Also, I've always thought there was a big difference between "intelligent" and "clever." We humans are clever, no doubt about it. We're so clever we invent the pruning saw, and then use it to saw off the branches we're sitting on -- which isn't very intelligent :-)

I tend to believe there is a quality called "intelligence" which can be generalised, though -- a way of evaluating situations, absorbing new information, and being ready to adjust one's position accordingly (and creatively). But it isn't unique to scholars or any other specialised group, or to humans for that matter.

What does seem unique to humans is *stupidity*, at least of the kind that consists of refusing to evaluate a situation, refusing to absorb new information, and refusing to adjust one's position, ever, for any reason. I mean, imagine some impala on the veldt saying staunchly "Leopards are fake news!" while the leopard 50 feet away is in the act of springing. Nope, if the impala sees that that funny spotted rock just *moved,* then it isn't a rock after all and it's time to run -- like right now and very fast. But it seems like half the human race (at least) would say, "Nope, that's a rock. You only thought it moved. But I know better. Rock, definitely. I've always said so."

And given that the world is so full of things like similarly tawny rocks and leopards, and snakes that kinda look like lianas, and algae-covered ponds that look like solid ground... it's just amazing that this ability -- to resist new information vigorously, and insist that our first impression must be correct and we absolutely will not alter it -- hasn't been bred out of us by now!

Retired; ex-software engineer. Paleo-feminist. Sailor. Arduino tinkerer. Enviro. Libertarian Socialist (Anarcho-Syndicalist, kinda). Writer. Altermondialiste.

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