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Do you think our modern society is making us dumber than our hunter-gatherer ancestors? And why?
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Posted 12/20/12 , edited 12/20/12

GayAsianBoy wrote:


ahatestory wrote:


GayAsianBoy wrote:






Logging for the night, but regarding fur - nowadays there are a lot more alternatives to fur than there were a century ago, aren't there?
If fur was one of the better options at the time, then of course nobody complained about it.

I might also point out e.g. Alexander the Great had a funeral for his horse when it died. Yes, that too was more recent than the hunter-gatherer time, true. Nonetheless, humans have had attachments to animals for a long time, it just was outweighed by their own needs in most cases.

If you have scientific evidence that people have developed greater empathy and intelligence, though, I would be interested to see it.
Without such evidence, I can only say that I think if you put modern humans in a life or death situation, i.e. stranded on an island, they would do whatever it took to survive, and if that meant killing a cute, fluffy creature for food, they would do it. Would they feel bad? Perhaps, but only because society has conditioned them to feel that way. There are still societies where animals most of us see as pets are considered food, aren't there?
Most people wouldn't want to kill a chicken nowadays, but it's still done commonly throughout the world; are those that kill chickens less evolved?

Edit: And of course I somehow don't see "Conversely you could argue that modern humans have the luxury of emapthy because of the safety and security of modern life. After all, the hunter-gatherers very survival was dependent on what they could find or kill on a daily basis. " until after I make this reply, wherein I basically do this very thing. Yeah... I'm going to sleep now. :/

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18 / M / Tórshavn
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Posted 12/20/12 , edited 12/20/12

This xD!
you sir sure talk a lot ;)

About the dumber part <.<!


Actually I couldn't agree more <.<!! I will look up to you from now on forward xD
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Posted 12/20/12
It seems lately that people have become even more dumb. I feel there's no hope for humanity
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Posted 12/20/12
maybe becoming more lazy, we have schools to spread knowledge and gadgets to gather information
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47 / F / Center of the Uni...
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Posted 12/20/12
All of the above is based on a simple fallacy.

That there is a positive direction to move. Evolution is not some ascending path to glory. get the right answer and you 'level up'

Evolution is a never ending short sighted cycle. Have kids that grow to have kids and you "Win". on to the next cycle.

Anything you pass on to your kids that prevents them from 'winning', disappears. when situations change if the kids of your kids lack something (perhaps something you had) they need to win... the species dies out.

The idea that we can evolve into something better or 'devolve' at all is case of putting value judgements on traits that evolution doesn't.

That said you could make evolutionary predictions about the human race regarding various traits...


Perhaps we don't need to be as hardy anymore. In the first world, being sickly, having a chronic illness etc. isn't a death sentence neither literally nor romantically. As result we perhaps have a greater incidence of genetic disorders in our populace.

Perhaps we won't be as 'smart' in the future. Why do I say that? and why do I phrase it as a conditional? well it's based on a few assumptions. The Idea that 'smart' people look around at the world and decide to wait until they are financially secure or in a stable relationship or simply outright refuse to have kids. Also... 'smart' people aren't necessarily socially adroit people. And therefore might be unlucky in the lists of love.

On the other hand. People who don't think five seconds into the future are baby makers waiting to happen. The guy on my list of 'known associates' whom I consider the biggest idiot also has the most kids (by nearly an order of magnitude, all from different girls to boot) than anyone else I personally know.

toxxin 
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Posted 12/20/12
yes. everything is spelled out in instructions and tutorials nowadays. no one has to try to solve the problems theyre faced with cause they can just look up what someone else who had a similar problem did. Modern society: Brain optional.
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Posted 12/20/12

toxxin wrote:

yes. everything is spelled out in instructions and tutorials nowadays. no one has to try to solve the problems theyre faced with cause they can just look up what someone else who had a similar problem did. Modern society: Brain optional.


But in order to show up in our genetic code, modern society would have to exist for longer than the eyeblink it has on the evolutionary time scale.


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Posted 12/20/12 , edited 12/21/12

Tekrelious wrote:

Sorry your question at the top of the page is different than your question in the opening post.

No. Society is not making us dumber.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect

Yes. Society is progressive.

