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patriots88888
25-05-11, 13:38
What defines it within ourselves? We know how to measure certain aspects and areas of it by IQ (Intelligence Quotient) tests but those in themselves do not fully encompass the entire scope of it (emotional intelligence/wisdom as one exception to this).

Can anyone become a 'rocket scientist? If not, why not? Is intellectual capacity limited (which may be to differing degrees within individuals) by something which is biological and/or hereditary or is it entirely to do with the restrictions (time/priorities) which we place on ourselves?

Intellectual genius Albert Einstein's brain for example has been studied and was found to be larger in some regions (numerical and spatial processing ) than that of most 'normal' humans. Was this merely coincidence or is this valid evidence of the correlation between biological/physical differences and a natural higher capacity for learning?

Most of us have heard the statement, 'One can learn (gain knowledge and understanding of) anything as long as they are able (able here referring to a normal functioning brain) and willing to put their mind to it. All one needs to do is apply themselves properly and effectively in order to do this'. Do you believe that to be true, or do you feel that there are limitations and that no matter how much time and energy one devotes to learning, there will always be intances where we will fall short?... Do we give up too readily because we have convinced ourselves that no matter what/how much time/energy we spend, we will never be able to grasp the topic? I was never able to grasp Calculus but I believe I may have given up the 'fight' too easily... I had convinced myself that it was an area of mathematics which was beyond my abilities to comprehend, threw away the text books, and gained a ton of free time to devote to music as a result. :D


Discuss/
(I realize there are a lot of questions here and I'm sorry about that, just wanting to get as much possible feedback on the topic as I can. This has been something which I have always wondered about and any input/participation would be greatly appreciated) Thanks in advance. :)

Catapharact
25-05-11, 13:50
Most of us have heard the statement, 'One can learn (gain knowledge and understanding of) anything as long as they are able (able here referring to a normal functioning brain) and willing to put their mind to it. All one needs to do is apply themselves properly and effectively in order to do this'. Do you believe that to be true, or do you feel that there are limitations and that no matter how much time and energy one devotes to learning, there will always be intances where we will fall short?... Do we give up too readily because we have convinced ourselves that no matter what/how much time/energy we spend, we will never be able to grasp the topic?

In my personal opinion, anyone can learn about anything given that they have the foundational understanding of the given subject in question. Which is why it is imperative that kids these days need to be taught the basics of Arithmetics and Mathematics as soon as they can be. Mathematics, Calculus, Algebra etc for the most part are about conceptual understanding and there is no better way to understand a given concept then to solve it. And that requires practice ;).

BrandonFlowers
25-05-11, 13:52
Hmm, I don't know if this is relevant but I don't think good grades and how smart someone is makes them more Intelligent than someone with crappy grades etc.

It all comes down to life experience, my Mum for example, didn't do well at school but I think she is the smartest person I know, due to her living a full life and gaining wisdom through that.


That probably makes no sense, but I know what I am trying to say :vlol:

I do think that if you are focussed you can learn about anything.

Catapharact
25-05-11, 13:55
Hmm, I don't know if this is relevant but I don't think good grades and how smart someone is makes them more Intelligent than someone with crappy grades etc.

Personally speaking, this sort of thinking is exactly the reason why schools these days are doing so poorly. Grades do matter... Understanding the given subject DOES matter... And as I see it, a healthy class competition SHOULD happen where kids are ranked based on their performance levels.

This gives kids the motivation to do better and to reach and strive for something more then just someone who coasts his/her way through highschool/middleschool with mediocre marks.

Dennis's Mom
25-05-11, 14:27
One of my all-time favorites teachers was Jeanie Hunt, or as she signed her notes on the blackboard, Lady Grendel MacHunt. She taught high school honors English, and I had her my senior year.

There is this amazing quote from her in one of my yearbooks: "If there is one thing I wish I could teach students, it would be an appreciation for knowledge and not for grades."

She didn't like what she termed "grade-grubbers," students whose entire focus was on the grade, the GPA, their class rank.

At some point, grades and knowledge intersect. I would rather have a B in class where I retained knowledge and understanding, than an A that was gained by cramming and regurgitating information.

I don't believe everyone is capable of EVERYTHING. I notice these discussions usually center on the ability to learn critical thinking skills like math/science, but never bring up a blanket ability to do art, for example. We all accept that some people can draw well, some can't.

