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all 64 comments

[–]obx-fan 7 points8 points  (12 children)

Is it just the genes? Perhaps other factors come in to play such as motivation, family encouragement, and quality of the education environment.

[–]Mequittingthenet 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I still don't believe the "Idiocracy" claim is being considered valid.

Even if it were true, it's barely 1-2 generations that have had this alleged pressure. there is no pressure at all for intelligence.

I think the only real pressure humanity will have long term is exposure to pollution, and mental health that deteriorates when living in high-population density areas.

[–]fromonecomesmany 1 point2 points  (0 children)

People who are likely to attain higher levels of education are also more likely to delay childbearing and have fewer children by choice.

Kids are hard work and cost money and you want to make sure they don’t screw up your life plans.

The way to counteract this negative selection is to expand access to birth control and support economic policies that allow people to both achieve their dreams and have kids in a way that is compatible with them.

[–]Pandacius 0 points1 point  (7 children)

Probably not just genes, as they said, genes hold a weight of approx 40%. However, some of the stuff you mentioned (e.g. motivation, family encouragement) are also correlated with genetics.

[–]Mequittingthenet 0 points1 point  (5 children)

sort of.

they are correlated, but there are so many different genes that deal with brain function, social/family situations, etc, that one family of "genetically" intelligent people can have completely different sets of genes than another family of intelligent people.

[–]Pandacius 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Of course, we understand so little about the functions of genes, especially how they interact with each other, that all we have currently are statistical correlations. However, these correlations exist.

It would be foolhardy to deny their effect, and dogmatic to assume that somehow evolution that has shaped humans to what they today will no longer affects us tomorrow. The problem of course, is that acceptance of this forces us to accept the very controversial view that not all humans are created equal. But it unfortunate that this controversy has somehow stifled meaning scientific discourse.

Intelligent can come in many forms, most likely guided by a range of different genes. But it is clear that as the moment, educated women are having far few children; and women with PhDs even less.

It would be naive to assume that this will not somehow have adverse genetic repercussions. We managed to breed poodles from wolves. Russians were able to breed a new type of tamed foxes in just 7 generations. Genetics correlates with personality and behavior; and it can occur very quickly given enough pressure.

[–]Mequittingthenet 1 point2 points  (3 children)

The problem of course, is that acceptance of this forces us to accept the very controversial view that not all humans are created equal.

Not really. Each individual has different strengths, and weaknesses. You can simply glance at any 2 people and realize they aren't equal. different colors, sizes, shapes in their body, etc. Just like big hands are useful sometimes, small hands are useful in others. The issue is people are saying "some people are smarter than others". which is very different than saying "people are diverse". just like most hands can do mostly the same things, most brains can do mostly the same things. Savants tend to give up other forms of intelligence for their primary intelligence.

additionally, to assume that anything in all of human history outside of the paleolithic era, has been consistent enough to drive any type of evolution is absurd. Everything being claimed about intelligence and modern evolution is based on nothing at all. Literally nothing. no science, no fact. just conjecture inspired from 19th century ideas of genetics.

and as this article has proven, and as all the people memeing "idiocracy" have shown, it hasn't stifled anything. people still try to look up how genes impact the brain. people still assume the unwashed masses are inferior.

But it is clear that as the moment, educated women are having far few children; and women with PhDs even less.

and this is literally one of the newest events in human history. We're the first generation where women are able to legally be the same from their birth, and that's still not a social thing. This also ignores that women who work in factories, or grow up near them, or grow up without adequate medical care, are more often infertile or too sick to have children. to make evolutionary assumption (which is a massive guess that is harder to predict than winning the lottery) based on women getting PhDs is a far cry. This also assumes that women with PhDs are genetically smarter than those without PhDs. Plenty of stupid people work hard and get PhDs, because the brain is very trainable. Plenty of smart people (probably, most of the gentically gifted smart people) don't even have access to education, as most humans are still poor.

