I only got the useless questions about American history wrong.
http://www.valorebooks.com/100-years...we-dumber-quizAre We Dumber Now?
The Internet has revolutionized the world. We have unprecedented access to nearly unlimited amounts of information. While this is indisputable, are we really dumber than ever? The answer isn't that simple.
IQ test scores have increased an average of 3 points per decade during the 20th century.
If measured on an unadjusted scale, the current generation would have IQs more than 20 points above those of their grandparents.
However, IQ doesn't tell the full story. Stanford geneticist Gerald Crabtree argues that people now are dumber than ever. Crabtree controversially argues that human intelligence peaked before the rise of the hunter-gatherer:
"A hunter-gatherer who did not correctly conceive a solution to providing food or shelter probably died, along with his or her progeny, whereas a modern Wall Street executive that made a similar conceptual mistake would receive a substantial bonus and be a more attractive mate"
So while there isn't a consensus on if we're dumber today, we want to present this debate in a relatable way - Let's take a look at standard American curricula for the past century. Think you can pass your grandma's test?
Click the "Test yourself" button at the top right. And no cheating/Googling or using a calculator!
I got 4/10, two of them being educated guesses.
I only got the useless questions about American history wrong.
That shit was mad easy, yo. If that's all my grandpa had in him, then he can fuck right off.
I got every math/science question right (no calculator) and every grammar/history question wrong. Guess it's good I'm an engineer.
Also history/grammar tests aren't very good estimations of IQ.
As for the underlying purpose of the thread, I've read a lot that would suggest that modern man adapted more to specific diseases than intelligence and we may, in fact, be dumber and less perceptive than our hunter-gatherer ancestors. But I doubt that would correspond to them somehow being more able to adapt to our current scenario. Otherwise you'd probably hear stories of current native tribes leaking out super-humans into our society.
8/10. Got two history questions wrong, which are useless. Memorizing facts is so much less important than understanding and applying critical thinking skills.
The Harvard entrance exam from the late 1800s.
The New York Times recently unearthed a Harvard entrance exam from 1899, and man, is it ugly. The text spans three major disciplines–classical languages, history and math–and requires its victims to jump through flaming hoops in topics like Greek Composition, Random-Ass Geography, and Hard Numbers. Take, for instance:
[in Logarithms and Trigonometry] 9. Find by logarithms, using arithmetical complements, the value of the following:
[(0.02183)2 x (7)2/5]/[√(0.0046) x 23.309]
Remember, folks, there were no calculators in 1899. Nor, apparently, was there mercy.
[In History and Geography] VI. Leonidas, Pausanias, Lysander.
Evidently this is a question, not just a list of people you’ve never heard of. Oh, wait, we’ve heard of Leonidas–but that’s only because we’ve seen 300, which someone living in the 1800s would most likely not have seen. Wonder if you’d get partial credit for identifying Lysander as “that dude in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.“
[In Greek Composition] [Insert ancient cryptic mumbo-jumbo here]
Hey, it’s all ελληνικά to us. Can you imagine if this were on the SAT?
Speaking of the SAT, it’s hard to tell whether the replacement of questions like “bound the basin of the Po” with ones like “find the noun in this sentence” has been a good or bad thing. A good thing for us, certainly, because if we’d been forced to draw the route of the Ten Thousand on a map in order to get into college, we’d have been working at the 1899 equivalent of a Chick-Fil-A faster than you can say “Gay Nineties.” But perhaps not such a good thing for the overall intelligence quotient of our nation’s youth, which would unquestionably have been strengthened by the knowledge of “Pharsalia, Philippi and Actium.” All of which, by the way, sound like sleep medications.
In an interesting final coup, Columbia Spectrum columnist Thomas Rhiel has noted that the 1899 Harvard entrance exam pales in comparison to that of Columbia, which apparently required knowledge of French, German, and the following works:
Milton’s Paradise Lost, Books I and II; Pope’s Iliad, Books I and XXII; the Sir Roger de Coverley Papers in The Spectator; Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield, Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, Southey’s Life of Nelson, Carlyle’s Essay on Burns, Lowell’s Vision of Sir Launfal, Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables, [...] Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Burke’s Speech on Conciliation with America, De Quincey’s The Flight of a Tartar Tribe, [and] Tennyson’s The Princess.
