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 provides us with a range of 1.482142 less than dolphins. Assuming that margin holds, there would be a difference of 1.492142^2=3.255887 between an average three- and four-dimensional being. Thus, 56 and 123.Unfortunately, that straight reasoning gives us over 270 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 270 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, for a margin of 1.202898. For convenience, this gives 100 for an average four-dimensional being and 174 for an average five-dimensional being.Oddly enough, I.Q.s over 160 have traditionally been associated with people who have difficulty dealing with the world. Clearly part of their problem is that there are too few of them to interact with each other on a daily basis (506 out of one million humans are at 160 or above.) It’s also possible that they are too intelligent to deal with the universe as they are able to perceive it.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 (X-Men)Body Chemistry (Dune Witches)Fluid Time-Space (Star Trek)
Force (Star Wars)Immortality (Highlander)Matter shifting (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)