It would be naive to assume that this will not somehow have adverse genetic repercussions.

it would be naive to assume anything. there are so many factors and people and genes, it's like rolling billions of dice and trying to guess the number. and you are insisting your guess is more accurate?

We managed to breed poodles from wolves. Russians were able to breed a new type of tamed foxes in just 7 generations. Genetics correlates with personality and behavior; and it can occur very quickly given enough pressure.

those were all from tiny subsects of the population, with species that don't live as long, and don't have control over their destiny, who humans outnumber greatly.

[–]Pandacius 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I think you misunderstand the mathematics of evolution

those were all from tiny subsects of the population

Larger numbers = more deterministic system. Central limit theorem (and its generalizations). Smaller sample sizes means more deviation not less.

it would be naive to assume anything. there are so many factors and people and genes, it's like rolling billions of dice and trying to guess the number. and you are insisting your guess is more accurate?

Of course not. I am not guessing what genes are responsible. Merely looking at the overall statistical effect. One doesn't need to know the fluctuations of individual gas molecules to know entropy is increasing. All statistics so far show there is a correlation between genetics and many personality factors including education attainment, religiosity, liberal versus conservative beliefs. This does not mean environment doesn't also play an important factor. They both do. It is naive to assume that it is just genetics, or just environment, but entirely sensible to assume both contribute.

This also assumes that women with PhDs are genetically smarter than those without PhDs. Plenty of stupid people work hard and get PhDs, because the brain is very trainable.

How do you define smart or stupid? Where did my argument asume only smart people got PhDs? I assumed the following

  1. Inverse correlation between education attain and fertility (shown in multiple studies, not just Phds)
  2. Statistical correlation between genetics and education (show in this study, and very likely true. Note this does not imply environment doesn't also play a significant role)

If both 1 and 2 are true. Then, on average, people in subsequent generates are going to developing personality traits that make the less likely to be educated.

That is all. This argument does not require us to understand how genes affects the brain. Evolution is a statistical theory. We don't need to know how genes affect the beaks of birds to explain Darwin's observations. If

  1. There is correlation between certain beak length and fertility
  2. There is a statistical correlation between genetics and beak length.

Evolutionary theory will predict that there is an evolutionary pressure for certain beak length.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

evolution supposes natural selection. Human beings no longer undergo natural selection. Having good eyesight doesn't matter anymore since you can get glasses. How are people still arguing about this shit? The person you are referring to is primarily right. The biggest factor in survival right now is not fitness, but wealth of immedate ancestors they were born to.

[–]palox2 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

but motivation quality of familly and education... its all in genes

[–]AmbidextrousDyslexic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Actually, they find that it is more a question of economics in those factors than genetics.

[–]onejiveassturkey 7 points8 points  (2 children)

This is a terrible article. Read the Guardian version for a much more clear and balanced interpretation of the results:

"But the effect is very small. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the researchers estimate that it corresponds to a drop in IQ of about 0.04 points per decade. If all the genes that contribute to education were included, they add, that figure might rise to 0.3 points per decade. Nevertheless, Stefansson believes that if the trend continued for centuries, the impact could be serious...Stefansson concedes that changes in education can swamp any genetic effects, writing that IQ scores rose by nearly 14 points between 1932 and 1978, as technological and socioeconomic changes boosted education on a mass scale. “There are all kinds of things in the environment that may prevent this decline having all that much impact on the true education that people receive,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jan/16/natural-selection-making-education-genes-rarer-says-icelandic-study

[–]corcyra 2 points3 points  (1 child)

AFAIK their sample came from Iceland only. That's a pretty big conclusion to draw from a very limited sample of humanity.

Moreover:

People may have the genetic potential to become educated, but their society/poverty/geographical location may prevent them from getting that education.

Humans were intelligent before education existed - 'universal' literacy is something that didn't exist until about 100 years ago.

It ignores the social value of education - in Asia, for example.

It ignores religious customs that keep women illiterate.

There are a large number of factors that go into the decision to have fewer children, some of them economic.

