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Intelligence, Knowledge, and Wisdom (oh my!)
Posted: 09 July 2014 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Code Monkey;
I can’t comment on the quality of your arguments since you didn’t present them. I do know that a more intelligent person is better at forming an argument, therefore they can argue for anything. You can only tell what stand what they are taking, not whether or not they believe in it. They are just as susceptible to convincing themselves of something illogical as anyone else. They might be more susceptible since their logic will be more difficult to penetrate. I have not heard a new argument for the supernatural in about 2 years now, so personally, I don’t think the smartest theist in the world could win a debate with me.

Intelligence definitely exists. It is not correlate to wisdom, kindness, compassion, friendliness, even logic. If a naturally smart person has not taken a little time to learn things like “A cannot equal not A”, he could still be completely illogical.

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Posted: 09 July 2014 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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A truly intelligent person would know better than to put much stock in IQ tests.

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
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Posted: 09 July 2014 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Occam. - 09 July 2014 10:05 AM

I don’t recall the specifics, but a while ago a psychologist at USC did a statistical analysis (I’m not sure of what) and found there were fourteen distinctly different types of intelligence. 

Many years ago some members of the local Unitarian church asked me to apply to join Mensa.  From what I saw of their behavior and thinking, I decided that Mensa must define ego as intelligence.  These people weren’t very clear thinking but since they had passed some test that Mensa gives they were sure they were brilliant. 

Occam

I would be interested in seeing that analysis if you find info on it. I’ll try to remember to search for it later grin. As for Mensa, it’s unsurprising that the ego is high since the people who apply are generally those trying to prove something or to achieve a label. For me, it was mostly curiosity due to constantly feeling like no one understands me and having such difficulty in expressing my ideas such that someone else could follow. I figured I was either too intelligent or just a bad communicator wink. I had hoped to find a familiar belonging, but as I mentioned I found discord. And perhaps even more than in general populace as a whole. And probably worse than anything My Little Ponies had to put up with. Such discord, of course, probably goes back to the whole ego thing and forgetting to USE one’s intellect. I’m not currently a “member” anymore, but it’s fun to have done it anyway I guess.

Btw, could you elaborate on succinctness being clarity’s core? I’m not sure I understand wink

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Posted: 09 July 2014 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Lausten - 09 July 2014 10:42 AM

Code Monkey;
I can’t comment on the quality of your arguments since you didn’t present them. I do know that a more intelligent person is better at forming an argument, therefore they can argue for anything. You can only tell what stand what they are taking, not whether or not they believe in it. They are just as susceptible to convincing themselves of something illogical as anyone else. They might be more susceptible since their logic will be more difficult to penetrate. I have not heard a new argument for the supernatural in about 2 years now, so personally, I don’t think the smartest theist in the world could win a debate with me.

Intelligence definitely exists. It is not correlate to wisdom, kindness, compassion, friendliness, even logic. If a naturally smart person has not taken a little time to learn things like “A cannot equal not A”, he could still be completely illogical.

It’s true that intelligence can make someone more capable of arguing for fallacy. But they can only do so with axioms that they’re not arguing for. If someone takes “God exists” as an axiom as opposed to a conclusion to be made, then it’s generally possible to oppose all arguments against it. If one “knows” God exists, then the issue becomes a matter of explaining away the problems with the thought. Why is there no evidence? Because he wants it to be secret! Duh. Clearly, with no evidence, however, I don’t see any compelling reason to believe. But hey, lack of evidence doesn’t disprove God seeing as we don’t know that God wants himself known, thus the lack cannot remove a belief in and of itself. An axiom of “The Bible is True” will lead all kinds of revelations “from God” explaining how contradictions really aren’t contradictory. Ooh, it says all grass is brown here and yet it also says cows eat green grass? Contradiction! No way, we know it can’t be a contradiction so it must mean that the cows eat artificial grass colored by dye traders traveling with leaks in their containers. Can’t argue that one. The book is still infallible! Of course, the heathens don’t get these revelations and they’re stuck reading the face value because they WANT to believe it’s fallacious.

As to your comment regarding being intelligent yet illogical, you might have to give some kind of example of what this intelligence even means. If a person doesn’t know that A cannot simultaneously be ~A, then by what grounds do you call him intelligent?

