Christopher Clave recently observed how average IQ has widely declined over the last two decades. This decrease in IQ appears marked in developed countries. While he does not aim to name every cause, he suggests that “language impoverishment” might be one reason.
While marshaling reasons, Clave connects the notion of fewer words with the notion of less ability to think:
“Fewer words and fewer conjoined verbs mean less ability to express emotions and less ability to process a thought. Studies have shown that part of violence in the public and private spheres directly from the inability to describe emotions into words.
Without words to construct an argument, complex thinking becomes impossible.
The poorer the language, the more the thought disappears.”
Clave’s argument, if at least plausibly true, means that education when simplified for the sake of everyone (simpler writing, reading, etc.) leads to the impoverishment of our emotional and intellectual ability to process thought.
The coming AI revolution promises to remove the need to research and write, since AI will research and can easily write “content” for us. This AI revolution in my view will further our society’s lower IQ. Granted, IQ does not equal intelligence in some blunt way. But it at least gives us one marker to measure it, imperfect as it is.