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Dumb & Dumber - Scientific Proof That People Are Getting 'Stupider'

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Michael Snyder of The American Dream blog,

Are people dumber than they used to be?  Were previous generations mentally sharper than us?  You may have suspected that people are getting stupider for quite some time, but now we actually have scientific evidence that this is the case.  As you will read about below, average IQs are dropping all over the globe, SAT scores in the U.S. have been declining for decades, and scientists have even discovered that our brains have been getting smaller over time.  So if it seems on some days like you woke up in the middle of the movie “Idiocracy”, you might not be too far off.  Much of the stuff that they put in our junk food is not good for brain development, our education system is a total joke and most Americans are absolutely addicted to mindless entertainment.  Fortunately we have a lot of technology that does much of our thinking for us these days, because if we had to depend on our own mental capabilities most of us would be in a tremendous amount of trouble.

Sadly, this appears to be a phenomenon that is happening all over the planet.  As a recent Daily Mail article explained, IQ scores are falling in country after country…

Richard Lynn, a psychologist at the University of Ulster, calculated the decline in humans’ genetic potential.


He used data on average IQs around the world in 1950 and 2000 to discover that our collective intelligence has dropped by one IQ point.


Dr Lynn predicts that if this trend continues, we could lose another 1.3 IQ points by 2050.

One IQ point does not sound like a lot, but when you go back even further in time the declines become a lot more dramatic.  For example, a psychology professor at the University of Amsterdam named Jan te Nijenhuis has calculated that we have lost a total of 14 IQ points on average since the Victorian Era.

And we don’t need a professor to tell us that this is true.  Just go back and read some of the literature from that time period.  Much of it is written at such a high level that I can barely even understand it.

There is other evidence that people are getting stupider as well.  For instance, SAT scores in the United States have fallen significantly in recent years…

There appears to be a disturbing trend in American high schools. If we judge the quality of education by the scores that students get on their SATs, then it appears that things are getting worse.


Since 2006, the overall average SAT score has fallen by 20 points, dropping from 1518 to 1498 in 2012. Scores are also down in each of the three categories tested, with reading dropping 9 points, mathematics dropping 4 points, and writing falling 9 points. It’s a fair bet that students aren’t becoming less intelligent, so exactly what is going on?

And this decline in SAT scores is not just limited to the past few years.  As the following chart from Zero Hedge demonstrates, SAT scores have been declining in America for decades…

SAT Scores declining - Zero Hedge

There are even some scientists that are convinced that this decline in the mental ability of humans goes back for thousands of years.  Some blame genetic mutations for this decline, and others point to the fact that our brains have been getting smaller.  For example, just check out what one study conducted at Cambridge University concluded…

An earlier study by Cambridge University found that mankind is shrinking in size significantly.


Experts say humans are past their peak and that modern-day people are 10 percent smaller and shorter than their hunter-gatherer ancestors.


And if that’s not depressing enough, our brains are also smaller.


The findings reverse perceived wisdom that humans have grown taller and larger, a belief which has grown from data on more recent physical development.


The decline, said scientists, has happened over the past 10,000 years. They blame agriculture, with restricted diets and urbanization compromising health and leading to the spread of disease.

Most of us today just assume that people are smarter than they ever have been before.

Most of us today look down on our ancestors and mock them for being so primitive.

But the truth is that if we had to go up head to head against them in mental challenges, we might find ourselves greatly humbled.

At the end of this article, I have posted an eighth grade exam from 1912 that was donated to the Bullitt County History Museum in Kentucky.

As you can see, it is far more difficult than anything that eighth grade students have to do today.  In fact, most eighth grade students today are doing pretty good if they can point out the United States on a map of the world and can string a few sentences together.

I should know – for a short period of time I once taught eighth grade students.

So when I first came across the exam posted below, I was amazed at how difficult it was.

Could you pass such an exam?

I don’t know if I could.

But these are the kinds of questions that eighth grade students were expected to be able to answer back in 1912…

-Through which waters would a vessel pass in going from England through the Suez Canal to Manila?


-How does the liver compare in size with other glands in the human body?


-How long of a rope is required to reach from the top of a building 40 feet high to the ground 30 feet from the base of a building?


-Compare arteries and veins as to function. Where is the blood carried to be purified?


-During which wars were the following battles fought: Brandywine, Great Meadows, Lundy’s Lane, Antietam, Buena Vista?

A full copy of the exam is posted below.  Please notice the absence of multiple choice questions where a student can guess by circling an answer.  In the old days, kids were actually expected to be able to think and to be able to write…

Eighth Grade Exam

So what do you think about all of this?

Do you believe that people are actually getting stupider?

And is “stupider” actually a word?


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Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:25 | 5141555 LawsofPhysics
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Is this global data, or just that for 'merica?  That is the only thing that matters.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:29 | 5141576 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

I would answer that for you but I was distracted by the trending article "39 Babes Baring It All On Instagram". 

What was Snyder writing about? 

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:35 | 5141599 max2205
max2205's picture


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:37 | 5141606 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



On the TV at the restaurant where I just ate lunch with a colleague...


