On Being Human and Nature

How To Awaken Our Ecological Psyche

Feb 16, 2021

“Do you think crows are the smartest animals? What are the smartest animals? I bet it’s parrots, or maybe dolphins. No, no, it’s gotta be some kind of dog, Mama.”

This volley of questions from my 7-year-old son about a group of crows on a nearby power line early one morning caused me to reflect on how we are bathed in a human-centric worldview from the very start of our lives.

“What does ‘smart’ mean exactly?” I said. “Perhaps every animal, every being has its own unique genius. Do you think any animal is smarter than another, the way a spider weaves its intricately patterned web, the way an owl sees a mouse in the dark, the way a squirrel flies from branch to branch? It seems to me that there are so many ways of expressing intelligence in this world.”

Somehow we can only understand intelligence from a certain cognitive ladder that exists to always put humans on top. It is this human-centrism, I believe, that is at the very core of our ecological catastrophe. In addition to it being deeply problematic psychologically, when we do not value the lives of all beings, they become unfeeling and expendable resources for our ceaseless human consumption.

There is no doubt that practical, actionable changes to our everyday way of life are essential to creating an ecological civilization. Continuing to shift how we are commuting, shopping, eating, and farming is clearly essential. But beyond these physical acts, what are we doing to create an ecological civilization within our psyches? If our minds cannot conceive of it, we surely will not act to make it a reality.

We must begin by confronting how entrenched beliefs in human ownership of all places and things keep us foreign to and outside of the living world. We are not the Earth’s keepers or savers, just as we are not the Earth’s landlords or masters. The Earth provides for and nurtures our very existence—we must stop perpetuating the harmful illusion that we are separate from and superior to nature’s ingenuity. Clearly recognizing this human-nature split within our mindset is the gateway to other beneficial ways of knowing.

From there we can practice seeing ourselves as one kind of being within a much wider field of living kinship. At its foundation, developing an ecological psyche means that we are reclaiming and diversifying this sense of relational intimacy.

We can engage in simple rituals of reciprocity by finding a daily communion with the creatures, waterways, and stars that remind us something vibrantly alive exists beyond our limited knowledge and understanding.

Perhaps you are already in a loving relationship with a pet, a special tree, or a nearby river. Let us legitimize the way these things nourish and comfort us, and then seek out an even larger web of connection.

Beginning with the place where we live, we can practice rousing our fullest attention by learning its Indigenous history, both past and modern. Bringing a presence to the ground beneath our feet, we can study its slow, ever-changing geology, as well as the names of the plants and animals of the place we call home. We can engage in simple rituals of reciprocity by finding a daily communion with the creatures, waterways, and stars that remind us something vibrantly alive exists beyond our limited knowledge and understanding.

We can regularly seek out experiences that offer a greater perspective, reminding us of our small but unique niche within the mix of all creation. This is what draws millions of people to National Parks every summer or what puts us behind telescopes at 3 o’clock in the morning—the opportunity to feel humbled and awed, put back in place by the immensity of it all.

We no longer need to believe in the story of our separateness—shifting our belief of individualism into a life-affirming sense of belonging with all beings. Earth-honoring ethics are the wisdom teachings of Indigenous cultures around the world. But all of us are on the hook. It is the birthright and responsibility of all humans to come back into relationship with the Earth.

With an ecological psyche we awaken something essential within ourselves. Listening to our quiet biophilic longings, we find that our bodies and spirits are hardwired for wilderness and our cells, our muscles, our lungs have a memory of this: We are more sunflower, more thunder, more ocean tide than we are concrete. We have to rekindle this deep memory of where we come from. We are nature breathing, moving, trembling in human form.

Kendra Ward has been an acupuncturist and herbalist since 2003. She lives with her family in rural Vermont on traditional Abenaki lands.
from:    https://www.yesmagazine.org/issue/ecological-civilization/2021/02/16/awaken-our-ecological-psyche/

Are You Too Smart for Love?

