This page is dedicated to some of the greatest minds of all time.
A normal intelligence quotient (IQ) ranges from 85 to 115 (According
to the Stanford-Binet
scale). Only approximately 1% of the people in the world have an IQ of
135 or over. In 1926, psychologist Dr. Catherine Morris Cox - who had
been assisted by Dr. Lewis M. Terman, Dr. Florence L. Goodenaugh, and
Dr. Kate Gordon - published a study "of the most eminent men and
women" who had lived between 1450 and 1850 to estimate what their
IQs might have been. The resultant IQs were based largely on the degree
sof brightness and intelligence each subject showed before attaining the
age of 17. Taken from a revised and completed version of this study,
shows the projected IQs of some of the
For comparison I have included table I which shows
the IQs' relation to educational level.
Cox also found that different fields have quite widely varying average IQs
for their acknowledged leading geniuses. Displayed below are there calculated Deviation IQs
(the number in brackets is the number in the sample
Philosophers (22) average IQ 160; Scientists (39) 159; Fiction writers (53)
152; Statesmen (43) 150; Musicians (11) 149; Artists (13) 153; Soldiers
As a curiosity it can be mentioned that the famous english philosopher
and mathematician Bertrand Russell
sometimes interpreted Nietzsche's
overman as a person with an IQ of at least 180 (Actually Russell considered
himself to have this IQ!). I read in some paper that
, regarded as the prototype for a genius, may "only" have had just above 160 .
It is important to distinguish between the intelligence
quotients measured for adults and for children. While the intelligence
quotient in theory has no upper limit for children, it is often
considered as unmeasurable for adults if it exceeds 200 (Normally, it is
never set above 210. However, highest possible scores to date should lie
in the interval 210-220 with decreasing probability). This is caused by the
different measuring methods used. According to the definition of intelligence
quotient for a child, the mental age is divided by the chronological age.
The quotient is then multiplied by 100 (Ratio IQ). This implies, of course, that you
cannot use the same method for adults as for children. Instead you use a
statistical mean value of 100 for the average number of correct answers for a
representative adult group of people (Deviation IQ).
NOTE: So far as I know there has only been one documented
female universal genius: Hypatia,
an ancient Greek beauty celebrated as philosopher as well as mathematician and scientist. She was also famous
for her lecturing skill.
The question is now if the intelligence quotient is an unambiguous measure of the capacity and power
of the brain. I suspect most people would hardly think so. If they did, they would be "forgetting" that the
brain actually consists of two brain halves. Is it, e.g., necessary to have a high intelligence
quotient to be a successful (creative) artist, or a great musician? Normally it helps, but would it be a
necessary prerequisite? Intelligence tests have a very intellectualistic, I would also say
one-dimensional, approach to the degree of giftedness. These IQ tests are also made more difficult by the
fact that it is often possible to logically, or from one's own value systems, arrive at answers that are
as plausible as the one designated by the test designer. In any case, it is imperative to control the strength
of the logical connections within the test problems. It is also not especially advisable to use the
rapidity with which a problem is solved as a criterion. Your slow colleague is perhaps on his way to
's Last Theorem
(Yes, I know it has already been solved by the English mathematician Andrew
), even if it takes years. You are probably satisfied if you can use it. But you don't take the
whole day when learning "Black Peter" (a card-game for children), as your friend does, thinking at a snail's
What do you call a fly when you pull its wings off?
A. A fly with the wings pulled off.
B. A walk.
C. A down-to-earth fly.
Portraits (Outside the West)
Amazing, but the truth?
COMMENT: With regard to super-high childhood IQ scores [derived from:
(MA/CA) x 100]: It is clear from Hollingworth's work and the
work of others that there is a marked "regression to the mean"
with maturity. It has been suggested that childhood "ratio" scores
have a natural standard deviation of 24 (cf. the Cattell Scale), so
it is necessary to multiply the excess above the mean by 2/3rds
to convert a childhood score to an adult score with the
conventional SD16. That would imply the following adult scores: IQ 200+
for Sidis, and IQ 185 for Savant. Still, extremely high, but more probable.
*= Should be interpreted as on what educational levels you most likely will find the gifted, the geniuses, and so on
|85 - 114||Average||Pupils at junior high school|
|115 - 124||Above average||Pupils at senior high school|
|125 - 134||Gifted||University graduates|
|135 - 144||Highly gifted||Intellectuals|
|145 - 154||Genius||Professors|
|155 - 164||Genius||Nobel Prize Winners|
|165 - 179||High genius|| |
|180 - 200||Highest genius|| |
|>200||"Unmeasurable" genius|| |
*= These scores are kindly supplied by Stevan Damjanovic
**= Models for Nietzsche's overman
IQ Stanford-Binet: IQ Cattell:
IQ Wechsler: Scorers today:
Standard deviation: Percentile:
Scorers* (>=IQ,emp): Rarity (1/X):
*=Homo sapiens sapiens since 50,000 years ago
+=Based on Rodrigo de la Jara's formulas
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Author: Ulf Norlinger
Proofreading (7/12/98): Heather, TNS
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NOTE: Isaac Newton is hidden behind the photo of Leibniz.