Welcome to INTJ Forum

This is a community where INTJs can meet others with similar personalities and discuss a wide variety of both serious and casual topics. If you aren't an INTJ, you're welcome to join anyway if you would like to learn more about this personality type or participate in our discussions. Registration is free and will allow you to post messages, see hidden subforums, customize your account and use other features only available to our members.

Cacao

How smart can we get?

30 posts in this topic

I dont know, but it seems there are huge differences between the intelligence of average healthy person and people with highest IQs. It seems there is great variability between IQs. Granted the smarter ones come in smaller numbers obviously. The question I have though is what would be the biological upper limit to our intelligence? What will be the thing that will stop us from developing greater intelligence given we wont use artificial enhancers of brain like brain implants or some sort of thinking cap or whatever. Will it be the size of cranium or will the wiring of the brain become too complicated? Will it be the energy demand of the brain or something entirely different?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It only seems that way. I propose that the actual difference between a dumb person and Einstein is rather small. If one were to put together a universal scale, going from protozoa, to ants, to fish, to chimps, to humans, then all humans would be clustered into a small band.

There are limits on what one can do with a brain. The speed of synapse responses. The interconnection of them etc. As you get bigger, the time taken for signals to move gets longer. Then there are issues of heat removal etc. I thus propose that simply doubling the scale will not result in a doubling of processing capacity. It is more a case of diminishing returns. Like the way that thinking just one more move ahead in chess requires a large increase in the scaling of the possibility space.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In terms of practical application, the way that Man really gets smarter depends not so much on the present-day solo efforts of the smart individuals, but the way we learn from each other, including from our predecessors. The learning is cumulative in nature. Today when a scientist makes a breakthrough discovery in genetic engineering, he is benefiting from the early discoveries of Gregor Mendel in 1866, poking around his garden and observing his generations of pea plants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Intelligence is not well-defined enough to answer this question, but thod has some good probable leads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Cacao said:

I dont know, but it seems there are huge differences between the intelligence of average healthy person and people with highest IQs. It seems there is great variability between IQs. Granted the smarter ones come in smaller numbers obviously. The question I have though is what would be the biological upper limit to our intelligence? What will be the thing that will stop us from developing greater intelligence given we wont use artificial enhancers of brain like brain implants or some sort of thinking cap or whatever. Will it be the size of cranium or will the wiring of the brain become too complicated? Will it be the energy demand of the brain or something entirely different?

What's intelligence?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, NSchet said:

What's intelligence?

Ability to solve problems efficiently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Cacao said:

Ability to solve problems efficiently.

How do you measure it? What's the empirical factor, here?

The ability to solve problems efficiently is predicated upon the cumulative experience of building upon previous knowledge; at one point, knowledge becomes the limiting factor, not problem-solving. Understanding, in a sense.

Innovation and creativity may prove to be more fitting, but how do those tie in with "intelligence"?

So the question still persists: what method do you propose for measuring the aforementioned?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, NSchet said:

How do you measure it? What's the empirical factor, here?

The ability to solve problems efficiently is predicated upon the cumulative experience of building upon previous knowledge; at one point, knowledge becomes the limiting factor, not problem-solving. Understanding, in a sense.

Innovation and creativity may prove to be more fitting, but how do those tie in with "intelligence"?

So the question still persists: what method do you propose for measuring the aforementioned?

Well I dont think measuring is necessary to be talked about in this thread, but there are IQ tests that do a pretty good job. There are other tests. For example a pilot will be tested on a pilot exam. A student on a test etc. What we do is we compare people doing same job. So in IQ test we simply look at a group of people and those who get the problems solved fastest and best are the ones getting higher scores whereas those not doing so well get lower scores. The same comparison is made in all cases. If we want to know who is the best sportsman we usually look at comparison to other sportsmen. If we want to know who is better mathematician we give people math problems and compare them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, Cacao said:

Well I dont think measuring is necessary to be talked about in this thread, but there are IQ tests that do a pretty good job. 

Alright, assuming that IQ tests are reliable at assessing "intelligence", the ceiling would be somewhere around Please login or register to see this link. ; anything further verges on the fringes of statistical impossibility.

Edited by NSchet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, NSchet said:

Alright, assuming that IQ tests are reliable at assessing "intelligence", the ceiling would be somewhere around 180/190; anything further verges on the fringes of statistical impossibility.

Actually anything above 160 is already pointless since even the high end tests are really just extrapolating stuff thats nearly a guess work.

But we could think about this in different ways. For example memory is also important in problem solving. So people who have equal IQ, but the person with better memory will have higher intelligence. So obviously people with eidetic memory would be in advantage. Then you we could talk about creativity, but there is no reliable way to measure that. Imagination is something that probably can be trained and with lot of practice anyone can improve it like everything so if your neocortex thickens faster its possible its able to create more associations hence learn faster.

