By Harvey Tobkes

Is there any indication of increased intelligence in human beings over the millennia? Are we now more intelligent than the Neanderthals, the Caveman, The people of the ancient Egyptian civilization, the Native Americans?


What is the definition of intelligence? The most common general criterion used was the ability to show behavior based on conceptual or abstract thinking rather than just simple instincts. Psychologists occasionally tried to give general definitions of intelligence in terms of learning or problem-solving capabilities; later more often in terms of adaptation to complex environments. More specific criteria also included ability to use tools, plan actions, use language, solve logical problems and do arithmetic.Rockets

If we use that criteria, I contend that intelligence is not at a higher level now than what it was 10,000 years ago. Didn’t Einstein himself say that imagination is more important than knowledge? And the education reformer John Holt observed that intelligence is not demonstrated by how much knowledge we have, but how we behave when we have no knowledge about a given situation.

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