See main: Mislabeled geniuses and IQ tests
The general confusion surrounding the so-called age 17 “Feynman IQ anomaly”, is similar, in a reverse respect, to the age 4 “Galton IQ anomaly”, namely the infamy surrounding Lewis Terman
’s 1917 calculation of the IQ of Francis Galton
to be 200, based on a paragraph of the trivial things Galton, at age four, wrote that he was able to do, such as “read any English book” or multiply single digit numbers (see: miscalculated IQ
Both, in turn, are similar to the anomalies of Henri Poincare
being judged an imbecile
(IQ:35) by Alfred Binet
on the Binet IQ scale; William Shockley
, the main person behind the invention of the semi-conductor, in 1918, at age 8, scoring 129 on Terman’s IQ test; John Kennedy scoring 119 on the Otis Intelligence Test; or Ayaan Ali
doing poorly in her Netherlands IQ test.
“Funny how I could not qualify for Terman’s gifted study (1918), yet still win a Nobel Prize (1959) in physics.”
— William Shockley (c.1970), “joke often said in later years”; cited by Joel Shurkin (2006) in Broken Genius (pg. 13)
“I point out that Ayaan Hirsi Ali was given an IQ test in the Netherlands and did very poorly. Yet, it’s hard to imagine someone brighter.”
— Jason Richwine (2008), panel, at the American Enterprise Group, discussing (Ѻ) new book by Mark Krikorian, director of Center for Immigration Studies
The following are modern intelligence ranking and influence states for each:
● Francis Galton (1822-1911) (IQ:145|#714) [RGM:294|1,500+] (Becker 160:123) [CR:51]
● Henri Poincare (1854-1912) (IQ:180|#180) [RGM:476|1,500+] [LPKE:12] (GME:9) (GPE:63) [CR:76]
● William Shockley (1910-1989) (IQ:175|#260)
● John Kennedy (1917-1963) (IQ:155|#664) [RGM:947|1,500+]
● Richard Feynman (1918-1988) (IQ:185|#48) [RGM:131|1,500+] (GPE:9) (FA:166) [CR:103]
● Ayaan Hirsi Ali (1969-) (IQ:#|#) (RGM:1052|1,500+) (FA:159) (CR:11)
While Ali’s IQ has not been gauged, her books, eloquence, and debate sharpness, during the new atheism
movement, would at least put her in the 140+ range. All of these show that what one’s test scores were as a child, on a test designed to see if you will be a capable adult or good in college, do not predict, to at least a 80 to 90 percent probability, that one will become a “genius” as an adult. Secondly, people who become genius as adults tend not to waste their time, energy, for focus on trivial questions, not that they don’t at least obtain a general education or above, on average, but will be attracted to questions or areas of work that are not solved or open questions. This is the nature of the gravito-electro-magnetic that guides the proton-electron configurations that humans are made of, as well as future potential wells, points, or holes they fill with the growth of their mind.
Thirdly, by in large, more than 95% of those “tested” as geniuses, while a child or a teenager, never actually become geniuses as adults (see: inflated IQs
), per reason that they were given a “false positive” by purported “genius
” level ability as reported by their test score, in respect to trivial questions. This is perpetuated by psychologists who continue to corelated scores of the general population tests into the genius range, which one would suppose is something that Lewis Terman never intended, if he were to look back presently at what his “IQ” test concept has become, not necessarily for testing to get into college, but moreso giving false positives that to people that they are a genius, who are actually not.
Fourthly, there are those, as young adults, generally motivated by the praise of their parents, who expend considerable energy
to amass "general knowledge", such as would be found on an intelligence test
, e.g. SAT, ACT
, Stanford-Binet, etc., or to finish at the top of their class, and who as adults, in large parts, become well-off and in a respectable position in society, but do not, more often than not, enter the "genius" range category, as we now look back on human history, and classify, categorize, and rank the top 1000 geniuses
Fifth, the situation faced by Feynman, at age 17, would be akin to someone faced with answering the following question:
Question: "Teeth is to Hen as Nest is to ________?"
Which comes from Ronald Hoeflin
’s 1985 so-called ‘Mega Test
’ who boasted that if you answer this question, along with 47 others, then you would have an IQ of 202.
In 1936, Feynman, instead of wasting his energy on getting trivial teeth-hen questions like this, was trying to learn quantum mechanics
in his summer spare time, because they did not offer such a course at MIT, an was exchanging letters with fellow student T.A. Welton, in attempts to discuss questions on a possible electrical version of spacetime
Question: “Electrical phenomena [are] a result of the metric of a space in the same way that gravitational phenomena are?”
Feynman, of course, went on to develop quantum electrodynamics