Intelligence is not only the ability to reason; it is also the ability to find relevant material in memory and to deploy attention when needed.
“When younger,” said he, “I believed myself destined for some great enterprise. My feelings are profound; but I possessed a coolness of judgment that fitted me for illustrious achievements. This sentiment of the worth of my nature supported me when others would have been oppressed; for I deemed it criminal to throw away in useless grief those talents that might be useful to my fellow-creatures.”
“We have learned something about what a material mind is capable of,” said Belhor. “It is capable of great goodness, and also great evil. And more extreme in either case than I would have thought. But that is what happens with intelligence.”
“Is it a consequence of intelligence, or materiality?” I said. “Because we have even greater intelligence.”
Belhor smiled and said nothing.
As far as camels were concerned, the way to mighty intellectual development was to have nothing much to do and nothing to do it with.
He reached the crest of the dune, gazed with approval over the rolling sands ahead of him, and began to think in logarithms.
Brehm, when accompanying the Duke of Coburg-Gotha, aided in an attack with firearms on a troop of baboons, in the pass of Mensa in Abyssinia. The baboons in return rolled so many stones down the mountain, some as large as a man’s head, that the attackers had to beat a hasty retreat, and the pass was actually closed for a time against the caravan.
I believe our future depends powerfully upon how well we understand this cosmos, in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky.
It was a concept of such stunning simplicity, but it gave rise, naturally, to all of the infinite and baffling complexity of life. The awe it inspired in me made the awe that people talk about in respect of religious experience seem, frankly, silly beside it. I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.