The U.S. Open

A USTA Event


I believe the sign on the court should read, "An USTA Event."

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:37 | 5141617 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Yes, it should be. 

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:38 | 5141620 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



The Elements of Style, 4th Edition
William Strunk, et al, $      8.26

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:43 | 5141650 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

i paid someone to take my sat's in 1967. probably couldn't do that now. fuck exams. they measure your ability to think critically.  creative thinking is where the money is.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:46 | 5141662 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Creative thinking is critical thinking when it comes to solving problems. If you are not capable of both, you are not fully capable of either one. 

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:48 | 5141689 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

creative thinkers don't solve problems. they avoid them in the first place

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:58 | 5141744 quintago
quintago's picture

Don't worry, they'll just mess with the formula ala CPI, Labor stats, Money Supply, etc.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:12 | 5141817 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

"these are the kinds of questions that eighth grade students were expected to be able to answer back in 1912"

wow. kids were pretty smart if they could answer all those questions in 1912.

did something happen in 1913 to make people dumber?

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:18 | 5141852 Gaius Frakkin' ...
Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Point taken, but I don't think that "magnetic" is an invention, but rather a discovery.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:22 | 5141865 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

Are people dumber than they used to be?

If so, how would they know?

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:32 | 5141912 Say What Again
Say What Again's picture

I aced the test with a little help from the internet.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:36 | 5141934 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

GF:  It was called "magnetic" telegraph as there were "optical" telegraphs in use such as semaphore, signal lamps, smoke signals, etc

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:54 | 5142024 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

See if Michael can do this:


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:12 | 5142076 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any girl who isn't me tonight.

Perhaps... it's all in how you feel.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 23:43 | 5143560 wareco
wareco's picture

Got 7 out 10, and I'm still a millionaire a few times over.  The extent of your intelligence is not directly related to the size of your bank account.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:50 | 5142007 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

a psychology professor at the University of Amsterdam named Jan te Nijenhuis has calculated that we have lost a total of 14 IQ points on average since the Victorian Era.

Oh a psychologist claims it, clearly scientific fact. 

Much of it is written at such a high level that I can barely even understand it.

And they couldn't understand Dellio - language changes, not to mention the rest.  

But the truth is that if we had to go up head to head against them in mental challenges, we might find ourselves greatly humbled.

The statistics presented above could be construed in a multitude of ways. In the past people didn't have to know many things (various tech, cultural references, social media etc.) to keep up with society so it was certainly easier to focus on a few topics. 

There's an obsession among certain groups of people about 'intellgence declines' (true though - your intelligence will decline reading the daily mail). I'm guessing these people tend to be old lol

If they could measure biologically they'd have something, basing it on test scores? Nope. 

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:13 | 5142073 juangrande
juangrande's picture

Well first of all, they spelled door "dodr" on the 1912 test. But, it seems to me, the world was doing the same stupid shit then, that it is doing now. It's just in hyper mode due to technology and population explosions.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:34 | 5142166 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Feed and breed.

If they have the resources, stupid people will outbreed smart people.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:37 | 5142175 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

If they have the resources, stupid people will outbreed smart people.

There may be some truth to this. Dummies seem to be breeding like rabbits, a lot of others are forgoing the whole thing.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:48 | 5142449 Bad Attitude
Bad Attitude's picture

It's worse than just "if they have the resources." We are giving them the resources. We pay them to breed like rabbits, and then pay to clean up the inevitable mess.

Forward (over the cliff)!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 19:23 | 5142564 gonetogalt
gonetogalt's picture

Today CCTV referenced a WHO study/prediction which stated that one half of the world's children will be African by the year 2100.

MOAR Ebola, anyone?

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 22:53 | 5143395 gmj
gmj's picture

In the USA, we breed for stupidity.  We breed them like cattle.  We reward them for reproducing, so they reproduce.  The money comes from the taxpaying middle class, which can't afford as many children.  In our immigration policies, we give powerful unwritten incentives for the least educated and capable to slip in.  I am unable to understand why TPTB (of both parties) are so determined to continue these suicidal policies.  

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 23:45 | 5143570 wareco
wareco's picture

Somebody has to pay for your social security. 

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:08 | 5145194 Matt
Matt's picture

You think that manual labourers are going to pay the Social Security for retired city workers?

I think short term > long term thinking is the reason why politicians do a great many things.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:16 | 5142330 Rentier88
Rentier88's picture

Book called the dumbing down of america, basically how the powers that be don't want a population that is too smart.  Just smart enough to be debter slaves and to work making the rich richer.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:17 | 5142336 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

"Fuckin' magnets, how do they work?"

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 09:23 | 5144424 froze25
froze25's picture

Magnets are very intresting they seam to be an un ending source of energy.  For expample you stick a magnet on a refrigerator and it just defies gravity sticking to the metal wall.  There must be more to it.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:07 | 5142288 Rbh110
Rbh110's picture

Those hillbillies weren't that smart, the person preparing the test spelled Serbia and Romania wrong.

