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My intelligence can beat up your intelligence!


Fishteacher73
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This aspect was brought up in a different thread and I thought it would be an intersting discussion. This may be a bit fuzzy because many of the deffinitions are circular, vague or just plain undefined (as well as anthropocentric). So I guess a bit of ground work is required before we get rolling..

 

1) What is intelligence?

 

2) Is it quatifiable and comparable?

 

3) Is it a universal standard? (ie the deffinitions used for humans apply to ape, cephalapods, or cetaceans?)

 

4) Are there diverse qualities that constitute intelligence? (ex. Tool use vs. navigation)

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1) What is intelligence?

 

IMO intelligence is the ability to learn and alter ones actions for future events. Essentially the ability to interpret the current situation and predict the most likely outcome.

 

2) Is it quatifiable and comparable?

I think it is difficult to generate a number that represents intelligence. It manifestations are quite diverse.

3) Is it a universal standard? (ie the deffinitions used for humans apply to ape, cephalapods, or cetaceans?)

I think it is a standard in the form that I defined.

 

4) Are there diverse qualities that constitute intelligence? (ex. Tool use vs. navigation)

As one can see intelligence expressed differently in just a singe species one has to grant that it can exist in different forms that perhaps excede human ability in the specific realm.

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While only a partial answer to your interesting question, I would say one of the biggest components of intellegence is imagination. Basically, problem solving is an intellegence you see in animals, tool use you also see, but imagination is largely absent.

 

We can imagine a bridge before we build it- that's how we make long term plans. We imagine land projected onto paper- that's how we make maps. We don't have to rely on instinct, because we can use imagination to project into the future and see possible results from different choices. That's one of the biggest differences between us and the great apes, for example. We have a strong ability to imagine, whereas they mostly rely on instinct. I can see a house before I build it, that's how I know to build it- I can take a many step process that does not resemble houses, and turn that into a realized vision.

 

So, any measure of intellgence should include a measure of imagination or visualization ability.

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1) What is intelligence?

 

This is one thing I used to think of because I played D&D when I was a teenager, and there was a difference between Intelligence and Wisdom. The way that I always thought of it was that intelligence is having knowledge of different subjects and wisdom is knowing what to do with that knowledge. It seems to me that each can exist without the other. If you look at some people with autism, they sometimes have a lot of knowledge but they really can't use it in a practical situation. Also, there are plenty of people who are successful because they are wise and know how to use things to their advantage, but if you played them in trivial persuit they would look like children.

 

2) Is it quatifiable and comparable?

 

I don't know how you would compare intelligence, I think that you can compare someone's knowledge in a certain area, but not generally.

 

3) Is it a universal standard? (ie the deffinitions used for humans apply to ape, cephalapods, or cetaceans?)

 

Yes, I think it's standard.

 

4) Are there diverse qualities that constitute intelligence? (ex. Tool use vs. navigation)

 

When it comes to animals using tools and things like that, I think that if it is not their instinct to do this, then it shows as intelligence.

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___I think every intelligence bout will have a unique outcome. If I were to challenge your biology intelligence Fish, with my biology intelligence, yours would stomp on my aorta.

___I won't presume which, if any, intelligence I posess would likewise set you aback. Perhaps this bears on why quiz shows continue in popularity, & for that matter contests of all kinds. If intelligence is relative as I assert, some manner of comparison is requisite for knowing where ones own intelligence lies. :hihi: :xx:

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So, any measure of intellgence should include a measure of imagination or visualization ability.

 

I think there is a diference between a mental projection and imagination. Imagination would imply creativity while the ability to mentally picture the result would just indicate a level of planning. Either case they are impossiple to quantify are measure in anything that cannot verbalize this internal perception to the observer. Koko has shown this by combining signs to create new signs for unknown objects or ideas.

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1) What is intelligence?

Intelligence is the ability to successfully solve novel problems. Everything else is training or innate behavior. A naked man in the wild is food for anything that cares to eat. If he grabs a stick he'll rule the world.

2) Is it quantifiable and comparable?

