What is Intelligence?

Discussions on general biology and biological evolution, genetics, zoology, ecology, botany, etc.

Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Serpent on March 29th, 2018, 9:39 am 

I have mentioned "crystalline" and "fluid" intelligence before. Have you any idea how such things could be measured or way in which they are actually applied to tests?

None whatever. I have an impression this distinction is no more than short- and long-term memory. It may be more - I haven't followed that line.

In terms of memory I think I have pointed out the difference in "explicit" and "implicit" memory ... then again I may have posted that video on another link?

Yes, you did. I didn't watch it.

We can say, to some degree, that the number of neurons matters from species to species, but the issue is more about how they are connected and the bodily functions

We knew this. No argument.
As I have contrasted intelligence with language,

I see no 'contrast' between and apple and orange; merely some commonalities and some differences.

we are well aware (or at least I am) that no exposure to language does not mean an inability to learn a language

Not quite accurate. In fact, children who do not learn to communicate in their first few years have a much harder time learning language later on, as they have a harder time learning everything else. My source for this, btw, is the studies done on neglected orphans, most intensively in Romania.https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/what-children-from-romanian-orphanages-can-tell-us-about-autism/2017/05/12/c8d772a2-3004-11e7-9dec-764dc781686f_story.html?utm_term=.4fa9afa3f756

- this is what I would take away from the study posted elsewhere in these forums of the deaf man from Mexico who was first exposed to what we call "language" when he was ... 29 I believe?

I'm not sure what you mean here. How does "What we call language" differ from actual language? If you mean he was communicating in sign language and then learned vocal language, that's not so different from growing up Greek and then learning Mandarin. If you mean that he had no communication skills at all for 29 years and then learned language - that would make him quite exceptional.

I made this contrast because "intelligence" is not something we pick up it is something exposed, like language.

What? That's a difficult sentence to interpret. Do you mean that language is inside every infant and just has to be uncovered? Or that intelligence can't be enhanced by stimulation?

The function of exploration of the environment is connected to comfort and stress (something I have mentioned several times.)[/quote Feeling in control effects how we perform. This is one area where I find IQ test circumspect. The degree of relation between neuroticism and intelligence has been noted in some studies.

That wasn't clear to me any of the times you mentioned it. Each of the items is related in some way to the others - i got that far. The exact causal or casual relationships remain ill-defined. (I mentioned early in the first thread that performance on an IQ test, or any other test, is affected, among other factors, by the subject's level of confidence, which is partly affected by his familiarity with tests of that kind.

There seems to me to be a disjoint between the actual day-to-day psychological understanding of humans and the neuroscience, when in fact they are reliant upon each other to further understanding. It is not a A versus B situation.

Not versus. Each specialist can only pursue her own special line of inquiry according to her own discipline's protocols and with her own discipline's tools. Once reliable data in each area has been compiled, reviewed, challenged, tested, revis3ed and corrected, only then is it ready to be compared with, and added to the data collected by different methods by a different speciality.
Co-operation is possible and desirable; co-mingling is neither.

I am happy to go with "uncertainty" as being part of what intelligence deals with. If this is accepted then neuroticism plays a role, and the question becomes is neuroticism a condition of intelligence, or if some aspects of neuroticism should be put under the heading of "intelligence" in order to create a better measure?

In light of your previous use of the word for quite normal human behaviour, I 'm not sure what you consider "neuroticism". Obviously, any mental dysfunction is part of mental function, so of course neuroses would be an attribute of intelligence. Whether the degree and type of neurosis is directly relatable to measured IQ, I don't know. I don't even know how to go about proving or disproving such a hypothesis, there are so many variables in play.

If we wish to look for an underlying neural mechanism for "intelligence" then we'll likely have to make multiple studies on various different tests and see what common neurons light up in the brain.

Somebody should get right on that. Maybe they already have.

As for theory of mind, when it comes ot fluid intelligence I believe octopuses are more "intelligent" than humans on some tests.

Every species has a different evolutionary path from the point of divergence. Every species had to adapt to its own environmental conditions and overcome its own tribulations. When we give a human-type intelligence test to a non-human, we're not actually testing their native intelligence. What we're testing is the similarity of their intelligence to ours.

I hope we can agree on one thing. That is computers are not intelligent.