Yeah, sorry I did contaminate the subject by opening with simple question and then rolling into genetics, was reading notes and losing focus on the topic, had been awake too many hours. The question is one without a right or wrong answer, just wanted to see what the average person thought. I am constantly shocked (and why I don't know) by the lack of common sense displayed by the average person. From ppl leaving children in cars all day while they walk into work, to a friend towing a car with 2 bungee cords on beltway, needless to say car ended up in the Potomac river, ivy league grad. As mentioned by someone else, ppl who are unable to navigate w/o tech. And my favorites are the ppl who don't know their own home phone number, let alone anyone else's, unless they use their programmed phones. It seems that natural selection nowadays is typically based on appearance and very little else. Where in past physical attraction was important but men also judged their potential mates on their future abilities to procreate and raise children, etc. and women chose men who would be substantial/protective providers. The behavior I really question is the loss of the instinct for self preservation. During tsunami in Japan, N.Y. during 9/11, various mass shootings, etc. a large number of ppl always seem to lack the ability to respond to the situations proactively. I do agree that tech is relational to the level of human intelligence but it's not the only thing and I question if it the majority or the minority of our species providing the progression of our intelligence

With regards to the genetics topic, ahatestory pointed out some very factual points regarding genetic mutations within the human genome over the last 5,000 years. Unfortunately we will not have the ability to judge what their effects will take on human phenotype. But I am constantly attempting to assess how modern conveniences, such as drugs, cleaning products, gmo foods, etc. will create variables within our genetics that that may cause us to lose sustainability within our environment. Ex. medical drugs or lack of exposure to nature reducing the ability of human's immune system to combat illnesses/diseases.
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25 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 12/20/12

ahatestory wrote:
Logging for the night, but regarding fur - nowadays there are a lot more alternatives to fur than there were a century ago, aren't there?
If fur was one of the better options at the time, then of course nobody complained about it.

I might also point out e.g. Alexander the Great had a funeral for his horse when it died. Yes, that too was more recent than the hunter-gatherer time, true. Nonetheless, humans have had attachments to animals for a long time, it just was outweighed by their own needs in most cases.

If you have scientific evidence that people have developed greater empathy and intelligence, though, I would be interested to see it.


I don't have any scientific evidence.
The evidences I talked about in my comment are obviously not scientific, they're just my own logical observations between the two time periods.

There's no accurate way to tell if people are getting more intelligent or not because there is no reliable testing for the measurement of intelligence. People don't just have academic intelligence, there are also artistic intelligence and social intelligence, that's why IQ testing is debatable amongst the scientific community.





Without such evidence, I can only say that I think if you put modern humans in a life or death situation, i.e. stranded on an island, they would do whatever it took to survive, and if that meant killing a cute, fluffy creature for food, they would do it. Would they feel bad? Perhaps, but only because society has conditioned them to feel that way. There are still societies where animals most of us see as pets are considered food, aren't there?


I can't speak for anyone else, but I wouldn't kill a fish if I was stuck on an island.
I don't think I've been conditioned by society either, I actually get annoyed by people who protest against fur users.



Most people wouldn't want to kill a chicken nowadays, but it's still done commonly throughout the world; are those that kill chickens less evolved?


I don't believe in the terms, "less evolved" or "more evolved"... because every organism has a unique function, just because someone is more intelligent doesn't mean they're more evolved... someone could be physically stronger... does that mean they're more evolved?

All I'm saying is that higher empathy is related to bigger brain capacity... I'm not going to say people who have less empathy are less intelligent because that is an baseless claim.


And like I said before, I know there is no scientific evidence that people now have higher empathy than people in the past... but people now are starting to give animal rights.
You say it's because people nowadays have access to food, but have you ever been to India? Most of the population there is vegetarian... they don't eat beef, chicken or pork... and India does not have the luxury of food that 1st world countries do.




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27 / M / Cloud
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Posted 12/21/12
nope. i don't think so. but surely our moral value goes down.
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23 / M / Denmark
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Posted 12/21/12
Although i have no idea how they were back then i would say YES.

Why? Because now its not skills that rule the society anymore, its, if anything social skills that determine where you go, what you spend your time on etc etc, also the fact that "stupid" people arent frowned upon, they're helped, not saying its wrong in any way, but instead of developing more on the talented kids, they focus on the "weak".

So it pulls our average up if you think about education, but in the end the more talented kids dont get the same "help" to promote their skills or talents.

