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Old September 30 2012, 11:55 PM   #31
Deks
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

T'Girl

The 'brain wiring' is something that I'm arguing to be over 95% environmental, whereas genetics play a minor part.
In a sense, all Humans (barring any genetic issues that actively inhibit learning, memory retention or could cause brain damage) would be born with an equal potential for adaptation and learning, therefore, what they actually become in life is basically a byproduct of the environment (exposure to information/stimulus).

Intelligence wouldn't be a genetic factor, but rather environmental one that hinges heavily/entirely on ones exposure to relevant education, experiences and knowledge - there is no 'pre-determined' knowledge or skill-set that one is born with (let alone 'instincts' - which are very different from motor functions and reactions to external/internal stimulus).

There might be (probably are) genetic tendencies, but having a tendency towards something is NOT a guarantee it will develop in an individual - that much depends on the environment.
For example, a genetic predisposition towards violence will not inherently result in a violent individual if they are raised in an environment that isn't abusive (actually, they will be LESS prone to violent behavior compared to others in such an environment).
Equally so, just because a person is abused as a child doesn't have to necessarily grow up into a sociopath or be a danger to society if they were exposed to (for example) the notion they could have a better life and were prompted/encouraged to take choices in life that might eventually lead them to that life.
But if a person is basically exposed to just 1 thing and nothing else, chances of them knowing any other way of life or envisioning it in the first place is next to impossible because they would have 0 frame of reference for it.

The blank slate aspect works well in this regard because, how exactly do you expect of a person to comprehend anything unless they were exposed to concepts that would allow them to create a frame of reference that would begin to even come close?
For that matter, how would you expect of a person to score high on an IQ test if they were never educated on how to add, subtract, multiply, divide, know what basic geometric shapes are, etc., or which colors have appropriate names... or what more complex geometric forms are, more complex words, equations etc...?
If a Human is not exposed to these things and actively encouraged to use them (in a way that is interesting to them), you cannot expect them to score remotely close to 'average' (let alone 'high') - and society could easily classify this person as 'slow' or 'stupid' simply because they were not exposed to the information that would allow them to understand, let alone process (or encouraged to use) this information.


That has not been established.
I would agree that it hadn't been established... directly.
There was an episode in Voyager ('The Raven' I think) in which 7 of 9 (when in a shuttle and on her way to the Borg signal) addressed Tuvok in the following manner:
'Vulcan. Species Three Two Five Nine. Your enlarged neocortex produces superior analytical abilities.'
But this wouldn't necessarily translate to Vulcans being 'smarter' (they DID nearly destroy themselves and had a pretty violent history) - and it could just as easily manifest only in an environment that actively encourages usage of analytical abilities- which might not have been the case until VERY late in Vulcan cultural development... it also depends on which species was 7 actually comparing Vulcans to, or what kind of 'standards' the Borg might have in the first place (but the Borg WOULD designate such biological traits as 'superior' - Humans or Vulcans might not - at least not the Vulcans from the 23rd/24th century, the 22nd century ones though might be a different story...).

Aside from that (which I don't think would necessarily carry any weight), I don't think we have any concrete evidence to support the claim that Vulcans are biologically smarter than Humans. As stated though, their education 'might' be, but we've also seen very little of that to make any final determinations, and lets be frank... we've seen very little if anything of the Human educational system - which wouldn't be anywhere NEAR in shape or form of what is currently being done given the cultural changes and overall approach to life humanity underwent according to Roddenberry).

Vulcans have been established to be 3x stronger though, but that's not the same thing (and it doesn't make them necessarily 'superior' - merely provides an advantage under certain conditions, just as Humans might display attributes under certain conditions that could seemingly 'surpass' those of a Vulcan - and we don't know how much of that strength differential is due to actual biology/genetics compared to gravity and overall eco-system of Vulcan as a planet and whether humans could develop similar attributed training under same conditions for certain periods of time).
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Last edited by Deks; October 1 2012 at 12:25 AM.
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Old October 1 2012, 03:31 AM   #32
R. Star
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
So is it bigoted to say that human men are generally physically stronger than women too?
There are strong women, and there are weak men. So you tell me.
Missing the point, maybe?
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Old October 1 2012, 03:38 AM   #33
teacake
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
To believe that Vulcans are, or even could be, smarter than humans is to believe that Vulcans are superior to humans. That is a most illogical and bigoted way to behave. In other words, it's Solok from "Take Me Out to the Holosuite".
What the heck are you talking about. Star Trek is full of aliens who are smarter, stronger, more telepathic than other aliens. Do you think all of the aliens are of equal intelligence?