Your Level Of Intelligence May Be The Reason You Can’t Find Love

Your-Level-Of-Intelligence-May-Be-The-Reason-You-Can’t-Find-Love.jpgBeing single doesn’t have to be a horrible experience. In fact, being single can be fun, but only if you know how to make the best of the situation. You don’t have anyone to slow you down; you don’t even have anyone to tell you what and when to do things.

While you are single, you will have all the time in the world to learn more about your self. Being single and being lonely are not synonymous. In actuality, someone who is involved in a relationship can be lonelier than people who are single.

Being single means you have time to understand your own inner thoughts. It means you have time to think about who is perfect for you.

If you are single, it means you are not rushing into a relationship. It means you are looking for the perfect match. When you are waiting for your better half, you can be single for a very long time.

You may go on frequent dates and not be able to find someone for you. You may even get the feeling that someone more special is bound to come into your life.

Intelligence is one of the things preventing you from settling down. The smarter a person is, the longer they go without settling down. This is because they are taking their time in finding their true love.


An intelligent person’s self-awareness causes them to know what they like and dislike. They are able to tell faster than unintelligent people if they like someone.

This means they won’t spend a lot of time getting to know someone.

They will know after the first date if things are going to click or not. Intelligent people aren’t able to simply be with anyone: they require a real connection.


Intelligent people already know what they are looking for in a partner. This means they aren’t getting to know a person they are dating. Instead, they are seeing if a person meets their criteria.

This can be an extremely long process. Someone that doesn’t meet these requirements won’t even get a second date from an intelligent person. These requirements range from interests to hobbies and all points in between.


Having similar intelligence is an important part of getting along with someone. No one likes a know-it-all, and if you only date people below your own intelligence that is exactly what will happen.

An intelligent person wants a higher quality of conversation. Most people won’t be able to keep up with their conversational topics. Being attracted to someone is more than just physical: it is mental as well.


Boredom is a serious problem for someone of higher intelligence. Intelligent people lose interest after figuring something out.

They are ready to move on to something else once they have something down.

Intelligent people need to constantly be introduced to new ideas and thoughts. It can be hard to find someone with these same personality traits.


Intelligent people tend to put a lot of thought into things. They like to spend a lot of time alone while analyzing their thoughts.

This can lead to them being reclusive. This is why intelligent people need someone who is similarly minded.


An intelligent person needs someone who is honest. Intelligence has nothing to do with morality, but intelligent people are able to tell when someone is lying. A liar and an intelligent person simply won’t be able to get along.

Source: apost

from:    https://gostica.com/love-vitamins/your-level-of-intelligence-may-be-the-reason-you-cant-find-love/

Intelligence & Talent

There Is More Than One Type Of Intelligence


  • The Facts:The current model of schooling puts emphasis on one particular type of education, which only covers a small percentage of the population of children. It also educates children in batches, assuming they are all ready for the same thing.
  • Reflect On:Is it time to reevaluate this method of schooling to be more inclusive to children with all types of other intellect and creative ability? Is our education system even bringing out the full potential in our children?

What was your experience in school like? Did you hate it or love it? Were you an all ‘A’ student and found it to be a breeze or did you struggle with understanding some of the subjects you were being taught?

The fact of the matter is, our modern education system is not catering to students as individuals, but lumping them all into the same category and expecting them to succeed, even at things they are not particularly good at or even interested in, while those who got the highest test scores were praised and reminded of their perceived superiority and intelligence.

Because of this, many children experience anxiety around tests because they have been taught over and over again that their value is determined by a letter grade and not their creative abilities. If one child has an amazing skill to write poetry, but then fails a math exam, the latter will be the topic that is looked at and how this failure can be turned around. Often telling the child they need to pay attention more in class or study longer, even though this particular topic may not be where the child’s intelligence lies. This system is designed strictly for children to learn how to memorize and regurgitate what they have learned in the form of tests, not giving much leeway for other talents and abilities.

Our modern-day schooling system was designed to train children into becoming the perfect employee, to sit at a desk perhaps, or follow orders effectively for when they are old enough to enter the workforce. The hours, little time for play, taking instructions from a person with authority and unfortunately, leaving little room for exploring creative abilities. This system, in reality, only caters to a small percentage of people in the world, and because of this, we are effectively killing the creative potential that exists within all human beings.

