Wisdom, Genius, Knowledge and Intelligence

I am always struck by the variations in human capacities. We humans are strikingly unequally endowed in physical and mental capabilities. Non-human animals of a particular species are generally very similar. For instance, individual members of the species common pigeon  are quite indistinguishable; if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. The pigeons from Germany are not that different from the ones in India. Can you tell which one is a German pigeon and which one Indian?

But we humans are different. The range of human physiology is vast even though all humans belong to the same homo sapiens species. People from different regions of the world look different and we easily distinguish between Germans and Indians. Not just across regions, individuals vary within regions too. That is not an earth shattering fact but it is worth noting.

I believe that the range of mental variations is much wider than physical variations among humans. We are seriously unequally endowed when it comes to brains. Most of us are sort of average but among us there are outliers who are a few sigmas above the mean. The outliers also are varied. There are geniuses in chess, and in music, and mathematics, and physics, … the list goes on indefinitely. Continue reading