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Are we getting more stupid? Researchers claim our intelligence is diminishing as we no longer need it to survive

Published: November 14, 2012
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Source: UK Daily Mail

Our intelligence and behaviour requires optimal functioning of a large number of genes, which requires enormous evolutionary pressures to maintain.

Now, in a provocative theory, a team from Stanford University claim we are losing our intellectual and emotional capabilities because the intricate web of genes which endows us with our brain power is particularly vulnerable to mutations – and these mutations are not being selected against our modern society because we no longer need intelligence to survive.

But we shouldn’t lose any sleep over our diminishing brain power – as by the time it becomes a real problem technology will have found a solution making natural selection obsolete.

‘The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimisation of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples before our ancestors emerged from Africa,’ says Dr Gerald Crabtree, lead author of the paper published today in Cell Press journal Trends in Genetics.

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