…As it says in the video( from Sustainable Human, check out link for video link), “How did we get to the point where we decided the best way to school our children is to sit them behind a desk and insist they keep still?”

Children are meant to play, to explore, to observe, to stumble, to be curious, to ask questions, to find answers, to learn from others and as they go. Sitting them in a desk seems far from natural, yet this is something that to this day we still accept as normal and see it as, ‘just the way it is.’ However, it hasn’t actually been that long that this has been our generally accepted method of schooling.

“If a kid is failing, it is not the kids fault, the fault is within the system.”

Let us not forget that there are MANY forms of intelligence and it’s time we embraced every single one. The schooling system as we know it, needs an overhaul.

from:    https://www.collective-evolution.com/2018/07/21/there-is-more-than-one-type-of-intelligence/

The Intelligent Loner

Did you know that extremely intelligent people would rather be alone?

While psychologists have a pretty good idea of what typically makes humans happy, they have found that extremely smart people long for something a bit different.

In a paper published in the British Journal of Psychology, researchers Norman Li and Satoshi Kanazawa report that highly intelligent people actually experience less life satisfaction when they socialize with people more frequently. These intelligent people are happier when left alone.

Researchers came to this conclusion by surveying responses of 15,197 people between the ages of 18 and 28. Their data was a part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a survey that measures life satisfaction, intelligence, and health. Analysis of this data shows that being around dense crowds of people typically leads to unhappiness, while socializing with friends typically leads to happiness, unless the person is highly intelligent.

The authors of this study explain these findings with the “savanna theory of happiness”. This theory is the idea that life satisfaction is not only determined by what is happening in the present but also influenced by how our ancestors may have reacted to certain events. Evolutionary psychology argues that the human brain has been designed for and adapted to the conditions of an ancestral environment. Because of this, researchers believe that our brains have trouble comprehending and dealing with situations that are unique to the present.

Two factors that differ the most between ancient and modern life are population density and how frequently humans socialize with friends. Today, we spend a lot more time around lots of people and a lot less time around actual friends. Researchers believe that highly intelligent people are less effected by the savanna theory.

This means that in general, highly intelligent individuals are more likely to have ‘unnatural’ preferences and values that our ancestors may not have had. It is natural for the human species to seek and desire friendship, yet as a result, more intelligent individuals are likely to not feel the need to seek out such companionship.

The survey also revealed that smarter people were less likely to feel that they benefited from friendships, but they actually socialized more than less intelligent people.

Intelligence is believed to have evolved as a psychological mechanism to issues. For our ancestors, this meant that frequent contact with friends and allies was a necessity that allowed them to survive. Yet, a highly intelligent person would not need such companionship because they would be more likely to solve problems on their own without needing another person’s help. This diminishes the importance of friendships.

Since highly intelligent people do not always prefer what their ancestors would have wanted, they are more comfortable in urban settings. Historically, people tended to live comfortably in groups of around 150. This is the typical size of a Neolithic village. Densely packed urban centers are thought to bring about the feeling of isolation and depression because they do not foster close relationships. Yet a busy place normally has less of a negative effect on people who are very intelligent.

This is not to say that you are unintelligent if you enjoy spending time with friends. It just means that that one really smart person you know may not actually be a sad loner, they are probably like that because that is what makes them happy and comfortable

from:    http://www.realfarmacy.com/loner-intelligent-person/

Twists of the Mind

The 9 Types of Intelligence Which Make Us All Human

Intelligence 1Phillip Schneider, Staff

Waking Times

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

Think about when you were younger and would sit in class just wondering about the world you live in. Maybe you were thinking about the big questions in life. Who are we? Why are we here? Or maybe you were thinking about a book you were reading or a conversation you had with your friends. Maybe you were reflecting on the day or just absorbing the rhythm and melody of your favorite song.

Although you might have thought that you were simply daydreaming, this may be a key sign of intelligence.

