Is Intelligence Necessary?
Stanford genetics professor, Gerald R. Crabtree, in a 2012 article titled "Our Fragile Intellect," in the journal Trends in Genetics, speculates that our intelligence and emotional stability would have developed "in a world where every individual was exposed to nature's raw selective mechanisms on a daily basis." Before agriculture and urban society, human beings would have lived or died on the basis of their reasoning skills: Learning to build shelters and tools and hunting predatory animals required serious intelligence. By comparison, many contemporary activities that we think of as more intellectually taxing, like doing math problems, are actually intellectually simple.
Some persons erroneously infer from Crabtree's speculations (not research findings) that in our modern society intelligence is no longer necessary, therefore no longer being transmitted through the evolutionary natural selection process.
Crabtree seems to think that in the future, when the science of genetics allows us to select which genetic mutations to keep and which to discard, we'll still be intelligent enough to select the right ones to increase our intelligence. Crabtree said:
"I think we will know each of the millions of human mutations that can compromise our intellectual function and how each of these mutations interact with each other and other processes as well as environmental influences.
"At that time, we may be able to magically correct any mutation that has occurred in all cells of any organism at any developmental stage.
"Thus, the brutish process of natural selection will be unnecessary."
I would say that Crabtree is trying to have it both ways: that our intelligence is rapidly waning, but in the future we'll still be intelligent enough to select just the right genetic mutations to increase our intelligence.
Throughout the history of homo sapiens (wise human), one of the most important requirements for survival would have been the intelligence to understand how to outmaneuver the murderous machinations of one's fellow humans. This is increasingly true in today's world, when gaining an effective understanding of the cloaked homocidal connivings of the capitalist class against the working class requires a high degree of intelligence.
It's thus totally incorrect to say that modern society no longer requires intelligence. Yes, mere brutish survival--the pattern most humans are now following--requires very little intelligence (perhaps intelligence is even inimical to such a barbaric mind-set), just the ability to follow instructions and allow oneself to take in the brainwashing that the capitalist rulers use to control the masses. But to develop oneself into a complete human being--including the ability to outmaneuver lethal capitalist onslaughts such as imperialist wars and economic austerity, requires increasing intelligence, not less.