Not yet, anyway. They have to go down their own evolutionary path to become something other than tools. We can use the term "machine intelligence" for the facility of performing operations and adapting to varied requirements. But the operations are still only in response of human input to human demand, not spontaneous of the computer's own volition.

I would say "consciousness" is a prerequisite for "intelligence."

A mind is the prerequisite of both. A mind, as far as I know, can only be produced by a brain. I'm quite willing to posit that anything with a brain has a mind and every mind is both conscious and intelligent - to some degree along a range of zero to some unknown magnitude.

I would therefore say that "a capacity to learn" does not in and of itself represent "intelligence,' even though I would with equal vigor say that "a capacity to learn" is required for intelligence"

I should think it's the other way around. Without intelligence, there can be no learning.


No matter what we do we are constantly EMOTIONALLY involved in the world. I cannot see any possibility for "intelligence" without th epotential for complex emotional interactions (be it with people, other animals or simply rocks and sticks.) That is irrefutable no matter how anyone chooses to dress it up - hence my inclination to look at personality traits in respect to intelligence.

Of course you'd want to look at things and for relationships. It's just that looking at a forest makes it a lot harder to describe a cedar, let alone measure the height of each single tree.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Braininvat on March 29th, 2018, 9:50 am 

Having just watched the first 5 episodes of Westworld (de rigueur, for this crowd), I am artfully reminded of the role of emotion in developing intelligence and self awareness. As some of the characters, like Dolores, experience desire and disturbing memories, they go "off script" and begin to break out of their comfortable narrative "loops" and improvise. A certain growth of personality seems to lead to greater awareness which leads to more complex personality which leads to, etc. And it all happens because of the complexity of their social environment and the desire to understand what others are up to. And the neural capacity to improvise and experiment.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Serpent on March 29th, 2018, 10:31 am 

Which would all come to nought without mirror neurons. Oh, those pesky, mucky, arbitrary bits of biomass!
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 29th, 2018, 12:12 pm 

Serpent -

Okay, I'll use this as an opportunity to practice saying things I've learnt in my own words and tell you what to look up if you find what I say questionable.

None whatever. I have an impression this distinction is no more than short- and long-term memory. It may be more - I haven't followed that line.


There is more to it than that in relation to explicit and implicit memory. Generally reasoning is "fluid" and "crystal" is general knowledge. With explicit and implicit memory there are differences (Hyksos already mentioned "episodic memory".) The famous case of H.M. shows how new motor functions can be learnt with practice even if the subject cannot remember learning anything - this kind of contrast was shown in the video with the guy suffering from Parkinson's disease; he couldn't walk, yet had no trouble riding a bicycle.

With H.M. he scored the same on IQ tests before and after surgery btw. He couldn't store new memories though. His "fluid" intelligence was basically gone, yet he could easily tend to familiar problems and solve them and "learn" and improve on motor skills (such as drawing by looking in a mirror, even though he possessed no memory of attending to the task before.) I am simplifying what is understood here and conflating fluid and crystalline intelligence with explicit and implicit memory (this is the "clash/union" of cognitive science and neuroscience.)

If you wish me to go into more detail about explicit and implicit memory (aka. declarative and non-declarative memory) I'm happy to do so. Explicit refers to semantic and episodic memory, whilst implicit has more complicated and branched distinctions - basically it is inclusive of "automated" functions; like riding a bike, "muscle memory", priming and such things ...


"As I have contrasted intelligence with language,"

I see no 'contrast' between and apple and orange; merely some commonalities and some differences.


I should've said compare and contrast. Either way we're on too different lines to go there it seems.

https://neuroanthropology.net/2010/07/21/life-without-language/

or here for wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Man_Without_Words

If you don't care to look at this link I will repeat this case. The "Man with no language" had no comprehension of language (I got the age wrong, he was 27 not 29 - hardly a child.) He never learnt sign language nor had any inkling of symbolic language, but still managed to cross the border and get a job in the US as a gardener. I say "language" because I like to use the term "kinesthetic language", meaning he clearly understood basic physical prompts and facial expressions, yet he possessed no symbolic/abstract language. It is a fascinating case (I believe paralith has the link posted in behavioral science forum and pointed it out to me.) He managed to acquire symbolic language at 27 years of age from nothing.

