Falling IQ scores may explain why politics has turned so nasty

Falling IQ scores may explain why politics has turned so nasty, by Daniel Hannan.

The fall in IQ scores in the West is perhaps the most under-reported story of our era. For most of the twentieth century, IQ rose by around three points per decade globally, probably because of better nutrition. But that trend has recently gone into reverse in developed countries.

You hadn’t heard? I’m not surprised. Journalists and politicians won’t go near the subject and you can see why. Consider the theories offered by neuroscientists for the decline. Some argued it had to do with the rising age of motherhood, because the children of older mothers tend to have lower IQs, other things being equal. No one likes to say this, because it can come across as “older moms have dumb kids,” which is not true. …

Other theories were even more explosive. For example, that unintelligent people were having more kids, or that the fall in average scores reflected immigration from places with lower IQs.

Nice to see that message getting about. It is extremely un-PC to mention IQs. First, it would call into question our current social policies of encouraging smarter women to have careers rather than kids, and subsidizing dumber women to have more kids. The result is inevitable and obvious to most everyone (for now, anyway).

Second, IQs also undermine globalist replacement and electoral supremacy policies: third world immigrants come from societies with substantially lower average IQs.

Third, IQ potentially explains “white privilege” and discrepancies in high-end male versus female achievement. If large groups of people can have different statistical characteristics, then disparities do not necessarily imply that discrimination is the cause. Oh dear, identity politics just took a big hit.

Some truths are just too un-PC to be allowed to surface. Better suppress them, lefties.

But a new study from Norway, which examines IQ scores from 730,000 men (standardized tests are part of military service there) disproves all these ideas, because it shows IQ dropping within the same families. Men born in 1991 score, on average, five points lower than men born in 1975. There must, in other words, be an environmental explanation, and the chronology throws up a clear suspect: the rise in screen-time.

Kids brought up with Facebook and Instagram are more politically bigoted, not because they don’t hear alternative opinions, but because they don’t learn the concentration necessary to listen to opponents — a difficult and unnatural skill.

To put it another way, today’s American elections are mild compared to those of, say, 1800 or 1860. The relative tolerance that characterized the twentieth-century reflected rising education and rising intelligence, which made voters more capable of empathy with opponents. Reverse that rise and people will revert to the more primitive but easier rule-of-thumb: my tribe good, your tribe bad.

So much for smartphones.