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Posted: 09 July 2014 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Code Monkey - 09 July 2014 11:48 AM

It’s true that intelligence can make someone more capable of arguing for fallacy. But they can only do so with axioms that they’re not arguing for. If someone takes “God exists” as an axiom as opposed to a conclusion to be made, then it’s generally possible to oppose all arguments against it. If one “knows” God exists, then the issue becomes a matter of explaining away the problems with the thought. Why is there no evidence? Because he wants it to be secret! Duh. Clearly, with no evidence, however, I don’t see any compelling reason to believe.

You’ve quickly found the logical problems of proof, the basis of the study of epistemology. An engineer can put a man on the moon without ever considering these questions. Thus, the engineer is intelligent, a rocket scientist literally, but if asked to consider God, might say, “Huh, never thought about it, could be.”

Anselm proposed the ontological argument in 1078, a blink ago in the history of humans. At the time, he was considered brilliant. Even today, it takes a degree of intelligence to understand the logic and see the flaws. It helps to understand evolution and cosmology, to poke further holes in it. Had I been alive in 1078 I have not doubt I would have accepted Anselm as correct, but I have the help of many philosophers since so I see the ontological argument provides no real explanatory power.

Code Monkey - 09 July 2014 11:48 AM

As to your comment regarding being intelligent yet illogical, you might have to give some kind of example of what this intelligence even means. If a person doesn’t know that A cannot simultaneously be ~A, then by what grounds do you call him intelligent?

You have to imagine that no one told you that. It’s easy once someone points it out, but imagine you are a genius cave man, trying to explain “rock, not rock” to your fellow cave dwellers. And don’t forget Deepak Chopra, he could drive you in circles saying the moon doesn’t exist when no one is looking at it, except it does it exists, because… whatever. It took highly intelligent people to see that A <> ~A is an important building block of knowledge. The reason it is considered simple now is that we learn algebra in grade school.

We have accounts of people like Srinivasa Ramanujan, who showed knowledge of complex math without having been taught, so we know that intelligence comes before knowledge. We don’t see this as much anymore because if someone is smart, we get them to school. We want them to get the advantage of accumulated knowledge as quick as possible. Also knowledge is disseminated better, so with hard work, someone with less “natural” intelligence can do just as well. So, in that sense, IQ doesn’t matter.

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Posted: 09 July 2014 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Lausten - 09 July 2014 01:19 PM

You’ve quickly found the logical problems of proof, the basis of the study of epistemology. An engineer can put a man on the moon without ever considering these questions. Thus, the engineer is intelligent, a rocket scientist literally, but if asked to consider God, might say, “Huh, never thought about it, could be.”

I wouldn’t immediately equate a rocket scientist with intelligence. Perhaps because I’m an engineer myself, but I see engineering principles as merely knowledge that one was taught and applies in their narrow field. In my view, intelligence transcends what one was taught but finds unique ways of puzzling together those pieces of knowledge in a way that is not obvious to those less intelligent. It’s perhaps the ability to pull in pieces of one’s understanding into an equation that others may not have even considered since it wasn’t in their textbook to do so. Perhaps intelligence can be determined to some degree by how many uses one can think of for a paperclip in 2 minutes. But still, that has a lot to do with a person’s experience. A Luddite is not likely to come up with the use of opening a CD-ROM tray, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have thought of it had they known afore-time that CD-ROM trays have a release hole. So it can’t fairly be measured even though I might argue that is what intelligence is on a grander scale than paperclips.

Lausten - 09 July 2014 01:19 PM

Anselm proposed the ontological argument in 1078, a blink ago in the history of humans. At the time, he was considered brilliant. Even today, it takes a degree of intelligence to understand the logic and see the flaws. It helps to understand evolution and cosmology, to poke further holes in it. Had I been alive in 1078 I have not doubt I would have accepted Anselm as correct, but I have the help of many philosophers since so I see the ontological argument provides no real explanatory power.

I’ve never liked Anselm’s argument. Perhaps I’m not intelligent enough to see the intelligence behind it. It sounds about as wise as arguing that God must exist because a banana is so perfectly suited for our hand and mouth. We’ll just forget about pomegranates then I guess. It makes no sense to me whatsoever that the perceiving of something greater in your mind makes it exist. Imagine the greatest unicorn EVER. Now, if it were real it would be better! Therefore, unicorns exist. Ehhh, I don’t follow. Is there really logic here at all?

