I don't understand this sentence quite well. What does "make" mean here?
In this case, "doesn't make them any smarter" has a meaning similar to "doesn't mean that they are any smarter." In informal contexts like this, "make him/her/you/me/them [adjective]" can be understood as meaning "mean that he/she/you/I/they are [adjective]." Ex: Getting poor grades doesn't make you a bad student. Ex: Getting poor grades doesn't mean that you're a bad student. Ex: A: I accidentally burnt my dinner. Does that make me a bad cook? B: Nah, it just means you made a mistake. We all make mistakes sometimes.