That's not to say people shouldn't be taught these things or have an appreciation for what they're being taught. Most people have very definite ideas about "what they'll need" to succeed later in life, and treat "unneeded" subjects cavalierly, certain they'll never need it and therefore don't appreciate the knowledge.

And to those folks I say, you're packing for your first ski vacation. You run across your swimsuit. Do you pack it?

Catapharact
25-05-11, 14:38
One of my all-time favorites teachers was Jeanie Hunt, or as she signed her notes on the blackboard, Lady Grendel MacHunt. She taught high school honors English, and I had her my senior year.

There is this amazing quote from her in one of my yearbooks: "If there is one thing I wish I could teach students, it would be an appreciation for knowledge and not for grades."

She didn't like what she termed "grade-grubbers," students whose entire focus was on the grade, the GPA, their class rank.

Was she the type of teacher who believed in taking her kids on nature hikes and did whirly goofy on plain open grass fields ala Sound of Music gimpiness rather then making her class understand the importance of Shakespearian Sonnets ;)?

Yes that was a rather lame attempt at humor :p. But seriously, I agree with her and you to an EXTENT. Motivation also plays and important role in the mix and there is no stronger motivational force out there then being the best in anything you strive for. Unfortunately, kids these days want to strive for becoming the next Lady Gag Gag or Britney douchebag rather then employing themselves to be a stronger and more willing self.

And in no way can a lax perspective on teaching will help them out in any given way. Teachers need to realize that and as such should have regular class competitions to help motivate their students.

Dennis's Mom
25-05-11, 15:25
Uh, no.

On the first day of class, Mrs. Hunt stood in front of the class and gave a long speech about English lit. I'll always remember this bit: "I have stood at the grave of William Shakespeare and felt chills up my spine, and I will not allow anyone to say it is pointless or boring."

I mean, I've been out of high school thirty years this year, and I can still hear her voice as she said that. I still remember how she taught us what was distinct about the scansion on "Stanzas Written on the Road Between Florence and Pisa" by Byron and Kubla Khan by Coleridge will forever be my favorite poem. She made knowledge exciting, not class.

She was a magnificent teacher. (Probably one of the top three I ever had, the other two being Linda Schele (google her), and Paul Reinhardt.)

Encore
25-05-11, 23:46
I honestly do believe that some brains work different than others. It's the only possible explanation for people who can understand equations or create complex musical compositions when they're, like, 10 years old or even younger (Mozart as the most famous example). For those people, "prodigy minds", they look at something and it NATURALLY makes sense to them, without need for any education. Unless you believe in a God and claim it's a miracle, the only logical explanation is that their brain functions differently.

I also think education (reading a lot, studying a lot, getting a degree, etc.) is just one aspect of intelligence. I've always been a bookworm, I spent my teenage years locked at home reading instead of goofing around (even my teachers told me, with sympathy, that I "grew up too soon") - and while right now I probably have a good cultural and educational level, I have a huge handicap in other aspects of intelligence, such as social skills, fundamental to every day life.

For this reason, I think all educational systems should help young people not just in theoretical subjects but in practical ones as well, like speaking in public or debating - from the earliest possible age.

EmeraldFields
26-05-11, 04:27
She was a magnificent teacher. (Probably one of the top three I ever had, the other two being Linda Schele (google her), and Paul Reinhardt.)

OMG! I watched a National Geographic special about her and her work helping to decipher the Mayan writing system. I'm sure being in one of her classes would've been an amazing opportunity! :D

In response to the OP, I think that we all have something that we're better at than other things. Intelligence doesn't just mean book smarts. It can apply to other things as well. Counselors are smart at listening to others and helping them through problems, a carpenter knows how to craft wood with their hands, and a scientists is able to find a cure for a disease. All of these people are intelligent, just in different ways.

And yes, even Lady Gaga and Britney Spears are intelligent, Cat. They know how to craft songs that will capture the attention of millions of people. They are able to touch the lives of thousands through their music and have an eye for talent when it comes to other writers and producers. Just because it's an intelligence you don't understand doesn't make it invalid.

I think it's important that we are able to sample each kind of discipline so we can find what excites us. For me it's history, but for someone else it could be math, or literature, or music.

cezy rockeru
26-05-11, 05:47
I'm not that smart anyway. :p

Paddy
26-05-11, 05:56
In my personal opinion, anyone can learn about anything given that they have the foundational understanding of the given subject in question. Which is why it is imperative that kids these days need to be taught the basics of Arithmetics and Mathematics as soon as they can be. Mathematics, Calculus, Algebra etc for the most part are about conceptual understanding and there is no better way to understand a given concept then to solve it. And that requires practice ;).