Intelligence and education/literacy (including getting high scores on IQ tests) aren't the same thing.

[–]AmbidextrousDyslexic 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Dr. Hans Roseling has done some great ted talks about the correlation of social development and economic pressures on family size, education, and overall health/rates of infection of various sti's. I agree that education is primarily a social, not genetic issue.

[–]Pandacius 7 points8 points  (14 children)

This is not surprising. There is a very significant correlation between education attainment and fertility in women

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertility_and_intelligence

There are many reasons

  • Educated women have more opportunities, children get in the way of these oppertunities
  • Several personality factors (e.g ambition) that correlated with desire for education, anti-correlate with wanting to start a family. This could also explain why in the study, that people with genes that correlation with reduction have less children - even if they are no educated themselves.
  • Education typically correlates with more liberal beliefs, which means a greater willingness for contraception and abortion.

Traditionally, prior to 1900, these effects were often counteracted by the fact that

  1. Less educated people tend to suffer far higher infant/ child-birth mortality
  2. Less educated people had a high chance of dying before fathering anyone (through way, famine etc)
  3. There were no reliable means of contraception/abortion
  4. Women had little opportunities to be educated, nor choice on whether to have children.
  5. Ambitious men had the opportunity to father a lot of children (e.g. Genghis Khan).
  6. Cost to lifestyle costs a lot more for educated people. e.g. jobs require high levels of education are typically in big cities, where the extra room to house a kid is prohibitively expensive.

Like these factors balanced, producing more genetic pressure towards traits that favor education.

At the danger of sounding very controversial. Unfortunately I don't think the solution is more education. It is education that caused this effect (giving ambitious people more opportunistic than having children, especially women). Obviously, I am not advocating we stop educating women, but I think the following steps could be useful

  • Drastically reduce the opportunity cost for having children, especially for women. State sponsored maternity leave, give companies extra subsidies to compensate for loss of staff. Pay women with children an extra bonus that is proportional to their salary/education level.

  • Promote sperm donations, as this one of the few areas where highly educated genes are favored (most people prefer choosing sperm of successful people).

  • Remove stigma on on Surrogacy and even subsidize it, allowing educated women to have children without the associated opportunity cost.

As you can see, these are already pretty controversial, and would probably never pass the vote in any democratic country.

So... idiocracy it is.

[–]est31 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Another possible solution is making human germline gene improvement available to the masses, which mostly means to make it legal, societally accepted and cheap. If it becomes popular to enhance genetic predisposal for cognitive abilities, maybe the issue solves from itself and we'll even get a development into the opposite direction.

[–]IntrepidBeachcomber[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There is a very significant correlation between education attainment and fertility in women

Also, educated men and women tend to have a greater understanding of the world (like climate change, potential disasters, etc), and realistic expectations of what it costs and takes to bring a child into this world, so they either delay having kids until they feel financially and emotionally secure, or forego having children altogether. Also, they know how to get birth control and how reproduction works. Basically, too smart to have children (or many).

[–]bbonreddit 2 points3 points  (11 children)

Drastically reduce the opportunity cost for having children, especially for women. State sponsored maternity leave, give companies extra subsidies to compensate for loss of staff. Pay women with children an extra bonus that is proportional to their salary/education level.

It is not just about money. It is about time and your way of life, children upend your comfortable ways.

Promote sperm donations, as this one of the few areas where highly educated genes are favored (most people prefer choosing sperm of successful people).

Children without fathers usually do not do well

Remove stigma on on Surrogacy and even subsidize it, allowing educated women to have children without the associated opportunity cost.

All these are pretty bad ideas shattering the nuclear family (which is in already pretty bad condition in western societies), which is pretty much empirically proven to be the most beneficial to children (intelligence, mental/physical health etc.). We simply destroyed our old belief systems/values/traditions and did not replace them with something else that keeps society together and prospering.

[–]Pandacius 0 points1 point  (6 children)

It is not just about money. It is about time and your way of life, children upend your comfortable ways.

