At Our Wits' End: Why We're Becoming Less Intelligent and What It Means for the Future
We are becoming less intelligent. This is the shocking yet fascinating message of At Our Wits' End. The authors take us on a journey through the growing body of evidence that we are significantly less intelligent now than we were a hundred years ago. The research proving this is, at once, profoundly thought-provoking, highly controversial, and it's currently only read by academics. But the authors are passionate that it cannot remain ensconced in the ivory tower any longer. With At Our Wits' End, they present the first ever popular scientific book on this crucially important issue. They prove that intelligence -- which is strongly genetic -- was increasing up until the breakthrough of the Industrial Revolution, because we were subject to the rigors of Darwinian Selection, meaning that lots of surviving children was the preserve of the cleverest. But since then, they show, intelligence has gone into rapid decline, because large families are increasingly the preserve of the least intelligent. The book explores how this change has occurred and, crucially, what its consequences will be for the future. Can we find a way of reversing the decline of our IQ? Or will we witness the collapse of civilization and the rise of a new Dark Age?
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About the Author
Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Yr. took his Bachelor's degree at Columbia University, New York, majoring in Evolution, Ecology and Environmental Biology. His PhD work concerned the molecular characterization of aspects of the life history ecology of the thale cress Arabidopsis thaliana, and was undertaken at the University of London (Royal Holloway). Shortly after completing this work, Michael switched his focus from plant to human evolutionary and behavioural ecology and has conducted much of the research showing that average general intelligence is in decline, to the extent that this has even become known as the 'Woodley Effect' in academic circles. He has co-written the academic monograph Historical Variability in Heritable General Intelligence (Buckingham University Press, 2013). Michael has publically discussed this research in various media, including national and international newspapers (The Times, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, etc.), and also in various radio, television and internet formats (e.g. BBC Radio, Al-Jazeera, The Stefan Molyneux Show etc.).