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:24 | 5145302 Matt
Matt's picture

I bet the teacher had to manually type out each copy of the test one at a time on a mechanical typewriter, so say 30 times in a row. I find a few typos pretty reasaonable considering the tools s/he had to work with.

After the test, the teacher had to manually read and score each test while the students were at recess or silent reading or something.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:57 | 5141745 negative rates
negative rates's picture

You'll want to feel stupid after getting some of my 6th grade education, it's so good, you can't get above 62 with it.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:02 | 5141766 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Yeah, because creative thinkers can see the future and prevent anything and everything bad from ever happening and they never work as engineers solving problems for people either....



Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:11 | 5141808 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

"You don't argue with engineers. You derail them".  Ed Abbey in the Monkey Wrench Gang

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:06 | 5141786 fuu
fuu's picture

I thought Congress was granted powers not rights.

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 09:27 | 5144434 froze25
froze25's picture

The key word is granted, he who give it may take it away.  Who gave it? We did, not the President.  Only we the "People" can take it away.  However the Pres works very hard to take it away through executive order.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:49 | 5141696 BandGap
BandGap's picture

Probably a combination of both intelligence and creativity.


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:47 | 5141658 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

I drudged my way through, "The Will to Power" at the age of 15, and that was only a short two decades ago.


Most of the books on your list are grade school level books IMO. It's a shame that most teenagers can barely read them. 


I know one thing, my children will likely be well above the standard that will exist when they get old enough. If my past is any indicator of how they will behave, they will nerds to the 16th power and surpass me in the kingdoms of Earth as the smartest of their localized peers.

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 09:29 | 5144443 froze25
froze25's picture

The fact is if you care a little bit about your childs education, you care much more then most do.  I have a feeling that most folks that are this website have a very diffrent set of values then most of the general population.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:54 | 5141723 himaroid
himaroid's picture

Excellent book and list. I could only add "The Italian Cooking Encylopedia" by Capalbo Carla. Though it is more about living than learning.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 20:15 | 5142756 SleepyLagoon
SleepyLagoon's picture

No, it shouldn't be. Use an before vowel sounds (not letters). U in USTA sounds like yew, e.g., a yak grazed beneath a yew tree.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:40 | 5141625 Carpenter1
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Can't be true. Evolutionary theory tells us we're evolving and will one day be GODS!!!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:32 | 5141909 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

That what Mormons believe, true enough. But DNA collapse is well known and documented in operational sciences. It's happening in every species, part of the decline of all of creation. Of course, this negates the theory of evolution too.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:57 | 5142030 Georgia_Boy
Georgia_Boy's picture

How many dystopian sci-fi novels can you think of based on the premise of people becoming too stupid to manage what their ancestors created?  Maybe AI has taken over management of society and the humans are reduced to their ill-behaved dogs. Maybe it could be like the Terminator but Skynet is really looking our for our best interest while we fight it because we don't understand what's best for us.  Too bad I'm too busy designing, building and running the machines to think much about what might come of them ...

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:08 | 5142058 Jam Akin
Jam Akin's picture

Or perhaps "Idiocracy" is becoming reality.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 20:34 | 5142827 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

What is this DNA collapse you speak of, never, ever, heard of it? Evangelical christianity has a bit of a habit of referencing extremely fringe science that does not indeed have any mainstream acceptance.

Please define the term "collapse" in the phrase "collapse of DNA".

There is no end game, there is no purpose. Biological entities just keep morphing based on pressures from the environment and random mutation. There is no such thing as absolutely better or best, it's all temporary. If we radiate the earth with nuclear fallout then the cock roach becomes a better form of life for the earth. 

Try looking at the world without emotional prejudice, it's quite a remarkable place and doesn't need the horribly contrived complexity humans paint it with.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:47 | 5141682 BandGap
BandGap's picture

That one goes either way grammarically, I believe. The "U" stands for "United" thus could read "a United States Tennis Association Event".

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:58 | 5141702 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



I was taught that the U at the beginning of both united and USTA is a vowel, and thus requires an, instead of a, which is used only before words beginning with a consonant.  To say, "an umbrella," is correct.

The error on the court-side signage stands out like a sore thumb to me.  But what do I know?  I have a crappy public-school education, and was raised in a house where nobody else went to college. 

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:18 | 5142101 juangrande
juangrande's picture

But "United" has a consonant "Y" sound, like "you", thus it is "a". Of course, I was educated in Louisiana, so I could be wrong.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:00 | 5141754 Der Wille Zur Macht
Der Wille Zur Macht's picture

You are wrong hedgeless_horseman.

The use of "A" is proper in this particular example because of the phonetic sound of "U" in USTA.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:09 | 5141769 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Are you saying that USTA is pronounced yoostah, and not you es tee ay

Regardless, I always thought that, " united front...," is correct.  To my ear, "...a united front...," just sounds wrong, although Google does return plenty of results for either one.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:14 | 5141822 Der Wille Zur Macht
Der Wille Zur Macht's picture


USTA is an acronym. Either it is read in full (United States Tennis Association), or it is read phonetically, letter-by-letter (U [you], S [ess], T [tee], A [ay]).