Lausten - 09 July 2014 01:19 PM

You have to imagine that no one told you that. It’s easy once someone points it out, but imagine you are a genius cave man, trying to explain “rock, not rock” to your fellow cave dwellers.

I don’t understand why someone would need to point it out. Perhaps when devising logical formulas, but not in day to day understanding and manipulating of the world around you. Anyone who thinks something can both be a rock and not a rock simultaneously is clearly not very intelligent except in the means of a play on words or utilization of a riddle. What makes this caveman genius if he doesn’t even know that a rock can’t be both a rock and not a rock simultaneously? My 4-year-old understands this and is by no means intelligent as of yet. Intelligence is clearly relative (i.e. a genius caveman might be an idiot today), but it still bases the concept around something that should be definable even if not particularly testable.

Lausten - 09 July 2014 01:19 PM

We have accounts of people like Srinivasa Ramanujan, who showed knowledge of complex math without having been taught, so we know that intelligence comes before knowledge. We don’t see this as much anymore because if someone is smart, we get them to school. We want them to get the advantage of accumulated knowledge as quick as possible. Also knowledge is disseminated better, so with hard work, someone with less “natural” intelligence can do just as well. So, in that sense, IQ doesn’t matter.

It’s difficult to disseminate intelligence with knowledge. Intelligence uses the knowledge one has, but without knowing full well the knowledge one has, it makes it difficult to test them. Perhaps a test would revolve around providing the only data applicable to the test, but then it might be too obvious and too fresh in the mind to be a fair comparison to drudging up the troves of knowledge built within one’s life to solve a particular problem. Can intelligence be related to problem-solving via past experiences and knowledge?

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Posted: 09 July 2014 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Sorry, C.M., the article was over thirty years ago, before the Internet.  Perhaps contacting the USC Psychology department can give you some direction.

Quoting C.M.:

Btw, could you elaborate on succinctness being clarity’s core? I’m not sure I understand

No, that would invalidate the statement which stands for itself. LOL

Occam

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Posted: 09 July 2014 05:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Code Monkey;
If you don’t think the people who sent rockets to the moon were intelligent (and innovative), then this conversation is taking a weird turn.

You apparently missed my point about Anselm, he was a genius in his time, but the ontological argument is not a smart one now. But it does take some thinking to understand what he was trying to say and understand where exactly the logical flaw is. If you think I’m wrong, then provide a formal dis-proof (not cut and pasted).

Also the cave man. The genius is the one who could come up with A <> ~A as a general principle. Try explaining that to your 4 year old. In the case of a rock, he or she will probably argue that the rock could also be a hammer.

Your last paragraph is confusing. I never said intelligence is disseminated. I said knowledge, i.e. facts are. That’s just dictionary definitions of the words. To your final question, yes, that’s my point.

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Posted: 09 July 2014 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Lausten - 09 July 2014 05:11 PM

Code Monkey;
If you don’t think the people who sent rockets to the moon were intelligent (and innovative), then this conversation is taking a weird turn.

All I can do is reiterate that I find a difference between intelligence and knowledge. They’re knowledgeable and perhaps some were innovative, but everyone has their part in the big picture. I work on the software for car transmissions along with a ton of other people. I don’t need to be intelligent for what I do. I simply need some knowledge. Of course, when someone knows nothing about what I do, they assume I’m intelligent rather than simply knowledgeable.

Lausten - 09 July 2014 05:11 PM

You apparently missed my point about Anselm, he was a genius in his time, but the ontological argument is not a smart one now. But it does take some thinking to understand what he was trying to say and understand where exactly the logical flaw is. If you think I’m wrong, then provide a formal dis-proof (not cut and pasted).

A “genius in his time” doesn’t make him intelligent, per se. Maybe relatively speaking he had the highest intelligence at the time, sure, but I’m not sure why that’s important. He wouldn’t be considered intelligent today with such crazy conclusions. Again, I can’t see logic in the statements to begin with so I’m not sure how one would go about disproving it other than saying, just because something is better if it’s real doesn’t make it real. Just like my unicorn example. I never saw any resemblance of intelligence in it so perhaps I’m misunderstanding his point.

Lausten - 09 July 2014 05:11 PM

Also the cave man. The genius is the one who could come up with A <> ~A as a general principle. Try explaining that to your 4 year old. In the case of a rock, he or she will probably argue that the rock could also be a hammer.

