Verbal intelligence seems to be an object of disparagement in our community.
Repost: How the frontal lobe contributes to IQ
Yes and no. It is like social skills in general- we disparage people who ONLY have that talent because they are automatically economical parasites and that is very distasteful to small-tribe ice age sorts of people. People who specialize in socializing can’t support themselves by definition.
However! You can’t have culture without those things either. You can’t have transmission of ideas or cooperation or anything good that comes from people working together. You can’t even really have a family unit or tribe without some ability to assume other people have feelings that are similar to yours, and project appropriate feelings on them. With this comes division of labor and every sort of art and technology that survives its creator.
So in the best case verbal intelligence and social skills are symbiotic with honest-to-goodness understanding. It’s just style vs. substance. They are both good but if you have to choose one…
(EW actually made all these points in his original comment, I’m just piggybacking here.)
In conclusion, you need both. And it’s okay if people specialize in one or the other, but if everybody specializes in social skills then the entire world becomes the Chinese Room thought experiment, which is essentially the situation we have in American cities today. This leads to a very sharp dysgenic cliff. Joe Rogan thinks this sort of thing explains the pyramids.
I recommend thinking of this divide- verbal and nonverbal, white matter and gray matter- in terms of a ratio of the things you understand and the things you can put into words. If you understand a lot of things that you can’t put into words, then your nonverbal IQ is probably higher than your verbal IQ. Most people today can put a lot of things into words that they don’t really understand, hence my assertion that verbal > nonverbal is much more typical.
This doesn’t work perfectly because purely logical conceptions like the pigeonhole principle are a lot easier to translate into words than purely visual conceptions like Green’s Theorem. Once they are properly internalized, both ideas become complex instincts made of gray matter. But it matters where gray matter is located along Koanic’s mohawk because brain regions are specialized. So the pigeonhole principle archetype will almost certainly be constructed in the parietal next door to the pyramid scheme, whereas Green’s Theorem will almost certainly be in the occipital. So it tends to be the case that ideas are more difficult to verbalize lower on the mohawk.
This is not to say it’s impossible, it just takes a lot more time and obsession. It is unlikely anyone except Doompony was going to decode the aesthetic appeal of My Little Pony as a traditionalist, pro-European broadside against the Cathedral. As of Season 5 it’s becoming much, much more obvious what with the allusions to Communism and immigration, but Doom called it first. (The moral of the episode with the delegates from “Yakyakistan” is that the yaks reacted violently to cultural appeasement, but respected the ponies for standing behind their culture. That was the lesson at the end of the episode! How much more obvious can they get?) He did this in spite of lacking strong verbal intelligence. If he had my forehead, I suspect he’d score much higher than me on an IQ test because his occipital bun is the size of a fist. He might also be able to get along with people.
Since I’m rambling anyway, I should mention that I really like the idea of splitting g into three components: verbal, logical, and visual. These correspond to frontal, parietal, and occipital respectively. (Temporal is its own thing and I don’t understand it, and I presume that I never will unless I come to really understand wave theory in a fundamental way.) The range of possible occipital development is much more extreme than the others, and the differences in purely visual ability follow suit.
Now, I’ve mentioned several times before that IQ tests primarily measure verbal intelligence because it requires rapid and easy transmission of ideas back and forth. You have to be able to understand the intent of the questions, and then formalize the correct answer. If you can’t do this very well, you simply can’t get into Mensa no matter how good you are at logic or recalling general information. But without the ability to “see” the logic several steps ahead, it is practically impossible to solve any logic problem that you don’t already have a mechanical algorithm for.