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Brain Damage - 83 ways to stupefy intelligence

Hank Pellissier

Ethical Technology

January 09, 2012

Are we hurting our noggins? Internationally, are there social customs, diseases, pollutants, school policies, parental choices, drugs, diets and philosophies that cause, or are correlated with, decreased intelligence?  Here are fourscore-and-a-trio of the mind-mangling menaces. A preponderance of the fearsome factors have undergone scientific scrutiny, with statistics filed in the massive archives of


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Posted by hankpellissier  on  01/10  at  06:43 PM

Yikes! I read something interesting today—the Paleo people will love it—this article says eating wheat will lower your IQ by 4 points due to toxins… it recommends rice instead.

Should “wheat” be listed as #84 ?  ?  ?  ?

Posted by hankpellissier  on  01/10  at  06:43 PM

oops!  I forgot to add the link to my comment above—the
anti-wheat eating article is here:

Posted by Pastor_Alex  on  01/11  at  11:10 AM

This is great Hank, we have to be careful separating correlation from causation which is a problem with some of the studies you quote.                                                                     

I doubt that fundamentalism causes brain damage, but certainly an inability to handle ambiguity which would arise from lower IQ could lead to fundamentalism.  I would suggest a similar mechanism functions with political conservatism since it is often fundamentalism in another guise.                                           

The way I read this is that nutrition is essential. It would actually be cheaper to just give away free nutritious food than pay for the medical and social services needed by people whose brains have been damaged by poor nutrition.                                           

There are many elements of your list that are about social training, which itself is predicated on IQ. The list of various abuses for instance could be avoided or lessened with better social training for young people starting at pre-school age. By social training I mean conflict resolution without violence, how to make friends, how to think critically, how to live independently and value yourself.                   

Environmental risks are due to a large part to industrial processes which the wealthy keep far away from them and their offspring. Enforcing environmental regulations would make a huge difference and pay dividends in the end. We don’t need new regulations, we just need to enforce what we already have.                               

In the final analysis the greatest threat to IQ is poverty. Poverty means poor nutrition, probably a higher risk of violence, poorer schools and less ability to learn since hungry children have trouble learning, a greater chance of living near heavy industry and thus the chemical pollution that causes damage.  if we eliminate poverty there is no reason why the average intelligence of our species shouldn’t be at least 125.

Posted by Jabin  on  02/04  at  11:19 AM

Pastor Alex, you certainly hit the nail on the head -  that is what this seems to show - nutrition is important.  But let’s not mistake poverty as a cause of poor nutrition.  In developed countries, even those at poverty level can receive a decent level of nutrition.  Extreme poverty is what will cause the nutrition problems in those who would otherwise be able to provide good nutrition for their children.  And let’s not forget those who are inattentive to their child’s nutritional and functional needs - you know the type: those who let their child eat whatever they want, let them watch TV all day from the day 1 and so on.

As for the solution to your final analysis - the elimination of poverty based nutrition problems won’t occur until population growth rate slows to sustainable levels.  The US is near where it needs to be right now, and in most developed countries, population growth is actually at less than 1%.

Either way, reading this article suggests to me that researchers are not looking at a totality of nutrition and simply focusing on single or dual factors.  Focusing solely on one thing can eliminate the possibility that another factor, one that may be experienced in tandem with the one being tested, is noticed.

In the end, if you look at the groups of people being tested, you’ll find that people don’t actually score as low as this seems to indicate, were they to be subject to numerous factors here.

What is this article really saying?  Do some of these factors cancel out others?  Are they saying that everyone has a potential IQ of roughly 180 and loses points through all of these factors?  This is a very interesting list, but hardly informative as there is nothing to integrate this data into an explanation of current intelligence levels.

Also, remember that average intelligence is always 100, as intelligence is always calculated on a normal distribution with 100 as the standard normal.  That is to say: the average intelligence is recalculated to be 100 even if the overall intelligence level has increased.

Posted by ved12  on  04/12  at  06:43 AM

Brain damage is really very serious issue but now a days it is become one of the most frequent issue that you can find in the human health problems. Addiction is also one of the main cause of this. There are many people addicted to drugs, internet, video game or shopping. Video game addiction directly affects on brain.

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The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

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