IQ tests are nice thing, the issue is they are limited in time and complexity so its really a simple test to test complex issue, but given the simplicity of IQ tests its pretty remarkable how accurate they are.

 
 
...... added to this post 3 minutes later:
 
8 hours ago, Major Chord said:

In terms of practical application, the way that Man really gets smarter depends not so much on the present-day solo efforts of the smart individuals, but the way we learn from each other, including from our predecessors. The learning is cumulative in nature. Today when a scientist makes a breakthrough discovery in genetic engineering, he is benefiting from the early discoveries of Gregor Mendel in 1866, poking around his garden and observing his generations of pea plants.

When measuring peoples intelligence you obviously have to set up the experiment in such a way as to give them the same information. So for example a math test has to have the same wording and same math problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

12 minutes ago, Cacao said:

For example memory is also important in problem solving. So people who have equal IQ, but the person with better memory will have higher intelligence. So obviously people with eidetic memory would be in advantage.

Not necessarily.  Depends on the test.  Many modern IQ tests focus less on memory, education and culture, and more on pattern matching and visual abstractions aka fluid intelligence. Traditional IQ tests fixated on crystallized intelligence which was heavily reliant on cultural educational systems and memory.

Edited by Distance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Distance said:

Not necessarily.  Depends on the test.  Many modern IQ tests focus less on memory, education and culture, and more on pattern matching and visual abstractions aka fluid intelligence. Traditional IQ tests fixated on crystallized intelligence which was heavily reliant on cultural educational systems.

I know that, but I didnt mean to say they would preform better on IQ test. But they would probably be smarter by virtue of being able to remember more. Not on IQ test, but in real life. I mean imagine you go to school and have average IQ. Then imagine you have average IQ, but eidetic memory. I mean school would be ten times easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

4 minutes ago, Cacao said:

I know that, but I didnt mean to say they would preform better on IQ test. But they would probably be smarter by virtue of being able to remember more. Not on IQ test, but in real life. I mean imagine you go to school and have average IQ. Then imagine you have average IQ, but eidetic memory. I mean school would be ten times easier.

Perhaps in school but not when you get out since what you learn in school won't help you unless you can apply what you've memorised.  The work world and real life can be vastly different than the idealised examples provided in text books. Having had useless employees with excellent memories, they simply couldn't flex enough to handle their stressful jobs. Darwinism strikes again where only the adaptable win at life. 

Edited by Distance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wondering whether the discussion considers all of the following or just specific parts please?

Please login or register to see this image. /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://fundersandfounders.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/9-types-of-intelligence-infographic.png&key=43bda28b4960acc7f6b2c57e719e866270fc617439de224fce985adbcddd06ad" />

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Distance said:

Perhaps in school but not when you get out since what you learn in school won't help you unless you can apply what you've memorised.  The work world and real life can be vastly different than the idealised examples provided in text books. Having had useless employees with excellent memories, they simply couldn't flex enough to handle their stressful jobs. 

Thats not what I was saying though. I said given that if they had equal IQ and one had eidetic memory the one with eidetic would have lot more advantage. I realize that memory alone isnt going to help. But would you rather have a guy who has IQ 100 and cant remember shit or a guy who can at least remember what you told him to do?

 
 
...... added to this post 2 minutes later:
 
2 minutes ago, zonsop said:

Just wondering whether the discussion considers all of the following or just specific parts please?

Please login or register to see this image. /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://fundersandfounders.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/9-types-of-intelligence-infographic.png&key=43bda28b4960acc7f6b2c57e719e866270fc617439de224fce985adbcddd06ad" />

Ideally the smarter person has more of these developed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Cacao said:

Thats not what I was saying though. I said given that if they had equal IQ and one had eidetic memory the one with eidetic would have lot more advantage. I realize that memory alone isnt going to help. But would you rather have a guy who has IQ 100 and cant remember shit or a guy who can at least remember what you told him to do?

I'd rather have an employee who acknowledges that they have shit for memory who compensates by writing stuff down but is flexible enough to apply what he learned, than a rote memoriser. Rote memorisers are often pains in the asses since everything must be done in the exact manner that they memorise. In many ways, I find them beyond stupid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Cacao said:

The question I have though is what would be the biological upper limit to our intelligence?

Not sure the upper limit is set biologically. Given a model of non-static intelligence, perhaps our limiting factors are time, opportunity, brain plasticity and attitude. 

