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Are We Dumber than the Ancient Romans? (STA BREAKING NEWS and ARCHIVES)

by Old_Ponter @, 3000 miles north of north pole, Thursday, July 06, 2017, 10:21


In our western society we like to pride ourselves on our intelligence. We point to things such as the airplane, the moon-landing, computers, etc. as signs that we are becoming more and more intelligent as time goes by. But is that really true? Are we becoming MORE or LESS intelligent? Are we smarter than our great-great-grandparents? Are we smarter than the ancient Romans? (One look at the news that has been coming out of Canada lately would answer that question but that is out of the scope of this writing. $10 million to be given to a convicted terrorist; an ad that was "insulting to cows," a person he/she that has a baby he/she that is of an indeterminate sex, the baby itself will chose what sex he or she is in later life....)

The hypothesis that intelligence is evolving rather than devolving needs to be seriously questioned and it has as Gerald Crabtree stated:

In November 2012, Stanford University School of Medicine researcher Gerald Crabtree published two papers in the journal Trends in Genetics suggesting that humanity's intelligence peaked between 2,000 and 6,000 years ago. Crabtree based this assertion on genetics. About 2,000 to 5,000 genes control human intelligence, he estimated. At the rate at which genetic mutations accumulate, Crabtree calculated that within the last 3,000 years, all of humanity has sustained at least two mutations harmful to these intellect-determining genes (and will sustain a couple more in another 3,000 years). Not every mutation will cause harm — genes come in pairs, and some weaknesses caused by mutation can be covered for by the healthy half of the pair, Crabtree wrote; but the calculation suggests that intelligence is more fragile than it seems.

We pride ourselves on our engineering of high-rise buildings but we cannot duplicate what the ancient Romans built. Concrete structures that they built actually got stronger over time as compared to today's structures that only last decades.

One of the fascinating mysteries of Ancient Rome is the impressive longevity of some of their concrete harbour structures. Battered by sea waves for 2,000 years, these things are still around while our modern concoctions erode over mere decades.

Now scientists have uncovered the incredible chemistry behind this phenomenon, getting closer to unlocking its long-lost recipe. As it turns out, not only is Roman concrete more durable than what we can make today, but it actually gets stronger over time....

... But if Jackson and her colleagues can crack the recipe, modern marine engineers could tap into the potential of a material that doesn't need steel reinforcements, can last for centuries, and makes fewer carbon emissions to boot.

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