Monday, May 14, 2012

Intelligence vs Wisdom

(Again, I apologize for not posting my interview with Iron Man. Hopefully next week. It's a lot of pics to go through and a lot of data to get written.)

So my co-worker referred me to this article on Forbes titled Intelligence Is Overrated: What You Really Need to Succeed. He and I had a very interesting discussion on the difference between man's definition of intelligence and God's definition.

So, let's see what man thinks of intelligence. As usual, I go to my favorite word-nerd site:

1. capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
2. manifestation of a high mental capacity.
3. the faculty of understanding.
4. knowledge of an event, circumstance, etc., received or imparted; news; information.
5. the gathering or distribution of information, especially secret information.

With the 4th and 5th definition, I think something like this:

 Wouldn't that be a cool job? A scientifically semi-plausible Spider-man? Anyway, those definitions are more CIA related.

So now let's look at a couple of scriptures. (HELLO!!! It is MORMON Geeks.)

First, my co-worker brought this scripture to my attention. Found in the Pearl of Great Price, in Abraham Chapter 3, it reads "And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all."

Now, we know that Heavenly Father is omniscient. But there is something about intelligence as it pertains to Him that I find different. I do not believe that he defines it by IQ alone. I suggest he has mental, spiritual, mental, moral, physical (or body), and social intelligence to a point we couldn't BEGIN to understand. This is why he does no wrong, he knows too much to be able to justify doing something contrary to what is right.

Knowledge and intelligence go hand-in-hand in my book. They are fairly interchangeable. However, wisdom trumps them both, in my mind.

Isaiah was a great man, full of...well...let's just say...full of information that he did his best to give us. One tidbit he did give to us, that I find great is this tidbit from Isaiah 55:9. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." This isn't Isaiah writing about himself, but Heavenly Father.

So why are His ways higher? Is it that He's that much better? Yeah, He is that much better. Why? Because He knows way more than all of us combined. Not only that, He knows how to use that knowledge for the best that he can.

I think knowledge is great. I love to learn and to know. But if I don't use that knowledge to benefit my life or the lives of those around me, then I'm stupid. Wisdom is practiced knowledge, in my opinion.

James 2:17 read "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." I believe in a similar saying, substituting knowledge for faith. "Knowledge, if it is not practiced, is useless." How is this evident? Let me give a quick example.

I know how to ride a bike. I know how to get up on the seat. I know how to pedal. But the last time I did it (back in 2004) I couldn't balance, even though I knew how. I hadn't ridden a bike in over 10 years so was out of practice of doing so. No, I never forgot how to ride a bike. My body, on the other hand, did. The information was useless to me because I hadn't practiced using it.

Just some thoughts for this Monday morning. Hopefully it's not too deep or too long for you.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.


  1. See, this is why when I made stats for Khan Noonien Singh I gave him a high Intelligence but low Wisdom.

  2. Personally I differentiate knowledge from intelligence. Intelligence, the ability to reason and understand things, and wisdom, the ability to apply said information to a situation, do not always equate to the ability to store that information for later recall. Indeed, a lot of very intelligent people have been known to be very absent-minded and forgetful.

    I actually think D&D rules are fairly accurate to real life in this regard ( hey, have to carry on the geek theme, right? ) A high intelligence score with low wisdom will result in someone who's book-smart but world-dumb and rather oblivious to his surrounding. Reversing that gives you the sage simpleton, someone who may not be a genius but has startling insight into the things he understands. Granted D&D also uses intelligence modifiers when rolling for knowledge checks, but that part I don't agree with.