IQ Tests are Mostly Worthless

Some of my art students

I just watched a documentary on Leopold and Loeb, two young rich men who killed a little boy mostly as a game to prove their superiority over morality, society and every other living human being. They were caught and sent to prison for life. The documentary said they were so intelligent, Leopold had an IQ of 210. Classical IQ tests do not go up to 210, so even if IQ tests were not pretty worthless, this is a crap statement. IQ tests measure that at which the test-maker excels. If a Polynesian native made an IQ test, it would consist of starting a fire from sticks rubbed together in coconut fibers, and the results would label many Western ‘geniuses’ as retarded.

I took a classical test once and scored 136, which supposedly means I’m not quite a genius. I took a couple last night and my score indicated I’m so mentally challenged I should probably be institutionalized and wear a bib. (FB friends insisted today I am a genius, even though I once wore mismatched shoes…to work. A big surprise was a friend from elementary school who found me and said I always was a genius! Elementary school! Where I told the teacher, “Thanks for showing me the trick to reading. I’m not coming to school anymore, I’m going to the library where I can learn whatever I want.” This went over like a pregnant pole vaulter.)

There are many types of intelligence; school smarts, mechanical, artistic, even athletic smarts. I am only good at two things; art and community building. On the other hand, I am naive, so I would fail the Street Smarts IQ test. Furthermore, I admit that I am a math cripple. If numbers appear in any question, my mind goes blank and I want to flee, just like when I see a big hairy spider.

I think intelligence is the ability to adapt to changing conditions and stay alive. To do this requires drawing from many areas of knowledge and a mind open enough to consider new solutions. Many we might consider super-intelligent would fail this test, while many we might consider ‘primitive’ would pass. But that some have been intelligent by that definition throughout history is obvious or humans would not be alive to make pretty worthless tests to

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