Segue into Science: Eureka and IQ

Here’s another post where I look at the semi-mad science show Eureka and bring up something that bothers me.

So, most of the characters are PhDs and among the top scientists in their fields. And I’ve noticed they say “IQ” a lot, which is actually a little jarring. Yeah, there are some people out there who take a lot of pride in their IQ, or so I assume. I mean, I’ve heard about people like that. Over the internet. After doing a Google search about them. But anyway, most people, including many intelligent people, have no idea what their IQ is.

And seriously, why aren’t they basing their intelligence on their achievements, like their papers/research or whatever? Instead they base it on a test they took once in their life, probably a long time ago–way earlier than their actual achievements, which are both more significant and more recent.

On the other hand, it makes sense to me when people reference their PhDs as proof of intelligence, as this takes a lot of time and effort to achieve, and is a much more common source of pride. According to common PhD lore, if you’re gotten your PhD, you have suffered and prevailed.

But IQ? I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone refer to their IQ in real life, ever. It’s the kind of thing that only comes up on TV. Or if you specifically search the internet for it.

And now I’m curious: how do people think of IQs, anyway? Do most people really think about it that much at all?


Silly things on TV this week:

Once Upon a Time makes it again, this time because of the stance it takes on science. This episode seems to make the “medicine good, science bad” distinction. And it does it through Dr. Frankenstein, of all people. Never mind that modern medicine is applied science. I’m in the field of biomedical research, after all. So there.

Borrowed from

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5 Responses to Segue into Science: Eureka and IQ

  1. Psycho Gecko says:

    Comes up some when you’re a kid, or it did for me. I was always supposedly one of the smart ones. It seemed much more true for where I lived, but even then it wasn’t science smart or math smart. I was better than average (which doesn’t say much) in both, but the valedictorian and salutatorian were both on another level there. I did have the advantage in history/civics (Constitutional stuff) though. But most of the time intelligence is more connected to the kind of stuff you guys do and history looked down on or misrepresented even moreso than science.

    So I just have to be a fan of science who can get a general grasp of what’s being talked about but gets lost in methodology and terms. And then feels uncomfortable when someone writes a post about how you’re not really into science unless you’re going to free courses offered on facebook to learn about genome sequencing methods.

    I like to think of myself as a cut above the people whose idea of science being great is just a pretty picture of a part of the universe and a celebration of the invention of the bong.

    • Psycho Gecko says:

      PS. Not only are IQ tests a bit biased, but no matter what you get to feel like a moron once you get to college.

      • Marie Erving says:

        I didn’t even know there were courses on facebook about genomic sequencing methods. But methodology and terms can get so specific when you get down to it that everyone gets lost in them for certain topics. The topics they’ve had less exposure to, definitely.

        And higher education does have a tendency to bring people down a notch, doesn’t it? What fun for us all.

  2. Psycho Gecko says:

    Might have just been advertised on there and I probably got the topic wrong. There was some generalization there as that was in reference to this one blog stating that a bunch of people who claim to be fans of science aren’t really and just like to “Like” cool pictures of the universe or something. I don’t do Facebook. A lot of useless gossip. Then again, given some of my friends I could reconnect with, it’s possible it would have landed me in a better position.

    I think it’s part of this whole thing where everybody wants to be the celebrity of their own story. You’ve seen my comments, so you know I can’t say I’m entirely free from that bit of egomania. I just try to have actual stories. And plenty of self deprecation.

    But yeah, saw a nice little image one day. “How I felt in high school: *picture of Albert Einstein* How I felt in college: *picture of a chimp scratching its head*”

    And I can see that about the topics, considering my usage of terms like retcon, women in refrigerators, and most terms I’ve picked up from wrestling: do the job, face and heel, goozle, kayfabe, inverted chickenwing spinning super DDT, Gorilla position.

    • Marie Erving says:

      I guess it just depends on what you use facebook for. I post almost nothing, pretty much just using it to plan stuff with friends that don’t go to the same school. As an alternative to texting/calling/IMing and so on.

      Well, I rarely pay attention anymore when someone implies that some people aren’t real fans of x. Exclusivity in fandom never made much sense to me, personally, and I haven’t encountered a convincing argument for it yet.

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