Metaphorically speaking, most people view the intellect as nothing more than a basin, albeit a leaky one, waiting to be filled with the ideas of others. On the contrary, the true intellect is more personal. It is a unique gift that must be self-discovered for an individual to truly flourish.

In 1983, a developmental psychologist from Harvard University, Howard Earl Gardner, proposed a theory that will make you question the way you view intelligence, as well as the structure of our education system. He hypothesizes that intellect comes in nine different types, and that each person best expresses their own unique intelligence. However, we all possess each type on some level and can develop our skills in each category.

1. Musical-Rhythmic and Harmonic

The first type of intelligence is musicality, or the ability to recognize various tones, rhythms, notes and harmonies. These people tend to be the best musicians and can have a genius ability to compose music, play instruments or sing.

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”Victor Hugo

2. Visual-Spatial

Visual or spatial intelligence is the ability to visualize two or three-dimensional images with the mind’s eye. Those with spatial intelligence tend to be very successful in any area that requires this type of thinking, such as the artist or architect who can plan out works in their head, and then manifest them in three-dimensional reality.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein

3. Verbal-Linguistic

The third type is linguistic intelligence. This type does best when dealing with words and language. Writers, story-tellers, poets, and translators all fall into this category. The ability to remember events associated with different dates on a timeline is also common for the linguistic type of intellect.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

4. Logical-Mathematical

Fourth is the intelligence of reason, also known as logical or mathematical intelligence. This is the intelligence that deals with numbers, facts, and statistics. It is the type of mind that can be spectacular at picking apart the details of a problem, but not so great at seeing the bigger picture. Logic and critical-thinking are very important staples of the left brain and anyone with a strong logic-type intellect could be very successful with a career in computer science or engineering.

“As a human being, one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists. – Albert Einstein

5. Body-Kinesthetic

In other words, motor skills. This is the type of intelligence that can control the body’s motions and reactions. Athletes, dancers, actors and soldiers all express this type of intelligence as do musicians because of their ability to handle instruments with precision.

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

6. Interpersonal

The interpersonal intellectual understands the emotions, motivations and thoughts of others. High social skills are present, as well as a great ability to work in groups or as part of a team. Inter-personals find it easy to communicate and empathize with others, sometimes making them misunderstood as extroverts or superficial.

“Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”Muhammad Ali

7. Intrapersonal

The intrapersonal is the reflective type who can best relate to himself or herself. This type of intelligence deals with the ability to understand ones own uniqueness, strengths and weaknesses.

“The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world.” – Toni Collette

8. Naturalistic

The naturalist is able to communicate on some level with the life-force of Earth. The recognition of flora and fauna, and the intuition to understand the natural world are expressions of the naturalistic intellect. Hunters, gatherers, and farmers fall into this category along with botanists and chefs. It is a sensitive intelligence type often with great cognitive ability to memorize plant species, rock, and mountain types. Naturalists best understand man’s role in the greater ecosystem of the planet.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”  – Albert Einstein

9. Existential

Existential intelligence, also known as spiritual intelligence, is the rarest. It encapsulates everything we do not see or hear, but is instead in tune with the knowledge of existence. It is the spiritualist, astrologer, and the psychic. This intelligence type understands that there is more to reality than what we can see and usually seeks fulfillment in alternative practices such as meditation or yoga, which others don’t always understand.

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.” – Albert Einstein

Is the education system holding children back from proper development?

Is it possible that our current educational paradigm is not allowing children to develop their own intellectual abilities? It could be that the intense focus on math, science, and literature is actually stunting growth in many of the next generation’s children instead of helping each child become everything they can be. Perhaps the next generation of kids would be more in tune with their own unique gifts if the education system opened up to the concept of multiple intelligences and allowed for a more holistic approach to learning instead of always demanding intellectual conformity.

from:    http://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/06/10/9-types-intelligence-which-make-us-all-human/

Time to Get Your Inner Genius Out

Genius: Can Anybody Be One?

Genius: Can Anybody Be One?

Genius can be defined as a high IQ, extreme creativity, or something else altogether.