In either case, the first sound that comes out of one's mouth is "you." Thus, the letter "A" precedes this acronym. 

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:24 | 5141844 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Either it is read in full (United States Tennis Association), or it is
read phonetically, letter-by-letter (U [you], S [ess], T [tee], A [ay]).

Interesting.  I know someone that worked at (N[en], A[ay], S[ess], A[ay]).  He helped fake the moon landings.  Nobody, no matter how smart, has ever been able to fit into the Lunar Landing Module all of the fuel required for deceleration from orbital velocity, descent, a soft landing, acceleration, and ascent back to orbital velocity.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:25 | 5141870 Der Wille Zur Macht
Der Wille Zur Macht's picture

There are exceptions to the pronunciation of colloquial acronyms. 

There are no exceptions to the use of "A" in front of the word "United."

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:49 | 5141884 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Maybe the (N[en], A[ay], S[ess], A[ay]) engineers received a fuel-consumption exception from (J[jay], F[eff], K[cay]) before he died?

Our government keeps telling us that 2+2=5, and then people wonder why we are getting, "stupider."

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:27 | 5141886 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

You're another fucking idiot HH!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:32 | 5141898 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Myybe so, but at least I didn't lose the original footage from the lunar landings, like the geniuses at (N[en], A[ay], S[ess], A[ay]) did. 

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:33 | 5141908 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Oh fuck, you are a moron.

And you want every body else to be a moron so you look normal.


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:53 | 5141921 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



If I was smarter, then I could maybe figure out why the astronauts allegedly filmed playing around and hitting golf balls on the lunar surface didn't jump any higher than just a few inches in their space suits, despite the fact that the moon's gravity is 1/6 of the Earth's gravity.

If I was really smart, I might be able to help the Russians or Chinese land men on the moon and return them safely in 2014, just like the USA was supposedly able to do 45 years ago in 1969.  Alas, in reality, I am just another idiot stuck with Earth orbit, or lunar orbit at best, like everyone else on the planet.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:13 | 5142078 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Nahhh... If you were REALLY smart..

You would jump off a tall building to prove that it isn't the fall that kills you..

But the sudden stop.


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:06 | 5142164 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



You would jump off a tall building to prove that it isn't the fall that kills you..

But the sudden stop.


Don't attack me, blame JFK for making such a foolish commitment without first consulting the engineers.

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.

Nobody, no matter how smart, has ever been able to fit into the Lunar Landing Module two astronauts, two rocket engines, food, water, oxygen, and all of the fuel required for deceleration from orbital velocity, descent to the moon's surface, a soft landing, enough acceleration for lift-off, and ascent back to orbital velocity.

Unlike with the tiny Mars lander, the moon doesn't have an atmosphere to slow down the much larger Lunar Landing Module's descent.   In July of 1969 the Apollo astronauts had to be slowed to a soft landing entirely with a rocket engine that burns fuel.  No parachutes.  No bouncy airbags.  Just a perfectly gentle landing, if you believe 2+2=5.


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:11 | 5142309 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Unlike with the tiny Mars lander, the moon doesn't have an atmosphere to slow down the much larger Lunar Landing Module's descent.   It had to be slowed to a soft landing entirely with a rocket engine that burns fuel.  No parachutes.  No bouncy airbags.  Just a perfectly gentle landing, if you believe 2+2=5.

Moon rotates at 17km / hr, mars at 868km/hr. Mars also has more than twice the gravity and is a fair bit bigger. 

So yeah, expect a MUCH harder landing on mars. 

Investigate further here:

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:36 | 5142399 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Regarding the soft-landing-on-the-moon problem you linked to, add to his equation the weight of the fuel and the second (seperate) engine in the Lunar Landing Module allegedly used to return the lunar lander to lunar orbit along with the astronauts, and all the supplies to keep them alive on the surface of the moon, such as oxygen, heat, food, and water.  Good luck!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 19:44 | 5142643 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

add to his equation the weight of the fuel and the second (seperate) engine in the Lunar Landing Module allegedly used to return the lunar lander to lunar orbit along with the astronauts,

All in there:

^ That is probably the simplest demo. Worth underlining - mass decreases as its thrusters burn fuel. 

I don't get what the issue here is at all, more complex soft landings are done here on earth routinely (where it is harder to do, minus the whole travelling to the moon and entering its orbit bit). It's impressive what they did, but not some sort of magic. 

You can even practice your own lunar landing here:

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 01:09 | 5143738 Supernova Born
Supernova Born's picture

I have witnessed the going of full retard on Zero Hedge. Marking the time and date for posterity.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:34 | 5142168 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

If I was smarter, then I could maybe figure out why the astronauts allegedly filmed playing around and hitting golf balls on the lunar surface didn't jump any higher than just a few inches in their space suits, despite the fact that the moon's gravity is 1/6 of the Earth's gravity.

I've hit a golfball in the rough and had it go only a few inches too. Friction still exists on the moon, as does the rest of physics. 

About English, it is a stupid language so who cares if it's 'an' or 'a.' 

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 19:34 | 5142397 Seeing Red
Seeing Red's picture

HH:  Were these geniuses presuming the Earth's gravity well or the Moon's?


