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The Victorians were smarter than us, study suggests.

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posted on May, 20 2013 @ 01:11 PM
The Victorians achieved so much because they were cleverer than us, a new study suggests.

Reaction times – a reliable marker of general intelligence – have declined steadily since the Victorian era from about 183 milliseconds to 250ms in men, and from 187ms to 277ms in women. The slowing of our reflexes points to a decrease in general intelligence equivalent to 1.23 IQ points per decade since the 1880s or about 14 IQ points overall, researchers said. 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.

Dr Michael Woodley goes on to say that our declining intelligence is most likely down to a "reverse" in the process of natural selection, The most intelligent people now have fewer children on average than in previous decades, while there are higher survival rates among people with less favourable genes.

I guess just watching an episode of Jersey Shore shows us that

He also says "The pressures of modern life, a nine-to-five modern lifestyle, have created all these pressures against very smart people having break-even numbers of children,"

ah well, it's all going to go down hill from here then.

edit on 20-5-2013 by Lady_Tuatha because: typo

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 01:17 PM
I was having a conversation with someone the other day that relates to this. I believe that technology is regressing our critical thinking making us overall slightly less 'intelligent' generation after generation.

I've always thought that technology will be the downfall of modern man.

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 01:20 PM
i agree 100% with the study.

Our Knowledge is built on research on top of research.

If you would read the writings of the 1800’s, your mind would be blown away at how sophisticated there thought processes were. There was no “think outside the box”, They were constantly living outside the box. There common sense now is not so common to us anymore.

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 01:39 PM
reply to post by camaro68ss

Can you give an example of some of their outside of the box thinking, if you wouldn't mind?

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 01:48 PM
back in the 50´s and 60´s they taught latin in public schools latin is the core of understanding mathematics and language the children of that era were literate and very smart, even the dilberts that thought school was a joke were literate and bright, since they withdrew latin from public schools the system has done nothing but fail the majority of children they leave not being able to do basic things properly like read and write only a minority of privelidged strive to achieve coming from the right families and having access to funds and universities mathematics is a language most commoners don´t understand nowadays and I cant help but think it´s by design

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 02:13 PM
I do not understand - how reaction time is related to intelligence?
Maybe research is correct and Victorian would have understood it right away, however i doubt that Bohr or Einstein had better reaction time then (with all the respect, but still - Einstein and Bohr as a comparison) Michael Schumacher.

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 02:19 PM
Sentence structure has deteriorated massively since the 1800s. One only needs to read material from that era.

Here's an interesting article comparing the reading level of every state of the union.

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 02:25 PM
reply to post by Lady_Tuatha

So in essence what the article is stating, the movie Idiocracy is going to happen and is in the process right now.

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 02:43 PM
Socialism came from the 1800's, and most working class people were socialists. The term capitalism was also coined in the 1800's, 1840, by a socialist, Louis Blanc.

It doesn't surprise me they were more intelligent, or at least more aware of the realities of life.

Since the invention of the TV, more and more people are simply living in an establishment/media created fantasy world where black is white, war is peace, and capitalism is freedom.

edit on 5/20/2013 by ANOK because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 06:45 PM
I'd think the people back then were blessed with lives, without the rush and stress of society as it is now.
Well rested and fit for the day, cause he gets a peaceful sleep, in silence and darkness... Less stress...

They did what they did to ensure their meals and rooftops and what was over to spend on any other thing, you would encounter. Like we still do... Only without a single ring... or bliep... or text message or whatever, only a letter would only have a similar effect, except that you can choose not to let it bother you just yet...

Then my guess is that the people that get educated and learn like any other, are mostly the upper class who are expected to get an education with the highest possible standard possible.
You need to be ready to lead and rule your country when the time comes. Like any other citizen with something to say and more importantly the ambitions and means, to stay upper class or maybe even rise above it.

Then there was no environmental pollution, from fossil fuels, waste, radiation, toxic spills and all other things that we only first got to think about it after we made the mess.

Then living in an age that might get you outside the relative safety of society and into the arms of dangerous animals, big and small that might be the end of your world.
Probably causes an alerter mind.

Something we lack cause we don't leave our settlements often and what we live through in the dangerous things we created ourselves, we do that on routine behavior for the most part.
Never noticed you already arrived at work, but you don't seem to remember the way to it...? Scary for your brain to notice anything needing a lot more attention.

If it happens on time you still need 3 more seconds to make your move. But if you would get a person from 1800 in a place where he will get an overdose of information, coming from the world we call home, to react at one of those countless things that will hurt him if he fails...
I think he'll gets it in our time.

I'll trade with him though. Without a doubt.

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 07:00 PM
I think our education system probably has a lot to do with it also.

8th Grade Examination from late 1800's

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 07:09 PM
reply to post by Lady_Tuatha

I agree with the overall assertion that Victorians were smarter than us.

I'm not sure I agree about the reaction times being an adequate measure though.

