Over the history of IQ tests we have witnessed an average increase of correct answers on IQ scores that equate to around 30 points.
Interestingly that would make people of today borderline genius by previous tests and make our grandparents borderline retarded. That is obviously not the case but it shows a change in the way we approach problems.
The demand for cognitive tasks in jobs has increased dramatically with the introduction of cheap computer technology and schooling has changed too.
We now accept hypotheticals more readily and use them so frequently that they are common practice. Examples of hypothetical questioning in the past reveal an unwillingness to take hypotheticals seriously and this is a key building block to modern human understanding. We can’t question complex things like morals without positing scenarios which, although maybe unlikely, make us think about the different conditions under which different ethical codes apply for essentially the same moral choice.
Nowhere is the continuation of old ways of thinking more readily apparent to me than in the religious. Without accepting hypotheticals and using reason to apply logic, you are left with a concrete view of the world. One in which things like “because it says in the bible” seem like sound reasons.
We not only need to educate those in religiously influenced societies, but to change the way they are educated to include ideas we take for granted, like hypotheticals.
So.. How would we do this?
-Research by James Flynn PhD et al.