They will tell you that the world will end by nuclear holocaust, or by climate catastrophe. Or maybe they'll say the world will choke to death in its own pollution, or starve for lack of enough resources to feed an overpopulated planet.
But more likely to seal the fate of humanity, is the slow and steady loss of human problem-solving ability.
Over tens of thousands of years, separate human breeding populations evolved to meet divergent challenges in their environments (Kanazawa PDF). Some environments presented greater challenges to be solved, for the sake of survival. The farther from the equator a group migrated, the greater the seasonal challenges of survival. As greater intelligence evolved, humans devised sophisticated societies and technologies to shield them from the environment.
But in the course of becoming more intelligent, they created micro-environments of culture, with differential rates of divergent intellectual revolution.
Not all populations reproduced at the same rates. More affluent, more intelligent, and better educated women chose to reproduce at lower levels -- or not at all -- compared to women of lower educational attainment (on average). Higher birthrates among less intelligent populations began to affect overall average IQ levels.
And since IQ is strongly correlated with level of economic achievement (Gottfredson PDF), societies with lower average IQ levels tended to be the most impoverished societies.
Besides economic achievement, scientific and technological achievement tends to accompany high average IQ. Low IQ nations in the map above tend to be very tiny, unless they are lucky enough to have a high IQ smart fraction.
The higher IQ populations which are responsible for the economic, scientific, and technological accomplishments in the map above, are also the populations which are shrinking in size -- while lower IQ populations are growing.
Finally, crime and corruption tend to correlate with low average IQ levels. So that even low IQ populations lucky enough to have a smart fraction, will be less able to efficiently utilise that lucky bit of human capital.
|The violent deaths shown here are homicide (murder and manslaughter), but exclude deaths due to war.|
There is no reason to expect the differential birthrates between the different strata of IQ and education, to change. The global decline in average IQ seen in the graph above, is likely to continue unless something significant happens to change the trend.
Many people are aware of the trend, but no one has a good answer for it. Good people may well think the answer may be found thru better education:
While the smart people know they must fight the tyrannical government or run away to another country, the not so smart grow in numbers. In our current state, we will not be able to hold government accountable and put a stop to the tyranny. We must overcome the stupid somehow. We must find a method to show them the folly of their ways. We must “educate” them on what their responsibilities are in society and we must show them how to exercise those responsibilities properly. _LibertarianViewpoint
But no one really believes that such "education" can be both effective and humane. And since we voluntarily limit ourselves to humane methods, we must admit that we will have to look for other solutions.
Here is an analogy: Realistic energy analysts generally accept that humans should use unconventional oil, gas, and liquids as temporary "bridge" fuels to better forms of power and energy such as advanced nuclear power. In other words, we must make good use of the next few decades to develop long term energy solutions that will last for many thousands of years.
In the same way, realistic students of the human future understand that brighter people must make very good use of the next few decades to develop bridge technologies which will see us past the approaching dysgenic bottleneck.
First, we must take the trouble to understand that the problem is real.
Genetics, Genes, Genomics, and g (Plomin PDF) _via Meng hus blog
g: Highly General and Highly Practical (Gottfredson PDF)
We must understand how differences in average intelligence between population groups influence quality of life issues such as crime, affluence, social trust, levels of corruption, etc. Such an understanding is likely to influence important life choices.
And we must be able to project current trends -- often contradictory trends -- into the near future. Then we must devise ways of best dealing with our conclusions for our own sake, and for the sake of our dependents.