I’m not sure I follow. A rock can indeed also be a hammer. My 4-year-old can also tell me it’s a rock and then say I’m wrong when I tell him it’s not a rock. He understands that it can’t both be a rock and not a rock and yet still be able to recognize it as other things. Then again, he’d probably have trouble seeing it as a hammer in the same way he has difficulty understanding that I’m not name-calling when I call him a human. “No! Me Calvin!”

Lausten - 09 July 2014 05:11 PM

Your last paragraph is confusing. I never said intelligence is disseminated. I said knowledge, i.e. facts are. That’s just dictionary definitions of the words. To your final question, yes, that’s my point.

I meant to say it’s hard to separate intelligence from knowledge. Or perhaps “intellectual capability” is a better way to put it. I imagine that a person’s intellectual capability (or their IQ) is a matter of being capable of using the knowledge within them to come to conclusions. It’s the ability to correlate ideas within them and logically bring them out into new ideas. Whether or not the foundations are true, I suppose, is unimportant so long as they believe they’re true and managed to recall them when needed and use them in logical processing to deduce more conclusions. If a person were intelligent but knew nothing of history, he’d make for a lousy president. A historian knowing all of history but lacking intelligence would similarly make a terrible president because he wouldn’t be able to draw any conclusions or lessons from it that would be applicable in any of his modern-day scenarios. It takes both to be useful.

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Posted: 09 July 2014 07:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Code Monkey - 09 July 2014 06:33 PM

I meant to say it’s hard to separate intelligence from knowledge. Or perhaps “intellectual capability” is a better way to put it. I imagine that a person’s intellectual capability (or their IQ) is a matter of being capable of using the knowledge within them to come to conclusions. It’s the ability to correlate ideas within them and logically bring them out into new ideas. Whether or not the foundations are true, I suppose, is unimportant so long as they believe they’re true and managed to recall them when needed and use them in logical processing to deduce more conclusions. If a person were intelligent but knew nothing of history, he’d make for a lousy president. A historian knowing all of history but lacking intelligence would similarly make a terrible president because he wouldn’t be able to draw any conclusions or lessons from it that would be applicable in any of his modern-day scenarios. It takes both to be useful.

I’m going to drop the other stuff for now. Not sure why that isn’t clicking for us.
Basically, intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge and knowledge is the quantifiable stuff. So I agree with your example of the President. What I said a couple posts back is, someone born with less ability who studies hard could be indistinguishable from someone born with more ability who studies a little. IQ tests are supposed to measure the ability, and maybe they do, I don’t know how that works. I know SAT tests are controversial due to their cultural biases, although I haven’t heard much on that lately.

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Posted: 09 July 2014 08:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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There is more to imtelligence than knowledge and even the ability to acquire knowledge. It also has a lot to do with the ability to follow a line of logic—often many and contradictory lines of logic at the same time. Having a lot of information (knowledge) is not intelligence. Some people have photographic memories and can acquire a lot of information. They don’t all know what to do with it. Intelligence has more to do with categorizing, weighing and assessing information. Creativity, maturity, willingness to take risks and the ability to focus and think logically outside the box are also necessary. Those things are hard and may be impossible to measure. Acquiring lots of information is not intelligence, though a lot of people think it is. It’s one of the reasons that students who manage to get into good universities often fail.

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Posted: 10 July 2014 05:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Lausten - 09 July 2014 07:49 PM

I’m going to drop the other stuff for now. Not sure why that isn’t clicking for us.

Maybe we just don’t realize we actually agree while we talk as if we don’t? grin

Lausten - 09 July 2014 07:49 PM

Basically, intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge and knowledge is the quantifiable stuff. So I agree with your example of the President.

The ability to acquire knowledge is similar to my understanding of intelligence. I don’t mean the ability to read a book, but rather to make new knowledge from the knowledge one already possesses. For example, the ability to presume that if an apple killed person A that it is potentially unwise to eat the apple yourself. That’s intelligence. You derive understanding from something that wasn’t spoken or taught. It’s even more intelligent to surmise the other potentials that the person was allergic rather than poisoned and perhaps more tests are necessary. It’s more intelligence to presume that maybe just the one apple was poisoned and not all apples or even just the one species. The only piece of knowledge was “Apple killed man” yet an intelligent person derives all kinds of meaning and possibilities from it to be studied, determined, considered, or just held in the back of the mind in case more data comes forward. I don’t know how well that can be tested. It can be tested whether or not someone remembers the story of the man killed by an apple, but that’s not intelligence. That’s just knowledge.

