From Apes, Our Monkey Minds

I’ve been reading this interesting book recently. Actually, two books by the same writer, back to back.
Surprisingly, it isn’t fiction.
I’m actually more inclined to pick up a novel (and of late, I’ve been devouring Pratchett with glee) than a non-fiction piece, unless the book is about business or marketing.
But here’s a big disclaimer: I am very much predisposed to reading about anything and everything to do with brains, mind, IQ, intelligence, potential. It intrigues me, this brain business. Especially the fact that I read somewhere (and repeated like a mantra) that we only use 10% of our brains.
Here’s a little literature review on brains, IQ and potential, courtesy of yours truly, condensed version of course. Then I’ll tell you more about this book I am currently dipping into and why.
Remember Darwin? Yes, the guy who had this theory about the human evolution. What people hardly know is that Darwin had a cousin (less famous, that’s why most people don’t know about him) called Galton. Sir Francis Galton to be specific. Now Galton theorised that intelligence was inherited.
You couldn’t even BE smart. You were either born with it or you didn’t have it. He wrote a book about it too and called it “Hereditary Genius” and caused such a furore at the turn of the century. His research was questionable because he only interviewed smart and rich people. Not exactly the best kind of sampling.
Anyway, along comes another guy called Alfred Binet who took this intelligence concept further. Actually the irony is this: Binet was supposed to devise a way to find out why dull children couldn’t learn. He came up with a test which tested for memory, reasoning and comprehension and voila, inadvertently Binet had concocted the first psychometric test for intelligence! Binet also coined the term ‘mental age’ which means one learns because of greater intelligence. And later, IQ or Intelligence Quotient was determined using a formula which made use of this mental age.
Basically, IQ = your mental age divided by your chronological age then multiplied by 100.
Mental age is simply this: Say you are 6 years old but had a mental age of a 12 year old (you processed info like a 12 year old and this part is tested using psychometric tests such as the one devised by Binet), this means your IQ is 200 (12/6 x 100). (Note: Nowadays there are different types of IQ tests so this is just a generality. Actually there are a tonne of validated IQ tests out there.)
IQ formed the basis of later research by scientists. Having a high IQ meant you were gifted. And we all know how we change our perception at the mention of high IQ people.
In terms of IQ, the average me and you would have an IQ of 100 while the intellectually gifted possess IQs of 130 and above. So the higher your IQ, the more brain potential you had. Based on this IQ, the gifted form about the top 2% of any given population. Roughly this means only 2 persons out of a 100 is probably gifted.
Early studies focused on high IQ people because they believed that high IQ was all there was to being gifted. This was in the 1930s onwards and the trend continued until 1970s. If you had high IQ, you were gifted.
Then, things changed a bit.
Howard Gardner came about in the 1980s and shook up this concept by saying that having a high IQ was NOT all there was to being gifted. It was one part of giftedness but not the whole part.
Gardner’s most famous theory (and used to no end these days by kindergartens and bandied about by every other child expert) is the Multiple Intelligences Theory. What was previously known as IQ was actually the logical-mathematical intelligence (a product of the rational mind). Gardner posited 6 other types of intelligences in addition to logical-mathematical intelligence: linguistic, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. Recently, he came up with another for the spiritual dimension.
But Gardner has always been a poor misunderstood guy. He didn’t SAY everyone is gifted. He didn’t SAY everyone is smart. But I think people felt unfair that there are gifted people in our midst – the elites – so to speak. So now, everyone has one kind of intelligence. Take your pick from the smorgasboard of seven (now eight) types of smarts.
Fundamentally, Gardner wanted his theory to allow for both existing and potential ability, in line with the concept of dynamic, and not static, giftedness. However, he did not discount the value of IQ in the identification of giftedness but his contention is that giftedness should not be limited only to high IQ.
But then, try telling THIS to your local kindergarten who’s all about bringing out the intelligences in your kid.
Anyway, as I was reading up on this IQ business, I started delving into books by Buzan (of the mindmapping fame) and recently, my interest took another turn – I turned into Jose Silva’s Mind Control Method books.
In his books, Silva speaks about his research and how he, after years of testing on his own children, came up with what he calls the Silva Mind Method.
In our everyday world, our brains function in Beta (waves). Beta is what we’re at on regular basis. However, there’s another type of waves which allows us to function even better – Alpha waves. Alpha waves are slower, and one usually experiences Alpha waves when one is about to drop off to sleep. We enter Alpha in miniscule moments during our Beta too, but it’s too fast.
Now what’s this with Alpha and why is it more important than Beta? (Catch tomorrow’s post… I’ll tell you all about it.)
Here are some hints: you have ESP potential, you can heal yourself, you can heal others without touching them, you can gain more in every aspect of your life… and you can be more creative, solve problems faster, learn and remember more!

3 thoughts on “From Apes, Our Monkey Minds”

  1. you’re kidding!!!! you actually read all of those stuff? Man, those stuff just kill me, man!! I am reading (for your information) a book about how to reduce the signs of aging and facial massage. MAN!!!! IQ?? I think my IQ is going to be bad but I may score high on my EQ? he he….who knows about these things, right?
    marsha

  2. …forgot…..i scored quite OK for my exams, but my IQ might be a bit low. what does that make me? 🙂 a muddled human being, that’s what! Sorry, caught me in one of those OFF moments.
    smiles, Krista
    :: marsha

  3. hi marsha,
    yes. I read all these things, dear. I am just fascinated with topics like brains and mind and mind potential. I have an eclectic reading taste most times. I also like reading about alternative and complementary healing, aka qi and traditional chinese medicine. Did I tell you I have Stephen Hawkings’ A Brief History of Time which I read but didn’t understand? My challenge: to re-read it now and see it I can!

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