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The Victorians were smarter than us, study suggests.

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posted on May, 22 2013 @ 06:18 PM
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Originally posted by On7a7higher7plane
reply to post by Lady_Tuatha
 


I think it's more of a matter of culture and upbringing.

People aren't getting stupider naturally, it's just that our school system and culture promotes memory and does not promote other important factors in intelligence.


Im in agreement with the underlined part, also priorities are different now days compared to say back then.

As some here have mentioned earlier there was no internet & no television they spent more time socializing & reading along with spending more time with their every day hobbies. I had once lived in an old Victorian home, its first bedroom where i used to sleep was originally the guest room where every one visiting would be seated & socialize next to a warm fireplace. Now days we do the socializing mostly on the internet behind a computer screen & as a result our behaviors have changed, how things have changed.




posted on May, 22 2013 @ 07:49 PM
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I call BS on this finding. To say that reaction times are directly related to intelligence is absurd because we would have to assert that athletes are the most intelligent people, which is kinda ridiculous.

Additionally there have always been stupid people, and there have always been smart people. It is rather ignorant to make such a wild generalization. Aristotle was an incredible thinker and must have been amazingly intelligent, but the nature of human understanding is that it accumulates and builds upon itself through generations. It's certainly true that traditional academic skills have declined in the general population, but there are still individuals who acquire these skills and build upon them.

If the ability to think abstractly is a sign of intelligence, then certain individuals are at the highest point in history. Case in point is mathematics; mathematics has become exponentially more abstract in the past 100 years. Hence there have been developments of new sciences like quantum physics, which is based on mathematical understandings of the universe that suggest the existence of other dimensions.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 09:48 PM
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Lead poisoning during the Victorian Era was a real threat; the connection between the neuro-toxic effect of lead poisoning and cognitive impairment is conclusive.

The Victorian diet would be another factor

Does the Flynn effect not suggest the opposite .i.e. a gradual rise in general I.Q
edit on 22-5-2013 by UmbraSumus because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 23 2013 @ 01:13 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
This selection is natural, not artificial, because it is not intended by the creators of the environment.



I disagree with this view here, it simply removes any responsibility from those with the power to plan and act on it. I will go as far as state that the artificial environment was not strictly planned but has been undoubtedly evolving with and interdependent of the human society own evolution. I can tell that human evolution is today except in very remote regions anything but natural...

I'm not really sure what you mean by all that. I am not expressing a view but stating a rather obvious conclusion from the theory of evolution by natural selection, whose proof we see all around us.



posted on May, 23 2013 @ 02:22 AM
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Reaction times? Hmm? And not IQ? I posit that this may be a greater reflection of poor physical conditioning and a diet saturated in artificial chemicals, ie: pesticides, petroleum based fertilizers et cetera. I do not think there were many couch potato's in Queen Victoria's reign. I do relish the fashions as well. In fact, I am wearing a hoop skirt as we speak. Hail to the Tuatha.
edit on 23-5-2013 by HUMBLEONE because: Poor reaction time & a low IQ



posted on May, 23 2013 @ 05:28 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
The environments we live in now are largely artificial, no question. However, an artificial environment exerts selective pressure on its occupants just as surely as a natural one does.


Hmmm if something is done by social engineering, conditioning, I don't consider that natural. Because it would not happen naturally.


This selection is natural, not artificial, because it is not intended by the creators of the environment - in fact, they don't so much create it as evolve it. Even when there is a deliberate attempt to influence health or behaviour by means of the environment – that is, some kind of 'social engineering' – the results very rarely come out as intended.


Creators of the environment? To whom do you refer?

Influencing of behavior is not done by means of the environment, but by means of man made technology.


Evolution by natural selection doesn't stop just because an environment is artificial. In fact, it doesn't ever stop. We are still evolving, and we will continue to do so until we become extinct.


Yes but artificial conditioning is not natural selection. An example that is natural Human evolution is our physical size, we are much taller, on average, than we were even one hundred years ago.


All the same, it is impossible to believe that any noticeable, genetically-driven change in intelligence could possibly have occurred in our species over just five generations. Victorians were no smarter than we are; neither were they, and nor are we, any smarter than any well-nourished ancestor of ours 15,000 years ago.


Again, it didn't happen genetically. It is because of the school system, the fact that we have more entertainment that is not educational, that we have been lied to about our history to the point of complete confusion.


This is junk science, or junk science reporting at the very least. How were reaction times measured then? How are they measured now? The difference in measurement techniques alone could easily account for the difference.


Well that could be true, but if you study a little history it becomes obvious they were smarter than us in general, without that 'junk science'.

The first stopwatch with a lever that could stop the seconds hand was made in 1695 by Samuel Watson. Known as the Physicians Pulse watch.