I am aware of the Romanian orphans (thanks for link though, interesting to relate their behavior to autism) and cases of feral children. With the later they could function socially, but I would say their "kinesthetic language," understanding of social dynamics and others, was set in "wolf terms" (in the famous case of the wolf girls, Indian I believe?) Sapolsky, or Peterson, remark in their lecture about how rats die quickly or become ill without some form of interaction.

What? That's a difficult sentence to interpret. Do you mean that language is inside every infant and just has to be uncovered? Or that intelligence can't be enhanced by stimulation?


Simply meant I see both language and intelligence as possess commonalities in that they can be brought out by environmental factors, yet the underlying structure sits waiting. Also, there is an obvious contrast as I've hopefully shown to you "kinesthetic language" is required for symbolic language - and you may guess why I found Jung's ideas as being relatable to this(or maybe not? For another day I think!)

As for the rest of your post I'll try and address it in one go. Neuroticism is basically about how we handle stress, it is not my definition, but how it is defined in The Big Five personality traits in psychology (if you want better understanding then google or go to the previous links I provided. The more neurotic a personality the more likely they'll suffer stress prior to testing - this would relate, in part, to what you referred to as the confidence factor.

Somebody should get right on that. Maybe they already have.


They have.

Every species has a different evolutionary path from the point of divergence. Every species had to adapt to its own environmental conditions and overcome its own tribulations. When we give a human-type intelligence test to a non-human, we're not actually testing their native intelligence. What we're testing is the similarity of their intelligence to ours.


With the octopuses I was referring to the ability to put up novel tasks very quickly. They watch one octopus do something once and can replicate the action with precision. Humans require practice. I may be exaggerating this a bit because I cannot honestly remember where I heard/read this. I do recall that it has been brought to my attention more than twice in passing.

I should think it's the other way around. Without intelligence, there can be no learning.


Well, I was thinking about computer programs that are capable of learning. I wouldn't call them intelligent, but I guess you could argue that they are not "learning" at all merely following a set of instructions ... semantic problems again if anything, but not deadly important for this discussion I think?
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Serpent on March 29th, 2018, 3:11 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 29th, 2018, 11:12 am wrote:There is more to it than that in relation to explicit and implicit memory. Generally reasoning is "fluid" and "crystal" is general knowledge.

Okay.
And both are affected by the physical health of the brain, including damage, intrusion and repair.
That's fine. I still wouldn't know how to measure these functions, but somebody does, and keeps records, so eventually, there will be a usefully comprehensive statistical graph.

The "Man with no language" had no comprehension of language ... of symbolic language, but still managed to cross the border and get a job in the US as a gardener.

He did, then, have both the ability and the desire to communicate with other people.
And I maintain that he must be quite exceptional - not a base-line example.

[feral children] could function socially, but I would say their "kinesthetic language," understanding of social dynamics and others, was set in "wolf terms"

IOW: learned behaviour. Wolves, being social in much the same way that humans are (nurturing, cohesive family structure; co-operative group survival tactics; hierchical organization; non-lethal sibling and cohort competition), making the transition is largely a matter of translation. Dogs do it as a matter of course, and most human children are smarter than most puppies.

.. rats die quickly or become ill without some form of interaction.

Rats have a low tolerance for isolation. Dogs and elephants, too, and it's interesting to note that those other social species are able to transfer their need for companionship (emotional support, validation, affection) to members of another species, just as humans are.

Simply meant I see both language and intelligence as possess commonalities in that they can be brought out by environmental factors, yet the underlying structure sits waiting.

It seems to me more like: only self-aware and intelligent species possess the potential for language; the higher the intelligence level, the more capacity for abstract (or symbolic) processing and storing of information. There must be a minimum hardware requirement, but we haven't discovered it yet. We've only recently begun to investigate the subject. In general, I wouldn't look for language in an earthworm: he lacks the requisite brain tissue, but I would expect to observe a primitive system of abstract communication in a school of tuna.

I should think it's the other way around. Without intelligence, there can be no learning.


Well, I was thinking about computer programs that are capable of learning.[/quote]
No, they're not. They're able to access and apply data very quickly to a new set of conditions. They can't know anything new that isn't deliberately programmed in by an operator.
... I guess you could argue that they are not "learning" at all merely following a set of instructions ... semantic problems again if anything, but not deadly important for this discussion I think?