Credit: DeepArt

What makes a genius?

Perhaps for athletes, a genius is an Olympic medalist. In entertainment, a genius could be defined as an EGOT winner, someone who has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award. For Mensa, the exclusive international society comprising members of “high intelligence,” someone who scores at or above the 98th percentile on an IQ or other standardized intelligence test could be considered genius.

The most common definition of genius falls in line with Mensa’s approach: someone with exceptional intelligence.

In his new science series “Genius” on PBS, Stephen Hawking is testing out the idea that anyone can “think like a genius.” By posing big questions — for instance, “Can we travel through time?” — to people with average intelligence, the famed theoretical physicist aims to find the answers through the sheer power of the human mind.

“It’s a fun show that tries to find out if ordinary people are smart enough to think like the greatest minds who ever lived,” Hawking said in a statement. “Being an optimist, I think they will.”

Optimism aside, answering a genius-level question does not a genius make — at least, not according to psychologist Frank Lawlis, supervisory testing director for American Mensa.

“The geniuses ask questions. They don’t know the answers, but they know a lot of questions and their curiosity takes them into their fields,” Lawlis told Live Science. “[They’re] somebody that has the capacity to inquire at that high level and to be curious to pursue that high level of understanding and then be able to communicate it to the rest of us.”

You must statistically be a genius to qualify for Mensa, with a measured intelligence that exceeds 98 percent of the rest of the population. However, Lawlis said even these tests can exclude some of the most brilliant of thinkers.

“The way you put items together to test for intelligence is that you already know the answer,” Lawlis said. “That’s the whole point. You create questions that have real answers.”

For instance, Albert Einstein would have likely done poorly on IQ tests, Lawlis said.

“It really comes down to thinking outside the box, and you really can’t test that,” Lawlis said. “When they take these tests, instead of directing their attention to the correct answer, they think of a jillion other answers that would also work, so consequently they get confused and do very poorly.”

Consisting of a mixture of intelligence, creativity and contribution to society, genius is hard to pinpoint, said Dean Keith Simonton, a distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis.

In the Scientific American Mind magazine’s special issue on genius, Simonton hypothesized that all geniuses use the same general process to make their contributions to the world.

They start with a search for ideas, not necessarily a problem in need of a solution. From this search, geniuses will generate a number of questions, and begin a long series of trials and errors. They then find a solution, for a problem others may not have even been aware of.

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see,” Simonton said, quoting the 19th-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer.

“Exceptional thinkers, it turns out, stand on common ground when they launch their arrows into the unknown,” Simonton said.

In an attempt to “discern what combination of elements tends to produce particularly creative brains,” psychiatrist and neuroscientist Nancy Andreasen at the University of Iowa used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow.

Andreasen selected the creative subjects from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a control group from a mixture of professions. The control group was matched to the writers based on age, education and IQ — with both test and control groups averaging an IQ of 120, considered very smart but not exceptionally so, according to Andreasen.

Based on these controls, Andreasen looked for what separated the creative’s brains from the controls.

During the fMRI scans of participants, the subjects were asked to perform three different tasks: word association, picture association and pattern recognition. The creatives’ brains showed stronger activations in their association cortices. These are the most extensively developed regions in the human brain and help interpret and utilize visual, auditory, sensory and motor information.

Andreasen set out to find what else, in addition to brain processes, linked the 13 creatives’ brains.

“Some people see things others cannot, and they are right, and we call them creative geniuses,” Andreasen wrote in The Atlantic, referring to participants in her study. “Some people see things others cannot, and they are wrong, and we call them mentally ill.”

And then there are people who fit into both categories.

What Andreasen found is that there is another common mark of creative genius: mental illness.

Through interviews and extensive research, Andreasen discovered that the creatives she studied had a higher rate of mental illness, which included a family history of mental illness. The most common diagnoses were bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and alcoholism. The question now is whether the mental illness contributes to the genius or if it’s the other way around, she said.

In a study of the brain of one of the most famous geniuses in history, Einstein, scientists found distinct physical features, which may help to explain his genius, Live Science reported when the study came out in the journal Brain in 2012.

