Are You Smarter Than Most People? And Who Says So?

I was perusing a website and someone posed the question, “Do you think you’re smarter than most people?”

This made me ponder. I believe I smart. Actually, I know I’m smart. But how am I smart? Intelligence is still subjective when it comes down to it. Book smarts, street smarts, IQ levels, intelligence in terms of communication and information, etc. — and those are just a few kinds of examples that dictate intelligence.

I thought about the question even more, posing my own hypothetical equation:

A Harvard alum travels to a poor region in Africa. The people there are living in poverty, their education is quite limited, and they don’t know much else besides their own way of life. Are the Africans stupid? Or have they just not been shown the light that could guide them — the light being knowledge?

I kept going.

Intelligence varies and extraneous factors definitely impact different intelligence levels. One person on the site believed that the impoverished Africans would be among the same intelligence levels if they had the same opportunities that, perhaps, an American who went to Harvard had — at least to a certain degree. This is vital in the sense that certain intelligence levels may be (and probably are) skewed.

So, what did I find out? That I really don’t know what really dictates intelligence levels beyond varying extraneous factors in our world, from where you grow up and what kind of education you receive to what kind of brain you were born with and whether you have an innate ability to adapt to your surroundings.

The one constant in the history of the world: acquiring knowledge. People always want to know more. As long as that exists, humanity will continue to prosper. Or, perhaps as time goes on, maybe our intelligence will lead to our eventual downfall.

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