The dysgenics community consists of a growing group of people who believe that (genetic) intelligence has declined by about one standard deviation (roughly 15 IQ points) since the Victorian era because of some combination of increased mutation load and dysgenic fertility. Recently I saw some very funny Freudian speculation about what motivates the dysgenics community to believe that we are so much dumber than our 19th century ancestors. I will tell you what I think motivates the dysgenics community (other than the obvious desire to find the truth).
Dysgenics people are disappointed in the utter incompetence we see around us in the world today and the virtual absence of critical thinking, statistical literacy, and scientific excellence in both academia and the blogosphere. Just as humans fantasize about intelligent life on other planets because we don’t want to be the only ones, highly intelligent people are drawn to the dysgenics community because they would like to imagine an enlightened past where there were other intelligent people they could relate to. They don’t want to believe that the low mental level of our species today is the best humanity has ever had to offer.
Here at brainsize.wordpress.com, we are extremely lucky to have eminent multidisciplinary scholar Dr. Bruce Charlton (a leading figure in groundbreaking chronometric research on the decline in human intelligence) as a frequent commentator, and one who also blogs with great depth and breadth about a great many subjects, including intelligence, personality, and genius. When Charlton served as editor of the prestigious academic journal Medical Hypotheses, he famously banned peer review because the elite scientific community simply could not do it competently enough to meet his outstanding intellectual standards. When Charlton’s bold decision became controversial, he was man enough to not back down, gaining the enormous respect of many.
It is extremely rare for anyone or anything to meet Charlton’s exceptionally high academic standards so it’s a great honor that this blog has done so and done so almost immediately, and I hope we can continue to do so moving forward.
Thus, if there’s any common psychological thread running through the dysgenics community, it is the desire for the absolute highest standards of excellence. Since such competence is so rare today, one hopes it was more frequent in the past.