1)  Assume the Moon is like the Earth in some way that it isn't (often requires ignorance of high-school physics).

2)  Find a discrepancy based on one or more faulty assumptions.

3)  Deduce that the Apollo landings were faked (and, typically, took place on Earth).

Seriously, a lot of bogus arguments follow this pattern.  It's amazing.  Do you have any hard data to back up your claims?

I hope you realize that the Moon has a very weak gravity field, and the Lander is TWO-stage for efficiency.  Also, the Command Module remained in Lunar orbit, again for (fuel) efficiency.  Do you not understand the concepts of physics and engineering?  How do you think cars come about?  Do you use a car?  Do you worry that you can't see the fuel tank?

JUNKERS:  Please illuminate me with your best [non-bogus (to you)] argument, or provide a link to such.

OTHERS:  I know it's hopeless -- moon-landing-deniers are among the most closed-minded people on the planet.  It's like a religion to them.  I can show them exactly where one of their arguments is completely wrong and it does no good whatsoever <sigh>.  Unfortunately, the hand-waving in this thread is too vague to rebuke with analysis; there isn't the typical chain-of-bogus-logic.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:16 | 5141842 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

That could be AN historical error.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:24 | 5142357 Roger Knights
Roger Knights's picture

In Britain, "an historical" is the correct usage--but only because the "h" is not pronounced or is slurred over. Here, where there's a "hard" H, "a historical" is correct--and common.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:43 | 5141962 Stormtrooper
Stormtrooper's picture

Been a long time since I learned all the rules but I'm going to stick my neck out.  In the case of united front, I believe that united is considered a modifier and front is the noun.  The A or An is applied to the noun.  Since the noun begins with a consonant, A is appropriate.  In other words A (united) front.

Come on English majors.  Settle this.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:09 | 5141805 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

Plus "anus-ta" doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:38 | 5141619 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Just look at all the idiots here who believe in Nibiru, free energy, ancient aliens and global warming!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:51 | 5141705 Dixie Rect
Dixie Rect's picture

Water? Like in the toilet?

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 20:12 | 5142750 edotabin
edotabin's picture

They should simply give everyone involved with Idiocracy an Oscar, declare it the smartest movie ever made and make it required viewing in all schools.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 22:18 | 5143256 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

"Just look at all the idiots here who believe in Nibiru, free energy, ancient aliens and global warming!"

You missed one. One of the most pervasive stupid beliefs throughout human history. Are you just being politically correct? 

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:18 | 5144674 Slomotrainwreck
Slomotrainwreck's picture

Stupider is not a word. Doltish is more appropriate

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:35 | 5141583 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Global. People are convinced that you don't need to know all this stuff because you can google it.

A few years back, I took a extensive IQ and EQ test. I failled the EQ test in a big way but aced the IQ test where they tought I cheated.

But there's the other part. EQ... That's defined by our currend standards.... And I do remember questions where if you questioned the political mindset, you lost points.
EQ... How you don't mind sharing everything with everybody.
EQ... Herd mentality...

And that's priced more than IQ these days.

My former boss always used to say: you know to much.
And believe me... If you're surounded by people who know squad and don't care about squad life can be pretty frustrating.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:38 | 5141615 max2205
max2205's picture

This test is racist !

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:03 | 5141774 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

All tests are racist, unless they involve basketball.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:09 | 5141804 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Racist??? Don't you mean culturally biased? Racist is not a politically correct term. 


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:13 | 5142080 Zerozen
Zerozen's picture

Crime statistics are also racist!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:40 | 5141623 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture know too much.


I know Engrish is your second language, so I am not going to say anything unbecoming of an economist, unless we are talking about alien invasions.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:42 | 5141640 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I have dyslectia
For me, words are pictures.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:48 | 5141683 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Is that how that works :-P 

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:58 | 5141740 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

It has it advantages, I can read real fast because of it. I look at a text, I don't really read it word for word.
The downside is, that once I write something wrong, I write it wrong forever.
It was a nightmare as a kid, but I never really learned to write like normal kids, I learned word per word, the entire dictionary.
And to remember a text, I only needed to remember the sequence of the words and once i wrote it down, I never forgot it.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:06 | 5141782 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

If it makes you feel any better I can't deal with crowds or more than 5 people at a time. I break out in sweats and start having panic attacks. 

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 22:24 | 5143279 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

"For me, words are pictures."

How does the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words" work then. To you, is a picture worth a thousand pictures or is a word worth one picture?

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:56 | 5141733 jiggerjuice
jiggerjuice's picture

I, too, have sexdaily... I mean dyslexia. 

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:04 | 5141777 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

I think I prefer your version.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:13 | 5142316 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Dyslexics of the world untie!

It's a stupid test anyway. A rope from a 40 ft building to a point 30 ft away? How elestic is the rope? How taunt did you pull it? Should I assume earth's gravity to calculate the sag? I hate ambiguous question.


