There are many ways to measure human intelligence on a daily practical and survival level. Yet there are few that measure scientifically that which is called intelligence. In fact, many researchers themselves do not agree upon what constitutes “intelligence” so even the metrics we already use are often questioned.
There are many psychologists and biologists who realize that thinking intelligence is not the same as musical intelligence, motor and movement skills intelligence, sensory intelligence, and social interactive skills intelligence. All combine to make a human being that which we call highly intelligent.
Human beings are often touted as being the most intelligent species known. How do we measure this? The honest answer is, we can’t. Science has not yet devised tests which prove our ability to do well in the natural world. Most intelligence tests to date measure our ability in the abstract world, words, puzzles, mazes and so forth.
Sharks have lived on earth for more than 420 million years. Crocodiles and alligators have been around almost as long. But homo sapiens is young, and not as evolved. Yes, humans have awareness, but is that the only measure of intelligence? What about an ability to use that awareness to not extinguish ourselves, or other organisms?
The real meaning of intelligence is proven by those organisms, or systems, which have endured millions, or even billions, of years. Natural selection has enabled them to adapt to constantly changing environments. One working definition of intelligence it simply that which endures. Perhaps the Universe itself, that evolved beings which rose to high levels of consciousness, can be said to be the highest intelligence of all. Yet, this remains highly controversial.
When human beings are tested for “intelligence” they are being evaluated on a very narrow band of their functioning. How one might solve a puzzle, or find a pattern is measured. Emotional intelligence, sensate intelligence, and intuitive instinct are not measured with these tests. How we use all incoming data, not just auditory or visual, but with what Ecopsychologists have identified with 53 senses, is something that humanity is slipping away from as we grow more and more alienated from the Natural world.
Intelligence tests are also flawed in that many people will have thousands of reasons why they do not perform well in their results. A minor brain or physical ailment, or being from a differing ethnic background can result in differences that skew results. So anything from vocabulary, to examination anxiety, or even a broken toe will effect one’s score on an intelligence, IQ, test. Or what if someone just lost a job, or is depressed? All these things will skew results of any intelligence tests that center on problem solving alone.
When he was a small child, and did not have “normal “ language skills, Albert Einstein performed deplorably on almost any measure of intelligence. Yet, we are fairly confident he was sumpremely intelligent.
His brains has even been preserved for scientific study.
Yet what really sets him apart was his deep understanding that Natural laws are run by a kind of intelligence that is far beyond our limited range. He understood that how we are able to function and preserve balance is more crucial than that we are just smarter about how to kill everything, or everyone else, more effectively.
There are almost seven billion of us, very intelligent creatures, but we in learning to apply, function, balance and even measure that intelligence, we still have much to learn.