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May 14 2013

Were the Victorians cleverer than us? It depends which way you look at it


New research in the journal Intelligence suggests the Victorians were naturally cleverer than we are, and draws the startling conclusion that "the Victorian era was marked by an explosion of innovation and genius, per capita rates of which appear to have declined subsequently". Psychologists have studied reaction times apparently an indicator of intelligence from the 1880s to the present, and discovered that they are slowing. Other factors such as health and diet mean overall intelligence is increasing, but the researchers insist our genetic IQ is in decline, a trend they attribute to clever people having fewer children than how can this be put diplomatically? less clever people.

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