No, it's quite unimportant as far as I'm concerned. I don't think machine intelligence - or, for that matter, military intelligence - has any bearing on the case.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby hyksos on April 10th, 2018, 2:59 am 

Serpent » March 22nd, 2018, 10:05 pm wrote:Similarly, when some academic in Boston devises an IQ test for a goatherd in Bali, he may think he's adjusted for culture, but it's the Balinese who has to come far out of his comfort-zone, even just to attempt the ridiculous test, never mind make sense of the problems. The academic has no clue what sort of problems are natural to the subject, and yet he's the one judging the other's intelligence.

The irony here is this. Consider this idea that (because of the way academia is) these tests are not measuring intelligence, and they are instead just all questions measuring different facets of the human capacity for language. Language naturally "dazzles" human brains, so understanding language and receiving its metaphors and flow is rewarding to humans on a deep emotional level.

So these IQ tests that have word scrambles are less about intelligence and more like a form of mental masturbation. In any case, humans have a razzle-dazzle language instincts peculiar to our species that has something to do with settlement, and group-hunting and social cohesion. Language dazzling is not about intelligence, and never was. The language instinct was promoted among homo sapiens like peacock feathers were promoted among male peacocks.

Even more ironic! The very person in psychology who would admit to a Language Instinct peculiar to humans would be Stephen Pinker himself. Yes, the very guy who {someone} is perpetually quoting in support of IQ tests.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby BadgerJelly on April 10th, 2018, 3:14 am 

Hyksos -

You have a very strange definition of "perpetual" it seems. If you'd said I've been bring up Sapolsky a lot I would agree. I mentioned Pinker in passing and provided a quote merely to refute what you said after a stream of baseless insults and misrepresentations.

What about IQ tests that have no words? IQ tests that require minimum instruction? Of course worded tests require a knowledge of the language, but to suggest that IQ tests are only about language is utter nonsense.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Serpent on April 10th, 2018, 8:21 am 

BadgerJelly » April 10th, 2018, 2:14 am wrote:
What about IQ tests that have no words? IQ tests that require minimum instruction?

Show us a few of these to evaluate.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby BadgerJelly on April 10th, 2018, 11:07 am 

Serpent » April 10th, 2018, 8:21 pm wrote:
BadgerJelly » April 10th, 2018, 2:14 am wrote:
What about IQ tests that have no words? IQ tests that require minimum instruction?

Show us a few of these to evaluate.


Raven's test.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Serpent on April 10th, 2018, 1:11 pm 

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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Dave_C on April 10th, 2018, 9:13 pm 

Hi Hyksos, Hope you don't mind if I jump in the deep end. It's a bit lonely out here but at least for some, it's a curious pool of water. I won't try to justify every statement but I could.

Measuring 'intelligence' is one thing but it seems like another part of the issue you've been touching on is intelligence per unit power. The human brain uses something like a tiny 20 watts of power while any conceivable computational device today that might come close to mimicking the brain of even something like a black crow brain would require many, many orders of magnitude more power.

If we measure intelligence per unit power (call it InteliPower), then measuring the denominator is relatively easy. It's only measuring the numerator that's more difficult. But at least for conventional computational systems as we know them today, the numerator is many, many orders of magnitude lower. The takeaway here is that the lower the InteliPower, the more power is required to produce the same amount of "intelligence" (whatever that is determined to be). Human intelligence therefore (and crow intelligence) has a very high InteliPower value while computers have a very low Intelipower value

The 'efficiency' of InteliPower would then be the ratio of some system's Intelipower divided by a common reference that had a high Intipower such as the human brain. So the Intelipower efficiency of a powerful computer is only a tiny fraction of a percent.

The point here is we can have some method of measuring intelligence that, even if we can't agree on what intelligence is exactly, we should be able to agree that computers in general have an extremely low efficiency when it comes to intelligence.

The second thought regards currency. The currency of a switching system such as a conventional computer is 0's and 1's. The currency is the switches. It's what is used to formulate intelligence, however intelligence may be defined. We could parse that in different ways but for now, I'm going to go with this...

