THE CRO-MAGNON MAN WAS MORE INTELLIGENT THAN PRESENT-DAY MAN (VI)
October 23rd, 2015
In 2012, Gerald Crabtree published an article (http://bmi205.stanford.edu/_media/crabtree-2.pdf) demonstrating the continuous decline of human intelligence (including emotional intelligence), starting thousands of years ago, through the large number of mutations (most unfavorable) which were not sanctioned by a lower and lower natural selection pressure, chiefly since the Neolithic age. As expected, the chorus of political correctness professionally optimists raised against Crabtree, stating that we live in the best age so far and that we are, certainly, the most intelligent of all humans who have lived until now… The racists too did not receive well Crabtree’s demonstration, most of them being convinced that the genotypic decrease of intelligence would be a recent only phenomenon (originating from the industrial revolution) which could somehow be stopped or even reversed…
Three years after Gerald Crabtree’s article, a study published in Nature (http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/mp2015108a.html) comes up and, without aiming to clarify the evolution of human intelligence in its history, it confirms the thesis of Crabtree (and of those who sustained this thesis before him, including the author of this text).
Searching for the heritability of intelligence, the study published in Nature compares the genome of 1400 highly intelligent humans (having an IQ>170; as a comparison, the average IQ of Nobel Prize laureates for science is 145) to the genome of a normal intelligence control group of 3000 individuals randomly assigned from the population, both groups belonging to the white race. The study did not find any specific genes for high intelligence present in the highly intelligent group and absent in the normal intelligence control group. On the other hand, it demonstrates that there is a lower frequency of functional rare alleles in the highly intelligent group than in the control group. Rare alleles are variants of common genes which result from mutations. They are less frequent because they appeared not so long ago and they had less generations available to disperse. They are new gene variants and mostly unfavourable, including to intelligence, as also revealed by this study.
Another study published in 2012 in Nature (http://www.nature.com/articles/nature11690.epdf) shows that a great majority of these rare alleles (and an even greater majority of the potentially harmful ones) emerged during the last 5,000 – 10,000 years. This is also the period of the greatest reduction in brain volume.
Therefore, highly intelligent individuals have more of the common (old) gene variants and less functional rare (new) gene variants in their genome than people of normal intelligence. However, there are much more people with a normal intelligence. This is just apparently a paradox, since the rare alleles number is very large and not all people carry the same rare alleles.
The more ancient a man is (meaning he has more old alleles and less new alleles), the more intelligent. This is in accordance with results from studying the Kostenki Man (a Cro-Magnon dating 36.000 years ago), who is genetically closest to the current northern European peoples (having the greatest IQ nowadays). Northern European peoples also posses the oldest gene variants.
The more we travel back in time, the less new genes will we find in a human population. Returning to the primary man, the Cro-Magnon (from whom all current Eurasians originate), we will find just old genes in his genome. Being the oldest man, he is the most intelligent of all having existed so far. This is concordant with also having had the largest brain volume, with about 250 cubic centimeters more than present-day Europeans.
Cro-Magnon is a Sapiens-Neanderthal hybrid and he resulted from an extraordinary selection pressure in the extremely harsh ice-age conditions. In that age, unfavorable mutations were eliminated while a favorable mutation (extremely infrequent) spread, because of natural selection, a phenomenon which does not exist nowadays.
Following the publishing of this study in august, in Nature, discussions over human intelligence evolution should have ceased: at least from the moment of climate warming, from the peak of the ice-age (25,000 years ago), intelligence began to drop and it kept dropping and it will drop in the future as well.
The current human is, in regards of both physical attributes and intelligence, just a degenerated Cro-Magnon, as well as the future human will inevitably be a degeneration of the current one. The super-human belongs to the past, not to the future as Nietzsche wrongly assumed…
We could also estimate this past super-human’s IQ: greater than 170…