Human Intelligence

August 20, 1969

Report Outline
Measurement of Man's Mental Ability
Growth of Knowledge About the Mind
Prospect of Broadening Mental Horizons

Measurement of Man's Mental Ability

Leading thinkers of the western world suggest that human intelligence is fated to save or destroy mankind, perhaps within a matter of decades. Britain's C. P. Snow is pessimistic about the prospects of turning the mind of man away from its bent for making the earth uninhabitable through pollution, overpopulation or the use of nuclear weapons. On this side of the Atlantic, Buckminster Fuller argues that man's chances of survival and well-being are not dimmed but brightened by new achievements of the human intellect.

The manned moon landing and the deciphering of the D.N.A. genetic code are monuments to optimists among scientist-intellectuals. They contend that for the first time in history man has the ability to play a conscious, active role in his own evolution and that by tapping cosmic resources he may nullify the Malthus theory of the inevitability of famine.

What determines human intelligence? Is it fixed and immutable at a child's birth, or does it change with time and circumstance? And if it does change, what circumstances can best foster its growth and development?

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