Also requires motivation, can't learn something you really don't seem interested in either.

patriots88888
26-05-11, 10:23
Upon reflection, I should have better focused my OP. I was a bit across the board on this and the title would have been better suited as 'Learning differential/behaviors...', and not 'Intelligence' as there are many different aspects/areas which that encompasses.

I honestly do believe that some brains work different than others. It's the only possible explanation for people who can understand equations or create complex musical compositions when they're, like, 10 years old or even younger (Mozart as the most famous example). For those people, "prodigy minds", they look at something and it NATURALLY makes sense to them, without need for any education. Unless you believe in a God and claim it's a miracle, the only logical explanation is that their brain functions differently.

Yea, Sandy and I were discussing this earlier. These savants' brains appear to be 'greater' developed in the areas which are specific to their natural abilities/expertise, however with most savants, they often have difficulty in other areas such as social skills and communication. As much as I hate to use this terminology (but I can't think of another way to put it ATM), it appears as if there is a trade-off of one for the other. I find it really interesting and it only goes to show how much more there is to discover and understand about the human mind/brain.

I also think education (reading a lot, studying a lot, getting a degree, etc.) is just one aspect of intelligence. I've always been a bookworm, I spent my teenage years locked at home reading instead of goofing around (even my teachers told me, with sympathy, that I "grew up too soon") - and while right now I probably have a good cultural and educational level, I have a huge handicap in other aspects of intelligence, such as social skills, fundamental to every day life.

Absolutely! There really isn't any standardized way to measure 'intelligence' in these other areas, at least not that I'm aware of at this time. Which is why I made the 'rocket scientist' reference and asked if anyone could reach that level of intelligence (genius) or if you believe that level can only be reached by a certain few (comparatively speaking, that is).

For this reason, I think all educational systems should help young people not just in theoretical subjects but in practical ones as well, like speaking in public or debating - from the earliest possible age.

Agreed, and it was a big change that I discovered when I went back for further education in '03 for IT. Those speaking skills were a mandatory part of the curriculum and were a requirement in order to receive a passing grade. It wasn't easy for me because I really dislike speaking to large groups but it did help in some ways. I still don't consider myself to be a 'good' public speaker and I still hate doing so but at least I'm not as apprehensive about it as I used to be.

Dennis's Mom
26-05-11, 12:06
Also requires motivation, can't learn something you really don't seem interested in either.

It's part of the job of the teacher, though, to teach you to value the knowledge. Interest is usually a side-effect of how much you value the knowledge.

I'm sure someone here knows Lady Gaga's birthdate and thinks that's valuable information. They probably make a point of remembering it. The value is largely social and personal, while something like algebra or geometry will have applications in one's life, however unrecognizable from the problems on the test.

For math and much science, the lack of recognizable future application for the individual absolutely tempers interests. There should be a way of teaching those subjects out of isolation from the real world so the students see the value in the knowledge.

TRfan23
26-05-11, 12:42
Knowledge and Intelligence eh? XD


This is a subject area I'm fascinated in :tmb:

Neurons

So neuron cells communicate through synapses to each other, right?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/30/Chemical_synapse_schema_cropped.jpg

When you learn something new, what is actually happening in your brain? :) Apparently it creates a new neuron cell and a connection? But how?

I know that when you try to repeatedly remember something, you're making the connection from one neuron cell to another stronger, so the signal through the synapse is longer.


Does that mean Stephen Hawking has far more Neuron Cells then we do?

tampi
26-05-11, 12:59
I also think that some people have a higher thinking skills. Inborn and not common to all people.
Certainly the study accentuates certain skills, but without having that special ability, it is not possible to know fit the pieces of the puzzle.

I also think that these mental processes have nothing to do with success in life, or the fact that the holder of such capabilities have advantages over others in a society. By contrast, the ability to know properly fit these puzzle pieces can repel or to be misunderstood by others.


mmmm...On the previous post I want to say that I think Stephen Hawking is highly overrated.:o

TRfan23
26-05-11, 20:21
mmmm...On the previous post I want to say that I think Stephen Hawking is highly overrated.:o

Probably, but apparently he's the only one that can understand certain very complex physics equations, unlike a lot of other physicists. Although I think some of his closest colleagues understand some of them to?

