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High IQs, Is It a Blessing or a Curse?

The human mind is complex, allowing us to investigate, invent, and use skills to improve our lives.


Intelligence Quotient or IQ

The IQ test was first coined in 1912 by psychologist William Stein to the German term Intelligenzquetient. An IQ test can be used for several reasons, including educational purposes, assessment of intellectual disability, and for job applicants.

An IQ test is a total score derived from standardized tests on a subject designed to assess human intelligence. It can't measure emotional, creative, or artistic skills. The average IQ is about 100, about 2.2% of the population. To be considered for MENSA, a score of 132 is required, and for PROMETHEUS, a score of 164 is required.

There are several websites to take a condensed IQ test to see where you stand. Google IQ tests online.

The first IQ test was developed by Alfred Binet in 1904 when the French government asked him to decide which students were most likely to experience difficulty in school. Binet and his colleague, Theodore Simon, developed 30 questions known as the Binet-Simon Scale. Revisions have been made over the years, but they are still used today.

IQ Scale

IQ Scale

William Sidis Child Prodigy

William Sidis was born April 1, 1898, in Manhattan, New York, to Jewish parents, Boris and Sarah Sidis. Boris was a psychologist, and Sarah was a doctor, believed a child excelled in his environment, so they did everything possible to encourage learning by their son. Sarah would read bedtime stories to William in Greek while his father used alphabet blocks and profound conversations on subjects.

There is no question William's intelligence was way above average, but he would eventually rebel and pay an emotional price. Some experts believe pushing a child too fast and too far leads to other problems such as antisocial or emotional problems.

William Sidis Harvard Grad, Age 16

William Sidis Harvard Grad, Age 16

Chronological Events of William Sidis

  • Age 2 He could read the New York Times
  • Age 3 He taught himself Latin and English
  • Age 6 He added Greek, French, German, Hebrew, Armenian, and Turkish
  • Age 6 He wrote four books.
  • Age 8 His father enrolled him in Harvard, but Harvard said to wait two years
  • Age 8 He passed the Harvard Medical Anatomy Exam
  • Age 11 He entered Harvard, having a lecture in knickers
  • Age 16 He graduated from Harvard manga cum laude
  • Age 17 He was teaching at Rice University
  • Age 32 He received a U.S. Patent for a perpetual calendar

Life of William Sidis

Although William was considered a genius and a child prodigy, winning acclaim by teachers and noted professors, he was not well-liked by his fellow students, probably because he intimidated them and considered them inconsequential. He hated crowds and avoided media that was constantly chasing him. However, he once answered a reporter when said, "I want to live the perfect life, and the only way to do that is in seclusion."

After leaving his teaching position at Rice University, he went to New York. He participated in a demonstration where he was arrested and sentenced to 18 months but granted parole when he sought psychological help. His father stepped in and took him to his facility in New Hampshire, where he was released in 1921.

William spent the next several years working unskilled jobs, avoiding his parents and the media. He jumped from job to job, only earning enough to survive.

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In July 1944, William was found dead by his landlady. He died alone and in his self-isolation of a stroke at the age of 46. He and his parents are buried in Harmony Grove Cemetery, New Hampshire. It does appear that he lived as quietly as possible, but it had to be a lonely and sad life.

William wrote several books, many pamphlets, articles, and news columns. Two of his books were The Animate and the Inanimate, published in 1925, and The Tribe of the States, published in 1935.

Einstein and Sidis

Einstein and Sidis

Short List of IQs of Geniuses

  • 160 Albert Einstein
  • 180 Issac Newton
  • 160 Stephen Hawkins
  • 260 William Sidis

Today's Geniuses:

  • 198 Rick Rosner
  • 198 Evangelos Katsioulis
  • 200 Sho Tano, college at age 9
  • 200 Nathan Leopold, nine languages by age 9
  • 263 Ainan Cawley, by age 8, doing 3rd-year chemistry
  • 228 Marilyn Vos Savant, Guinness World Record
  • 400 A. De Mello, graduated college age 11

Mensa and Prometheus

Mensa is the world's largest and oldest IQ society, with 145,000 members. It is a non-profit organization with scores in the 98th percentile, with members in about 90 countries.

Prometheus Society has fewer than three dozen members requiring a score of at least 164 to be considered.

The current record for the youngest college grad is Michael Kearney, who graduated in 1994 at ten. Michael could read at ten months of age and completed high school in one year at the age of six.

Sources Used


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