Tuesday, September 14, 2021

"Was anyone 1,000 years ago as smart as someone with average intelligence today?"

Was anyone 1,000 years ago as smart as someone with average intelligence today?

Answer requested by
Hans-Georg Lundahl - since I have two profiles and saw the question from my other one.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
none/ apprx Masters Latin & Greek, Lund University
Answered just now
There are very obvious reasons to answer yes.

Pope Sylvester II - Wikipedia (technically outside the scope, since he died 1018 years ago)
Gerhard of the Moselle, Count of Metz - Wikipedia
Mhic Mac Comhaltan Ua Cleirigh - Wikipedia
Hugh Magnus - Wikipedia
Eustathius of Constantinople - Wikipedia
Burchard of Worms - Wikipedia

I think anyone of above would have done things needing more than our average intelligence.

Then 1021 events:

  • November – Emperor Henry II conducts his fourth Italian military campaign. He crosses the Brenner Pass with a 60,000-strong army, and reaches Verona, where he receives Lombard levies. Henry proceeds to Mantua and then into Ravenna, to spend Christmas there.
  • The Taifa of Valencia, a Moorish kingdom in Al-Andalus (modern Spain), becomes independent from the Caliphate of Córdoba (approximate date).

You need more than our average intelligence to lead an army. And you need more than our average intelligence to make a region independent.

Then there is the reason why someone either posted the question, or, if he wanted answers like I gave, why someone provoked him to pose the question - by answering it in the negative.

No, our generation is not the most talented in history. Get over it.

A somewhat less idiotic version would be “great minds back then, people who could have been Nobel prize nominees if they had lived now, even so knew less than an average high school student right now”. The point is of course, all changes in collective knowledge assessment are supposed to be gains in knowledge, nothing is simply forgotten, and at least no very important thing is forgotten, and every thing that is added is a genuine discovery, the mistake was all on the side of those who lived before. I don’t believe that. It doesn’t seem to make sense considering how many fewer are taking Latin and Greek, how neglected Metaphysics is, and the fact that people were then were equally talented. It also doesn’t make sense if we consider that many of things which we now (in my view in many cases rightly so) realise were mistakes weren’t always believed but once upon a time came to be believed as “discoveries.”

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