The Quote Garden
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 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Intelligence

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

With copious evidence ranging from Plato's haughtiness to Beethoven's tirades, we may conclude that the most brilliant people of history tend to be a prickly lot. ~Stephen Jay Gould, "Darwinian Fundamentalism," 1997  ["But Charles Darwin must have been the most genial of geniuses." —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

If the Aborigine drafted an I.Q. test, all of Western civilization would presumably flunk it.  ~Stanley Garn

We function on a dozen different levels of intelligence. ~Bergen Evans, "Adam's Navel," The Natural History of Nonsense, 1946

Common sense is not so common.  ~Voltaire

I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb... and I also know that I'm not blonde.  ~Dolly Parton

We should not only use the brains we have, but all that we can borrow.  ~Woodrow Wilson

What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.  ~Sigmund Freud

I have frequently been reproached for committing faults which my censurers had neither the power nor the intelligence to commit. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance"  [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908). —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

The great majority of the world prefers to attend the exhibition of money rather than that of brains. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

[T]o tell you the truth... I see that what counts most in the world is brains — brains and mushrooms. But, gee whiz, I like ice cream, too. ~Percy Keese Fitzhugh, Roy Blakeley: Lost, Strayed or Stolen, 1921

Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun.  ~George Scialabra

To certain people a man of intelligence is a more awkward customer than the most avowed rogue. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908

If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn't.  ~Emerson M. Pugh

The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read,
With loads of learned lumber in his head.
~Alexander Pope

There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have.  ~Don Herold

Mad, adj.:  Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.  ~Ambrose Bierce

Eventually you realize that if you're going to talk sense, you're going to antagonize its opponents. ~Robert Brault,

Some people take more care to hide their wisdom than their folly.  ~Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects, 1711

Man becomes man only by his intelligence, but he is man only by his heart.  ~Henri Frederic Amiel

Not All his Stock the Merchant's Window shows;
One should not make Display of All he knows.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Merchants," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

A great many people think that polysyllables are a sign of intelligence.  ~Barbara Walters

The invention of IQ does a great disservice to creativity in education. ~Joel Hildebrand

I'm not a nerd — I'm an intellectual bad-ass. ~Author Unknown

Primitive does not mean stupid. ~S.A. Sachs

It is hard to challenge an idiot idea, because people think you're challenging their right to idiocy. ~Robert Brault,

The difference between intelligence and education is this: intelligence will make you a good living. ~Charles F. Kettering

Common sense is a flower that does not grow in everyone's garden. ~Author unknown

I think the world is run by C students. ~Al McGuire

Character is higher than intellect. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The course of every intellectual, if he pursues his journey long and unflinchingly enough, ends in the obvious, from which the non-intellectuals have never stirred.  ~Aldous Huxley

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