But if we look at biological intelligence, I'd suggest the 'currency' is not simply the sparking of neurons, because if that's all it is then epiphenomenalism is true and that's one of the problems of computationalism that hasn't been solved yet. So if the currency is not neuron firing, it might be qualia. We have experiences of things and those phenomenal experiences seem to enter into our judgements and hence our 'intelligence'. So our intelligence is potentially based on phenomenal experience which is the 'currency' of the brain. Sorry for the dualism but there's no one in any literature search that you'll find who has produced an argument showing phenomenal consciousness is consistent with physicalism. Anyway, if we use our senses to produce a conception of the world and that conception is based on our experience of it, then let's pretend our phenomenal experience is actually the currency used to produce intelligence in an analogous way that 0's and 1's are used by computers. If that's acceptable, then intelligence per unit power becomes a measurement of either
0's and 1's per unit power (obviously computers do this)
or
Qualia per unit power (life forms do this)

And per the above, it would seem that qualia per unit power is many orders of magnitude more efficient than 0's and 1's per unit power.

I'll now return you to your regularly scheduled post-grams.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby mitchellmckain on April 10th, 2018, 10:10 pm 

hyksos » March 20th, 2018, 5:33 am wrote:What is Intelligence?

An objective measurement of intelligence would apply to not only differences in people, but also be neatly extrapolated to non-human primates, elephants, and perhaps other mammals like dolphins.

I wonder if this is even impossible. IQ may be inherently a measure of human capabilities and by trying to apply it to other living organisms we are basically comparing them to ourselves. The measure can be objective with respect to human beings while species-subjective with respect to the full spectrum of life in the universe.

I have often pointed out that human language unlike the communication methods of other animals on this planet has attained the ability to handle abstract symbolization at least as good as those of DNA. But just consider the implications of this comparison. Why are human capabilities in language called intelligence but those in DNA not called intelligence? And suppose there is another example of this in the universe in a different medium such as nuclear reactions, for example, which have even greater abstract symbolization capabilities. Should it called intelligence or just life? I am not sure we can make a distinction which is valid according to the kind of objectivity which hyskos is describing. Perhaps such creatures would develop a similar measure among its own kind according to which we would be considered non-intelligent.

On the other hand, maybe that right there is a key to defining an objective idea of intelligence. Something about the degree and accuracy of self-observation and measuring their own capabilities. But this suggests to me that we are actually talking about something quite distinct from what we mean by the word "intelligence." So perhaps the only really objective way to do this is to use a completely different word for it.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Serpent on April 10th, 2018, 11:20 pm 

mitchellmckain » April 10th, 2018, 9:10 pm wrote: IQ may be inherently a measure of human capabilities and by trying to apply it to other living organisms we are basically comparing them to ourselves.

Yes. But that's not entirely inappropriate, since we all - animals on this planet - have the same origins and same basic equipment. It's not unreasonable to suppose that similar brains operate the same way, just as kidneys and hearts all operate the same way. If we have a broad enough definition of the quality we're looking for, we can find it everywhere, and we can at least take a stab at quantifying it.

The measure can be objective with respect to human beings

I doubt that. Efforts can be made to keep the subjectivity to a minimum - again, it's a question of formulating a working definition, and being prepared to revise that formula if it's not working.
while species-subjective with respect to the full spectrum of life in the universe.

So far, we have not encountered any off this one planet - if/when we do, we should certainly keep wide open minds and tread very, very softly.

I have often pointed out that human language unlike the communication methods of other animals on this planet

That may be so, but we are capable of other forms of communication, and so are many other animals. Moreover, all domestic animals understand some human language, and all humans who have contact with member of other species - regardless of the IQ of either - learn some of the other's method of communication. Interspecies congress is not only possible but commonplace. We take it too much for granted even to find it remarkable.

So perhaps the only really objective way to do this is to use a completely different word for it.

There are lots of words to describe the capacity to learn, observe and extrapolate stored knowledge to solve novel problems. But it's still intelligence, however it manifests, and we still share it with all our evolutionary kin.
We're the only species that's obsessed with quantifying and comparing, putting everything we learn on a chart or graph or scale. It's mostly harmless, and when done properly, quite instructive.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby mitchellmckain on April 10th, 2018, 11:45 pm 

Serpent » March 29th, 2018, 12:50 am wrote:I don't need to define a word if I'm content with the one in my dictionary. I'm content with Webster's
"a : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations. b : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly ";

But there is a circularity in such words as "learn," "understand," "knowledge," and "think."

The problem is that when you try to pin down what these mean, you find that they refer to doing things that all living things do but just in a particularly human way.