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:30 | 5142383 Roger Knights
Roger Knights's picture

The intent was to get the testee to calculate a hypotenuse. Let's see:

30 squared = 900

40 squared = 1600

Total = 2500

Square root of 2500 = 50 


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 19:15 | 5142535 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

If life hands you a bowl of melons, you might be dyslexic.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:44 | 5141647 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

See what I mean now!?

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:44 | 5141642 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:52 | 5141693 Carpenter1
Carpenter1's picture

I'm sure if you had failed the IQ test you would been slamming it now.

EQ has nothing to do with your mentality(herd or non herd) it's a measure of your personal awareness, ability to manage your emotions, and make balanced decisions based on weighing your circumstances.

All things that people with high IQ's suck at. Can work out a complex math problem but fall into a self-induced myopic tailspin that drops them in an emotional abyss they haven't the slightest clue how to get out of.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:25 | 5142138 juangrande
juangrande's picture

So EQ is what we used to call common sense?

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:54 | 5142116 Georgia_Boy
Georgia_Boy's picture


I looked over some questions from an EQ test once and found I would have answered them the supposedly non emotionally intelligent way too.  I disagreed because the right answers were all the beta male sensibilty stuff, they were only right if your view of emotional intelligence is that people should all act towards each other like an episode of Sesame Street.

A typical example was, OK you're riding in a car and someone cuts off the driver, he gets really mad.  What do you do?  And two of the answers would be try to distract him with his favorite music, or talk through his feelings with him, and you were supposed to answer the latter.  I'm like OK, if this guy is a grown-azz adult and can't blow it off when somebody pulls a D move and is gone, why should I take on responsibility for him?  I'm not here to save those who won't grow up themselves.  So my best move is just like a "pass" in a card game, de-fuse and move on, maybe I might say something in passing about how he should handle it different but nobody asked me to be his dad or his psych.

It makes me suspect that the EQ concept isn't worth that much, mainly just another attempt to socially engineer us.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:27 | 5141563 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Ignorance is bliss!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:32 | 5141584 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Fat and happy -

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:12 | 5141826 BeansMcGreens
BeansMcGreens's picture

Thats unpossible!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:27 | 5141567 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Recently, they made a little test like tis for our teachers.
Almost all of them failled the tests.
And it's not that hard, all it requires is common knowledge... So if even teachers faill these tests...

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:03 | 5141770 AGuy
AGuy's picture

FYI: Knowledge and Intelligence are two different traits. In the case of the 1912 test, This was when created the illiteracy rate was aroun 10%. Today is about 1%. I doubt the average person or student in 1912 would have passed that test.

I find it difficult to believe that its possible to accurately track human intelligence from decades to hundreds of years ago. Few people achived a high school level. Most kids ended up working in factories or other jobs at a young age which would make it difficult for them to get full education.

This Guy argues that people got a lot smarter in the 20th Century, But I am skeptical:

FWIW: I doubt Intelligence or Applicable Knowledge as changed much. We keep on repeating the same mistakes over and over (war, economics, philosophy, socialism, etc). I don't think there is sufficient data to track Intelligence, and the information taught today is much different than in the pass. In my opinion what we really need is a test that measure critical thinking, The ability to reason an idea objectively without policial and social bias.

In my opinion IQ and knowledge has a lot to do with how much effort an individual applies themselves. For the most part, People are dumb, because the choose to be. The majority of people simply do not want to learn or want try to solve problems. People tend to make broad generalizations instead of reseaching using the available information and apply critical thinking.

Consider that a mere 500 years ago, the Majority of people though the world was flat and that the Sun, planets and stars orbited the Earth. Its only because of the 1 in a Billion humans actually applied critical thinking to science that made a difference. Often the work of these Mavericks remained ignored for decades to a Century before it was accepted: Giordano Bruno , Galileo Galilei, Newton, Michael Faraday, etc. This has continued to this day.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:32 | 5142158 juangrande
juangrande's picture

Like always, the entrenched power resists change. Earth as the center was very convenient for theologists, who happened to run the show at the time.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 18:32 | 5142390 Otto Zitte
Otto Zitte's picture

In 500 years commoners will be scoffing at the astrophysical theories you believe true. And statistics. 

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 03:08 | 5143847 Leraconteur
Leraconteur's picture

Most kids ended up working in factories or other jobs at a young age which would make it difficult for them to get full education.


Yet they knew things that you don't, that recent graduates don't.

It is difficult to not assess that current graduates are idiots, when I knew at age 10 something that they do not know now.

It is difficult to not assess that current graduates are idiots, when an 8th grader in 1912 knew at age 14 something that they do not know now.

Everything they know that I don't is PC bullshit values and propaganda slogans.


-Don't use the words retarded, lame, queer, gay, wev

-We must save the environment

-Humans are causing global warming/cooling/climate change/disruption/wev

-Safety First!

...and so on...

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 03:10 | 5143848 Leraconteur
Leraconteur's picture

Consider that a mere 500 years ago, the Majority of people though the world was flat and that the Sun, planets and stars orbited the Earth. 


Nearly everyone in China thought this until 1850-1870 or so.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:28 | 5141572 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:58 | 5141746 economessed
economessed's picture

So like, what?

