Thinking and Intelligence

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Thinking Intelligence

Intelligence is quickness of mind. The smart person can absorb information quickly, process it, and provide a response with remarkable speed. Sometimes, the information is complex, and the process takes time. Someone faking it will not be fast at all or will make up answers that truly smart people can debunk readily.

Whether you can tell the difference depends as much on your thinking skills as on your own intelligence. You can appear more intelligent than you are if you have honed your thinking skills well. We all can work on this.

Mostly, however, we must begin to develop good thinking skills in school. Most classes teach memorization and plug-and-chug formulas. They do not teach students to think. If they did, it would be a different world. Politicians would not be able to lie as much and certainly not 10,000 times in 2.5 years. People would buy toothpaste based on value and not sexual innuendo-based commercials. And, so it goes.

One subject can provide good training in thinking because students can check their thinking against numbers that they measure — science. We must have smart science education in our schools. Truly intelligent people find connections that others miss. It’s called innovation. However, you cannot detect this in ordinary interactions very readily.

Harry Keller, President & Chief Science Officer (1999-present)