Let me explain, the amount of rapid stimuli we are exposed to today is MUCH greater than those a person in Victorian times experienced. My theory is we have basically became jaded and developed filters against so much stimulation, and that slows our reaction times. Its a product of our environment.

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 07:38 PM
SIR ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL, One fantastic - Victorian - engineer. He and many like him, constructed such still well built bridges as the 'Clifton' bridge, the Hungerford, the Saltash, plus giant steamships such as Great Western, the Great Britain, and the Great Eastern.He /they had no such junk as a so called Computer. They simplay had draughtsmans pens plus sheets of paper. They dreamt up ideas that they knew would work in a long term infallible style. They did not rush oof - as engineers today do - in seek of the Cheapest way to build at the most profitable rate. We have all seen our countries Factories, Industries, Corner shops etc. shut down and move out to China, Thaiwen, Beijing, India, etc. where labour is nigh on cost free yet when shipped back home the products are higher than the original price. The lack of Greed plus ever profiteering stock market dealers certainly gives Toda's society that the Victorians were of a higher IQ than us. However the original top dogs were out to construct something worthwhile - something more guaranteed than the so called Titanic. another non Victorian flop. Take a close look at the early range of UK Steam trains. they did the job they were built for - many (Thank God) still do though on a limited plause. Today - if one Man walked into his local stock market and fiddled such for around £10.00p. He would be seriously imprisoned. Had that Man however fiddled such for £20 Billion, he would be a hero and they'd all want to know how he did such. Thats the difference between a Bright Constructive, Caring Victorian era and Today. The Victorian world was fantastic. Even Queen Victoria would - from time to time spend a few weeks at her Isle of Man dwelling. Whilst there she would pay House to House to calls, all unannounced, all un-expected. That's how Civil yesteryear was. Nowadays you cannot even speak direct to a Prime Minister or maybe President. The fool who simply chalked up how the Victorians were brighter than us, has noot even bothered to think or collect a few facts. But then again, Why should he ??? he no doubt has so called Computer as his so called adviser.

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 07:55 PM
Apologies, In the above I should have wrote Isle of Wight and not the Isle of Man.

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 08:58 PM
It's actually funny (sort of) Americans are not only being indoctrinated through education and media, but Americans are actually physically losing brain cells. How? Sodium Fluoride and some chemicals you know in love that's in your favorite pop- aspartame.

Sodium fluoride (also used as a rat poison, it's in your water and tooth paste
) has been shown to lower IQ's in adolescents between the ages of 0-5.

So not only is your kid getting fat off genetically modified food and watching the latest Jerry Springer show, he is actually losing brain cells physically through chemicals in the water and food supply.

Fascinating isn't it? It's fascinating because you see it working every day.

But there is hope, the city council of College Station a few months ago voted to end Fluoridation of water. This may not be big for some of you, but it's pretty big for Texas where I am currently living, hopefully more cities will follow. Like Austin, not sure why they haven't done anything about it yet.

And after saying all of this, I still drink fluoridated water. (:

But you can actually get a filter for around 600 dollars that hooks up to your faucet. Well anyway that's about it.

edit on 20-5-2013 by Kang69 because: grmmmmarrrrrr

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 09:47 PM

Originally posted by ANOK
I think our education system probably has a lot to do with it also.

8th Grade Examination from late 1800's

Maybe a weird question, but how old would have you be, when you graduated the 8th grade ?

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 10:19 PM
reply to post by Lady_Tuatha

In Britain.

They were taught under the threat of the cane or birch if they did not learn, the Victorians had a saying "Spare the child not the rod", seems barbaric to us but then the classical Greek's had a similar system, your average school leaver from a middle class (the poor were taught less completely as they left school earlier) could calculate the logarithms in his head were as the average kid now reaches for his calculator, the average Victorian middle class could quote Virgil or Homer in there classic tongue Greek and Latin as well as speak French and usually some German as well. so yes but only the middle and upper classes as the poor (and so the bulk) were expected to serve and work so there education was actually far worse.
edit on 20-5-2013 by LABTECH767 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 10:59 PM

Originally posted by Sinter Klaas
Maybe a weird question, but how old would have you be, when you graduated the 8th grade ?

Don't quote me on it, but I think they started at 4 and left when they were 12. There was only 8 grades.

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 11:17 PM
reply to post by ANOK

Just asking. The system out here was given other titles. Since 1800.

They asked questions, I didn't even heard about
leaving for the next school period and the subjects I first read anything about it..

Pretty impressive for a 12 year old to have learned stuff, I did not for years. Or maybe even after I left school.
It isn't a good thing, it isn't the norm anymore.

posted on May, 20 2013 @ 11:54 PM

Originally posted by LABTECH767
reply to post by Lady_Tuatha
... the Victorians had a saying "Spare the child not the rod" ...

I'm pretty sure the saying was "Spare the rod and spoil the child", meaning that a child would not flourish if you did not chastise him.

It predates the Victorians as versions of it can be found in English literature as far back as 1377 and English language Bibles prior to 1377 contained similar sentiments.

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