Re: Intelligence and Environment (was Re: Better People)

Timothy Bates (
Mon, 07 Jun 1999 13:53:29 +1000
> Lately my thoughts have been rotating around the positive
> effects that the Internet...
> But what will happen to the precocious kid who has the
> Internet at his fingertips-- the world's biggest library, the world's
> biggest thinktank, the world as his peer group?
> Consider: 25 years ago, a smart, aspiring young teen asks:
> "Dad, why don't satellites fall to the Earth?"
> Dad thinks for a long time and finally says: "That's a really
> good question, son. I guess it must be because they go so darn fast."
> And that's the end of it. The young man can go to the library or a
> science teacher, (and probably would), considering that was feasible.
> Consider that against today when the father says "Well, *I*
> don't know, but we can do an Internet search and find out," and the
> kid knows by the end of the evening.

this and other things may be accelerating human intelligence: it has already climbed by a massive 1 standard deviation since WW-II. Some argue this is artifactual, but I think it is real, based on arguments from cultural demand characteristics (such as you mention, for instance going to school is worth about 1.5 IQ points per year) and improved nutrition and public health initiatives.