How Smart Is Too Smart?

More

Eddysun

In his article today, Carl Zimmer quotes a fly intelligence researcher:

“If you’re using your intelligence to outsmart your group, then there’s an arms race,” Dr. Kawecki said. “So there’s no absolute optimal level. You just have to be smarter than the others.”

At his blog, Zimmer adds:

Scientists and the rest of us are obsessed with intelligence--not just the intelligence of our own species, but any glimmer of intelligence in other animals. I've written plenty of stories myself on this research, from the social brilliance of hyenas to the foresight of birds. But if these faculties are so great, then why aren't more animals smart? The answer, experiments suggest, is that learning and memory have nasty side-effects. They can even shorten your life (at least if you're a fly).

Beagles have it all figured out: get someone to look after you, eat, chase a few squirrels, and nap.

Jump to comments

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

'Why Do Men Assume They're So Great?'

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of this month's Atlantic cover story, sit down with Hanna Rosin to discuss the power of confidence and how self doubt holds women back. 


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down