Times sure have changed, haven’t they? Back then you actually had to read all these books in order to get anywhere in life. Now all you have to do is Google the ending and lie. Yeah, sorry we’re not sorry.
The history questions kicked my ass mostly because the history I learned was cultural and self-taught. I can recognize the questions easily enough to know where to find accurate answers but I never bothered to memorize them permanently. Public school teachers did shit all to inspire kids to learn "white" history as it was called and most of the time it was memorize facts for a test and then forget it all the next day. Fucking American public schools.
That said I have a college degree and can balance an account book. Pretty sure I beat gramps just by avoiding jail and three baby mamas.
"Bound the basin of the Po" - sounds like they are referring to the city of Rome.
Did I get in?
I got the the history and literature wrong. Embarrassingly, I also got the two human biology questions wrong.
I am waiting for the above Harvard math question to be answered here, as I suspect that if you use a modern calculator you will get it wrong anyway (see previous debate in FSR thread about multiplication by juxtaposition).
Gah, 10 year old me would of been all over the above division, but 30 year old me has grown to be fucking stupid. My effort using only Notepad, but it's really inaccurate. I just cannot divide anymore
[(0.02183)2 x (7)2/5]/[√(0.0046) x 23.309]
0.04366 * 2.8 = 0.112248
0.068 * 23.309 = 15.6421012
0.112248 / 15.6421012 = 0.007
Last edited by Flank; 02-05-2013 at 03:34 PM.
I am probably the biggest retard when it comes to history, literature, and sports. If its not medicine, science or pop culture then I'm useless. Or fucking. I know that too.
Math and language parts were easy. The history parts I went .500 on. I get the point the author was trying to make but it really wasn't that hard.
Not speaking for people in general, but I've outsourced my knowledge of trivia to the internet. If I need to know something I only care about understanding how it works. Except for math (I think everyone should pass entry level calculus if they want to be educated). When I want the details, I search google and have them in 10 seconds. Suck on that Grandpa.
Last edited by Himeo; 02-05-2013 at 05:55 PM.
Even more proof agriculture fucked errry'thing up. 6/10
my great gramps went to the school of hard knocks. he would call me a pussy for taking a test like this to try to prove anything.
I got 7/10, but some of the questions are bad. All I remember is what is "skin," but there are many layers of skin, each with different functions, anyway whatever.
Don't fight it. Just revel in your newfound insight into just how stupid we really have become.
Dismissing the ability to recall, at will, knowledge of grammar, history and literature as being part of the measure of intelligence seems self-serving. I'd think that a copy of yourself that had the ability to recall facts from a wide range of disciplines would be judged more intelligent than the original.
Knowledge is not intelligence. The two may not be totally independent of each other but having one does not mean you automatically have the other.
Which isn't what I wrote, but surely the ability to recall knowledge is somehow built into the concept of intelligence.
Seems like intelligence is more about the active process of problem solving and abstract thought than recitation of knowledge.The definition of intelligence is controversial. Groups of scientists have stated the following:
1.from "Mainstream Science on Intelligence" (1994), an editorial statement by fifty-two researchers:
A very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—"catching on," "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do.
2.from "Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns" (1995), a report published by the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association:
Individuals differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought. Although these individual differences can be substantial, they are never entirely consistent: a given person's intellectual performance will vary on different occasions, in different domains, as judged by different criteria. Concepts of "intelligence" are attempts to clarify and organize this complex set of phenomena. Although considerable clarity has been achieved in some areas, no such conceptualization has yet answered all the important questions, and none commands universal assent. Indeed, when two dozen prominent theorists were recently asked to define intelligence, they gave two dozen, somewhat different, definitions.
Intelligence is just pattern recognition then?
