Recently, a reader wrote to tell me that he had lost all faith in my intelligence because I made a derogatory remark about Charles Darwin in one of my recent editorials. The reader seemed to suggest that IQ could be measured with a single question. Apparently, his question was ?do you believe in evolution??
Of course, that is not a good question to use on a single-item IQ exam. Intelligent people know that, since it was created, evolution has evolved into two theories. Micro-evolution tries to use Darwinian principles to explain variations within species over time. Macro-evolution tries to use Darwinian principles to suggest that all species have evolved from primordial soup.
The latter theory is less than unproven. In fact, it isn?t even scientific. I believe that it is nothing more than the new religion of pseudo scientists who think that they are atheists. It is easy to fall prey to the mistaken belief that you are an atheist in the protected environment of academia. Trust me, I?ve been there.
Despite my disagreements with my reader/would-be IQ examiner, I do believe that he is on to something. Maybe we can measure IQ with a single question. You have to admit that the idea is appealing. If you get cornered at a cocktail party by someone who keeps making moderately stupid remarks, a single-question IQ test could be easily memorized and administered anywhere. And, of course, once a person has failed the exam, you can stop wasting your time in pointless conversation with someone you merely suspect to be stupid. Now, you?ll know for sure.
So I decided this morning that I was going to develop my own single-item IQ exam. But, after only a few minutes, I started having trouble deciding which question to use on my exam. There are so many good candidates for inclusion. For example:
1. Do you think that O.J. Simpson?s was framed?
2. Do you think that professional wrestling is real?
3. Do you think that the first moon landing was fake?
4. Do you think that Osama bin Laden wants George W. Bush to be re-elected because he?s afraid of John Kerry?
5. Do you think that Al Gore invented the internet?
6. Would you let your pre-teenage boy spend the night with Michael Jackson?
7. Have you ever made a contribution to PETA?
8. Do you think that Richard Simmons is straight?
9. Do you think that women should adopt a special diet to avoid prostate cancer?
10. Have you ever made a contribution to Benny Hinn?
11. Do bisexuals have male and female sex organs?
12. Is ?innuendo? an Italian term for suppository?
13. Are you more concerned about saving a convicted murderer than an unborn child?