I’m teaching students about welfare policy next semester and I know that some popular conceptions (along the lines of Charles Murray) will come up that (as a military officer and his boyfriend recently said to me) poor people are poor because of (IQ?) defects, they have more kids than successful people and thus the human race is going down the drain genetically.
I know the evidence against this (e.g., intelligence seems to be rising and people are more plastic than genetic arguments alone would seem to indicate), but in strictly evolutionary terms, one that a social science guy can understand , does the protection of society “coddle” bad genetics and are we going down hill? I recall people use to say this about eyesight for instance (that humans with bad eyes would have died off, eaten by lions say, had we not invented devices to protect them, thus, eyes are getting worse and worse). I know it’s laughable, but I wanted to hear about the dynamics of evolution agrument against this (supposedly) evolutionary argument.