I remember being awed when first exposed to the intellectual power of Plato, Socrates, Descartes and others. Even though we may view them as naive, to me, when considering the times and level of knowledge that prevailed, their thoughts were amazing. Aside from mathematics, I had never encountered such discipline. I remember expecting that considering how long ago this was, they should seem primitive and backwards; I was so completely surprised. If we can ignore the effects of mass education, the media, and the sophistication that we enjoy today, are the most intelligent people today more or less intelligent than those of 1000 B.C.? I don't know how I define intelligence so you make the call Edit: Do the standards of living benefits such as diet, in addition to music, art, philosophy, education, etc etc actually make us smarter or just more informed...or possibly even less intelligent but more informed? Also, I left out no effect.