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View Full Version : Was Isaac Newton the smartest person that ever lived?


GrahamWellington
09-27-2005, 09:38 PM
Not including Jesus (because He's God, 1/3rd of the Holy Trinity) or myself (because I AM the most smart, though I just can't prove it:-), I'd have to say Newton was the smartest of 'em all. And who's ever in second comes in at a very distant second.

And sooooooo what are YOUR thoughts? :cool:

Revtim
09-27-2005, 09:46 PM
Not sure it should be counted against him, but Newton was big into astrology and alchemy. A genius, but still a man of his times, I guess.

wolf_meister
09-27-2005, 10:05 PM
According to this website:
http://aceviper.net/aceviper_net/ace_intelligence/aceviper_famous_people_iq_list/aceviper_famous_people_iq_list.html
Newton is ranked with a 190 IQ.
People listed with 200 or higher IQ's are:
Emanuel Swedenborg Sweden 205
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz Germany 205
Hugo Grotius Writer Holland 200
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Germany 210
John Stuart Mill Universal Genius England 200
Kim Ung-Yong Korea 200
Leonardo da Vinci Universal Genius Italy 220
Sir Francis Galton Scientist & doctor England 200
Thomas Wolsey Politician England 200
William James Sidis USA 200

(I have no idea why they made that list in alphabetical order by first name)
Anyway, I have heard that William James Sidis may have been the smartest person who ever lived. (No doubt, other Dopers will offer their choices).

Leviosaurus
09-27-2005, 10:15 PM
Aristotle. Invented logic. 'Nuff said.

cabdude
09-27-2005, 10:23 PM
What about Archimedes? Invented freakin' calculus!! That stuff is hard.

Shagnasty
09-27-2005, 10:25 PM
According to this website:
http://aceviper.net/aceviper_net/ace_intelligence/aceviper_famous_people_iq_list/aceviper_famous_people_iq_list.html
Newton is ranked with a 190 IQ.
People listed with 200 or higher IQ's are:
Emanuel Swedenborg Sweden 205
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz Germany 205
Hugo Grotius Writer Holland 200
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Germany 210
John Stuart Mill Universal Genius England 200
Kim Ung-Yong Korea 200
Leonardo da Vinci Universal Genius Italy 220
Sir Francis Galton Scientist & doctor England 200
Thomas Wolsey Politician England 200
William James Sidis USA 200

(I have no idea why they made that list in alphabetical order by first name)
Anyway, I have heard that William James Sidis may have been the smartest person who ever lived. (No doubt, other Dopers will offer their choices).

Those IQ's are just made up. Since they are giving exact scores, they have to be referring to the results of a standard IQ test. Even if the guesser is still assigning a number based on research about those people it still doesn't work.

We can't measure IQ's that high at all. An IQ of 200 is 6.7 standard deviations above the mean. The chance of someone scoring that high is less than the number of people that have ever lived and yet your list shows many of them.

It is absurd to not only make up scores like that for historical people and yet differentiate them with relatively small point spreads. Once you get to 1 chance in infinity, it doesn't really matter if one person has more infinities than the others.

Scarlett67
09-27-2005, 10:31 PM
Dropping in to cast my vote for da Vinci.

Leviosaurus
09-27-2005, 10:32 PM
Once you get to 1 chance in infinity, it doesn't really matter if one person has more infinities than the others.'Cept for Aristotle.

Sampiro
09-27-2005, 10:33 PM
Not sure it should be counted against him, but Newton was big into astrology and alchemy. A genius, but still a man of his times, I guess.

He was also fiery religious, virulently anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic, and generally batshit crazy in many ways, though his brilliance was indeed spooky. (Rather like John Nash, a prick of a fellow but "a beautiful mind" that can do things most simply cannot.)

Newton was also a lifelong virgin. On his deathbed he was very proud of the fact he was going to die "innocent". He's a major side character in the novel Quicksilver (http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060593083/qid=1127875322/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-1789917-5731230?v=glance&s=books&n=507846), a very heavy book that I would recommend to anybody who has an interest in Newton, his times, or just likes incredibly imaginative yet super well researched historical fiction. (His hatred of Leibniz is a major point in the book.)

While Newton was definitely brilliant, I'd probably go with Eratosthenes (even though he was called Beta, "second best at everything", in his lifetime) or, of course, Rosie O'Donnell. Benjamin Franklin, while he lacked Newton's almost pathological insight and concentration on mathematics, was no slouch either, particularly in his ability to practicalize his observations (the stove, the lightning rod, the postal service, etc.).

Revtim
09-27-2005, 10:46 PM
Sampiro, have you read Isaac Newton by James Gleick?

GrahamWellington
09-27-2005, 10:54 PM
Hmm my cat's name is Spooky. Maybe I really am up their with Newton.

I read a bio of Newton several years ago titled Never at Rest, by Richard Westfall. And he never made any mention at all of Newton being anti-semetic; only that he decided to learn Hebrew to gain a better understanding of the Bible.

GrahamWellington
09-27-2005, 11:08 PM
Madonna 140??? God! I must then be at least at around 180!

Also, what kind of list such as this would say that Newton was a scientist and yet not also list him as a (TOP!) mathematician?

Interesting list just the same, thanks!

ccwaterback
09-27-2005, 11:45 PM
I usually toss a Rene Descartes or an Emmanual Kant into the mix, just to spice things up a bit.

FriarTed
09-28-2005, 01:21 AM
High School Choir Director INSISTED that the smartest person ever was Mozart.

