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Video: Are We Degrading? - Society
The question of healthy thinking is very slippery. Firstly, because no one uses such a term as "a healthy way of thinking", and secondly, because it is not very clear to specialists in what field to address it. In theory, this is a medical question (what can be considered painful pathologies of perception), but in practice we seem to be talking about more subtle matters.
And in this context, the "health" of thinking directly depends on the culture of society. If in the Middle Ages a person who heard voices was considered a prophet or impostor (but note: not crazy), now a character with such symptoms is classified as mentally ill.
It is clear that in the course of evolution, our cognitive functions and thinking changed and developed. But it is important to understand that from an evolutionary perspective, only the thinking that provides the best chances of survival and reproduction is healthy. And they depend on the social, economic, cultural characteristics of this particular society.
Simply put, an alpha male from a mammoth-hunting society is unlikely to have the necessary cognitive skills to survive in a society, say, of programmers.
It should also be remembered that evolution should never have provided us with such a thinking that would give an objective picture of the world adequate to reality. Evolution needs only that thinking that stimulates the individual and the collective to live and reproduce.
And if for survival and reproduction it is beneficial to live in an illusory world, then evolution supports this distortion of perception. We see an example of such adaptation in ourselves: people tend to overestimate their capabilities and prospects. This is a proven fact.
It's just that we have more chances to succeed and leave offspring if we do not quite soberly assess ourselves and strive for a bright future thanks to this beneficial evolution of self-deception.
That is, from the point of view of evolution, healthy thinking is not synonymous with objective vision.
What will happen?
The future in this context is disappointing. We can develop our thinking and cognitive talents as much as we want over the course of our lives, but in the context of evolution, this will not make any difference. We are talking only about the number of offspring that survive to reproductive age.
And if earlier you had to be smart, resourceful, inventive in order to raise a new generation, now this is not required. In the modern world, medicine is developed, there are no problems of hunger, epidemics, that is, almost all children survive and begin to participate in reproduction themselves. In such a situation, fitness can be equated with fertility, without even trying to talk about the quality of care for the offspring.
As we all see, now the number of children in families is inversely proportional to the intellectual and social development of the parents.
A successful and rich intellectual who makes a choice not in favor of having children, from the point of view of evolution, is a poorly adapted phenotype that will be rejected.
Starting from the first decades of the 20th century (the technical revolution, the boom of pharmaceuticals and medicine), there has been a selection to reduce intellectual abilities, to “go stupid”. So far, this is offset by technological and cultural evolution, much faster and more powerful, continuing to this day due to the accumulated knowledge base. But very soon stagnation may become inevitable (although we do not know exactly when the deterioration of the genetic basis of intelligence will cease to be compensated for by cultural evolution).
We are degrading. And there is no reason to predict anything else.
Unless effective methods of artificial genome correction are developed.