Let’s have some fun with a thought exercise: if beings from space – smart enough to sustain space travel technology – discovered our small blue planet and observed us for a while, would they consider us “intelligent beings”?

Today, we’re going to bring you a few wonderful interactive riddles to try out and with some fun, we’ll have a “nice” insight by the end of today’s EWC article!

First, how do we define intelligence?

How would you define intelligence? No really…when you think about your smartest friends or relatives, what qualifies them in your mind as highly intelligent? Keep it really concise.

Some would say that really intelligent beings acquire and use knowledge better than most.

I think we might all be able to agree upon that if we had to keep it simple, but that doesn’t really seem like something aliens could assess quickly and easily, does it?

Image: SETI radio telescopes lined up in sunset in search of intelligent beings

Source: Future Space

They might look for evidence that is easily recognized and part of their recipe for success. I suspect they would have had to perfect things like cooperation, openness, and empathy if they managed to avoid destroying themselves while developing that level of technology.

Some would add that really intelligent beings plan ahead well and are good at solving problems with a high level of emotional maturity.

So how are we doing on those five qualifiers: Cooperation, Openness, Empathy, Advanced Planning and Emotionally Mature Problem-Solving?

What if the aliens are so far beyond us on all those that they barely recognize us from the insects?

First, let’s see how aliens might test us at cooperation, as brought to us by a phenomenal channel, TED-Ed…

Via: TED-Ed 1

Now, how about advanced planning?

Via: TED-Ed 2

What about our openness?

Via: TED-Ed 3

Our frequent readers know how much we love TED. With watching the above three videos of theirs, how can you not? TED.com is one of the most interesting corners of the web. EWC features the best of their talks a couple of times each month. If I do say so myself, EWC and TED are the only places I have found where smart people, curious and hopeful, can always come away transformed. Check out our list of favorites from TED here!

Back to the point though, these videos all present some interesting food for thought! How did you do?

I have some work to do.

But let’s finish on a note that we all might find refreshing in this age of the relentlessly negative news cycle.

Our next video from another great channel that’s worth checking out, AsapSCIENCE. It will demonstrate with solid math that nice guys do finish first, and if we apply the following logic to history, we’ll see no matter the magnitude of malice, good does eventually win out. Take a look…

Good news, huh?

Next time you turn on the news, remember that video and rest assured that over the scope of eternity, the words and deeds that lift us all up will eventually win over those that bring us down.

Stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

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Notes:

  1. “Can You Solve the Prisoner Hat Riddle? – Alex Gendler.” YouTube. TED-Ed, 05 Oct. 2015. Web. 16 July 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5vJSNXPEwA>.
  2. “Can You Solve the Temple Riddle? – Dennis E. Shasha.” YouTube. TED-Ed, 01 Feb. 2016. Web. 16 July 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSbvlktToSY>.
  3. “Should You Trust Unanimous Decisions? – Derek Abbott.” YouTube. TED-Ed, 18 Apr. 2016. Web. 16 July 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heCSbA8w57A>.
  4. “Nice Guys Finish First.” YouTube. AsapSCIENCE, 08 Jan. 2015. Web. 16 July 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr6lsTgZKAQ>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.