Levels of Intelligence in Science Fiction and Fantasy

When George Lucas and Gene Roddenberry created their universes, they did at least one thing in common that was close-minded – they gave them an entire galaxy populated by races of basically the same level of intelligence.  Marvel, DC, Herbert, and Asimov were not so short-sighted.  Their worlds were filled with beings who had mental abilities far beyond us.  Curiously, none of them, no writers in the field, have ever tried to quantify that intelligence.  Since I am a curious man, I thought I might give it a go.

Interestingly, no species that does not grasp the fourth dimension has been found to be more intelligent than the least intelligent four-dimensional species.  That suggests something.  If the main difference between sentience and non-sentience is the perception of an additional dimension or even awareness, what if the addition of other perceptions were what allowed for progressively greater intelligence?  If that suggestion is valid, then it is left only to determine the boundaries of intelligence within one perception, and to determine by what factor an additional perception might improve intelligence.

The first difficulty is easy to ascertain.  Intelligence beyond the seventh standard deviation, or 205, is almost unheard of.  Our upper limit is therefore 205, and our average is 100.The second is more complex.  If we take life on our own planet as a sounding board, the only other animal on the planet that comprehends four dimensions is the dolphin.  Their average I.Q. is roughly 83.  If, as seems likely, they are intellectually at the low end of the four-dimensional range, we have a beginning.  Primates, with the intelligence of a nine year-old, stand with a 56 at the top of the rest of the animal kingdom.  That means the high 3 dimensional and low 4 dimensional beings differ by a factor 1.482142. If, for the sake of modesty, we assume we are roughly average, the margin between high 3 dimensional and mid 4 dimensional being is 1.785714.  Between high 3 dimensional and high 4 dimensional, and roughly for average intelligence between the two perceptions, would then be 2.151463.

Unfortunately, that straight reasoning gives us over 215 for any being able to access another perception.  As it makes no sense from an evolutionary standpoint that a species would have a maximum I.Q. of 205 in one generation and an average of 215 in the next, such cannot be a solution.  A little rounding and experimentation gives 83 as a minimum average for a four-dimensional being and 69 for a maximum three-dimensional being, providing a margin of 1.202898, 1.449275 between high 3-dimensional and mid 4-dimensional, 1.746115 between high 3-dimensional and high 4-dimensional beings; it also assumes the same margin between average range beings aware of those perceptions.  For convenience, this gives 100 for an average four-dimensional being and 174 for an average five-dimensional being.  Unfortunately, it would also mean the average intelligence of a 3-dimensional being was 56, which we know is not the case by just looking at the other animals on our planet.  Which leads right back to our original conclusion; that the average intelligence increases by a factor of roughly 2.15 when a species become aware of more perceptions.  Thankfully, that does explain why the intelligence of a 3 dimensional species has never been found to overlap the intelligence of a 4 dimensional one.  The only downside is that it only decreases the average intelligence of a being capable of perceiving 3 dimensions to 46.  However, it’s a better fit, and of course our species might have above average intelligence for one that perceives the four dimensions we can see.

Which makes the next step that of determining all the additional perceptions that a culture might develop.  I have listed those I could come up with below, along with the Sci Fi or fantasy media from which I obtained the idea.  I invite anyone who has another idea to post it.

  • Astral Plane (Marvel)
  • Body Chemistry (Dune Witches)
  • Fluid Time-Space (Star Trek)
  • Force (Star Wars)
  • Immortality (Highlander)
  • Matter shifting (Star Trek/DC)
  • Mental Powers (ESP/DC/Marvel/Star Wars)
  • Metamorphosis (Star Wars/Marvel/DC)
  • Parallel Time-Space (Stargate/Star Trek/DC/Marvel)
  • Parapsychology (ESP/Star Wars)
  • Precognition (Dune)
  • Thought (DC)
  • Wormholes (Stargate/Farscape)

Intelligence based on dimensional perception

  • 3 Dimensions: 47, 54, 61, 68, 75, 82, 89, 96
  • 4 Dimensions:100, 115, 130, 145, 160, 175, 190, 205
  • 5 Perceptions: 215, 247, 280, 312, 344, 376, 409, 441
  • 6 Perceptions: 462, 531, 601, 670, 739, 809, 878, 947
  • 7 Perceptions: 994, 1143, 1292, 1441, 1590, 1740, 1889, 2038
  • 8 Perceptions: 2137/2458/2778/3099/3419/3740/4060/4381
  • 9 Perceptions: 4594/5283/5972/6661/7350/8040/8729/9418
  • 10 Perceptions: 9877/11,359/12,840/14,322/15,803/17,285/18,766/20,248
  • 11 Perceptions: 21,236/24,421/27607/30,792/33,978/37,163/40,348/43,534
  • 12 Perceptions: 45,657/52,506/59,354/66,203/73,051/79,900/86,748/93,597
  • 13 Perceptions: 98,163/112,887/127,612/142,336/157,061/171,785/186,509/201,234
  • 14 Perceptions: 211,051/242,709/274,367/306,026/337,685/369,343/401,002/432,661

Standard Deviation: 10/12/15/20/25/32/40/50% of base 100


About Cian Beirdd

I live with my kitty, and encourage his tuna and catnip addictions. I have a website as well; https://cianbeirdd.wordpress.com/cian-beirdd/
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