Absolutely. This is very true for the educated middle to upper middle class (doctors, academics, managers etc). Without children, they can afford a nice place near work, holidays, gym memberships, latest phones etc. With children, they cannot. Rent becomes too expensive near work, children needs to go to a private school... etc. It might sound selfish - but its also understandable why they choose not to have kids.

Children without fathers usually do not do well

Completely agree. The children may not do particularly well, but they'll have good genetics. So at least the genes will be preserved. Also, doing well does not correlate with having children (as we we just saw).

All these are pretty bad ideas shattering the nuclear family (which is in already pretty bad condition in western societies), which is pretty much empirically proven to be the most beneficial to children (intelligence, mental/physical health etc.). We simply destroyed our old belief systems/values/traditions and did not replace them with something else that keeps society together and prospering.

Completely agree with you. But that is the choice society made when it decided for gender equality, educated work, and women in competitive careers. Frankly, these things simply don't mix well with a nuclear family. Look at the fertility rate of females with PhDs (hint its very low... like less than 0.7). Why? Simply because having children needs two people in one place. And truly influential jobs require you to be a globe-trotting citizen.

So what to do? We can easy (1) Go back to the 1900s, discourage women from working (2) Try to use new technologies to compensate for the change.

Whether (1) or (2) is preferable might depend on your moralistic views. But I don't think (1) is viable in today's society - as most people tend to no like Saudi Arabia these days. So I guess it'll have to be (2).

[–]bbonreddit 0 points1 point  (5 children)

And truly influential jobs require you to be a globe-trotting citizen.

99% of people will be ordinary citizens, yet these people have no children either. Completely irrelevant point.

Scenario (1)

Why would you bring up the most extreme examples? We do not even have to discourage people from working, people just have to manage their expectations regarding life and society needs to ease up on expectations regarding all the functions an individual is expected to perform.

Scenario (2)

Why do you think technology could bring solutions? I hate to say this but I do not think technology really solved any of our problems (it probably creates more problems in solves). We must find the solution in ourselves.

[–]Pandacius 0 points1 point  (4 children)

99% of people will be ordinary citizens, yet these people have no children either. Completely irrelevant point.

Glob-trotting citizens is a metaphor. Most high profile jobs requires a person to move from country to country (or at least city to city). Expert in Laser-Atom interactions? Congratulations, there is one professorship available in Finland. Don't want to move there? Too bad - you wasted your PhD. Now you have two people, you and your husband. His also had a PhD in Observatory Astrophysics. Only position is in Western Australia. Now how do you end in the same city to start a family?

The most educated someone is, the more specialized their jobs tend to be. Which means that the more likely they need to move for their jobs. Its called the two-body problem in academia, and it is the primary cause of (a) having very few female faculty, (b) having very low fertility among those who become faculty.

Why would you bring up the most extreme examples? We do not even have to discourage people from working, people just have to manage their expectations regarding life and society needs to ease up on expectations regarding all the functions an individual is expected to perform.

Yes, but people who are genetically more inclined to be educated are the ones that place higher value on working in a role that makes use of their education. If they place high value over it, relatively speaking - having a child is of lower value. So there will be an anti-correlations. As long as there is a trade-off, this correlation will persist.

Why do you think technology could bring solutions? I hate to say this but I do not think technology really solved any of our problems (it probably creates more problems in solves). We must find the solution in ourselves.

Are we not the ones developing technology? Yes, it may create other problems, and indeed it create this one. It is because of technology (contraception/abortion/good medical care) that being less educated has become a genetic advantage. For the first time, educated people can reliable choose whether they are going to have a child. Suddenly, they can actively choose career over children.

So, we either remove this technology and remove the choice, to which I say no. Or we develop ways around this.

When coal power plants and cares polluted the earth, did we just say fuck it, lets go back to horses and plows? No, of course not. We seek better solutions, like solar power. This is the same thing.

