Some people are smarter than others, because they learn problem solving skills.
Problem solving skills can include almost anything. A person caught in a rain storm who can come up with several solutions to stop from getting soaked, is a smart person. A person who relies on what they learned about umbrellas, or getting back home only, is a person who is not as resourceful. They may have learned to be “dumb.”
The difference between smart, and not so smart, is not due to intelligence, or even training of any kind. It comes down to listening to the senses, and using reason, combined with those senses. In short, it is hands on, hypothesis testing.
This is why it can accurately be said, that the scientific method, problem solving, does make individuals smarter. But it is not reliant upon academic degrees. It is reliant upon being open minded.
Most animals live closer to the earth, and they have many coping mechanisms that allow them (unless confined) to escape natural disasters, predators, and more. They are smart because they do not become mislead by abstract information, or rules, as we humans often do.
This is why jokes are often made about the smartest guys of all, because they designed the global economic system, (collapsed) built the Titanic, (sunk) and give us brilliant world leaders, (war/famine/pollution all over the planet!)
Why some people are smarter than others, is because some people, born engineers, realize, by studying the evidence, how to make things work. They also capitalize on intuition, knowing that intuition is a natural sense, and usually an advantage.
With a relationship problem, they may tap into what worked once before. They can study how cooperation won peace for those involved. For a “dam about to burst problem,” they study how levies, dams, dykes, water flow and hydraulic systems work in the natural world. With an artist, writer, or musician, they have realized what harmonic components make up a complete and moving whole.
Nature is the smartest thing we know of in creation. We tend to believe that human beings are the smartest animal, but we listen primarily to our thoughts. We do not always tune in to even know if it is about to rain in the first place. How can nature be the smartest thing that is? Nature, or if you prefer God or Natural aws, made the Universe work.
Gravity, planets, weather systems, extremely intricate food, mineral, and life support systems are created by Natural laws. From all of that, and only extremely recently, came one species we know of who is so conscious of self.
As a species, we cannot yet be thought of as smart. We have yet to figure out how to better align our living needs with the planet’s living needs. We invented trash, war, nukes, and many, many smart things, but such innovation is really only understood by a very, very few elite people. The rest of us just cope with these things, not always knowing the consequences.
There is a lot of hope, however, for our species. This is because we are capable of learning. We can learn to tune out what experts say, or the “common knowledge” says. We can learn that our thoughts, and senses, (which we don’t create by the way, but which create us), can put us in the right, or wrong direction. We glom on to a belief system, and defend it to the death, not wanting to be restricted too, or distracted by, facts and empirical evidence.
People tend to get stuck in that part of our defense mechanisms that sees the world in black or white. We are binary, as so many Helium titles will show. What, for example, if “smart and not smart, “are NOT the only choices? And what does mental illness have to do with our natural ability to be smart? What if we admit that like all illness, mental illness happens to most everyone (who lives more than a week) at least once in life?
We fall somewhere in between with our daily lives, and no one decision should, or can define us as only “either smart, or not smart.” That is stupid!