Previously unpublished photographs of the physicist’s brain revealed that Einstein had extra folding in his gray matter, the part of the brain that processes conscious thinking, the study researchers found. His frontal lobes, the brain regions tied to abstract thought and planning, had particularly elaborate folding.

“It’s a really sophisticated part of the human brain,” Dean Falk, study co-author and an anthropologist at Florida State University, told Live Science, referring to gray matter. “And [Einstein’s] is extraordinary.”

Be it high IQ, curiosity or creativity, the factor that makes someone a genius may remain a mystery. Though Mensa can continue to test for quantitative intelligence in areas such as verbal capacity and spatial reasoning, there is no test for the next Einstein, Lawlis said.

“I don’t know anybody that could really predict this extremely high level of intelligence and contribution,” Lawlis said. “That’s the mystery.”

Original article on Live Science.

– See more at: http://www.livescience.com/55028-what-makes-a-genius.html#sthash.Rw8Wqa9N.dpuf

On IQ’s and Intelligence

Ignore the IQ test: your level of intelligence is not fixed for life

We’re getting more stupid. That’s one point made in a recent article in the New Scientist, reporting on a gradual decline in IQs in developed countries such as the UK, Australia and the Netherlands. Such research feeds into a long-held fascination with testing human intelligence. Yet such debates are too focused on IQ as a life-long trait that can’t be changed. Other research is beginning to show the opposite.

The concept of testing intelligence was first successfuly devised by French psychologists in the early 1900s to help describe differences in how well and quickly children learn at school. But it is now frequently used to explain that difference – that we all have a fixed and inherent level of intelligence that limits how fast we can learn.

Defined loosely, intelligence refers to our ability to learn quickly and adapt to new situations. IQ tests measure our vocabulary, our ability to problem-solve, reason logically and so on.

But what many people fail to understand is that if IQ tests measured only our skills at these particular tasks, no one would be interested in our score. The score is interesting only because it is thought to be fixed for life.

Who is getting smarter?

Standardised IQ tests used by clinical psychologists for diagnostic purposes, such as the Weschler scale, are designed in such a way that it is not easy to prepare for them. The contents are kept surprisingly secret and they are changed regularly. The score given for an individual is a relative one, adjusted based on the performance of people of the same age.

But even as we become better educated and more skillful at the types of tasks measured on IQ tests (a phenomenon known as the “Flynn effect”, after James Fylnn who first noted it) our IQs stay pretty much the same. This is because the IQ scoring system takes into account the amount of improvement expected over time, and then discounts it. This type of score is called a “standardised score” – it hides your true score and merely represents your standing in relation to your peers who have also been getting smarter at about the same rate.

This apparent stability in IQ scores makes intelligence look relatively constant, whereas in fact we are all becoming more intelligent across and within our lifetimes. The IQ test and the IQ scoring system are constantly adjusted to ensure that the average IQ remains at 100, despite a well-noted increase in intellectual ability worldwide.

Politics of IQ testing

Psychologists are aware that intelligence scores are somewhat subject to cultural influence and social opportunity, but some have still insisted that we cannot raise our IQ by much. This is because our general intelligence (or “g”) is a fixed trait that is insensitive to education, “brain training”, diet, or other interventions. In other words, they say, we are all biologically limited in our intelligence levels.

The idea that IQ is fixed for life is built into the questionable politics of IQ testing. The most serious consequence of this is the use of IQ tests to blame educational difficulties on students rather than on teaching systems.

But it is the job of psychologists to find better ways to teach, not to find better ways to justify the poor performance of students. This particular use of IQ tests has caused one leader in the field of intelligence research, Robert Sternberg, to refer to IQ testing as “negative psychology” in a 2008 article.

All is not lost

Those who hang dearly onto the notion that IQ is fixed for life have managed to ignore decades of published research in the field of applied behaviour analysis. This has reported very large IQ gains in children with autism who have been exposed to early intensive behavioural interventions once they have been diagnosed with learning difficulties.

