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Is It Possible To Measure Human Intelligence?

This, to me, has always been a thorny question. I have always been somewhat skeptical of IQ tests, but I do understand that they are an instrument by which to measure basic cognitive ability (albeit a very blunt one.) It’s just that what we are trying to measure is so multifaceted and complex, with each variable effecting the others – and all of it is in a constant state of flux, either continually growing or withering into a state of atrophy…

Testing a human organism is never an exact process because the organism itself exists in a constantly evolving continuum. Now, I understand that there is a general “window” of parameters within which each life form functions, but already we are in a grey area. Add to this the realization that science now recognizes a certain amount of “plasticity” to neurological function that was once thought to be finite and the waters become muddier still.

I think a good argument could me made that we probably don’t yet even fully recognize all domains within which intelligence expresses itself. What is the folly of testing for something the tester can’t yet comprehend? I get that some way to measure intelligence is probably better than nothing, but only if it does no harm.

At the end of the day I love the elegant simplicity of physicist Max Tegmark’s definition of intelligence: he defines it as “The ability to achieve complex goals.”

So, to answer my question, I would say no, at least not in the sense of taking a test and getting a quantifiable graded score. I would say it is more accurately measured in a behavioral sense by observing what the organism is actually doing. And even that will change based on the health of the entity in question. A well fed organism will always score higher than one that is starving…