A 7th sense
In the same way that we might imagine a cat being unaware of the existence of a planet Earth or a universe, and a fly that is buzzing around the cat being furthermore unaware of even the city or the house the cat is in, and a virus living in the fly being even furthermore unaware of the existence of the very fly it lives in (and everything outside of the fly, for that matter), and how all of these entities may be unable to entirely perceive or decode the functions and patterns of our human creations and abstractions - we live through our understanding of time and space while immersed in, surrounded by, filled with and dwarfed by things beyond our comprehension. We reside within the limitations of our biological hardware; Our five, possibly six senses. And as such, we can only look for and compare other things to the senses we are equipped with.
It is arrogant to maintain human-centered, or anthropocentric physical and cognitive abilities as the standard for desirable intelligence. It is also arrogant to assume that other organisms like trees, tarantulas, and termites are simply automatons carrying out robotic gestures that our scientists can neatly place into categories for utilitarian purposes.
Wild nature no longer inhabits a spiritual and meaningful place in our human . Instead, this culture has steadily aimed to reduce everything that is not human (and in many cases, humans that those in power consider less deserving) to a stockpile of resources to be exploited at will. Simply because this culture has become good at physical manipulation (consider how drastically this civilization has impacted the biosphere over just the last 10,000 years) most of us naturalize this massive devouring and shifting of the physical earth as a sign of supreme superiority . "Until elephants build a supercomputer, or raccoons write laws, or penguins invest an abstract representation of their resources in a stock-market, I'll consider human beings smart and everything else stupid."
Something as simple as radio-waves flow through us unnoticed. A tool interprets it, changes it into a language we can perceive. What other phenomena transpire in ways we haven't the hardware to grasp? What might exist outside the scope of our ability to express something's characteristics, beyond our biological vocabularies - even beyond the materials on this planet's abilities to create tools to interpret some of those phenomenon, beyond anything in the universe we think we know or observe - even beyond their abilities to create tools with which we may interpret phenomenon we cannot biologically perceive? The possibilities are endless, unimaginable, and humbling.
Now, back to that cat, fly, and virus. The possibility that these entities are equipped with hardware (or software) that we cannot perceive (because we only can compare within our bodies and biological tools' limitations), and that they are functioning on levels that we cannot comprehend is probable.
If none of us had sight, how could we ever understand what it was or even know there was a plane of perception involving sight? We can't see sound, although we can see the effects of sound, maybe something vibrating - maybe a visual representation of sound waves, but we know they exist. What other phenomenon must slip by not just one or two of our senses, but all of them? What organisms that we write off as unintelligent and unimportant are sensitive to these phenomenon that pass us by?
Dare I refer to the phenomenon existing outside our perception as spiritual? Maybe 'supernatural' feels safer? Consider ant colonies. Migration. Schools of fish, swarms of bugs, oceanic mammal navigation - Non-humans could be, and probably are functioning on planes we cannot perceive. We do not consider ourselves less intelligent for not sharing these abilities and perceptions, yet we hold non-humans accountable, and often justify their exploitation with that double-standard of not being enough like us to respect their will to live, and carry out their activities without being subjected to human standards.
Question: Is it a sign of intelligence to be a successful member of an ecosystem - meaning, not destroying your niche's ability to support you life? It would seem that organisms that outgrow their niche die off. So considering that humans have been around for a few million years, and within the very brief (almost fluke-like) period of our civilization we have destroyed so much, I would argue it's a sign of stupidity to live the way this culture is living.