon, sequenced the genome, and created the Internet — but, surprisingly, we may be slowly evolving to be less intelligent than our ancestors.”

I, Ken Hamilton, personally know two pertinent things of my parents and grandparents: they were not as well educated as I am, but all of them were a whole lot smarter. Many others can say the same thing of their ancestors.

But then, that brings us to education itself.

Caitlin Dickson of the Atlantic Wire proclaims that, “American Kids Aren’t Getting Dumber; They Were Just Never That Smart.” She reminds us Americans that, when compared to other nations, we were never really that smart to begin with. The Chinese are not only eating our lunch in the marketplace, they outperform us in theirs and our universities, too. They value education and there are consequences for not having a good one.

Dickson writes, “However, even though America was never the smartest nation, there’s a glimmer of optimism as our test scores rise.”

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