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Asimov explains why there is much more in intelligence than just being able to score high on intelligence tests.
What Is Intelligence, Anyway?
What is intelligence, anyway? When I was in the army I received a kind of aptitude test that all soldiers took and, against a normal of 100, scored 160. No one at the base had ever seen a figure like that and for two hours they made a nig fuss over me. (It didn't mean anything. The next day I was still a buck private with KP as my highest duty.)
All my life I've been registering scores like that, so that I have the complacent feeling that I'm highly intelligent, and I expect other people to think so, too. Actually, though, don't such scores simply mean that I am very good at answering the type of academic questions that are considered worthy of answers by the people who make up the intelligence tests - people with intellectual bents similar to mine?
For instance, I had an auto-repair man once, who, on these intelligence tests, could not possibly have scored more than 80, by my estimate. I always took it for granted that I was far more intelligent than he was. Yet, when anything went wrong with my car I hastened to him with it, watched him anxiously as he explored its vitals, and listened to his pronouncements as though they were divine oracles - and he always fixed my car.
Well, then, suppose my auto-repair man devised questions for an intelligence test. Or suppose a carpenter did, or a farmer, or, indeed, almost anyone but an academician. By every one of those tests, I'd prove myself a moron. And I'd be a moron, too. In a world where I could not use my academic training and my verbal talents but had to do something intricate or hard, working with my hands, I would do poorly. My intelligence, then, is not absolute. Its worth is determined by the society I live in. Its numerical evaluation is determined by a small subsection of that society which has managed to foist itself on the rest of us as an arbiter of such matters.
Consider my auto-repair man, again. He had a habit of telling me jokes whenever he saw me. One time he raised his head from under the automobile hood to say: "Doc, a deaf-and-dumb guy went into a hardware store to ask for some nails. He put two fingers together on the counter and made hammering motions with the other hand. The clerk brought him a hammer. He shook his head and pointed to the two fingers he was hammering. The clerk brought him nails. He picked out the sizes he wanted, and left. Well, doc, the next guy who came in was a blind man. He wanted scissors. How do you suppose he asked for them?"
I lifted my right hand and made scissoring motions with my first two fingers. Whereupon my auto-repair man laughed heartily and said, "Why, you dumb fool, he used his voice and asked for them." Then he said, smugly, "I've been trying that on all my customers today." "Did you catch many?" I asked. "Quite a few," he said, "but I knew for sure I'd catch you." "Why is that?" I asked. "Because you're so goddamned educated, doc, I know you couldn't be very smart."
And I have an uneasy feeling he had something there.
n. natural ability or skill 能力，才能
n. the usual state or level 正常的状态或水平
n. unnecessary expression of excitement, anger, impatience, etc. 大惊小怪
n. (sl.) common soldier of the lowest rank 列兵
kitchen police (a military duty of helping the cooks prepare and serve the food, wash the dishes, and clean up the kitchen) 炊事值勤（员）
vt. achieve; write in a list or record 取得；登记
a. self-satisfactory; pleased with oneself 自满的；自鸣得意的
ad. to a great degree; very
ad. just; only 仅仅；只不过
a. scholarly, theoretical, not practical; of a college or university 学术的，学究的；学院的
a. deserving 值得的
n. natural tendency or inclination 嗜好，倾向
a. alike; of the same sort 类似的
n. (short for) automobile 汽车
n. judgment or opinion about how much, how many, how good, etc. 估计
vt. give or allow (what is asked for) 授予；准予
vi. go fast; be quick 赶快；急忙
vt. search or examine thoroughly 探索；探究
n. essential parts of anything; the main bodily organs 主要部件；（人体的）重要器官
n. formal or authoritative statement; opinion 声明；见解
a. coming from God; sacred 神的；神圣的
vt. think out; plan 想出；设计
n. member of an art, literary or scientific academy or society院士，学会会员
n. stupid person 低能者；蠢人
a. complicated with words and their use; spoken, not written 词语的；口头的
a. complicated 错综复杂
a. not measured by comparison with other things 绝对的
vt. fix or find out exactly 确定
n. of a number; shown by numbers 数字的；用数字表示的
n. part of a section 小组，分部
vt. force (sth.) on another person by fraud or trickery 把...强加于
n. judge 仲裁人,公断人
n. sth. said or done to cause laughter or amusement
(short for) doctor
a. unable to hear 聋的
a. unable to speak; stupid 哑的;愚笨的
a. unable to hear and speak
n. metal goods such as utensils, tools, nails, etc. 金属器具
v. strike repeatedly (with a hammer)
n. salesclerk; person who works in a shop selling things 店员
v. cut with scissors
ad. upon, at, or after which 于是，因此；然后
ad. complacently 沾沾自喜地
ad. (sl.) very, extremely
a. awkward; not easy in mind or body 局促的；不安的；不安适的
PHRAESE & EXPRESSIONS
make a fuss of / over
prepare ready for use 编制;配制
by one's estimate
take sth. for granted
regard it as true or as certain to happen 认为某事当然
stop working as true or as certain to happen 出毛病
for certain; certainly 确切地;肯定