What joy, eugenics all over again

The oldest of these died in about 2,000BC, at the start of the Bronze Age, while the latest was from the seventh century AD.

Comparing these against the DNA of 503 modern Europeans, the researchers found that the mutations linked to higher general cognitive ability (GCA), which enables people to solve problems across a range of different modes of thinking, had become more common as time went by.

The results were confirmed in a separate analysis of the genes of 66 more ancient people who had lived across 3,200 years.

Dr Woodley has previously argued that the genes driving intelligence may have become less common since the 19th century as advances in medicine and nutrition have allowed people with lower IQs to have more children who survived into adulthood.

As a result, his team suggests that the “millennia-long microevolutionary trend favouring higher GCA” may have gone into reverse over the course of the 20th century.

Well, OK, eugenics is trying to do something about this but still.

43 comments on “What joy, eugenics all over again

  1. There’s also the fact that we use to hang criminals which must have resulted in a significant improvement in the gene pool, regardless of the morality of it.

  2. The welfare state, the NHS, the abolition of the death penalty, the H & S culture, differential abortion rates between the social classes, immigration from third world shit holes…all are likely to be contributing to increasing numbers of stupid people in the West passing on their genes.

  3. Well I have no problem with the idea that ensuring the survival of the fittest improves the population.
    But how do we define the fittest? The best guy in a sword fight? The best guy with a rifle? The best at growing food? The best at difficult sums. No-one actually knows what makes one person fitter than another, and clearly what is best in one circumstance may be useless in another.
    And who gets to decide? The academic will likely favour academic prowess, the athlete athletic prowess, the aesthete aesthetic prowess. And that’s apart from human malice and jealousy. The temptation for the eugenicist to declare his rivals unfit would be great.

  4. Pat: No, no, no. It is ridiculous to say that it is not possible to define fitness. This is like saying “it’s impossible to define wealth” or “it’s impossible to define female facial attractiveness”- maybe, but we have pretty good measures.

    We can measure intelligence. We can see that intelligence correlates with health, life expectancy, income, wealth, and happiness.

    We can measure fitness for useful athletic tasks.

    We don’t need to produce some sort of combined metric of all measures of fitness. But we also don’t need to pay for the stupid, or the crippled. It’s great that torsion dystonia gives you a few points of IQ, but dying in agony isn’t really worth it.

    Stop paying for our own worst to breed unrestrained- they’re our own so no need to kill them, just not allow them to drag us down. Kick out the manifestly unfit scum that have been allowed in. Have some standards and stop bringing in more scum.

  5. Stop subsidising the breeding habits of those too thick or lazy to fend for themselves.
    Incentivise sterilisation for the above as well as the frequent flyers of the criminal justice system.
    NZ and Oz have health requirements for immigrants, why can’t banning the importation of cousins for marriage be on health grounds?
    It’s not a human right to reproduce if the tax payer covers the cost, it’s parasitism.

  6. So we have evidence that the bad genes are still being removed.

    Yet the idiots are out in force bleating about how the poor are polluting the pool. Idiots are irrepressible, even as they complain about other idiots.

  7. Chester Draws: Can you not read, or are you retarded?

    “The inherited part of mental ability — which accounts for roughly half of the difference between individuals — may well have weakened again since the Victorian era, the academics say.”

  8. Andrew M

    “Why doesn’t this show up in a reversal of the Flynn effect?”

    It does. In the UK, Flynn himself has found that tests carried out in 1980 and again in 2008 show that the IQ score of an average 14-year-old dropped by more than two points over the period. For the upper half of the results the performance was even worse. Average IQ scores declined by six points.

  9. We still have overseas territories. We can always send people to those places. Especially the Falklands were there is work to be had clearing landmines.

  10. I would have thought that 2 points in an IQ test was hardly significant, although the make up of the population has changed in the 28 years concerned.

  11. Tim, isn’t the eugenics of it the subsidising of particular lifestyles? Withholding subsidy is not eugenics, it is just allowing reality to happen.

    In some ways the whole project of the left can be seen as a perversion of natural incentives which have resulted in the accumulation of useful characteristics in the gene pool, and their replacement with artificial ones. Sure under socialist government fitness is a willingness to sponge off others, to dishonestly game the system, to use and abuse other people, to disrespect property and so on. But can that be said to be a desirable thing, since the situation is artificial and requires the exploitation of productive people in order to sustain it. For sure over time such a system will favour certain characteristics over others. Problem is that the favoured characteristics are those that have been considered universally unsesirable over the whole rest of human history.

  12. “I would have thought that 2 points in an IQ test was hardly significant…”

    It’s not “2 points in an IQ test”: it’s an average decline of two points overall among 14yo in the UK. If that doesn’t strike you as significant, a six point decline in the top 50% should.

  13. I’d like to see a racial breakdown of these reports. Describing an African or Pakistani as “British” is ridiculous if it’s part of a genetic inheritance study and there mere inclusion would significantly lower the average even if actual British people were unaffected.

