Artwork: “Past Present Future” by Spudragon ©
“Small minds think alike.” – Tagline for the Algolian B-movie ‘Invaders from Earth.’
On this little planet, one can observe an intelligent animal named a bottlenose dolphin. It has developed a rather intelligent feeding method. In shallow waters, it swims in a circle whilst beating its tail on the sea bed – stirring up a cloud of mud and silt which corrals a shoal of unsuspecting fish. Encircled by the muddy net, the fish are trapped. As the shoal become tighter and tighter in the ever closing murky cloud, they panic. There is only one way out… by jumping – straight into the open mouths of a waiting pod of hungry dolphins.
Of course, Sunil knew this. He also knew that the dolphin is a mammal and not a fish, as Tiffany had thought.
Sunil can recall pi to 16 digits, can name most of the capital cities of the world and can list all of the elements in the periodic table. However, this afternoon he seemed to have trouble opening the packaging of his tuna mayonnaise sandwiches.
In the office today, the topic of conversation had turned to whether there is intelligent life in the universe… an unusually cerebral subject for these apes. I was intrigued.
The conversation was initiated by Tracey who had read an article in a daily newspaper which described the latest discovery of another exoplanet.
“I can remember reading on the internet something about the Apollo astronauts seeing aliens from out of the window of their spaceship.” She began. “My auntie, Shelia, says that she was abducted when she was a little girl by some grey aliens with spooky big black eyes.” She added.
She continued to elaborate on her idea, stating that as so many people claim to be abducted, then statistically, they can’t all be nuts… so it has to be true – there is intelligent life in the universe.
Sunil found some compelling evidence on the internet. As his finger scrolled along the surface of his smartphone, he relayed some facts to the others. ‘There are approximately 100 thousand million stars in the Milky Way.’ ‘There have been more than 3,000 exoplanets discovered in our galaxy alone.’ And ‘Tardigrades can survive in outer space.’
He further went on to add that he’d calculated the chances of intelligent extra-terrestrial life in the galaxy as being over one billion by using the Drake Equation. He had an app for it. “It’s science.” He boasted.
“Oh, you can’t trust the Scientists.” Tiffany declared, “They don’t actually ‘know’ anything, they just have ‘theories’.”
She explained, “Why should my opinion matter any less than theirs?” As far as Tiffany was concerned, she didn’t believe in aliens, zombies or dinosaurs and no one could convince her otherwise. That’s her opinion and it should be respected. Besides, if there were so many aliens around – where were they?
It was interesting to witness the breadth of ideas that these three Earth apes brought to the table and so I asked them each to define intelligence.
Tracey alluded to the fact that her brain was like a computer and all of the information that she read is stored inside. The more information – the more intelligent. That… and eating oily fish.
Sunil used a search engine and pointed to a definition. ‘Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.’
Tiffany said that it was to know when to stop thinking.
Before leaving the office, Sunil began to panic. The battery on his smartphone was down to 2% and he didn’t have his charger with him. What’s more, he relied on the inbuilt sat-nav to guide him back to Hinckley.
Tracey had read somewhere that putting the battery in the fridge will make it last longer whereas in Tiffany’s opinion, he could still use the sat-nav without his phone actually being on.
After several minutes of examining the battery life after intermittent spells in the fridge, it was agreed by all that Sunil would spend the night in Tracey’s box room (she has an inflatable bed he could use) whilst Tiffany would bring her spare phone charger in tomorrow morning – “It was always good to have two,” she explained whilst tapping her finger to the side of her skull. “Just in case of an emergency.”
In an act of social solidarity, we all agreed to join Sunil at Tracey’s for dinner. We ordered Chinese take-away food, played a game of Trivial Pursuit and then watched a documentary about the bottlenose dolphin – a remarkably intelligent animal.
In the galaxy there is a simple test to evaluate the intelligence of sentient beings – The Quasanberg Test.
Developed by Dr Zigfreed Quasanberg of Delta Trianguli, the test has become an absolute standard for anyone wanting a job in the galactic service industry.
I have added the test as an addendum to this blog. Why not give it a try?
Until next time, keep evolving!
The Quasanberg Test
(Answers and scores below)
- Sargasian snub-nosed sauropods are pink. What colour are Sargasian snub-nosed sauropods?
- Only 4% of this statement is true. True or false?
- Computer A states that Computer B is humanoid. Computer B states that Computer A is humanoid. Which computer is humanoid?
- If there are five different planets, each a different colour, and the blue planet is before the red, but two spaces in either direction from the green, who owns the fish?
- Place the following numbers into the correct order; 5,3,13,2,8 and 1.
- How many Earthlings does it take to change a lightbulb?
- Computer A
- The one to the left of the yellow planet
- 5,3,13,2,8 and 1.
0 Congratulations. You scored an above average intelligence quotient for a biological lifeform.
1 – 2 Oh dear. You have the same level of intelligence as an Omicronian television recorder.
3 – 4 Interesting. Have you ever considered applying for employment as a photocopier?
5 – 6 A typical score for a single-celled organism. Please refrain from reproduction.