said by digitalfutur:
Plausible but false = specious.
This is one of the reasons why scientists (not science) continue to lose credibility by coming up with ridiculous theories like this one; for no other reason than to rise above the 140 character noise or get page hits. In that regard, such "scientists" continue to devolve into the infotainment realm: the medium is the message.
You should do a bit more research on who this "specious" scientist is before making those kinds of flippant accusations. Rather than an indictment of science, this story is more evidence of just how poorly science is represented in the popular media.
Gerald Crabtree is a professor of developmental biology and pathology at the Stanford School of Medicine with interests in cancer research, developmental biology, immunology, and related areas, and is also director of the Stanford Crabtree Lab which does research in stem cells, molecular biology, and developmental genetics. The particular papers (there were two of them) that appeared in "Trends in Genetics" were somewhat tangential to his main areas of research, but were also grossly oversimplified in the popular media, as often happens. While necessarily somewhat speculative, the papers are a lot more down-to-earth than the media has implied, and investigate the following two hypotheses (from the abstracts) -- obviously #2 is what got the media all in a tizzy:
1. New developments in genetics, anthropology, and neurobiology predict that a very large number of genes underlie our intellectual and emotional abilities, making these abilities genetically surprisingly fragile.
2. Analysis of human mutation rates and the number of genes required for human intellectual and emotional fitness indicates that we are almost certainly losing these abilities. If so, how did we get them in the first place, and when did things begin to change?
I see no problem in asking those questions and making honest attempts to provide substantiated answers.--
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."
Daniel Patrick Moynihan