Daily Nugget of Gold 706
Your Intelligence Quota
Have you ever had your intelligence tested by Mensa? Have you ever taken an S.A.T. Test? If so, how did you do? Now, understand something about these tests and their ability to measure your intellectual capabilities and more importantly, your ability to excel at something- the roots of the idea of testing for intelligence were in the eugenics movement. Eugenics was and is the belief that we could improve the human gene pool by the elimination of certain inferior people either through involuntary sterilization, which was practiced in the United States in something like 30 states, or by selective breeding and/or exterminating ‘inferior’ people as the Nazis put into place in The Holocaust. Do some reading on this subject, you will be stunned at how pervasive it was and how we falsely think we can measure a human being’s worth and value to society today through such tests.
What we can say about any test is that it can with some narrow degree of accuracy measure your ability to perform certain things at the moment the test is taken. We have an entire industry which has sprung up devoted to trying to help students score better on the S.A.T. Tests, diverting their attention away from their studies and more importantly, their passionate pursuit of excellence in areas that interest them. This is pointed out in an excellent book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Sir Ken Robinson, PhD. Sir Robinson presents his material with wry humor but the serious nature of his research and interviews performed for this work should leave no doubt that we need a much better way of doing things than by utilizing something designed by racists to decide who should be admitted into college and why.
Now, get this- there is this assertion that certain mental illnesses have a biological rather than cultural, socioeconomic, or environmental basis, and that pharmaceutical companies hold the key to curing these conditions by changing the chemical makeup of the brain. Well, maybe, in some cases, but there have been an embarrassing number of instances where people in academia have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar by not being forthcoming with their financial connections to the industry. The wonderfully named John Breeder, PhD. points this out in a YouTube video where he also cites the book War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race by Edwin Black who exhaustively researched this part of our history and present practices and presents it in this work.
So what to make of all of this? If someone tells you -or worse- if you conclude for yourself that you aren’t worthy because of the results of some narrowly based test, stick that information directly in the trash. These tests measure just a limited amount of skills and cannot and will never be able to predict your success in life or your full potential. Human beings are capable of tremendous achievement, and even people who cannot score well at all on these tests may live highly successful, contributing, happy lives in spite of the assertions of others. Soar above what anyone predicted of you, passionately pursue what interests you and you will find your bliss.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“How is it even possible that someone else could predict my success in my passionate pursuit of my purpose?”
Copyright 2012 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.