This is apparently a news item from the distant future. It was washed up on the bank of the Thornton by my property here. Looks liike someone has found a way to monkey with time.
Thumbs down for Joe Brooking
Hobart, August 2, 2453
By the Hobart Times special correspondent, Marx Lehrer
The Supreme Court, in a case that has attracted wide attention, decided today by a 6 to 3 vote that Joe Brookings would be denied both parenting rights and step-parenting rights. He can become an uncle, not more.
Mrs. Brookings was sad but resigned. He’s got a beautiful build, she said to reporters after the verdict was announced. I so wanted to have a child with his looks and my brains. Someone made the obvious comment that the reverse might happen. Mrs. B. had nothing more to say.
Mr. B, it will be recalled, is the first person in the last two hundred years to have a certified IQ under 100. At 87, he is over fifty points below the average for all Oceania. This has made him a celebrity of sorts, and the object of much discussion that has ranged from scientific to ethical and political issues.
The scientific community, on balance, favored giving Joe parenting rights. “He’s an anomaly, a true throwback”, said Professor Dworkin of the Christchurch Center for the Investigation of Human Origins. “It’s almost as though we found a living Neanderthal. We may investigate his mental capacities, or lack thereof, to the fullest extent of our present capabilities, but then, after he has died, our successors may have new techniques. As matters stand now, a priceless opportunity to continue our studies will have vanished. We really must let his DNA continue for at least another generation or two.”
The ethicists were divided. As usual, the eugenicists favored denial, while the natural school leaned the other way, in favor of letting Joe and Mrs. B. have a child. Opinions became more diffuse over the question of step-parenting, as this brought in the old nature vs. nurture issue. If the Brookings baby had a different biological father and, consequently, a more normal IQ, to what extent would its potential be reduced by being brought up in a family with a subnormal stepfather? A minority of the most committed interventionists didn’t think it would make much difference, as inherited IQ, they believed, was far more important in determining future performance than family background. But the majority disagreed. It is safe to predict that this matter will be debated in professional journals for some time to come.
But the arguments that really determined the verdict were essentially political. Justice Bonner’s lengthy opinion, written for the majority, made this clear. She said, in effect, that the historical record was clear. Joe Brooking’s very low IQ was more in the nature of a deadly disease that must be extirpated once and for all, like smallpox and polio in the old days, rather than just another anomaly that could safely be studied by scientists indefinitely. She recalled the tragic events of the twenty-first century, when a combination of man-made disasters and natural disasters (mostly caused by human folly) reduced the global population from nearly seven billion people to less than eighty million. The ones that survived were the ones that could see trouble coming and could adapt, which under the circumstances meant migrating to what became the Republic of Oceania. The silver lining in the cloud was that average IQ jumped from 100 to over 140, since the less well endowed were mostly exterminated by wars, famines, and natural catastrophes. Freed of the debilitating drag of the marching morons, it became possible for the first time in human history to establish an enduring basis for governing a large and complex society on a just and humane basis.
Justice Bonner acknowledged that her views might be considered by some to be on the elitist side. In defence, she noted that our ancestors passed the point of no return, into the chaos that followed, when the world’s premier nation, the United States of America, voted for Donald Trump as President. It is clear in retrospect, she said, and it should have been clear at the time, that he was leading the world, lemming-like, into disaster. The vote was close, she noted, and subsequent studies showed that Trump won only because most of the people of Joe Brooking’s limited intelligence voted for him. Never again, she said, as she banged her gavel. Case closed.