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 03:02 | 5143845 Leraconteur
Leraconteur's picture


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:29 | 5141573 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

"The decline, said scientists, has happened over the past 10,000 years. They blame agriculture, with restricted diets and urbanization..."

So that Ancient Aliens guy with the hair was right?

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:32 | 5141578 duo
duo's picture

Fluoride, wheat, HFCS, Partially Hydrogenated vegetable oils, vaccines, more vaccines, television.  And then there are the schools.  Gifted children must be dumbed down.

I've had to work with recent engineering grads (most with Masters) that don't know what was considered high school physics in the '70s.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:47 | 5141677 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Try explaining the difference between bullet energy and momentum at the range to even younger shooters who should still have some memory of high school physics.

And they don't even try to protect their precious bodily fluids!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:33 | 5142162 juangrande
juangrande's picture

More than one of those guys had hair issues, but I think I know which one you mean!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 23:42 | 5143557 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

I've no problem with Snyder waxing apocalyptic with economics, an area in which the knowledgeable are truly clueless, but science and history are a different matter.

It is uncontroversial at this point that hominids grew larger and larger up until about 1,000,000 to 100,000 years ago. It is also accepted that the transition away from a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle resulted in smaller bodies for the relevant population - anyone can confirm this for themselves by looking at hominid skeletons. This continued until roughly the 19th century, and then abruptly reversed - anyone can confirm this for themselves by observing skeletal remains or visiting preserved hisotrical ships and buildings,and examining the height of the door frames (among other things).

10,000 years ago corresponds precisely with the beginning of the rise of horticulture and then agriculture, which rapidly replaced a diet high in fresh non-starch vegetables, non-dairy animal protein, seeds, and nuts (and fruit) with a diet of mostly grains-starches and dairy plus low-quality fatty meats, much of which was not fresh.

I believe the IQ phenomenon is as follows: IQs rose dramatically, faster than anyone could credibly and scientifically (non-magically) explain. I believe Flynn himself (of the eponymous Flynn effect) solved the mystery, when he surmised that a great deal of what IQ tests test is strongly influenced by education, and the observed period for the Flynn Effect is of course the same period of the rise of compulsory universal education. They've been "teaching to the test" all along, without knowing so. But that probably changed recently, as the trend in SAT scores show. My hypothesis would be that the close fit between education and IQ test has widened recently, the tests may be better or they may be worse in terms of actual metric performance regarding the general intelligence factor, but the beneficial effect of education on the general intelligence factor might also be changing. If I was designing a study, I'd have random samples from all age groups take IQ tests from each decade going back to the earliest available.

As for the exam Snyder includes, it is simply a test of rote memorization capability, the task for which, more than any other, textual media have made ever more obsolete since the rise of mass literacy. In an environment where knowledge is easily stored and retrieved, the utility of memorizing many types of knowledge is much lower, and conversely, the utility of knowing optimal information-search behaviors is much higher.

And as for brain size, there is no significant correlation between brain size (volume and/or mass) and intelligence among humans, controlled for body mass and age. In fact, if the human brain was much bigger, given it's current design, its performance in critical behaviors like response-time would begin to deteriorate due simply to the increased distance and number of synapses (speed of electrical signals conducted across neurons and chemical signals across synapses can't get much faster given the [arbitrary] biochemical and bioelectrical constraints).

This shouldn't be news to anyone, Michael Snyder is just being fear-mongering click-baiting screaming-fire-in-a-crowded-theater Michael Snyder.

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 02:59 | 5143843 Leraconteur
Leraconteur's picture

The beginning of agriculture this time around.

It is possible, and new discoveries are suggesting, that this is just one of several rises of civilisation. The others likely never exceeded 1400 Qing China, but that is good enough. There may be cities in the ocean off the coasts of India and Japan, that are just where the coastline would have been before the huge sea level rise at the end of the previous interglacial period.

Nothing we have now would survive 10,000 years except some stones, plastic, glass bottles, perhaps a few water dams. If our level of tech existed 20,000 years ago, there would be no trace of it today just as there is now almost no trace of anything pre-5000BC. Anything that was not eroded would be under water, under sediment, or under ground covered with soil and dirt.

If the previous rises were along ocean coasts, there would be no remaining fossil record at all. It would be under water and covered in silt.

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 22:52 | 5147706 Leraconteur
Leraconteur's picture


t is simply a test of rote memorization capability, the task for which, more than any other, textual media have made ever more obsolete since the rise of mass literacy. 


Even with ultra fast search, one needs to pause even with Google Glass. Humans who are educated, who rotely memorised useless information such as how to spell 'memorised' (English spelling for you Americans) and how much is the product of a multiplicand and multiplier, are better educated and know more than ones who search for everything but remember none of it.

Rote memorisation is still the foundation of an educated human, there is no way around that.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:30 | 5141575 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Dude, like,  epic fail !

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:43 | 5141643 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

Like not enough "likes" in like one sentence... like.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:30 | 5141577 himaroid
himaroid's picture

The "open minded" liberals would burn that test. Too much common sense. Too linked to morals. Too difficult.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:29 | 5141579 Let them eat iPads
Let them eat iPads's picture

Not just dumber but more rude, inconsiderate, self-entitled and generally dickish.

