The other day I was watching the movie There's Something About Mary and in this movie there is a scene that struck me. When Ted, Ben Stiller's character, is driving to Florida accompanied by a hitchhiker they discuss the hitchhiker's idea for a workout video called 7 Minute Abs. Ted advises it might not work out well if someone later releases 6 Minute Abs, the hitchhiker flinches and grows angry. I've seen this activity in real life when explaining an idea or previously unheard of solution to common problems, the listener tends to flinch or pause for a moment as if something doesn't compute and sometimes they become rather upset perhaps to cover up their lack of understanding or inability to compute.
Most often I find that people repeat what they've heard on TV, in school or elsewhere and claim it as their own opinion. Throughout their life they've never been given a chance to learn how to think for themselves, instead only ever taught to accept what their told or face punishment. As a child in school it's do as the teacher says, don't think just do. The teacher gives the child whatever information their told to give the child and the child is required to regurgitate it as is, if the child fails to regurgitate he is punished.
Moving forward into adult life you might think well finally here's the opportunity to start doing things on your own, but you'd be wrong. As an adult one is required to obtain a job where it's do as your manager says, don't think just do. If you're caught consistently asking questions or trying to do things your own way you'll never receive a promotion and might just get fired. Companies don't want people that know how to think, they want people that know how to do as they're told. So one goes throughout life being rewarded for a lack of thinking and punished for any form of actual thinking.
What we end up with is a stagnant society that simply lacks the capability to come up with any new ideas. Much of the time they're afraid to think of something different knowing full well they'll be punished for any real outside of the box thinking. There's nothing genetic about the dumbing down of society, society just refuses to allow themselves intelligence. There are no actual leaders in this society, none of them ever propose a solution to anything that hasn't already been tried. None of them have ever been taught how to lead, none of them have learned how to think freely.