[–]bbonreddit 0 points1 point  (3 children)

But don't you see the problem? We can make babies pop out of thin air and hand them to successful people, but they still won't have time for them nor the inclination to have them. Technology can't solve this problem. All it can do is further aggravate it in my opinion.

We have to make people want those babies but they do not want them or they can't afford them, even ordinary joes and janes with 9-5 jobs do not want more than 2.

[–]Pandacius 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Sure, there will always be some who will never want them. But for many its a matter of trade-offs and practicality. Many professionals would love to have at least 1 and often 2 kids in principle. But they just can't afford to (it'll permanently impact their career, drop their living standards). The point is to remove these barriers.

The other aspects is reward. Why is it that in rural China everyone wants children, but in modern Chinese cities, no one does? Quite simple:

  • In rural China, children provide parents with income when parents can't walk in fields. More children = better retirement.
  • In modern cities, children mean a bigger house (huge expensive), schooling fees, time off work. Then its $$$ for college. Estimate costs for a having a kid in Australia has reached 1 million. When the kid gets of job, his taxes go on to support everyone. Parents without kids end up much better at retirement than parents with kids.

See the issue? Its privatized costs for raising a kid. But the benefits are socialized. This creates a warped incentive. So we need to

  1. Socialize child-care costs (e.g. minimize opportunities lost, subsidize child-care and surrogacy)
  2. Privatize benefits (e.g. have a portion of taxes paid by a child go directly to their parents retirements funds). Lots of kids? No need to save for retirement. No kids - well minimal pensions!

[–]bbonreddit 0 points1 point  (1 child)

In rural China, children provide parents with income when parents can't walk in fields. More children = better retirement.

Yeah but rural China is unlike a modern western society. Yes, historically children have been an investment towards your future. Nowadays, they are sometimes quite the opposite in a modern society where you will have more comforts and stability if you don't have them. Western societies are this successful (at least in this aspect).

In modern cities, children mean a bigger house (huge expensive), schooling fees, time off work. Then its $$$ for college. Estimate costs for a having a kid in Australia has reached 1 million. When the kid gets of job, his taxes go on to support everyone. Parents without kids end up much better at retirement than parents with kids.

True. I also have the vague feeling that modern cities disincentivize you from having children. You simply run out of space and your subconscious just tells you not to have more. This would make sense evolutionally.

Socialize child-care costs (e.g. minimize opportunities lost, subsidize child-care and surrogacy)

Sweden gives you a little bit above 100 euroes per month after your child is born. Paid parental leave both for fathers and mothers. Sub replacement fertility rates.

Privatize benefits (e.g. have a portion of taxes paid by a child go directly to their parents retirements funds). Lots of kids? No need to save for retirement. No kids - well minimal pensions!

People can just save up money on their own then.

Unless we literally pour money on people who have children the returns will be really marginal.

[–]lynx_and_nutmeg 0 points1 point  (3 children)

All these are pretty bad ideas shattering the nuclear family (which is in already pretty bad condition in western societies), which is pretty much empirically proven to be the most beneficial to children (intelligence, mental/physical health etc.). We simply destroyed our old belief systems/values/traditions and did not replace them with something else that keeps society together and prospering.

Nuclear family is not the most beneficial. It's only more beneficial compared to single-parent family (which, I assume, you're comparing to). Extended family is the most beneficial for everyone included. That was the "traditional" family, nuclear family is a fairly modern invention that only became widespread during Industrial revolution. Raising children was never supposed to be a one person's job, that's true. However, in nuclear families until not long ago it usually still ended up being mostly one person's job - the mother's. "Traditionally" (as far as nuclear family went), the father went to work, while the woman stayed at home and took care of the children herself. Even when the father went home, he wasn't really expected to be involved in childcare, except maybe playing with his children (especially sons) or disciplining them. Nuclear families and suburb system meant social isolation for mothers, they often lived long way from their families who could help them. Meanwhile, in extended families childcare was communal. The mother was not left on her own, her own mother and other relatives helped out with childcare, so she was not chained to her child 24/7 and could do other work as well. Children benefitted from having multiple caregivers as well, instead of just one stressed-out busy parent. And the benefits for the elderly were immense too - they weren't dumped to the retirement home, but instead lived with their families, and could be useful and find meaning in their day by taking care of their grandchildren. Studies show that the elderly who have more opportunities to spend time with their children live longer, and what most of the Blue Zones have in common is respect for the elderly and their participation in the community.