Another 2009 Norwegian study examined the effects of an increase in the duration of compulsory schooling in Norway in the 1960s which lengthened the time in education for Norwegians by two years. The researchers used records of cognitive ability taken by the military to calculate the IQ of each individual in the study. They found that IQ had increased by 3.7 points for every extra year of education received.

More recent studies by John Jonides and his colleagues at the University of Michigan reported improvements in objective measures of intelligence for those who practised a brain-training task called the “n-back task” – a kind of computerised memory test.

My own research, in the field of relational frame theory, has shown that understanding relations between words, such as “more than”, “less than” or “opposite” is crucial for our intellectual development. One recent pilot study showed that we can considerably raise standard IQ scores by training children in relational language skills tasks over a period of months. Again, this finding challenges the idea that intelligence is fixed for life.

So it’s about time we reconsidered our ideas about the nature of intelligence as a trait that cannot be changed. Undoubtedly, there may be some limits to the development of our intellectual skills. But in the short term, the socially responsible thing to do is not to feel bound by those limits, but to help every child work towards and even exceed them.

from:    https://theconversation.com/ignore-the-iq-test-your-level-of-intelligence-is-not-fixed-for-life-30673

ET’s and Dolphins

Dolphin Studies Could Reveal Secrets of Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Keith Cooper, Astrobiology Magazine
Date: 02 September 2011 Time: 01:49 PM ET
Analysis of Dolphin Communication
Analysis of dolphin communication with Information Theory has shown it to be surprisingly intricate and possibly second only to human communication in terms of complexity on Earth.
CREDIT: Wild Dolphin Project.

How do we define intelligence? SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, clearly equates intelligence with technology (or, more precisely, the building of radio or laser beacons). Some, such as the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, suggested that intelligence wasn’t just the acquisition of technology, but the ability to develop and improve it, integrating it into our society.

By that definition, a dolphin, lacking limbs to create and manipulate complex tools, cannot possibly be described as intelligent. It’s easy to see why such definitions prove popular; we are clearly the smartest creatures on the planet, and the only species with technology. It may be human hubris, or some kind of anthropocentric bias that we find difficult to escape from, but our adherence to this definition narrows the phase space in which we’re willing to search for intelligent life.

Technology is certainly linked to intelligence – you need to be smart to build a computer or an aircraft or a radio telescope – but technology does not define intelligence. It is just a manifestation of it, perhaps one of many.

Astrobiologists see intelligence a little differently. The dictionary defines intelligence as the ability to learn, while others see it as the capacity to reason, to empathize, to solve problems and consider complex ideas, and to interact socially.

Intelligence in the universe

If we take these characteristics to be a broad working definition of intelligence, our view of intelligent life in the universe suddenly looks very different. No longer are we confined to considering only life that has technology.

To be fair to SETI, at this moment in time it cannot search for anything other than beacons – the vast distances across the cosmos coupled with our own baby steps into the Universe mean that we don’t have the capability to search for any other form of intelligent life other than those that can deliberately signal their presence. However, what a wider definition of intelligence tells us is that we are not alone, not even on our own planet Earth.

Professor Robin Dunbar, an anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist from the University of Oxford, was one of the first to put forward the theory that the evolution of intelligence is driven by social factors, allowing animals to survive, interact and prosper in large and complex social groupings. These include notions of reciprocal altruism (I scratch your back, you scratch mine), politics (forming sub-groups and coalitions within the larger group) and understanding the emotions of others (empathy, which in turn relies on theory of mind, the ability to be aware of one’s self and others).

Looking at it that way, modern social networking on media such as Facebook may just be a symptom of what helped drive us to become intelligent in the first place, many tens of thousands of years ago.

Here’s the trick – to be social, you must be communicative. Staying quiet is anti-social. Personal interactions require communication, of some form, and the more complex the interaction, the more complex the communication. So if intelligence and social behavior is linked – and many people agree that it is – then the best place to start looking for intelligence is in animals that like to chat with one another.

And that brings us to dolphins.

to read more, go to:    http://www.livescience.com/15889-dolphin-intelligence-search-extraterrestrial-life.html