We've all had a friend who loved dinosaurs. Surely if we make a list of the ten people closest to us we would be able to say who is most passionate about nature. Naturalistic intelligence is one of the intelligences identified by Howard Gardner.
Society evolves and more and more people are involved in the well-being of the human being, not only on a mental or physical level, but also on the environment. In previous articles we have seen what Musical Intelligence is. Now it is the turn of the Naturalist Intelligence.
According to Howard Gardner it is the "ability to distinguish, classify and use elements of the environment, objects, animals or plants". Empathic behaviors towards animals and plants are observed and skills such as observation, experimentation, reflection and questioning of the environment are included.
The fact of having been raised in a rural or urban environment influences the manifestation and development of this type of intelligence. The fact of being endowed with a certain type of intelligence does not mean that it necessarily develops. It is important to receive adequate stimulation.
The interactions we have with our environment help us develop a perception of causes and effects on phenomena and possible future consequences. Gardner affirms that this intelligence arose almost at the same time that the human being arose. The need for survival depended on recognizing the different species, observing the climate and expanding food resources.
The Paleolithic period is presented as the first scenario in which the beginning of the development of naturalistic intelligence is located. The hunters and gatherers of that time had to guarantee the survival of the rest of the group. So apart from adapting to the environment they tried to influence it.
"Nature ... is inexorable and immutable; she never transgresses the laws imposed on her, nor does she care if her reasons and methods of operation are understandable to men." -Galileo Galilei-
Agriculture supposed the knowledge of the soil and the cultivation of vegetables and includes a great set of human actions that would transform the natural environment. The activities of the agricultural sector would be comprised of vegetables, cereals, fruits, vegetables, grasses and even fibers to make clothes. All this meant a profound development in the human being with respect to the knowledge of the environment.
Over the centuries, human beings have become more and more aware of their environment. Science has allowed him to delve into those aspects that he did not know in the past. Science and naturalism often go hand in hand.
Environmentalism takes on special meaning and is based on three pillars:
Without a doubt, we see how with environmentalism it represents an evolution of naturalistic intelligence. They come to address issues such as sustainability, the hole in the ozone layer, acid rain, climate change or genetic pollution.
Since we are born we show naturist inclinations. This type of intelligence begins to emerge when we are very young and loses strength at 14 years of age. Age in which, without a doubt, it can continue to develop if we stimulate it properly.
Naturalistic intelligence does not have a specific brain area. No specific areas of this type of intelligence have been found. The empirical evidence suggests that it is more about several areas depending on the inclination of each person.
For example, areas of the left parietal lobe would be involved in the distinction between living and non-living things. And areas of the right hemisphere would be behind the interaction of flora and fauna. Clearly, more brain-level research is needed to shed more light on areas of this type of intelligence..
One of the first characteristics to highlight is the great curiosity they feel for everything that surrounds them. They like to investigate, explore, know the why of everything that takes place. They show empathy towards animals and plants. The best learning style that children with outstanding naturalistic intelligence can have is one that is in contact with nature.
"Love for all living creatures is the noblest attribute of man." -Charles Darwin-
They are lovers of camping, excursions or everything that is related to contact with the environment. They are able to differentiate and identify types of plants and animals. Children who have been stimulated in this area may feel curious about pursuing higher studies related to the study of the environment: biology, veterinary medicine, marine science ...
It can also be seen in those lovers of the countryside, the sea and nature in general, who, even though they do not have studies on the subject, like to read, investigate, investigate, etc. We sure have a friend who likes hiking and getting lost in the mountains. Or another who likes activities in the sea. And the main characteristic of both is their respect and knowledge of nature.
And it is that the importance of this type of intelligence is such, that if it were not like that, we would often be in the hands of those who are only interested in filling their pockets with money. There are a large number of people building here and there while destroying nature and leaving us without flora and fauna, so important for a healthy world. If we all cared about stimulating this kind of intelligence, the world would be a much better place.