Saturday, May 31, 2008

Historical IQ

Let’s give a modern IQ test to one of the ancients—a Mesopotamian, an Egyptian, the average Athenian citizen (Meletus, for example). How many block designs do we expect before sundown? How much arithmetic without mistake? Similarities? Picture completion?

When we measure intelligence, what capacities have we already assumed, and where and when did these originate? Are we sure we want to keep looking in the lobes?

The Flynn effect should not surprise us. Not that long ago, the average human did not possess enough intelligence to take an IQ test, let alone analyze its calendar-sensitive results.

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