I’ve heard a lot of people say that you can’t judge intelligence by a number, or a test, and that is why they dislike the IQ test.
To me, this is rubbish. There are a two arguments that they use, both of which I find ridiculous:
#1: “There are multiple kinds of intelligence. What about emotional intelligence?”
The fact that there are multiple areas of intelligence does not mean that intelligence shouldn’t be judged as a whole. Ricky Henderson was faster Cal Ripken Jr. Does that mean that I shouldn’t say that Ripken was better than Henderson? Clearly not. Ripken was better in every other category. So why should the fact that there are different fields of intelligence stop me from making generalizations about one individual being smarter than other?
Also, how “emotional intelligence” is actually a form of intelligence is beyond me. If intelligence is the ability to reason (though I know that there are other ways of putting it), how is being nice a form of intelligence? Being nice does not solve math problems. It will not get you out of a high-security prison. Then why should we put empathy and emotional character in the intelligence barrel? It seems to me that people only do this because they feel sympathy (or happen to be) someone who is not very bright, but happens to have good character emotionally. It’s not that they’re nice, but not very smart, it’s that they have “emotional intelligence.”
#2: “These tests can be inaccurate.”
Yes, of course tests can be inaccurate. Any test can be inaccurate, and I don’t doubt that IQ tests are still in their infancy. In fact, the measurement of intelligence may take on a whole new form as more and more is understood about the human brain.
But this does not mean that intelligence should not be measured. Early mapmakers could not produce maps as accurately as modern cartographers can: should they not have even tried? Yes, undoubtedly IQ tests will not always be accurate. But if person A takes five different tests and averages 115, and person B takes the same five tests and averages 85, person A is probably just smarter - sorry! The fact that IQ tests do not deliver foolproof results does not mean they should not be used, and it does not mean that they do not reflect reality in one form or another.
I took the IQ test on the Mensa web site, and got 131 the first time. Then I got 128. If someone else tells me that they scored 145, I’m fine with the fact that they’re probably smarter than me. Some people are prettier than others, some people are more athletic than others, and some people are smarter than others - that’s just the way it is.
Am I alone here?