My definition of intelligence: the skill to make good choices.
I read the occasional blog that claims we have no freewill, and the funny thing is these blogs come from both the scientific and religious sides. To have no freewill is to have no choice; but this makes no sense for if I punched a policeman on the nose, and claimed I had no freewill, thus it is not my fault, this argument won’t get far in a court of law. Without choice, there would be no internet, no civilisation, no blog. If there was no freewill to make choice, we would be dumb creatures quickly destroyed by the haphazard strife of the universe.
Choice is a skill that benefits survival in a species; intelligence in my opinion is the skill to make better choices, it gives us more options. Authority (politician, priest and corporate) works hard to take choice away from the individual; to make the individual do what the authority wants them to do. Those who give away choice to an external authority, to do their thinking for them, become stupid; the Darwin Awards was invented to reward the worst of the stupid.
An acorn has the potential to be an oak tree. An acorn has inherent intelligence to make a series of choices based upon knowledge that it has at its disposal from within its DNA and from its environment. Contrary to what some may think, I consider acorns to be intelligent, and expressing choice. The acorn has to navigate against obstacles in order to become an oak tree; it has to fight for limited resources against rivals; it has to mediate the strife with other objects in its environment, who also follow their own design. Though acorns are dealt a hand of cards based on where they start life, they will play that hand with intelligence, to make choices that use their limited resources to best advantage on their journey to become an oak tree. Any organic life form that makes bad choices undermines its ability to survive and reproduce.
The human body
The human body without us thinking about it is making constant intelligent choices, maintaining all our life processes, without which we would be unable to survive. When we run, our body makes a series of choices to make sure nothing in our body fails, thus meeting our needs. It amazes me that a human being takes actions that directly conflicts with the intelligent activity of the body: smoking, alcohol, drugs, obesity, stress.
I shall be controversial to suggest, contrary to established ideas of genetics, that genes are intelligent. The genes are making intelligent choices to change their patterns in concordance with the environment. Science appears to suggest that DNA indulges in random dice throwing, which I consider ridiculous, for randomness is highly inefficient in an environment of finite resources, and nature is too finely balanced between species to be random. In a constant environment the intelligent choices may be too small to see, but if a vast change in the environment happens, there is that strong possibility that species will en-mass suddenly change with it. Intelligent choice in genes may account for the observation of so-called mass extinctions, and major missing gaps in the fossil record.
We have choice
We have the gift of choice; the moment we give choice away to others, we become enslaved, stupid, and irresponsible. To become empowered, to take back control in our lives, we must regain choice. In the Garden of Eden a choice was offered, to bite the apple; we could remain amongst the beasts of the field, or take a leap forward in human development by biting the apple. There is an illusion being pandered by authority that we have no choice, but then there comes along opportunities in life to make the choice: red or blue pill?