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Is Homo sapiens sapiens a Wise Species?

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  • Bob M.
    We have named our subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens: tool-making, bipedal primate, wise, wise. But have we named ourselves wisely? Or have we merely engaged in
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 30, 2007
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      We have named our subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens:
      tool-making, bipedal primate, wise, wise. But have
      we named ourselves wisely? Or have we merely engaged
      in typical human self-puffery? It turns out that our
      species is not wise, but we believe it is, and this
      is a serious failure of reality testing.

      Since wisdom is often equated to intelligence, we
      could ask if Homo sapiens sapiens is intelligent.
      Humans are by far the most intelligent species on
      earth, as measured by IQ tests--but only because we
      designed these tests for ourselves. Intelligence
      entails the ability to learn, remember, and recall
      in the context of reasoning abstractly, associating
      concepts, and performing other cognitive skills. But
      it does not correlate with wisdom. Many intellectually
      gifted humans are unwise, and many individuals of
      modest intellect are wise.

      The distinction between wisdom and intelligence is
      pivotal to assessing the wisdom of our species.
      Intelligence predicts the success of individuals
      without regard to the consequences of their success
      to others. Hence, sociopaths can be intelligent. But
      sociopaths can't be wise, because wisdom reflects the
      ability to make adaptive decisions in a social context.
      It requires altruism, balanced judgment, competent
      reality testing, and a consistent view of the big
      picture. Indeed, that's why wisdom, not intelligence,
      applies to the survival of species. Of course, wisdom's
      opposite--stupidity--also applies.

      (For full article search post subject/title - Is Homo
      sapiens sapiens a Wise Species?)

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human
      stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
      (Albert Einstein)

      Bob M.
    • Bob M.
      More than ever before, our technical civilization has cushioned life on all sides, yet more than ever, people helplessly succumb to the blows of life. This is
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 3, 2007
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        More than ever before, our technical civilization
        has cushioned life on all sides, yet more than
        ever, people helplessly succumb to the blows of
        life. This is very simply because a merely material,
        technical culture cannot give help in the face of
        tragedy. The man of today, externalized as he is,
        has no ideas, no strength, to enable him to master
        his own restlessness and division. He does not know
        what to make of suffering - how to make something
        constructive of it - and perceives it only as
        something that oppresses him and interferes with
        his life. He has no peace. And the same experience
        that might help a person with an active inner life
        gain mastery over life may be enough to send him
        into a mental institution.

        (Friedrich Wilhelm Foerster)

        Bob M.
        ________________________________________________

        --- In Soar_Like_An_Eagle_2@yahoogroups.com, "Bob M."
        <new_trail_blazer@...> wrote:
        >
        > We have named our subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens:
        > tool-making, bipedal primate, wise, wise. But have
        > we named ourselves wisely? Or have we merely engaged
        > in typical human self-puffery? It turns out that our
        > species is not wise, but we believe it is, and this
        > is a serious failure of reality testing.
        >
        > Since wisdom is often equated to intelligence, we
        > could ask if Homo sapiens sapiens is intelligent.
        > Humans are by far the most intelligent species on
        > earth, as measured by IQ tests--but only because we
        > designed these tests for ourselves. Intelligence
        > entails the ability to learn, remember, and recall
        > in the context of reasoning abstractly, associating
        > concepts, and performing other cognitive skills. But
        > it does not correlate with wisdom. Many intellectually
        > gifted humans are unwise, and many individuals of
        > modest intellect are wise.
        >
        > The distinction between wisdom and intelligence is
        > pivotal to assessing the wisdom of our species.
        > Intelligence predicts the success of individuals
        > without regard to the consequences of their success
        > to others. Hence, sociopaths can be intelligent. But
        > sociopaths can't be wise, because wisdom reflects the
        > ability to make adaptive decisions in a social context.
        > It requires altruism, balanced judgment, competent
        > reality testing, and a consistent view of the big
        > picture. Indeed, that's why wisdom, not intelligence,
        > applies to the survival of species. Of course, wisdom's
        > opposite--stupidity--also applies.
        >
        > (For full article search post subject/title - Is Homo
        > sapiens sapiens a Wise Species?)
        >
        > "Two things are infinite: the universe and human
        > stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
        > (Albert Einstein)
        >
        > Bob M.
        >
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