I wouldn't say "old values" were destroyed. They're still there, only expanded and adapted to the modern world (whether successfully or not could be debated, of course). Stable household is definitely still valued, only that not everybody has the luxury to have it. This was the cost of allowing divorce (and living with parents who detest each other is much more harmful for children). Women are still valued for being mothers and spending time with their children, only that now they're allowed to and expected to do more with their lives. The situation is now imbalanced because, while women's roles have expanded, men's have stayed closer to what they used to be. Despite working outside home now being the norm for mothers, they still do more childcare and housework than men on average. Men are still less likely to take time off work, work shorter hours or take paternity leave (which is still not even available everywhere).

[–]bbonreddit 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Nuclear family is not the most beneficial

Well that might be true but what you are saying still relies on the nuclear family at its core.

They're still there, only expanded and adapted to the modern world

You mean plunging fertility rates, great adaption.

Men are still less likely to take time off work, work shorter hours or take paternity leave (which is still not even available everywhere).

Won't matter at all. The problem is not with the work sharing regarding parenting or parental leave. If it was so, Sweden would have no problem, yet they are at 1.88 fertility rate. The problem is simply with our way of life and expectations etc.. Well educated people with careers, living in cities do not want children or they do not want more than 1 or 2. Edit: Combine this with the fact that marriages fall apart at record rates among less educated people and you get the situation we are in right now.

[–]lynx_and_nutmeg 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well that might be true but what you are saying still relies on the nuclear family at its core.

No, my point was the exact opposite - that nuclear family only seems to be good compared to single-parent family, but it’s far from ideal.

You mean plunging fertility rates, great adaption.

I mean things like, many women choosing a part-time job instead of a full-time job, and one that’s closer to home and doesn’t require overtime, so that they can take care of the children as well. Those women want to have children, spend time with them and be good mothers, but they also want to have a life outside family as well and be financially independent, or they have to work anyway because their partner can’t support the whole family on his income alone (which is probably the case for most families today). So, instead of choosing one of the two extremes (stay at home mother, or 100% career-focused but no children), they’re making a compromise.

Won't matter at all. The problem is not with the work sharing regarding parenting or parental leave. If it was so, Sweden would have no problem, yet they are at 1.88 fertility rate.

Which is actually on the high end for a developed country, disproving your point... Many others barely reach 1.4. Sweden is definitely doing something right, but it’s not enough. It’s still a modern capitalist state with those same modern employment and family culture that I mentioned, only less pronounced than, for example, the US. Swedish men are some of the most involved fathers in the world, and yet they’re still taking a much smaller share of the parental leave. Kindergartens are still expensive. Raising children is still expensive. New parents still feel isolated.

Well educated people with careers, living in cities do not want children or they do not want more than 1 or 2

There’s a big difference between having no children and having 2. If every woman had 2 children and a tiny minority had 3 or more, to make up for the women who are infertile, then that would be all it takes to keep the population going. Pretty sure the goal right now is to have more families to have at least one child, preferably two, but nobody’s expecting that modern societies would return to historical natural fertility rates of 8-12 children per woman, because, yeah, having that many children would be simply incompatible with modern lifestyle and culture, it wouldn’t be just about lack of time or money. Nor does anyone want modern societies to return to that...Infant and child mortality is so low in developed countries that every family can confidently expect their children to reach adulthood, they no longer have to have twice the number of children they want because half of them would die before puberty. And children are no longer used as labour force, another common historical reason for having so many children. So, yes, 2 children per family is perfectly acceptable.