In my case i didnt learn anything from school really, the languages we had in school i had pretty much already learned from watching tv when we started learning it, math / phys / chem / etc ? I found em extremely easy and logical, always have, i learned something in like a week, and we had to work with it for a month, so 3/4 of my time was wasted, later on in life it became better though and i felt i got more outta it, but it was still the same scenario happening over and over again.

So yes, everyone can learn everything, thats a given, its just a matter of time and dedication, and as everyone can do pretty much what they want, and even insanely stupid people can have the most succesful company in the world simply because he has social-skills, and was taught in school.

In other words : Talent doesnt matter anymore unless you have something along the lines of an artistic-talent, since this cant be taught, but this doesnt mean that anything in relation to if people are stupid or not.
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Posted 12/21/12

papagolfwhiskey wrote:

All of the above is based on a simple fallacy.

That there is a positive direction to move. Evolution is not some ascending path to glory. get the right answer and you 'level up'

Evolution is a never ending short sighted cycle. Have kids that grow to have kids and you "Win". on to the next cycle.

Anything you pass on to your kids that prevents them from 'winning', disappears. when situations change if the kids of your kids lack something (perhaps something you had) they need to win... the species dies out.

The idea that we can evolve into something better or 'devolve' at all is case of putting value judgements on traits that evolution doesn't.

That said you could make evolutionary predictions about the human race regarding various traits...


Perhaps we don't need to be as hardy anymore. In the first world, being sickly, having a chronic illness etc. isn't a death sentence neither literally nor romantically. As result we perhaps have a greater incidence of genetic disorders in our populace.

Perhaps we won't be as 'smart' in the future. Why do I say that? and why do I phrase it as a conditional? well it's based on a few assumptions. The Idea that 'smart' people look around at the world and decide to wait until they are financially secure or in a stable relationship or simply outright refuse to have kids. Also... 'smart' people aren't necessarily socially adroit people. And therefore might be unlucky in the lists of love.


I agree on all points -- well said.


On the other hand. People who don't think five seconds into the future are baby makers waiting to happen. The guy on my list of 'known associates' whom I consider the biggest idiot also has the most kids (by nearly an order of magnitude, all from different girls to boot) than anyone else I personally know.


Reminds me of the movie Idiocracy. If you haven't seen it, it describes this exact phenomenon. In fact, I may go watch it right now.
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Posted 12/21/12

theYchromosome wrote:


papagolfwhiskey wrote:

All of the above is based on a simple fallacy.

That there is a positive direction to move. Evolution is not some ascending path to glory. get the right answer and you 'level up'

Evolution is a never ending short sighted cycle. Have kids that grow to have kids and you "Win". on to the next cycle.

Anything you pass on to your kids that prevents them from 'winning', disappears. when situations change if the kids of your kids lack something (perhaps something you had) they need to win... the species dies out.

The idea that we can evolve into something better or 'devolve' at all is case of putting value judgements on traits that evolution doesn't.

That said you could make evolutionary predictions about the human race regarding various traits...


Perhaps we don't need to be as hardy anymore. In the first world, being sickly, having a chronic illness etc. isn't a death sentence neither literally nor romantically. As result we perhaps have a greater incidence of genetic disorders in our populace.

Perhaps we won't be as 'smart' in the future. Why do I say that? and why do I phrase it as a conditional? well it's based on a few assumptions. The Idea that 'smart' people look around at the world and decide to wait until they are financially secure or in a stable relationship or simply outright refuse to have kids. Also... 'smart' people aren't necessarily socially adroit people. And therefore might be unlucky in the lists of love.


I agree on all points -- well said.


On the other hand. People who don't think five seconds into the future are baby makers waiting to happen. The guy on my list of 'known associates' whom I consider the biggest idiot also has the most kids (by nearly an order of magnitude, all from different girls to boot) than anyone else I personally know.


Reminds me of the movie Idiocracy. If you haven't seen it, it describes this exact phenomenon. In fact, I may go watch it right now.


I t should I was referencing it. Although the theory is not new to the movie. It was also used for a couple I sci fi shortstories I read when I wasn't even a teen.

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19 / M / Tiphares
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Posted 12/21/12
Maybe.
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Posted 12/21/12
I agree completely. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors had the best artists, engineers, doctors, game designers, architects...everything! They make all modern men look like total n00bs.
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