I think he's just a very talented guy :)

CerebralAssassin
26-05-11, 20:37
I also think that some people have a higher thinking skills. Inborn and not common to all people.
Certainly the study accentuates certain skills, but without having that special ability, it is not possible to know fit the pieces of the puzzle.

I also think that these mental processes have nothing to do with success in life, or the fact that the holder of such capabilities have advantages over others in a society. By contrast, the ability to know properly fit these puzzle pieces can repel or to be misunderstood by others.


mmmm...On the previous post I want to say that I think Stephen Hawking is highly overrated.:o

Einstein is overrated...not Hawkings.I heard he flunked Algebra or something.I can name a gazillion mathematicians who were better than him:p

tampi
27-05-11, 09:14
Mmmm. Well, I must admit that I have a personal problem with him since he started making statements about religion.
I think he, from his position as a scientist, should not enter into arguments that correspond to the intimate and personal beliefs of the people. I think Carl Sagan started that way too.
If he believes in science and in its arguments, why attack religion and people ho believe on it? Now I might be rude, but if it were not for principles espoused by the religion he probably would lie at the bottom of the ravine at the foot of Mount Taygetus as the children of Sparta, selected at birth. I know that his illness is a disease that don't attacks the brain apparently not to his mental capacities. But any expert on the subject or person able to understand the mechanisms of human mind, may determine that his thinking, should be influenced by his physical disability. I'm tired of seeing people as twisted as him, with degenerative diseases, and see how their thoughts vary over the years, making this a reflection of their disabilities.
Without the kindness and the belief that man is worthy, in any state or phases, of a place in the world, perhaps he would not be where it is.

Other points to is the amount of brutality that through the years have been perpetrated in the name of science.
Just to remind you that less than one hundred years, they cut the legs of people with a carpenter's saw the surgeon while smoking a cigar. Or were used artificial bleedingmethods to reduce fever of patients or many other things. Still lives were saved. It's true. But that does not negate the fact that science and scientists are often babies playing with Lego pieces, unable to understand or think about the composition of the materials with which they work or how they are manufactured.

Yesterday I read an article about the discovery of water on a microscopic level in samples collected at the lunar expeditions. It talked about the "evidence " that this discovery explains that the moon was a part of the loose earth after the impact of another planet from the earth.
Seriously?
But who would believe this foolishness?
Let no one argues over the course of the billions of years is even more ridiculous and improbable.

To me, some scientific processes are so barbaric and savage as a thousand years ago.

http://i.imgur.com/tOb3F.jpg (http://imgur.com/tOb3F)http://i.imgur.com/02Nod.jpg (http://imgur.com/02Nod)http://i.imgur.com/f6Okh.jpg (http://imgur.com/f6Okh)

If we scale on these pictures, this is even more savage and inhuman to cut a leg with a saw.
That is science.

Forwen
27-05-11, 11:20
I really should be doing my revision now (in barbaric science no less) so just a quick point to the above, you can't "believe" in science - I'm tired of seeing people mistake science for a direct alternative of a (usually some Abrahamic) religion. It's to the detriment of both.

Encore
27-05-11, 11:20
That is quite far from the subject of this thread. But still I'm compelled to reply - science has done far, FAR more to improve Mankind's quality of life than religion. Religion has its own purpose, of course, but mostly at a psychological/personal level.

In the case of Carl Sagan, he never questioned people's personal beliefs, he only brought attention to how organized religion often - knowingly - places barriers against the advancement of knowledge, technology and philosophy. And this is a fact, even today.

However, I strongly support definite ethical boundaries in science, and in an ideal world (at least for me) things like the atomic bomb wouldn't exist because the scientists who developed should have refused doing so the minute they understood its power of destruction. For me the big perversion of science is not in science itself, but in its appropriation and misuse by military and economic interests. However, even this is not black and white, since some scientific advancements made for the military ended up benefiting society as well.

In the end, Makind advances sometimes through trial and error, and there have been some pretty horrible inventions and discoveries, I won't deny that. But overall the positives outweigh the negatives. I still prefer the modern world to the middle ages.

Drone
27-05-11, 11:56
Well some people are total retards and some people are geniuses. It's something more than plain biology/physics/psychology. It just happens and that's that. personally I just love quote by Richard Feynman "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics". It just shows that some people are just chosen. Just like Konrad Zuse. Lol this dude could create the first computer in the 30s. Tho people can be geniuses in other fields as well, because after all everything involves the activity of human brain.