Absolutely! IQ tests, the old SAT, GRE... and education in general are empirically functional quantitative evaluations. The high school dropout rate has not changed in 150 years - a steady 30%. About 1/3 the population is good for other things - or nothing.

3) Is it a universal standard? (ie the definitions used for humans apply to ape, cephalapods, or cetaceans?)

It depends on the society. Yesterday's Nobel Prize is tomorrow's homework in the First World. Dolphins have other priorities. However, remember who kills whom at will.

4) Are there diverse qualities that constitute intelligence? (ex. Tool use vs. navigation)

Prodigies need not be intelligent (idiot-savants). The intelligent need not be useful. However, if you want metal (mettle) you mine ore.

 

We have had the Fine Arts and religions for 5000+ years. Everything around you that truly matters was done by mathematicians, scientists, and engineers. A 100 IQ will never do it. Things get interesting around 120-130 IQ. That excludes about 90% of the population right at the starting line. The future (any desirable future) is borne in other wombs.

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___UncleAl, you never cease to amaze me! As I am an idiot/savant with IQ 125 or so, I have always had the hardest time fitting my intelligence to a world otherwise oriented. Most of my life, I simply pretended; gets you by pretty well in most cases. Of course when the bluff is called, that's it.

___Nonetheless, it is quite challenging indeed to try & impart to most people (your 90%) even a smidgeon of what patterns I see. In many senses, my intelligence is no contest one way or the other. :hihi: :xx:

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...Everything around you that truly matters was done by mathematicians, scientists, and engineers. ...
Interesting perspective. So, the following folks do not matter:

 

1) Julius Caeser

2) George Washington

3) Mother Theresa

4) Picasso

5) Voltaire

6) Michaelangelo

7) Vladamir Horowitz

8) Ernest Hemingway

9) Oscar Hammerstein

10) Lou Gehrig

 

Really?

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1) What is intelligence?

I think that intelligence is a relative term. Some monkeys seem to have learning capabilities (I guess many animals do in a way...) but they can't put two and two together if you give them a tool to use. They might use the tool for awhile, but they can't figure out how to improve on it. I suppose I would call intelligence the individual quest for knowledge - a desire to learn and understand things. Even if this particular "person" didn't have books or an environment that allowed them to learn well, she might "wonder" about things in head... without outside interference to do so. I'm sure there are levels of intelligence less than this, but when I think of what that word means to me, this is wh at I think of. The capability to learn and comprehend; and retain and manipulate that information. My dog can remember some commands; he does not know how to open the dog food container and get his own food out (although he does remember where I keep it!)

 

 

2) Is it quatifiable and comparable?

Yes, I believe that it is. ALthough I do think IQ tests and SAT/ACT scores are a measure of this (as said by someone else), I think that there are types of intelligence that are not fully captured by these types of tests. BUt, I do think that these "other" types of intelligence are in the minority, at least.

 

3) Is it a universal standard? (ie the definitions used for humans apply to ape, cephalapods, or cetaceans?)

I do not think it is universal. I do not think we could measure an ape or other being with the same type of test.... it would be like trying to map a cube on a 2 dimensional graph. I think that while some animals have higher relative levels of intelligence than others (I have seen some programs showing elephants and dolphins - to name a few- to be pretty intelligent...) that their types of intelligence differ from human intelligence. I also think that since they have to spend so much of their time in life being wary of their surroundings due to predators, that they don't have the free time as we do to let their minds wander into the abyss of intelligent thinking. So to speak.

 

 

4) Are there diverse qualities that constitute intelligence? (ex. Tool use vs. navigation)

I think there are. Some people seem to just "know" things - the ability to understand things more easily - to take things apart and study and figure out on their own. Some people have an "inherent sense of direction" - I've heard rumors of course that men are better at this than women because they "have more iron in their bodies and due to magnetism, etc etc.", but I think that's balogna because my levels of iron are very low and I seem to always know which direction is which... anyway, some people seem to handle people and social situations naturally; others seem to be able to take engines apart with ease; some people seem to be born leaders; others can listen to music and sort it out both tonally and mathematically in their minds; I think these are variances in types of intelligence. Just like I feel that if you put a handful of people out in the middle of the wilderness, some would be more likely to survive. I guess this could be seen as instinct, but I think in humans instinct is influenced by intelligence. Ah, it's getting late... I don't know what I'm talking about anymore....