The human race needs a good purge.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:44 | 5141646 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

"The human race needs a good purge."

But first, let me take a selfie!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:55 | 5141709 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

And, the Engish language / ability to communicate with one another is being abbreviated at an excelerated rate. In my humble opinion (IMHO).

The Social Engineers have been very busy Bees.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 16:46 | 5141983 11b40
Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:46 | 5141661 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

Would you feel the same if there was a 50% chance you'd be part of the 'purged'?  75%?  I find most people talking about the need for 'a good war' or 'a good purge' or 'a good pandemic to thin the herd' assume they'll be in the group remaining after the event.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:59 | 5141756 Let them eat iPads
Let them eat iPads's picture

I'll be one of the few people actually paying attention ie: not wasting my time on facebook or twitter so yeah, I'll take that chance.

I think it'll be considerably less than 50%.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:42 | 5142200 juangrande
juangrande's picture

I think a lot of that has to do with parentally supervised "playdays". When I was growing up, a playday was hanging out with the other kids in the neighborhood (ages 6-13) and learning to fend for yourself. That taught you valuable lessons. If you shot off about something, you needed to be prepared to deal with the consequences. Even bullies were proned to be castigated if taken too far.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:30 | 5141580 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

It's not like peeps are stoooopid enuf to let their incompetent corrupt elected visionaries to get them US$20T in debt or anything like dat? Kuz dat wud be realllly dopey!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:31 | 5141581 djsmps
djsmps's picture

Just read the comments on the HuffingtonPost, and you'll see a staggering level of stupidity and naivety.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:47 | 5141679 WTFx10
WTFx10's picture

ANY MSM sites comments are good for a laugh or utter disbelief.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:30 | 5141582 RacerX
RacerX's picture

Wow, impressive 8th grade test. If only the schools taugh that, instead of all the feel-good, PC horsesh*.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:31 | 5141587 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Translate that into Ebonics & it would be a snap!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:19 | 5142107 Zerozen
Zerozen's picture

Just as long as it's not written in cursive. Has to be printed block letters.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:32 | 5141590 Cruel Aid
Cruel Aid's picture

I think the Nea is making them stupid. what else could it be?


Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:33 | 5141592 Frank N. Beans
Frank N. Beans's picture

Seems to be tied in to the US going off the gold standard.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:39 | 5141594 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

I've noticed it quite a bit here recently in California where we are in the midst of a crippling drought and people are dumping buckets of water on their heads.

Thanks, herd mentality!


This guy gets it

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:44 | 5141653 Fuku Ben
Fuku Ben's picture

Yes but half of it is ice so that makes it okay you're only using 50% water in the new IQ normal

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:47 | 5141681 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

It's fascinating to watch actually. It's an equivalent of the most successful chain letter ever written and a proof that if you can just get one celebrity on the bandwaggon, the herd will follow.

Robert Newman had an idea for using post mortem humans for soil fertillization (or the way Carlin puts it - plowing the motherfucking graveyards). He said that in order for it to become a trend a celebrity or two would have to do it first and then overnight it would become the norm.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:33 | 5141595 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

I wonder if Siri cud pass dat test?

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:35 | 5141597 jarana
jarana's picture

Most of the above questions are long term memory dependent.

I don't think people being more stupid now.

In fact, I think people is "trained" or "teached" (mostly by education programs made by burochrats) for useless tasks in our environment.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:41 | 5141633 jarana
jarana's picture

For the down-voter(s):

In a more network-dependent system, the "copy" of the public-ledger that should every individual mantain must have different information than should have the ledger of the "server nodes" in a centralized system.

I've heard about chinesse writtings advising from the same "degradation" about 3000 years ago.

Right, you are able to understand your "nature" from your very "nature". Ok. Not me.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:35 | 5141600 zipit
zipit's picture

At least the kids know their geography:

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:35 | 5141603 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

I ain't sure but I tink dat test is racciss!

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:37 | 5141608 quasimodo
quasimodo's picture

Rest assured, 90 % of today's kids could not answer even one of those questions. I can only answer about 15 of them myself(not that I am bragging about THAT)

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:38 | 5141609 lbrecken
lbrecken's picture

What a flippin idiot.  Tyler did you ever care think that the population mix has changed dramatically where by in last 100 years different races make up much larger percentages of population?  And those with higher mix came from areas such as Latin America where education isnt very good?  Further more with socialism running rampant here lower socio economic classes which are less education and maybe even less smart or dumber are ecouraged to flourish where 100 years ago they werent.  SO before you come to dumb conclusion as your seld whether im right.  I have the facts on my side here.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:37 | 5141611 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Kids didn't have T.V. or the Internet mucking up their brains.

If they could get some time not doing chores to study many probably did.

Size of the brain isn't the determining factor as much as the efficiency of the neural connections (Einstein's brain was no larger than average).

It is not a lack of intelligence as much as it is a breakdown in the cultures and societies.

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