Intelligence is a measurement of a person’s ability to find short term and quick solution to a problem. Wisdom is a measurement of a person’s ability to provide long term and encompassing solution to a problem. An intelligent person tries to change surrounding to suit one’s comfort. A wise person attempts to change oneself to fit into the surrounding. An intelligent person is able to perceive and discern patterns and meaningful information out of seemingly chaotic and random happenings. A wise person understands why things happen in the past, comprehends what is happening in the present, and knows how to prepare to life a harmonious life in the future. Without intelligence, we will not able to survive the challenges put up by Nature. Without wisdom, we will not survive out selfish, aggressive, and violent urges.
Intelligence on Earth
There are many intelligent living things on Earth. However, the human being is the only species with the physical capabilities to materialize the significance of intelligence. The human being has unraveled Nature’s invisible physical laws that govern how it works in its seemingly mysterious and unpredictable ways. For example,
The changing weather is caused by the ocean and atmospheric temperatures, and how the sunlight strikes at an orbiting (around the Sun) and rotating Earth (on its axis).
There are literally billions of living species (human, fish, bird, ant, butterfly, elephant, etc.) with their unique characteristics, sizes, and shapes, and they are all related (by DNA) and can all be explained by the evolutionary process.
All the materials that already existed (water, diamond, rock, wood, silk, etc.) and are created by us (glass, concrete, steel, plastic, ceramic, etc.) are all made up of one or a combination of 94 chemical elements which are in turn made up from a finite set of fundamental particles(Quarks, Leptons, Higgs boson, etc.)..
After 7000 years of cumulative intelligent efforts, the human beings have understood how and when life started and where life is going on Earth. They are in the position to take over and modify the very process that is responsible for the human beings’ emergence and existence.
Wisdom on Earth
Intelligence has been responsible for the modernization of the human’s society. But, it has also left a path of destruction behind. Without the human’s wisdom acting as a check and balance, intelligence will also, one day, runs human’s society into the ground. The modernization has resulted in an explosion in human population that has caused:
The extinction of many living species due to the insatiable appetite for natural resources from the land and sea. The demands for food and space leave no room for the existence of anything that the humans find no immediate usefulness. But, the wisdom in human recognizes that life is more than survival of the fittest and material comfort. Earth will be a better place and not a lonely playground with as many as many living things around as possible.
The environment is piling up with more and more human wastes that pollute the air with unhealthy gases and contaminate the water with toxic substances. Human wisdom sees the urgency of waste management and recycle, usage of renewable and clean energy. The human’s long term survival depends on environmental protection, conservation and regeneration of the Earth’s resources.
The increasing tension and conflict among nations over territory and resource result in two world wars that caused the lives of several hundred million people. The human wisdom senses that if nothing is done, the next world war will cause the annihilation of everything on Earth. Analyzing the world conditions and the events that lead to the past wars, the problems can be generalized to be politics and economics. Since then, world banks and poverty relief organizations had been setup to help out those nations in trouble. United Nations had been established to resolve territorial issues among nations and to prevent stronger and more powerful nation from using force against the weaker ones.
Harmony on Earth
Intelligence usually unleashes its full power when the person is young, as the person is full of energy and thinks that nothing is impossible. Wisdom is normally found in the older person as experience and knowledge rein in the daredevil and make the person to pause to consider the long term consequence of one’s action. Being at the last stage of the evolutionary process, Nature empowered the humans with the intelligence not only to survive all its furies but also to understand all its wonders. As a result, the only enemies on Earth that can threaten the humans’ existence are the humans themselves. To prevent that from happening, Nature embedded the humans with the wisdom to see beyond the physical world, the obvious, and life and death. Wisdom allows us to seek values in the abstract and the intangible – love, friendship, honesty, happiness, etc. To live in material comfort just to survive is no longer enough. We are looking for deeper meanings and higher purposes in a life that is also fragile, full of sufferings, inequalities, and evil doers. Intelligence enables our population to cover every corner of the land mass on Earth by overcoming elements of the worst kind, the diseases of the deadly kind, and food and energy supplies of the vital kind. Wisdom ensures that we live peacefully together and harmoniously with the environment.