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Boy do I have a different viewpoint....I think the biggest problem with the very loaded term "intelligence" is that it has been forever used to separate man from the rest of the animal kingdom, and that's *precisely* why its definitions fall into the circular reasoning Fish mentions...

 

1) What is intelligence?

 

The ability to perceive the world and react to it in ways that enhance the organism's ability to survive.

 

2) Is it quatifiable and comparable?

 

Perception through physical senses are increasingly complex up the evolutionary tree, and as they proliferate and become more accute (all measurable qualities, although in some areas subjectively so), they can be coordinated in increasingly sophisticated ways (see flames and feel heat produces quicker recognition of fire). Cognition and the reaction process can become increasingly sophisticated utilizing memory of past events either through direct learning or through genetically in born reactive rules: the level of this sophistication can be measured.

 

Comparison of these abilities is often an exercise in apples vs. oranges and "my cephalopod is smarter than your canine" debates are pretty pointless. Even within species, certain measurable intelligence traits may serve to combine within a social group, thus providing benefit even if there are major disparities on the "I can add better than you can paint" dimension.

 

3) Is it a universal standard? (ie the deffinitions used for humans apply to ape, cephalapods, or cetaceans?)

 

My previous paragraph basically says I think no, even within species, and across species it is silly. See the following answer:

 

4) Are there diverse qualities that constitute intelligence? (ex. Tool use vs. navigation)

 

Tool use is a sophisticated consequence of higher intelligence. It separates man from maybe, amoebas. I have always argued that dolphins and whales (especially orcas) are much smarter than humans, but because they don't use tools, we belittle them. Most dogs I've know have been smarter than most humans I've known too, but they have limited use of tools.

 

Cheers,

Buffy

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OK, so what about plant life?
In my book, the Venus Flytrap is the most highly evolved plant on the scale of rapid response to stimuli! That's a rudimentary nervous system at work! What's the problem with having an existential petunia like in Hitchhiker's Guide?

 

Cheers,

Buffy

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I have read reports of "communication" by certain trees by pheremones. Most reactions by plants are just tropisms that can be manipulated. There is no neurological pathway, but I am sure thare are some chemical paths that act like a nervous system to a degree, but I doubt it is anything near sentience.

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There is no neurological pathway, but I am sure thare are some chemical paths that act like a nervous system to a degree, but I doubt it is anything near sentience.
Sure, but this is the kind of "missing link" that the creation/id folks are always asking for: the development of cells that use chemical-mechanical action to perform tasks. In the case of the Venus Flytrap, you even have (very fast!) communication between cells from the perceptor cells to the actuator cells: that's a rudimentary nervous system! Doesn't consist of "neurons" like we've got, but shows how they could evolve!

 

Cheers,

Buffy

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I have been watching this discussion (among others) about intelligence for a while. I think the problem is that there is no good, narrow definition of "intelligence". The "consensus" definition

A "consensus" definition of intelligence was signed by 52 intelligence researchers in 1994:

 

a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—"catching on," "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do. (reprinted in Gottfredson, 1997, p. 13)

is not particularly useful in that is is remarkably broad. In any test of intelligence, the "level" of intelligence is defined by the specifics of the test. This seems a little bit circular to me. I think we have these discussions because there is no meaningful technical definition of intelligence. Fst's suggestions that pheromone transfer between plants is as reasonable as any other stimulus oriented model. It seems to me that defining "intelligence" is like defing art. Or pornography. ("I don't know how to define it, but I know it when I see it...").

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I also think that there is a bias for many as to what intelligence is. The definitions always include all the human skills as the base line and we have to interpret other organisms' abilities into a that model to fit within these human guidelines.

 

The definition therefore becomes generally useless as that it is too vague in some areas while too constricted in other aspects.

 

Just as you said, Bio, it becomes a gut feeling interpretation, art, porn, life, and intelligence are all some what boundless in the direction that they can express themselves and any definition caps certain possiblities that cannot be truly eleminated as plausable forms.

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