As of this morning, America has more computer software engineers than farmers. More than 1 million of us are trying to make a living writing apps. We're convinced we've come a long way, baby, from our primitive pre-digital ancestors.
Not so..! Not according to genetics..!
Stanford geneticist Gerald Crabtree reports we have Evolution all wrong. Instead of getting better and better every day, we're actually getting dumber and dumber. Why? Because as civilization continues to make our lives easier, it's easier for the dumb among us to survive. What's worse, he theorizes, to then pass on their dumber genes.
Crabtree writes: "Human intelligence started to decline when civilization grew. I'd wager that if the average citizen from 1000 BC Athens were to suddenly appear among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive....Humans reached their intellectual peak 2000 to 6000 years ago when life was so harsh that bad judgments generally led to death....the evolutionary pressure to hunt for prey and avoid predators no longer culled the slow witted out the way it once did."
If Crabtree is right -- and watching today's sitcoms and reality shows chances are he is -- civilization has problems.
Look at it the way he does: "A hunter-gatherer who did not correctly conceive a solution for providing food probably died. Whereas today a Wall Street broker making the same conceptual mistake will very likely be given a bonus. Clearly, extreme selection is a thing of the past."
Maybe the reason we keep making so many movies about Spartacus and those other pre-computer guys is more than their big primitive biceps. Maybe it's their big survivor brains.
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