Science Determines Scientists Are Smarter Than You
The August issue of Scientific American tries to figure out why some people are better at things than other people. This, they contend, will help us teach better.
I don't know why they bothered. I can answer that question in four words: I am smarter than you.* Now, that isn't a value judgment, it's just the way it is. We all went to school ( well, most of us, unless you live in a third world country, like Canada ) and we all applied ourselves in ways that we wanted to apply ourselves. Some people concentrated on getting an education, some focused on nailing chicks. Then there's scientists, who were lucky enough to be skilled in both.
What this study claims they want to accomplish is to improve teaching but what they really want is to try and make equal opportunity mean equal outcomes. Science knows this is not practical because we're all unique - just like everyone else.
No one can quantify why someone who claims to be a connoisseur in wine is barely more skilled than the average monkey at actually knowing one wine from another or why some truly stupid people are gazillionaires in business so they focus on what they can study; chess. We all know lots of dumb people who are great at chess so clearly expertise in that game can be taught. I am terrible at chess, mostly because it lacks originality these days - there is one, and I mean ONE - opening you can win with today. Unless you're a grandmaster up against that wine-sipping monkey you aren't going to win with Giuoco Piano in 2006, and that's just a shame. I played chess once in 2005 and that was only because it was against this opponent:
For chess, that's a supermodel. It's okay, there aren't many supermodels in science either.** But if studies like this teach us how to teach people better, it means we can teach more people to be better teachers - and that means more teachers who look like this:
That science-teacher she-cat Isis always made my little Captain Marvel go Shazam on brisk Saturday mornings. No wonder I grew up so smart.
**However, should you know a science supermodel, send along a pic and contact info and we will do a special 'Supermodels Of Science' posting. You'll get a free t-shirt and she'll get an orange smoothie.