The Thing clearly has intelligence since in the 1982 [modern] original... it tries to build an escape craft.
And in the 2011 prequel it can activate one.
1982 - Wikipedia
Leaving Childs on guard, the others head out to test Blair, only to find that he has tunneled out of the tool shed. They realize that Blair is assimilated and has been scavenging ...
It is retroactively setting up the "original" The Thing (1982) for which it is a prequel. The starting scene of the 1982 movie is two Norwegians in a helicopter chasing and shooting at a sled dog that finds its way to an American camp.
Peter Watts has written a short story from the point of view of The Thing itself - you can read it on Clarksworld.
I do not know if it is accepted as canon in the Thing-verse, but it portrays the intelligence of The Thing as being at least as high as human, possibly even more intelligent.
To quote the story itself:
I was so much more, before the crash. ...
I didn't think that Kate blew up the snowbile.
I believe she torched her boyfriend and rode off.
I assumed that she survived, and was not infected.
The way the movie ended though with the helicopter pilot and Lars chasing down the infected dog, was interesting.
I only use infected here to refer to not being real and as being the thing.
The movie was fun and ...
The writer, Eric Heisserer, has revealed that in the script he wrote, Kate does not survive. He did an interview with the website "Bloody Disgusting":
Question: So does Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character die at the end? In the film it’s a little unclear, was that ever spelled out in a draft?
Answer: “I was very clear with Kate’s fate in the ...
If Kate supposedly survived the Thing's existence and even made it back to civilization or another Artic Camp for help, she would be able to warn others of her experience. If she died, then the chance for a sequel would be slim. Unless...and here is your possible sequel to the prequel of the original story: All that happened during the John Carpenter film ...
WOW. I never imagined that anyone would have seen the mediocre prequel but not the ridiculously amazing original movie, which is an absolute classic, and perhaps the greatest exemplar of its genre. Excuse me while I compose myself and recover from the shock...
The filmmakers had the idea that the prequel should end exactly where the original movie begins -...
Despite good points made by the other answers, you can also look at the source novel, by John Campbell, for proof of the Thing's intelligence.
This is an intelligent creature as high in its evolution as
we are in ours. Perhaps higher.
This can be deduced by
the fact that the Thing built and flew a spacecraft to Earth and
the fact it can control its ...