Intelligence doesn't equal superior, it's just another factor. There are differing kinds of intelligence too, some species being more creative others being able to retain vast amounts of data.
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Old October 1 2012, 07:43 AM   #34
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
So is it bigoted to say that human men are generally physically stronger than women too?
There are strong women, and there are weak men. So you tell me.
The overwhelming majority of men are stronger than the overwhelming majority of women.
You are grasping at straws, appealing to exceptions, NOT the rule.

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
If vulcans are smarter than humans
That has not been established.

then saying or believing exactly this is neither illogical, not bigoted. Why? Because it's the TRUTH.
Something tells me that line of reasoning has been used before...
Something tells me that's a straw-man.

The Vulcan educational system may indeed be superior to ours. Given what little we've seen of it (Spock's training in ST XI, for example), I'll concede that. But I won't concede that all Vulcans are smarter than humans. There is wide variation in individuals of every species.
I'm curious - what if it's established that vulcans ARE smarter than humans - no ambiguity remaining?

Will you still hide behind grasping at straws and hair-splitting in order to avoid acknowledging this fact, merely because it doesn't sit well with your PC assumptions?

PS - The educational system is a distant secondary factor in determining intelligence/IQ.
By far, the most important factor is the genetics - and yes, I know you don't like this, but it is so.
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Old October 1 2012, 08:01 AM   #35
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

Deks wrote: View Post
The 'brain wiring' is something that I'm arguing to be over 95% environmental, whereas genetics play a minor part.
One of the most easily seen examples of "brain wiring" would be being either right or left handed, an attribute that has nothing to do with environment.

Because of brain architecture, man are better with spatial recognition and awareness. The primary visual, and visuo-spatial association areas of the parietal lobes are proportionally larger in males.

Women's brains are more densely packed with neurons than men's. Women's brains have larger Wernicke's and Broca's areas, areas that are responsible for language processing. The auditory regions are proportionally larger in females versus in males

The hippocampus is larger in women than men, the hippocampus is responsible for memory storage and spatial mapping of the physical environment.

Men have six times more grey matter, women have ten times more white matter. One species, two radically differntly "hardwired" brains.

Intelligence wouldn't be a genetic factor, but rather environmental one that hinges heavily/entirely on ones exposure to relevant education, experiences and knowledge
Your intelligence is what you're born with, it's wired in. Now your right on one aspect, education and environment can increase or decrease you ability to utilize and manifest your intelligence. But nothing will increase or decrease your actual intelligence, other than perhaps a brain injury of some kind.

you cannot expect them to score remotely close to 'average'
If you were to receive no education at all, your intelligence would be the same. You wouldn't be able to measure it with say a IQ test, but it would be there.

The blank slate aspect works well in this regard because, how exactly do you expect of a person to comprehend anything unless they were exposed to concepts that would allow them to create a frame of reference that would begin to even come close?
That's not intelligence, that's knowledge and experience.

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Old October 1 2012, 11:10 AM   #36
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

It's really odd that anybody would question the possibility of biologically differing levels of intelligence, when it is part of our very society that we acknowledge the lower intelligence of those unfortunate who are born damaged somehow, as well as that of our animal companions and slaves. Is the idea that somebody would be demonstrably and statistically significantly above our level really so much more objectionable than the opposite idea that we so eagerly embrace - that our inferiors exist?

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Old October 1 2012, 11:56 AM   #37
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

Our.. slaves?
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Old October 1 2012, 12:10 PM   #38
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

teacock wrote: View Post
Our.. slaves?
Of all the things you could have picked out from that.
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Old October 1 2012, 12:54 PM   #39
Timo
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

..Isn't it a great sign of cultural advance that we now only enslave our biological inferiors when the inferiority is demonstrable, not when it's merely assumed?

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Old October 1 2012, 01:01 PM   #40
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

You should write copy for PETA! Though you might have to leave out the cultural advance part.
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Old October 1 2012, 01:06 PM   #41
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

Personally I think it's a sign of cultural advancement if we're able to enslave our biological superiors. Viva la mirror universe!
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Old October 1 2012, 01:21 PM   #42
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

^
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Old October 1 2012, 05:30 PM   #43
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

Looks like Timo here really loves S.M. Stirling. Specifically, the Draka...
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Old October 2 2012, 01:45 AM   #44
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Re: Are vulcans biologically smarter than humans?

I'm truly hoping he's talking about draft animals.

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