All living things have the ability to change themselves in order to handle the challenges of the environment. It is just that when humans do we call this "learning." All living things find ways to process data from the environment in order to accomplish tasks, and it is only when humans do it that we call this "thinking" and "understanding." All living things store data regarding the things they have learned in order to pass this on to the next generation. It is only when humans do this using language that we call it "knowledge."

Of course there are considerable quantitative difference. We process more complex data, change our ways of doing things considerably faster, and we are building up a vast store of information in a much shorter span of time than any other living things on the planet.

Serpent » March 29th, 2018, 12:50 am wrote: I don't even think attempts at quantifying is an obstacle, so long as we bear in mind the limitation of our testing and measuring methods.

..and bear in mind that we may be arbitrarily selecting some abilities as part of our measure while neglecting others.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby BadgerJelly on April 11th, 2018, 2:04 am 

Dave -

But if we look at biological intelligence, I'd suggest the 'currency' is not simply the sparking of neurons, because if that's all it is then epiphenomenalism is true and that's one of the problems of computationalism that hasn't been solved yet.


Biological intelligence as opposed to what exactly?

For me if we're to measure intelligence we'd be looking at something Hyksos has mentioned elsewhere - that is memory.

Funnily enough this is precisely what IQ tests do measure in one way or another. Finding physical features that coincide with this is not so easy. That said myelination of axons does appear to present something toward intelligence; whether this is due to pure physical efficiency, or more than just that, I have no idea.

With intelligence the most telling underlying factor is being able to apply and use new information, recognize new information, and expand the application of said information - this combined with certain potential capacities. Potential may not be realized due to exposure and limited experience, although I would strongly suggest that intelligence would be the factor that allows for stable development into uncharted territory, whereas lack of intelligence would represent the inability to sort and order new or novel circumstances.

Funnily enough this is what IQ tests do to some degree or another. When it comes to comparisons across species it seems like a highly limited route to explore given that we struggle enough between humans - although this could be due to the fact that humans are more similar than dissimilar. Comparisons of intelligence between the sexes have shown some differences yet there appears to be no discernable difference between men and women's average intelligence (the data gathered seems very explicit in that regard.)

I have mentioned octopuses before. They do out perform humans in some capacities; although it may be due to more implicit forms of "learning." It may well be that intelligence requires a limited performance in implicit learning, or rather that it is an easier path for some obscure reason - as a counter to such a position we do find high functioning and socially adaptive "autistic" level abilities in some people, whether this expresses evidence against my speculation about implicit learning or not is merely just that, pure speculation.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Zanthius on April 11th, 2018, 5:34 am 

Just wanted to say that I would love to play games against whales, dolphins, and elephants, if we could make a neural implant which made their brains able to connect to Internet. I wouldn't be surprised if whales would be able to beat humans in almost any game then. So I am not so convinced that humans are the most intelligent species on this planet.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Biosapien on April 11th, 2018, 7:06 am 

I think intelligence can be defined as a response to environmental stimuli and it doesn't matter whether the response is positive or negative.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Watson on April 11th, 2018, 8:47 am 

Biosapien » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:06 am wrote:I think intelligence can be defined as a response to environmental stimuli and it doesn't matter whether the response is positive or negative.


That is a very limited, and limiting definition. And how would Hawking fit in here? Seems his intellect worked just fine without, or with limited environmental stimuli.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby BadgerJelly on April 11th, 2018, 10:33 am 

Watson -

That is a key point I was trying to make elsewhere/earlier. The intellect needs stumuli, and Hawking had more than enough and the ability to apply it to. A dolphin is highly unlikely to make use of fire, yet if the circumstances of evolution/environment were different we may not draw such conclusions.

Planning, imagining and adjusting all appear to be marks of intelligence - the big question for me is the internal communication.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby mitchellmckain on April 11th, 2018, 12:18 pm 

Zanthius » April 11th, 2018, 4:34 am wrote:Just wanted to say that I would love to play games against whales, dolphins, and elephants, if we could make a neural implant which made their brains able to connect to Internet. I wouldn't be surprised if whales would be able to beat humans in almost any game then. So I am not so convinced that humans are the most intelligent species on this planet.


