|Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan|
Some can agree with it, disagree with it, but it remains as the current scientific method for accessing what's between our ears. Obviously someone could be immoral, amoral, evil, violent, twisted, perverted, a political zealot, an ideologue, a relative conformist, or just totally opposed to something normal or good.... and still have a high IQ.
I think, like anything else, it should be questioned. What is "intelligence?" Someone, for example, could attain advanced degrees due to having great memorizational ability; but they could be severely lacking in creative ability, problem solving skills, and sometimes even common "cause and effect" logic. Political figures are a good example of this. Still, IQ does tell us a lot. I wouldn't totally hang my hat on it, but it can be compared to global demographics, sources of technologies, and other factors; and it can at least be determined that IQ tells us much.
Quite frankly, the IQ of native Cisalpines is about 110... the highest in the world. Even then, that doesn't mean that every individual is up to that standard; nor does is mean that a Cisalpine society will always be the best. One good example of "a self-propelled milieu of ideas" (as opposed to an intercultural crossroads of ideas) is the early automobile industry; whereby urban industrial centers in north Italy, Germany, and Japan in particular were able to develop entrepreneurial-technological environments for development.
Germany--which has a slightly lower average IQ (about 105) than true Cisalpines--still maintains a higher standard of living, a slightly higher inherent technological ingenuity, and better infrastructure. What is interesting is that the German-speaking countries, which are of Alpine and Germanic stock; and the Cisalpine regions, which are of true-Mediterranean and Alpine stock with Germanic admixture.... have gotten the best technological results in Europe. Again, this does not guarantee a better society or even a higher standard of living.
There are endless theories and quagmires regarding the comparing of collective or demographic IQs, so I think I will just avoid that part of it mainly due to the endless complexities and layers of bias. Suffice to say, IQ tells us a lot, but not everything. I think that an individual could have a high IQ and not be nearly as successful as a cunning person with an average IQ. I like to think that creativity and logic carry a little more weight than cold intelligence and ruthless cunning. Actually, it's all mixed together; but it's helpful to assess ourselves.