Lausten - 09 July 2014 07:49 PM

What I said a couple posts back is, someone born with less ability who studies hard could be indistinguishable from someone born with more ability who studies a little.

I agree. That doesn’t mean they’re equal intelligence, but simply that it’s hard to distinguish (or separate) the two.

Lausten - 09 July 2014 07:49 PM

IQ tests are supposed to measure the ability, and maybe they do, I don’t know how that works.

Perhaps to some extent. My guess is it’s a bit lacking but really only from my perspective of another person’s intelligence. The intelligence might be there and perhaps the test is accurate, but because we don’t derive our extra meanings from the same base of knowledge, it’s hard to really know. So I wonder if there’s even any value in it. For a president, I’d want to test both IQ and knowledge of which the IQ could utilize. Just saying, “I’m a Mensan” means nothing if you’ve never pondered any great things to actually make the IQ worthwhile.

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Posted: 10 July 2014 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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LoisL - 09 July 2014 08:34 PM

There is more to imtelligence than knowledge and even the ability to acquire knowledge. It also has a lot to do with the ability to follow a line of logic—often many and contradictory lines of logic at the same time. Having a lot of information (knowledge) is not intelligence. Some people have photographic memories and can acquire a lot of information. They don’t all know what to do with it. Intelligence has more to do with categorizing, weighing and assessing information. Creativity, maturity, willingness to take risks and the ability to focus and think logically outside the box are also necessary. Those things are hard and may be impossible to measure. Acquiring lots of information is not intelligence, though a lot of people think it is. It’s one of the reasons that students who manage to get into good universities often fail.

If we change “the ability to acquire knowledge” to “the ability to derive knowledge” I think it’s more fitting. I think intelligence is probably deriving knowledge rather than simply acquiring it. See my previous post for an example. But yeah, I’ve heard of people with photographic memories basically being incapable of doing much reasoning with the data. I think it gives a strong argument that there’s an inverse relationship of a sort. The more information you have, the more difficult it is to draw the important links. So if your brain is good at filtering out useless stuff you’ll have more ability to use what you have to draw greater conclusions. Of course, it’s not simply a matter of “less data” but “less useless” and “more useful” data coupled with the ability to draw it out as needed which probably means more connections to more ideas. I can’t remember the lyrics to some songs until I start singing the whole thing because the connection is so weak and only connected to the previous couple words or notes. So I can’t draw that up easily. Intelligence is probably that skill of linking useful information for better retrieval of applicable data to the situation. That kind of goes back to the paperclip idea I guess.

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Posted: 05 August 2014 11:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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I think the very nature of intelligence outsmarts the pre-engineering methods we use to measure it ... meaning intelligence per se is more complex than any method used to measure itself.

I.Q. tests, it would seem to me, are paradigms of circular logic or false witnesses to itself declaring this or that, none of which is complete. Intelligence becomes a verdict based on the limited parameters employed which as implied, are nothing more than subsets of the whole and who knows how far that extends.

Any institution which by its own majority creates or proclaims an elite of the so-called hyper-intelligent is one I would be extremely “dubious” about. It is not rare for consensus to counter fact whether in society as a whole or it’s other in-corporations.

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Posted: 04 October 2014 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Occam. - 09 July 2014 10:05 AM

I don’t recall the specifics, but a while ago a psychologist at USC did a statistical analysis (I’m not sure of what) and found there were fourteen distinctly different types of intelligence. 

Many years ago some members of the local Unitarian church asked me to apply to join Mensa.  From what I saw of their behavior and thinking, I decided that Mensa must define ego as intelligence.  These people weren’t very clear thinking but since they had passed some test that Mensa gives they were sure they were brilliant. 

Occam

Yes, you are right. the book “Management Intelligence: Sense and Nonsense for the Successful Manager” By Adrian Furnham mentions 14 types, some of these are Analytical, Bodily-kinesthetic, Creative, Emotional, Interpersonal, Mathematical, Musical, Naturalistic etc.

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