Granted, some specific indicators of intelligence might show that innate advantage exist due to genetics or 'luck'. But the following, non-exhaustive list of circumstances present the non-biological limitations placed on intelligence-

  • Opportunities to develop spatial, body-kinesthetic, linguistic or musical skills in childhood can greatly improve corresponding intelligence and help the learning curve of these aspects be less steep in the future
  • An environment that prioritizes existential, intrapersonal and naturalist intelligence might require time at other than 'core subjects' of most conventional education systems. 
  • Having the chance to meet all sorts of people and having all sorts of connections, perhaps with a mentor to help analyse these connections, would probably build interpersonal skills better than isolating oneself. 
  • In the absence of Alzheimer's and such, a person who never stops learning consciously would theoretically not have an upper limit on crystallised intelligence. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Cacao said:

Then you we could talk about creativity, but there is no reliable way to measure that.

Innovative contribution? What constitutes innovation? 

You haven't addressed the concerns I raised regarding the use of problem solving as a metric for intelligence.

It seems to me as though one is still appealing to an ulterior concept when using the term. That's not right.

What's the biological component of IQ testing dynamics, since you inquired about a biological ceiling for intelligence as it relates to its measurement by IQ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, thod said:

It only seems that way. I propose that the actual difference between a dumb person and Einstein is rather small. If one were to put together a universal scale, going from protozoa, to ants, to fish, to chimps, to humans, then all humans would be clustered into a small band.

There are limits on what one can do with a brain. The speed of synapse responses. The interconnection of them etc. As you get bigger, the time taken for signals to move gets longer. Then there are issues of heat removal etc. I thus propose that simply doubling the scale will not result in a doubling of processing capacity. It is more a case of diminishing returns. Like the way that thinking just one more move ahead in chess requires a large increase in the scaling of the possibility space.

Difference between Einstein and Dumb person is not that small. Compared to other creatures sure, but Einstein could solve a lot harder problems than a dumb person. You probably met enough dumb people and smart people so the difference between the two is pretty huge! Take it to an extreme comparing a retard who has to learn how to hold a pencil in fifth grade to a guy who can write before entering school is pretty profound difference.

I dont know what you mean by doubling. You mean like double the connections? I think the brain doesnt actually  have to get much biggger or more different from what it is. Its probably down to memory and some very specific connections that are missing in other people. I mean what made Einstein Einstein. It wasnt just bigger brain. It had to be the specific connections he was able to make. Look at aquired savant syndrome. Its pretty interesting. Damaging the brain causes the brain to rewire and use completely different parts of the brain incidentally causing the people to be heck lot more intelligent. Its probably down to genetic component. What would really drastically raise peoples intelligence would be a simple rewiring of the brain. Probably just connecting two parts of the brain that never connect due to genetics where the brain isnt progammed to connect the two parts of the brain despite it being hugely advantageous. But evolution is blind and so neurons dont know how to connect better. They just connect how they were preprogammed to connect whether it is or it is not beneficial. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I mean what made Einstein Einstein.

Well the Einstein parents were not notable nor were his children. It is that way with all the geniuses. So it is a lucky combination that makes them so gifted. Yet he was only so in maths, he wasn't a generally superior intelligence.

Quote

It had to be the specific connections he was able to make.

Well yea. He was interested in some subject and so looked harder at it. You too could be a genius if you only knew where to look. Brain connections are more pruned than developed. So they start of with lots of neural connections. These get pruned down by experience. Sometimes the pruning goes too far and that give you schizophrenics.

Quote

What would really drastically raise peoples intelligence would be a simple rewiring of the brain.

That is what happens with blind people. The areas used by vision get re purposed to hearing. Even if you give them working eyes, they can't see because there is nothing waiting to connect the eye to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Distance said:

I'd rather have an employee who acknowledges that they have shit for memory who compensates by writing stuff down but is flexible enough to apply what he learned, than a rote memoriser. 

@Cacao This is actually an example of what I mean. In real life, we get by a lot thanks to efforts of other human beings including our predecessors. There are plenty of things I can't remember - luckily I can use other people's inventions such as pen, paper, Microsoft Outlook, Evernote, databases, Gmail, internet banking, Google, smartphones, textbooks, search function, Google Calendar, iPad, hard disks etc.

Edited by Major Chord

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

The gap seems to be growing to me too.

Intelligence takes effort. I don't think that we're getting stupider. I think we're getting lazier.

Edited by Nerdsmith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Nerdsmith said:

I think we're getting lazier.

Perpetual human innovation stems from a love of simplification for the sake of ease.

Laziness isn't all too bad.

Edited by NSchet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point and I put a lot of effort into being lazy myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am of two minds on this:

1. The IQ of the planet is fixed, but the population is growing, so the average human is getting less intelligent. (just my observation based on the plethora of "reality" shows)

2. Either smart enough to kill ourselves, our smart enough to save ourselves. The jury is still out on that one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now