[–]Pandacius -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Even if women and men were given completely equal treatment - it will not prevent genetic decline. If men were required to pick up more of the slack, the anti-correlation between fertility and education will be reduced for women, but counterbalanced by worsening for men.

Fact is, taking care of kids takes time. Someone has to do it. And educated, ambitious people have other priorities in life.

The only way to mitigate this effect is if capable, educated people are rewarded for having children, presumably at the cost of educated capable people who do not have children. That is

  1. Companies must be rewarded for having employees to have kids - so that there is no trade-off between children and career. This can be done through tax credits to a company that more than offsets loss of finding a temporary replacement whenever their employees have kids (in addition to government paying full maternity/paternity leave).

  2. State subsidized surrogacy.

  3. Completely free child-care centers

  4. Have a person retirement income be directly correlated with the tax payments of their children (have more productive children? live a better life at old age).

If society is not willing to pursue this. It is simply not genetic advantageous to be educated.

[–]bertiebees 19 points20 points  (7 children)

This is a hot mess. There is no "Gene" for going though higher education. Hell in 1920 in Iceland women weren't even allowed to pursue higher education in that country.

This is some knock off science that they even admit has no merit.

[–]alwaysforgetsname7 12 points13 points  (3 children)

Of course there isn't a gene for higher education, but obviously some genes correlate with higher education which is correlated with reduced number of children, and therefore are being selected out.

[–]lynx_and_nutmeg 1 point2 points  (0 children)

but obviously some genes correlate with higher education which is correlated with reduced number of children

People with higher education are less likely to have children not because of some genetic determination, but simply because having children is not conductive to having a career (which people with higher-education tend to put more importance on). This is due to modern employment practices and family structure - people working 40 hours in fixed patterns away from home, and families being composed of two (or one) person units with or without children, socially isolated. Under different family and employment culture that would make it easier to have both children and a career (for women, specifically), and also in a society where everyone regardless of their education had equal access to birth control and abortion, this correlation between higher education and number of children would be reduced. And the correlation between education level and number of children isn't present in all societies, only in those where lack of education is correlated to more religiousness and lack of access to birth control and abortion. In my country, for example, it's poor people who have fewer kids, because they know they can't afford them, but due to sex ed being covered in high school education that everyone gets, and birth control and abortion being cheap and widely available with virtually no social stigma, it's easier for them to make the choice to have fewer kids.

[–]Mequittingthenet 0 points1 point  (1 child)

you say obviously, but this isn't true.

Plenty of poor, illiterate people have smart genes. people are products of their environments. lots of intelligent people make shit decisions, too.

[–]alwaysforgetsname7 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So genetics doesn't play any role at all in intelligence? I don't think you will find many people with down syndrome who hold PhD's in theoretical physics. The key word is correlate. In no way am I implying that nurture does not play a role as well.

[–]LynxRufus 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I notice a lot of sensationalized "science alert" posts on here. Usually out of context headlines or inaccurate headlines.

Just my two cents.

[–]Mequittingthenet 0 points1 point  (0 children)

but redditors love the movie idiocracy!

[–]Azul_Profundo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Again, this is all speculation is only based on one country, and it's incredibly difficult to predict what's going to happen to humans in the distant future.

weak conclusions but it is something important that se should pay atention to.

[–]jazztaprazzta 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't know if it's "education genes" (doesn't seem like there's even such a thing ). It's a fact of life however that people with higher education have less children on average. That's a factual observation which doesn't need genes or any kind of even vaguely eugenic perspective.

[–]c3534l 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Is this the only thing the gene does? I doubt it. I suspect several confounding factors are at work here.

[–]palox2 -1 points0 points  (2 children)

watch movie idiocracy. it explains everything.

[–]Biohive 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I consider that to be a horror movie now.

[–]That_Cupcake 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The only movie to be released as a comedy, only to become a documentary.

I wonder if, on the grand scale of things, this is how humanity will fulfill the Fermi Paradox?