Dr Michael Woodley, who led the study published in the Intelligence journal this month, identified the trend by comparing reaction times from trials conducted by Victorian scientists against those carried out in recent decades.


www.telegraph.co.uk...

edit on 5/23/2013 by ANOK because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 23 2013 @ 05:53 AM
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I can't argue against this, experience shows it to be true.

It is simply down to a reliance on technology. Even back when i was a kid in school, maths lessons used to start with mental maths exercises. Long multiplication, etc. I know from my days teaching though that these days similar scenarios are deemed too hard without calculators and unfair on students.

How do you stop it being too hard? (bless them!). Don't tell them! It works too - we did Latin and French at age 7 becuase it was expected. No one told us it was too difficult so we didn't cotton on and guess what - we learned!



posted on May, 23 2013 @ 08:00 AM
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reply to post by ANOK
 

I think you need to readjust some preconceptions in order to understand me clearly. No discourtesy intended; keep reading and perhaps you will see what I mean.


Originally posted by Astyanax
The environments we live in now are largely artificial, no question. However, an artificial environment exerts selective pressure on its occupants just as surely as a natural one does.


Originally posted by ANOK
Hmmm if something is done by social engineering, conditioning, I don't consider that natural. Because it would not happen naturally.

Everybody lives in an artificial structure of some kind, works in an artificial environment such as a field, a mine, a factory or an office, and more often than not passes the bulk of his or her leisure time in yet another artificial environment. I speak of yurts and skyscrapers, monasteries and football fields, transcontinental highways and jungle eco-resorts, wheat farms and apple orchards. In short, the entire human world.

Although the individual components of these environments are designed, and attempts are often made (especially in institutional environments) to create and maintain buildings and such-like in a rigidly pristine state, the vast majority of human environments are modified, customised, damaged, etc., over time according to no conscious, single plan. Even planned environments are added to and modified over time by their users, often in ways that alter them until their original designers would barely recognise them.

None of this has anything to do with social engineering. It is the opposite of social engineering. It happens naturally, and the final results are not planned by any authority – they are the sum total of many people's plans, inspirations, whims and errors. And turn and turn about, they influence the evolution of their creators.


ANOK:
Creators of the environment? To whom do you refer?

This should be clear to you after reading the above. I refer to all of us. Homo faber. We create the environments in which we live. It's what our species does – just like beavers, bowerbirds, corals and termites.


ANOK:
Artificial conditioning is not natural selection. An example that is natural Human evolution is our physical size, we are much taller, on average, than we were even one hundred years ago.

As must now be evident, I am not talking about any kind of premeditated conditioning.

By the way, the increase in human height over the last few generations has nothing at all to do with evolution – it is not the result of genetic variation but simply of better nutrition and health care in childhood. Examples of recent human evolution are the appearance of lactose tolerance in cattle-herding populations about 4,000 years ago, and the sickle-cell adaptation that protects some people from malaria at the cost of making them anaemic.


If you study a little history it becomes obvious they were smarter than us in general, without that 'junk science'.

I have written and published many historical articles and even a history book. And I'm pretty well up on the 1800s, particularly the latter half of the century. I find absolutely no evidence to suggest that people then – or at any other time in the past – were more intelligent than we are. Rather, I see plenty to convince me that they were just like us, and not only with respect to intelligence. Human nature doesn't change.

edit on 23/5/13 by Astyanax because: of an important sentence I left out.



posted on May, 23 2013 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


If an environment is created artificially in order to condition thought, then that is not natural, period.

It may follow the natural pattern that evolution does, but is not natural because it wouldn't happen without man instigating it.



posted on May, 24 2013 @ 04:22 AM
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reply to post by ANOK
 

The distinction is meaningless. Human beings are part of nature, and nothing we do can ever be unnatural. If the final result of a human production is something none of its producers foresaw or intended in detail, it is an abuse of the word to call it artificial.

Still, call it what you like; evolution – by natural selection – marches on regardless.



posted on May, 24 2013 @ 04:49 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Obviously you have no idea what I'm talking about.



posted on May, 24 2013 @ 07:40 AM
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reply to post by ANOK
 

In that case, the incomprehension is surely mutual. I suggest we leave it there.



posted on May, 24 2013 @ 08:54 AM
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This research is a JOKE.

They do not look at nutritional values for the people in the 1800's as compared to nutrition today. Today, we eat very poorly with all the chemicals in our foods and the stripping the food of nutrients. If we are dumber, it's all because of the food.



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 09:04 AM
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I was having a discussion with someone the other day that is applicable to this. I believe that technological innovation is regressing our crucial considering creating us overall a little bit less 'intelligent' creation after creation.



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 05:47 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jul, 1 2013 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
Human beings are part of nature, and nothing we do can ever be unnatural.

How can you be sure that humans are part of nature? From what they do to this planet, they certainly aren't. Nature possesses internal balances, which the presence of humans breaks. Nature looks more like a sandbox for humanity, while humanity itself may be a 'sandbox' for some higher intelligence.
edit on 1-7-2013 by mrkeen because: (no reason given)





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