In the opening lines of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (1898) is the sentence.
Yet so vain is man, and so blinded by his vanity, that no writer, up to the very end of the nineteenth century, expressed any idea that intelligent life might have developed there far, or indeed at all, beyond its earthly level.
It seems to imply that this story is the first occurrence of a Martian (or possibly any alien) that is mentally superior to Earthlings.
Did H.G. Wells invent the idea of Martian/Alien intelligence surpassing Earthly intelligence?
It does not go unnoticed by me that a character in a fictional work, is touting the achievements of the author, possibly another first?