  14. Mr Black makes a good point. Would the Flynn effect still hold if we excluded recent arrivals on these shores?

  15. Given that there’s a higher decline in the top 50% than the bottom, I’d imagine that things would be worse if we excluded recent arrivals (as we would expect them to be in the lower 50%)

  16. As a general point, I wouldn’t expect all recent arrivals to be in the lower 50% – only those from sub-saharan Africa and those from the Ummah. Conceivably, the decline in the upper 50% could be because brighter immigrant children are under-performing as English is their second language.

    The reversal of the Flynn effect is likely to have many causes. Flynn blames computers and social media. I mentioned a number of potential factors above @ 0851, of which immigration is one. Regarding the higher decline in the upper 50% of 14yo’s, I think it’s probably a result of a lack of challenges. Intelligence develops in response to challenges, and the need to solve problems of all kinds. Increasingly, parents and teachers don’t stretch or challenge children: they cosset and indulge them, seeking to protect them from competition, stress and danger. I fear this results in children who are dimmer and more inflexible – the generation snowflake that hyper-ventilates when faced with challenging and (to them) unconventional ideas.

  17. There was a comedy film on this topic (collective lower intelligence as time goes by) called “Idiocracy”. Worth checking out for a good laugh!

  18. Vern – film seems wildly improbable, as having been identified as the most intelligent person in the world, he was given the most important job in the country ie he was promoted on merit.

    Nope, stretches suspension of disbelief too far.

  19. @ Bloke in Halifax (and others)
    The big decline in the top 50% is because those in the fifth decile (counting from the top) are descended from the 6th and 7th deciles of the previous generation as middle-class educated women choose to have “a career” instead of children.
    There are several options – the Ceasescu one of demanding that these women have children (and then jailing Mrs May because she can’t, or he can’t), the Fabian Society way of sterilising those with a low IQ, the French idea of bribing families to have children to “check dwindle”, the libertarian one of abolishing welfare so those who couldn’t support their families would see them starve.
    The French idea, unfortunately, encourages breeding by those who do not earn enough to support a family so worsens the situation. The others are even worse.
    “If I was going to Dublin I shouldn’t start from here”.
    Go back 50 years. Contributions-based, not income-based, benefits, married man’s income tax allowance and 3 years maternity leave.

  20. @ Vern Cooke
    My younger son had a paperback called “Incomp’tence” which omitted the flaw mentioned by BiI

  21. @Pat
    But how do we define the fittest?
    Whoever manages to pass on their genes successfully (ideally) without help or hindrance from government.

    And who gets to decide?
    Usually women.

  22. Biologiclly, the best fit are those that have grandchildren. That is the sole determining criterion.

  23. “Whoever manages to pass on their genes successfully (ideally) without help or hindrance from government. ”

    Doesn’t make sense when the environment is defined by massive levels of government interference.

    In such an environment the fittest are whoever government says they are, sadly.

  24. Eugenics were great.

    Sweet dreams are made of this
    Who am I to disagree?
    I’ve traveled the world and the 7 seas
    Everybody’s looking for something.

    I can never understand why people get so het up when I say I wish Eugenics would make a come-back.

  25. If reverse Flynn has got an immigration component it should be easy to tease out by studying different countries with different levels of immigration and fro different sources.

    I don’t think anyone will get research funding for that study.

  26. “I don’t think anyone will get research funding for that study.”

    Very dry, BiND, very dry.

  27. it is obvious that you all are getting dimmer = look at your music, your education establishments and above all your choices IE who you voted for.

  28. IQ… I knew guys who were proud of belonging to MENSA. If IQ is how you measure intelligence then those people are unlikely to have reproduced

  29. The most successful identifiable person in spreading his genes is Ghengis Khan. He managed to spread his genes across much of Asia and Europe. So it appears that raping and pillaging is the key to reproductive success. Perhaps we have been going about this all wrong. /s

  30. Yup, didn’t see much mention of eugenics during those marches for Science…

    The proof that humanity as a whole is fittest is that we’re rapidly displacing other species. But apparently, that’s NOT good.

  31. “Well I have no problem with the idea that ensuring the survival of the fittest improves the population.
    But how do we define the fittest? The best guy in a sword fight? The best guy with a rifle? The best at growing food? The best at difficult sums. No-one actually knows what makes one person fitter than another, and clearly what is best in one circumstance may be useless in another.”

    Defining life as if it’s a game of cricket with rules to be abided by.
    The news is…it isn’t. The smart guy cheats. He goes to a swordfight with a gun. He employs the best shot with a rifle. To steal the food from the best farmer.
    It’s smarts that win every time. And probably don’t have much to do with measurable intelligence. Given how unsmart many supposedly intelligent people prove to be.

  32. Paul Rain

    “may well have weakened again” is academic code.

    It means, we have no fucking clue. But hey, this looks good.

  33. @Rocco Siffredi

    “belonging to MENSA. If IQ is how you measure intelligence then those people are unlikely to have reproduced”

    yes indeed, took me too many years to figure that out.

    True intelligence is not measured by IQ tests, but by life itself.

    Those who understand that a new pair of natty trainers might get you laid the more intelligent.

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