Intelligence Considered; Exploring Intelligence; Scientific American Presents; by Yam; 6 Page(s)
For the past several years, the Sunday newspaper supplement Parade has featured a column called "Ask Marilyn." People are invited to query Marilyn vos Savant, who at age 10 had tested at a mental level of someone about 23 years old; that gave her an intelligence quotient of 228-the highest score ever recorded. IQ tests ask you to complete verbal and visual analogies, to envision paper after it has been folded and cut, and to deduce numerical sequences, among other similar tasks. So it is a bit perplexing when vos Savant fields such queries from the average Joe (whose IQ is 100) as, What's the difference between love and infatuation? Or what is the nature of luck and coincidence? It's not obvious how the capacity to visualize objects and to figure out numerical patterns suits one to answer questions that have eluded some of the best poets and philosophers.
Clearly, intelligence encompasses more than a score on a test. Just what does it mean to be smart? How much of intelligence can be specified, and how much can we learn about it from neurobiology, genetics, ethology, computer science and other fields?