When asking who the ‘smartest’ individual in Star Trek is one really has to go into a broader definition of the term since smart could mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. A person can be smart but not wise, they can be smart compared to one person but dumb compared to another. See how that goes? Overall intelligence is a stunning blend of intellect and wisdom that is only added to by life experience, so it’s fair to say that in the short-term there are plenty of individuals in the Star Trek universe that are insanely smart, but one has to measure them in various ways to determine just who is actually the smartest. Trying to sort out just who sits where on an intelligence scale might be a better idea, but rest assured, plenty of people would still be arguing their own case since it might come about that one individual was considered smart in one way but not another. That’s where the real problem lies when trying to figure out just who has the greatest overall intelligence when it comes to Star Trek, as this is supposedly one of the smartest franchises to ever come along.
Here are a few of the smartest individuals in the Star Trek franchise.
For one episode she definitely outsmarted everyone on the Enterprise, but despite the fact that she did a few things that made it clear that she was in control, it does feel as though her smarts were allowed to flourish when it came to the right situation, meaning there was less confrontation or pressure that she had to deal with. If forced to go up against anyone when they were fully aware of her capabilities it feels as though she might prove a bit ineffectual at best, so perhaps putting her on the list is a bit premature, but at the same time it feels as though she managed to do what was needed to outsmart the crew for long enough to get what she wanted.
This entry shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since Spock, Mr. Logic himself, is one of the smartest individuals in the series, though it’s been proven more than once that he can be outpaced when it comes to sheer intelligence. It’s not an easy task however and it does require a mind that’s inordinately sharp and can easily make its way around logical corners and come up with abstract ideas that can outthink a Vulcan. Keep in mind that Captain Kirk has outmaneuvered Spock in the past, and when it comes to this list Kirk isn’t even in the top five, and may not be in the top ten for some folks.
Scotty’s intelligence feels sporadic at best but it is there when he has need of it and he can pull facts and data out of thin air when he needs them since, as I just described, his intelligence is a sporadic thing that might be influenced or blocked by one thing or another every now and then. The fact is that Scotty is a very intelligent human being, but like a lot of us he tends to drift sometimes and his level of intelligence might be masked by the mere fact that he has to think about something extra hard or come up with an inspired application for said knowledge now and again. But keep in mind, this guy managed to keep the Enterprise running for decades when it should have fallen apart at the seams.
It does feel as though Q overestimates his own intelligence from time to time since he’s a little too cocky about it and doesn’t have the kind of humility to him that might otherwise indicate wisdom. He does have plenty of life experience obviously, but it almost feels as though Q has never had anyone smack him down a couple of times in the intellectual sense, and as a result, he thinks he’s much smarter than he actually is. In a big way, this has made him a very annoying character since the truth is that those that are too smart tend to irritate those that either don’t have the same level of intelligence or simply can’t stand it when someone that intelligent feel the need to flaunt their apparent superiority.
There’s a reason why I put Data at the top and I’ll explain. Data does have limits like everyone else despite the fact that he’s an android, and he isn’t entirely smart about everything since he doesn’t have the needed experience to know what it’s like to be human or any other sentient being. But Data has the capacity and the desire to learn, meaning that he knows about his own limits and he’s ready to accept that he has more that he can learn from those around him. After all, the capacity to learn and change, and the ability to admit to this, is what makes someone truly intelligent.
There’s more to being smart than intelligence.