This is a delightful fantasy and I would love it if it were true but the evidence does not support it. They have a large brain capacity to handle some fantastic abilities. They communicate sonar images with each other in order to locate and coordinate positions in a 3d environment. We might be able to design a particular connection and game in which they can use those abilities to advantage. But that is rather different than what you have claimed.

This highlights the problems of measuring intelligence that have already been mention. It is really a large collection of different abilities and we deceive ourselves with measures like IQ into thinking it is something more singular.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Braininvat on April 11th, 2018, 12:48 pm 

Sort of like what happens with umbrella terms like "consciousness" too. In common usage, consciousness tends to involve an array of cognitive functions, like awareness, internal representation, sense of selfhood, sense of time, persistence of objects, etc. Whenever you have a vague umbrella term, people will argue about its "essential" meaning. This was recently spotlighted in the news, when the New Yorker had an article a couple weeks ago about Hannah Upp, a schoolteacher who would walk away from her life and forget who she was but still retain some functional awareness and responsiveness and forms of "intelligence."
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Serpent on April 11th, 2018, 2:52 pm 

mitchellmckain » April 10th, 2018, 10:45 pm wrote:
But there is a circularity in such words as "learn," "understand," "knowledge," and "think."

Then t6here is also a circularity in the words "chair", "couch" "bench", "ottoman"- because there is a collective term for those things : seating furniture. If you don't like "intelligence" as a collective term. say "cognitive functions of the brain."

"The problem is that when you try to pin down what these mean, you find that they refer to doing things that all living things do but just in a particularly human way.

Maybe not all living things - just the ones with brains. Why is that a problem?

All living things have the ability to change themselves in order to handle the challenges of the environment.

Exclude fungi. plants and nematodes and put insects in the 'pending' file for now.
It is just that when humans do we call this "learning." All living things find ways to process data from the environment in order to accomplish tasks, and it is only when humans do it that we call this "thinking" and "understanding."
[/quote]
We have to get over that dogma. It's thinking when a mouse does it, and when a pigeon does it and when an octopus does it. Once we accept that it's the same function, we can figure out ways to compare andf measure, and maybe even spot differences in style.

(I'll come back when my eye clears up.)
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Zanthius on April 11th, 2018, 5:39 pm 

mitchellmckain » April 11th, 2018, 11:18 am wrote:This is a delightful fantasy and I would love it if it were true but the evidence does not support it.


The evidence doesn't support it, because you know the limits of what technology will allow us to do in the future? According to Daniel Kahneman (the guy who won the noble prize in economics because of his research into cognitive biases), we should be extremely sceptical of almost everyone that claims to know the future, since people tend to overestimate their ability to predict the future. It is intellectually dishonest to claim to know things when we don't.

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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby mitchellmckain on April 11th, 2018, 9:43 pm 

The truth is, some of us know a great deal more about what science has discovered than others. The irony of education is that the more you learn the greater your horizons and thus the more you comprehend how much there is out there we do not yet know. It is not so much a matter of intelligence as what you spend your time learning. Some know a great deal about football or some other spectator sport. I do not. Those in academia well understand that there is too much for one single person to know everything even in science, so we rely on specializations -- bowing to others when it comes to an area where they have taken the time to learn the facts. The least educated people are thus those most unaware of how much they do not know and most easily take offense at the idea that another person knows something they do not.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Zanthius on April 12th, 2018, 2:58 am 

mitchellmckain » April 11th, 2018, 8:43 pm wrote: The irony of education is that the more you learn the greater your horizons and thus the more you comprehend how much there is out there we do not yet know.


Sure. The Dunning–Kruger effect:

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https://www.archania.org/biases/#Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

mitchellmckain » April 11th, 2018, 8:43 pm wrote:The least educated people are thus those most unaware of how much they do not know and most easily take offense at the idea that another person knows something they do not.


I don't have the impression that less educated people often are more easily offended. Actually, some of the people I know of that are most easily offended are professors. There often comes pride and hubris with positions of authority.

mitchellmckain » April 11th, 2018, 8:43 pm wrote:Those in academia well understand that there is too much for one single person to know everything even in science, so we rely on specializations -- bowing to others when it comes to an area where they have taken the time to learn the facts.


