Will our children be stupid?

As it is Monday and it is still my kind, a politically incorrect article, on a taboo subject: the true intelligence of our descendants. The surge in the number of children declared "gifted" (i.e. whose IQ is greater than 130) by their parents had already put the chip in my ear and made me want to dig into the subject, especially after watching the documentary Our intelligence unveiled on ARTE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YALC1xGH-fA Are we really seeing an increase in the births of little geniuses, or are we experiencing a decline in human intelligence? The article in the newspaper Le Point published last July had caused a snang of ink, by evoking a 4-point drop in average IQ in France. At issue: the time spent in front of the television or driving a car… but also endocrine disruptors that are increasingly present throughout our environment: in the air we breathe, in the clothes we wear, the products we use and the food we consume. Are these endocrine disruptors also at the origin of the rise in behavioral disorders,hyperactivity, attention disorders, depression? What about the growing number of births of autistic children? In California, their number has increased by 600% in the space of just eleven years. One in sixty-eight children born in 2017 in the USA is autistic. It's a real pandemic,and it's global. I had already spoken on the networks of the film Idiocracy (2006), which I had found as funny as it was fine, behind an appearance of a light and good-natured film. A little American film that we rent on a rainy evening, to have fun with friends. In Idiocracy,humanity has lost intelligence in 500 years to such an extent that the average IQ of humans hardly exceeds 60. The cause, in the film, comes from the fact that "intelligent" people think too much before choosing to have children, first passing on their career and personal success, asking themselves a lot of questions about the future, while the "stupid", poor and poorly educated, copulate at all costs without asking questions (and without wearing a hood). Thus making children who themselves make children… more and more stupid. The film, which can be seen as cruel and rather heavy humor, had appealed to professional film critics and viewers alike when it was released in 2006. Some were enthused by the cheek of its creator, Mike Judge, speaking of a"prophecy, parody and metaphor of our voyeuristic and consumerist society, sometimes barely exaggerated". Mike Judge is also the creator of the series Silicon Valley, which has aired since 2004 on HBO. Those who know it will not be able to deny the intelligence and the fine reading of contemporary society by its creator… Idiocracy movie poster QI But the documentary Demain, tous crétins? presented in preview at the Parisciences festival and broadcast on ARTE on November 7, now sheds scientific light on this phenomenon.In this film produced in particular by CNRS Images and LCP Assemblée Nationale, and which confirms the investigative talent of its directors Sylvie Gilman and Thierry de Lestrade, scientists from all over the world confirm the terrible reality.

For the past two decades, scientists have noted with concern that intellectual capacities are constantly diminishing on a global scale. A decline in IQ has been observed in several Western countries. In addition, there has been an explosion in cases of autism and behavioural disorders. At issue: endocrine disruptors, the chemical molecules that disrupt the functioning of the thyroid. These particles have invaded our daily lives: we bathe in a real chemical soup.

Several reasons are cited by scientists, including the fact that more children are born in poor countries, and are therefore unfortunately more likely to face health problems, lack of drinking water and food, lack of education, and psychological trauma. But pollution is the main cause of the degradation of our global state, in particular by causing the sterility of an increasing number of couples in the world,in addition to the damage of fetuses by these chemicals. It is sad to say that we have experienced phenomenal growth in our species, an evolution like no other species has experienced on Earth, thanks to our exceptional brain. All this in order to achieve a decrease in our general intellectual level. Because of other unscrupulous beings, who continue to use and offer without complex harmful chemicals in every element of our environment. For one reason only: enrichment. With the complicity of other human beings, the politicians, who are convinced either by the alarmist speeches of the multinationals on the effects of the destruction of their industry and the job losses that will result from it, or by thick envelopes passed under the table, or even by pretty young ladies offered in the rooms of hotels. Or out of sheer ignorance. Or for fear of losing voters… The fight against endocrine disruptors, so numerous and so widespread in our environment, has only just begun. There were 124 suspect substances for the first time in 2001, and since then the list has only grown (Inserm/Afsset). Progress has already been made with the ban on Bisphenol A, and the debate remains strong against glyphosate. But there are still so many molecules used in all everyday products and objects, that it will probably take years to make an exhaustive list. And even if the scientific evidence of their extreme danger to human health and intellectual capacities is brought before the legislators, will they take the necessary decisions? Knowing that in addition some of these molecules will still take decades to disappear, because they attach to the adipose tissue, accumulate in the fats of different species and thus contaminate a large part of the food chain.

This may be good news

For what have we done with this great intelligence? We built rockets, but also bombs. We know how to make artificial hearts, but also chemicals that make sick not only our own species, but also the entire planet. Our so-called great intelligence has made us, scientifically and objectively, the worst parasites that the Earth has ever carried. The other living species, considered less evolved, however have the presence of mind not to damage their mother earth…. which is both their habitat and their pantry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3zyPuV73cw So, is being smart a good thing after all? As Jeanne Siaud-Facchin explains in her book Too intelligent to be happy?, a high IQ sometimes goes hand in hand with great suffering, heightened sensitivity. Indeed, the most intelligent among us can only suffer from human stupidity. Especially when they are aware of what is at stake around them.Folk wisdom is rich in adages such as "To the innocent with full hands" and speaks of "happy fools". Beyond intelligence, and the growth of our general knowledge, the greatest quality, the richest virtue that we must develop – and quickly – is perhaps above all wisdom. That of knowing how to put aside one's desires for "more" and "better" for the benefit of the well-being of all. When you use your high logico-mathematical quotient to become a trader and make stock market transactions that ruin or starve a population on the other side of the planet, is this really proof of intelligence?

Before we lose it, let's save our intelligence

What if one of the ways to escape the sad intellectual fate of the "chemical soup" in which we bathe, and which damages the brains of our descendants, was to save our knowledge and our reasoning abilities in an artificial brain? This exciting documentary explains the latest advances in the knowledge of the human brain and shows the advances in the field of artificial brain research around the world. The results of this research on the human brain are staggering. And it is equally astounding to think that we ourselves are damaging this incredible biological machine, ofwhich the computers and the most sophisticated technical tools are only capable of analysing in a complete way a very small part – the size of a grain of sand – so sophisticated it is. The final question of this reflection is, of course, whether we will succeed in being intelligent enough to understand that our intellectual capacity is a much greater wealth than is financial wealth. Will we be able, at some point, to change priorities and paradigm? And to become aware of the immense stupidity that we manifest through our economic, societal and political choices? Sources : Télérama / Cancer Environnement / Le Point / ARTE

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Sophie Barbarella

Writer and Public Speaker

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