What makes someone intelligent?

Ann Carriage
3 min readDec 8, 2020

It is a thought provoking question, what constitutes intelligence or defines a lack of it.

A list of pointers might throw some light on the subject either confirming what you already know to be true or reveal a lot you have never considered.

Conceptualize, conceptualize

It is a known fact the ability to conceptualize is the main marker and attribute of people with higher I.Q’s; it is all about abstract thinking.

They love to play with ideas from all angles because they strictly outside the box thinkers who mentally grapple with everything under the sun, something that definitely sets them apart from the norm.

Not only are those with high I.Q,’s analytical creatures they creative as well so a good imagination is a prerequisite.

High IQ Equals High EQ

Intelligence and emotional stability go hand in hand with self-control the number one trait of clever people.

By comparison, low frustration levels combined with low impulse control correlates with lower I.Q’s, although the brainy are susceptible to a different kind of frustration stemming from the need for perfectionism in addition its part of the wharf and woof of creativity.

Religion and intelligence do go

Okay, so non-believers believe they clever by virtue of the fact they atheists at their own say so, but c’mon this group is hardly MENSA so what is the deal?

Well here is a take people may want to chew on.

Many atheists are unable to distinguish literal from figurative language, understand ancient English or read scriptures in context, Shakespeare is not for everyone for the same reason.

In fact they guilty of the same things they accuse some religious people of.

Many who insist they reject religious beliefs out of their own sense of intellectualism are not intellectual but anything but.

To the modern mind, aspects of theological doctrine are absurd because they lack an intellectual framework, they have never read Renee Girard’s work on the theory of scapegoating that not only fits with Christian theology but helps explain it, and this is just one example.

Please Note; political misrepresentations of his theories in support of modern identity politics is not theology.

The point is you cannot reject something based on intellectualism if you never used the tool in the first place, not forgetting bias is often an obstacle to objectivity.

Of course they have their reasons just not the ones they claim.

Like science is just another meaningless word when you don’t understand it’s workings.

Ultimately, understanding religion involves more than mental ascent but it’s a good starter.

This is why not all people get, or will ever get religion, and that’s just the way it is.

They don’t follow the herd

Intelligent people are highly individualistic; they reject the herd mentality and tend to fly solo.

They reject political ideologies out-of-hand even though they do weigh in on the topic, like everything else, from different vantage points.

Populists they are not.

They verbose

Although folk may dislike reading verbose essays and commentary verbosity is a mark of intelligence.

The reason is wordy communication is indicative of complexity and many lack the skills to pull off complex.

Intelligent people have better verbal as well as written communication skills also a better grasp of the English language to draw on compared to the average person.

They don’t defer to experts

Yes, this view is counter cultural because it swims against the tide of contemporary wisdom, one that defers to institutionalized populism, but clever people can think for themselves and are capable of conducting research to arrive at their own conclusions.

Can be summed up as they don’t need experts to tell them how and what to think, basically listen to the experts is just an appeal to authority argument by another name.

Trust and leave it to the experts is the motto of our times, another take is; mind your own business and let the experts mind theirs as well as your own.

This is reductionist thinking at its finest with knowledge confined to little boxes stripped of the proper context to evaluate it.

So, if the expert or experts in question happen to be jackasses and con artists, maybe both, how would you ever know?

Well, you would not, which is kind of the point.



Ann Carriage

Political animal, interested in the story behind the story. A concepts driven individual.