It is true that humanity has made great progress in science, space exploration, medicine, quantum physics, etc. With technology at our fingertips, life has become a lot easier. However, if we look around us, we notice that we have created a lot more problems than we have solved.
Things like global warming, climate change, food and water shortages, air pollution, war zones, etc. are striking at the roots of our existence. And as people and world leaders seem to be failing to find concrete solutions to such problems, it makes us wonder if humans are getting dumber by the day.
Is humanity undergoing a phase of devolution? What will humans be like in a hundred years? Will future generations be dumber than the present? To answer such questions, here are some important things to know.
Reverse Flynn effect – As per Flynn effect, humans are supposed to get smarter with every generation. This has turned out to be true, as evidenced in steady rise in IQ levels. However, some new research studies indicate that Flynn effect may have started working in reverse in the past two decades. This phenomenon has been noticed in specific developed countries such as Norway.
An analysis of around 730,000 Norwegian men during the period from 1970 to 2009 revealed that IQ scores were sinking. In every generation, IQ score was found to be around 7 points lower. Some experts feel that this reverse Flynn effect could be happening across several parts of the world, especially across developed countries.
Dietary changes – Current generation may not actually be dumb, but their food choices are surely quite dumb. Surviving on fast food and sugar-filled beverages is unlikely to make anyone smarter. It may give an instant boost of energy and a sense of euphoria, but apart from that, there are unlikely to be any gains in cognitive or mental faculties.
On the contrary, dependence on junk foods and resulting nutritional deficiencies may affect our health, both physically and mentally. As more and more people are getting addicted to junk food, it may have an adverse impact on future generations.
Tech obsession – Quite a significant percentage of people are glued to their screens, even when walking on the streets. Spending extended periods online results in a great deluge of information overload. And much of it is usually unwanted stuff, speculations, rumors, etc. that does not have any real value. We are not necessarily learning something new or useful that can help improve our mental faculties. Such activities are likely to make our brains dumber.
Degradation of schooling standards – The curriculum in schools has changed dramatically over the years. There may be good aspects to it, but there appears to be a shift to make things easier for students. Our mental faculties are best developed in the face of challenges. But newer schooling methodologies seem to be in favor of an easy-going approach. Long-term impact of such changes in schooling standards need to be studied.
Poor memory – With stressful lifestyles, bad food choices and things like substance abuse, quite a few youngsters are witnessing memory related issues. Memory plays an important role in processing complex information and is vital for our mental faculties. Humans are also becoming increasingly dependent on online resources and do not like to remember things on their own. Poor memory is a great barrier to being smarter and wiser.