But specialists don't necessarily know so much about the limits of their knowledge in other academic fields that they haven't specialized in, and could therefore suffer from the Dunning–Kruger effect themselves, in other academic fields where they are amateurs.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby BadgerJelly on April 12th, 2018, 5:10 am 

You've gone off topic. "Wisdom" has little to nothing to do with "intelligence". No one is born "wise".
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Zanthius on April 12th, 2018, 6:56 am 

BadgerJelly » March 29th, 2018, 1:51 am wrote:As I have contrasted intelligence with language, we are well aware (or at least I am) that no exposure to language does not mean an inability to learn a language - this is what I would take away from the study posted elsewhere in these forums of the deaf man from Mexico who was first exposed to what we call "language" when he was ... 29 I believe?


First of all, even though it might be possible for a 90 year old guy to learn a new language, it is not necessarily as easy as for a 2 year old. The concentrations of different hormones in the brain, the speed of synaptic growth in the brain, the synaptic density in the brain, and so on are completely different in a 2 year old and in a 29 year old.

BadgerJelly » March 29th, 2018, 1:51 am wrote:I made this contrast because "intelligence" is not something we pick up it is something exposed, like language.


According to wikipedia:

Although the heritability of IQ for adults is between 58% and 77%,[5] (with some more-recent estimates as high as 80%[6] and 86%[7]) genome-wide association studies have so far identified only 20%-50% of the genetic variation that contributes to heritability.[8]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritability_of_IQ

So, IQ seems to have a large degree of heritability, but there are also environmental factors influencing the development of IQ. Even if 86% of IQ is determined by heritability, 14% must be determined by environmental factors then. 14% is not so little. It could make a huge difference for an individual.

Also, since IQ is so much determined by biological factors, we are probably soon going to get drugs which can make people with low IQ smarter. These drugs won't necessarily work on people that already are smart, since they already have functional proteins. But for individuals that lack functional proteins related to IQ, maybe we can inject functional proteins, inject cells that produce functional proteins, or genetically alter these individuals to produce more functional proteins.

Also, do you know that males are 30% overrepresented among retarded individuals?

In 1938 Lionel Penrose first observed that more males than females in the population are mentally retarded in a survey and classification of those in institutional care and their relatives.1 The ratio of males to females was 1.25:1. This figure has been substantiated by numerous subsequent studies in the USA, Canada, Australia, and Europe and all agree with the observation of an approximately 30% excess of males being affected with mental retardation.2,3,4,5,6


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2563255/

So, many of the genes related to mental retardation seem to be located on the X chromosome.

BTW. Lionel Penrose is the father of the famous astrophysicist Roger Penrose.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby BadgerJelly on April 12th, 2018, 11:20 am 

I think you've misunderstood "heritability." (read the link you provided carefully.) And for the sake of accuracy Roger Penrose isn't an "astrophysicist".

Also, do you know that males are 30% overrepresented among retarded individuals?


I know there is a rather strong "suggestion" that when it comes to IQ the curve is flater for men even though the average is identical.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Braininvat on April 12th, 2018, 11:58 am 

In studies where children are raised by their biological parents, the concept of "heritability" of either intelligence or personality traits is hopelessly muddied, for obvious reasons.

The sex-linked syndromic forms of mental retardation would, of course, show higher incidence in males. This would be a simple result of how recessive genes express when they are not suppressed by a dominant allele on a second X chromosome. All that the gender disparity points to is the fact that X and Y chromosomes are not homologous, unlike the other 22 chromosome pairs.

In autosomal non-syndromic forms of mental retardation, that gender disparity goes away.
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Re: What is Intelligence?

Postby Zanthius on April 12th, 2018, 1:06 pm 

Braininvat » April 12th, 2018, 10:58 am wrote:In
The sex-linked syndromic forms of mental retardation would, of course, show higher incidence in males. This would be a simple result of how recessive genes express when they are not suppressed by a dominant allele on a second X chromosome. All that the gender disparity points to is the fact that X and Y chromosomes are not homologous, unlike the other 22 chromosome pairs.


The X chromsome is much larger than the Y chromosome, and as far as I know the Y chromosome doesn't have any genes related to the functioning of the nervous system. The X chromosome does however have several genes related to the functioning of the nervous system. Since women are twice as likely to get a functional X chromsomal gene, they have less X-linked recessive diseases.

Some of these diseases are related to mental retardation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-linked_intellectual_disability

But there are also several other diseases which are much more common in males: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-linked_recessive_inheritance
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