If you have to reduce it to one thing I'd recommend problem solving. Good measures of intelligence aren't aided by previous knowledge, but obviously nearly all useful solutions to problems require a great deal of knowledge before you can think intelligently about them.
The important thing is to realize that the scope of intelligence is more limited than people think and it makes it easier to understand why knowledge isn't that strongly correlated with it.
yeah i think the questions were worded oddly on purpose
also it said nixon was impeached, which he wasn't he resigned before it could happen
Would you be said to be 'intelligent' if you could formulate a solution to a problem but never get the correct answer because your ability to recall data is always incorrect?
Would you be said to be 'more intelligent' if you could formulate a solution to a problem faster than someone else because you didn't have to look up data? (i know a lot of IQ tests are time dependent)
This could go on further, but I'm getting away from my original idea... which I'm thinking more likely resides in too broad a definition of intelligence.
intelligence as someone already said is pattern recognition for the most part, I didnt know many of the history questions in that test (even though some were wrong lol) but I figured out the IQ question Tuco posted in about 20 seconds
This test is a fairly poor measure of intelligence. A true intelligence test shouldn't have results bias based upon where you grew up. The math questions are fine, however the history questions should be replaced by logic and/or language comprehension questions. As it is someone with 100 IQ who was educated in England would be trounced by someone of 100 IQ that was educated in the US.
Swagdaddy, what answer did you get? I never liked pattern recognition tests because they always seemed ambiguous and the answers untestable. My answer would be D but I feel like without the ability to test it it's just a guess.
I think a high intelligence in history would be seeing all these connections in historical events. Something like would be rather difficult to demonstrate, particularly on a test like this. I think the only place you could really demonstrate a talent like that would be in academia since you just can't parrot someone else's ideas.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Peek. Would you call that man intelligent? He only scored 87 in an IQ test. He could destroy this entire board combined with his recollection of facts but I'm not entirely sure he should be called intelligent in the classical sense since he couldn't function in life on his own and outside his amazing breadth of stored knowledge he was up shit creek.
Last edited by Skanda; 02-05-2013 at 11:34 PM.
9/10, missed one the math's because I didn't feel like getting off my ass to get a paper/pencil...'bought a horse for 150, which was 80% of of true value, what percent gain if sold at 20% above true value'
You needed a pencil and paper to multiply 5/4 by 6/5 and subtract 1?
HAHA U DUM
Last edited by The Ancient; 02-06-2013 at 03:55 PM.
i didnt know my great grandpa was in school during the clinton era.
i am unimpress
Last edited by Astr0Chuk; 02-06-2013 at 08:14 PM.
wasn't there a question about President's being assassinated and JFK was included on the list?
It's D. There's 3 empty circles, 3 horizontally divided circles. So there should be 3 vertically divided circles. Every symbol aside from the ones along one diagonal has a white triangle in the bottom right. There's 2 with black triangles in the top right, 2 with black triangles in the bottom left, so there should be 2 with black triangles in the bottom right.
The skin question fucked with me. "Name 3 uses for the skin". Then you have 2 functions and one property and an all of the above. I understand this is a highly technical internet test and I must register a complaint with the proctor: a property is not a function is not a use.
That still might make me a bit dumb for trying to pound a square peg into a round hole, but even if I quickly realized what I was doing then I would still lose time and thus my final score would be affected based on my previous experiences.
Sometimes a little bit of knowledge can be a bad thing. But performance on even these very generic tests can be dramatically improved through practice and training.
I only got the first two questions wrong - but I don't think knowing what really amounts to just random trivia will help me "conceive a solution to providing food or shelter".
It wasnt the only trick like that- the question on horse-trading asked for a profit percentage, but 3 of the 5 possible answers were dollar amounts, not percentages, and one of the dollar amounts was a number you would arrive at partway through your calculations and might thus derail you. I personally didnt much care for the skin question either, since I have a hard time calling skin healing itself a use of skin compared to the other options, rather than an incidental function. But that may just be me.
what a huge overloaded website to ask ten questions.
80%, and I`m not even American. (few history questions I got wrong.)
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