Wednesday, August 20, 2008


One of the great drunken biologist conversations is are we breeding stupid people. In other words, are smarter people having less children, therefore evolutionarily selecting against smart people. I thought I would point out new data from a paper I found online entitled Fertility of American Women: 2006.

For some reason blogger is having trouble reading the image, but it is on page 5 of the linked report. As you go down the column education level increases. The last Column is children per 1000 women. The numbers go from 2,447 for women who didn't finish high school, to 1,596 for those with graduate degrees.

A graphic showing how this happens. More educated women clearly don't have children until later, and never catch up. Since one of the best predictors of how children do is how educated their parents are, and those with graduate education are not reproducing at near replacement levels while those who don't finish high school are well over replacement levels, you can see why drunken biologists will always worry about the world descending into stupidity. More likely however this is temporary, and something in society will cancel it out a few decades down the line.


Anonymous said...

hmmm.... education doesn't equal smart. Some of us less educated mothers have the smartest kids... like you and Crystal and Sarah, and Angela and Jared!

Just ramblings from an uneducated mother.

glmory said...

That is true, but if you had left us in the local public schools.....

Angela said...

Mom stopped homeschooling us right when I was the age to start Kindergarten. I was really only homeschooled for third grade. Jared spent his whole life in public school (although he did get lucky for highschool). So you can't really base it all on us being homeschooled.

I agree that you can be intelligent without having an education, but that seems pretty uncommon now that college is the new highschool. I'm sure if mom didn't get stuck raising kids she would have gone to school. There aren't many uneducated people as smart as mom, so really she is just an exception.

I'll save the world by having 12 kids with a super smart guy, having all 12 of them have 12 kids, and so on.. that should fix things =D