:rolleyes:

Btw, if any of you remember a SNL skit with Joe Piscopo playing a goateed choir director, I swear that the skit was about that man- down to the physical resemblence.

gouda
09-28-2005, 02:23 AM
And another vote for da Vinci.

lorinada
09-28-2005, 02:32 AM
Those IQ's are just made up. Since they are giving exact scores, they have to be referring to the results of a standard IQ test.

Not only that, they would have had to have taken the same IQ tests, since scoring is not standardized.

Mangetout
09-28-2005, 03:38 AM
Off the top of my head, I'd go for Leonardo Da Vinci - excellence across multiple, unrelated fields is a strong qualifier, in my book. Of course there might be someone who did it better than him, but he's the one that springs immediately to mind.

Dr. Rieux
09-28-2005, 04:44 AM
People, aren't we forgetting our raison d'etre, Cecil Adams?
:eek:

ReubenH
09-28-2005, 06:07 AM
Just this morning I read this interesting article (http://timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8122-1801764,00.html) about how one form of heart surgery has been greatly improved following a surgeon's study of a few of Leonardo Da Vinci's anatomical drawings.

“That has been a big step forward,” he said. “We hadn’t thought carefully enough about the importance of the opening phase of the valve on normal heart function to allow extremes of exercise. Leonardo worked it out in the 1500s."


Another vote for Da Vinci here!

F. U. Shakespeare
09-28-2005, 06:45 AM
Any one of Newton's three major discoveries (laws of motion; calculus; laws of optics) would have made him a scientific immortal.

The fact that he believed in some really stupid and/or crazy things doesn't diminish this. It merely reminds us that human progress is a spotty, haphazard thing -- even geniuses can be wrong half of the time, especially when looked back at hundreds of years later.

The fact that he was a vain, snotty, egocentric jerk merely reminds us that geniuses can be those things too.

don't ask
09-28-2005, 07:26 AM
This thread happened to be next to Hue Hefner, Living every man's dream so I have to ask didn't Newton die a virgin. How smart is that?

Only Mostly Dead
09-28-2005, 08:51 AM
Newton was also a lifelong virgin. On his deathbed he was very proud of the fact he was going to die "innocent". He's a major side character in the novel Quicksilver (http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060593083/qid=1127875322/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-1789917-5731230?v=glance&s=books&n=507846), a very heavy book that I would recommend to anybody who has an interest in Newton, his times, or just likes incredibly imaginative yet super well researched historical fiction. (His hatred of Leibniz is a major point in the book.)
Hah! I just finished this book yesterday, and am going to pick up The Confusion (http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060733357/qid=1127912286/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-8712452-7303302?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) very soon to continue the story.

For what that book may be counted (and as much as I love Stephenson's writing, I get the feeling he's not above taking serious liberties), Liebniz came away in my mind as a much smarter chap in Quicksilver than Newton, just always a step slower in producing results and without the institutional backing to pimp him as the greatest.

As nobody has yet mentioned Thomas Edison, who gave us electric light, recorded music, and recorded film, among his list of 1093 patents (though not the electric hammer), I have to throw him into the mix.

Shirley Ujest
09-28-2005, 08:56 AM
Huh.

No wimmen mentioned.


I don't think Marilyn Von Savant counts. She hasn't really given the world anything other than answers to IQ questions in USA today.

Maeglin
09-28-2005, 10:18 AM
Sampiro, have you read Isaac Newton by James Gleick?

Incidentally, that was the book I read after I finished Stephenson's Baroque cycle. I found it very enjoyable, but a little too brief. I would have liked to see more of Newton's correspondence and more emphasis on Newton's place in the history of ideas.

Liebniz came away in my mind as a much smarter chap in Quicksilver than Newton, just always a step slower in producing results and without the institutional backing to pimp him as the greatest.

Well, at the end of the day, you learn F=MA in schools and not monadology.

RandomLetters
09-28-2005, 10:27 AM
As nobody has yet mentioned Thomas Edison, who gave us electric light, recorded music, and recorded film, among his list of 1093 patents (though not the electric hammer), I have to throw him into the mix.

Well, Edison said his own work was 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Of course, Nikola Tesla said maybe if Edison was smarter he wouldn't have to sweat so much. :) Tesla is another good canidate for smartest person ever - without him, we wouldn't have 1920's style "Death Rays." :D

GrahamWellington
09-28-2005, 10:28 AM
I forgot that I have a copy of: "The 100: a ranking of the most influential persons in history"

It's a 556 pager written by Michael H. Hart, and came out in 1978.

Here's his top 10:

1) Muhammad (I'm too worn out from work to lay out the author's dumb reasoning as to why he puts this guy at number 1, sorry.)

2) Isaac Newton

3) Jesus Christ (Why not number one? Again, too tired to write out author's reasons.)

4) Budda

5) Confucius

6) St. Paul

7) Ts'ai Lun

8) Johann Gutenberg

9) Christopher Columbus

10) Albert Einstein

Hitler is at #39 and someone named Mahavira comes in last on this guy's list at 100. Could not find the great Leonardo on it, though it may be there.

Perhaps someone can Google this Hart fellow's list and link all the names, yes?

Anyway, this list isn't quite the same as the question I asked, but it is better perhaps in that it's more practical to consider what people have actually done.

Kid_A
09-28-2005, 10:37 AM
Here's the list. (http://adherents.com/adh_influ.html)

And no, shockingly, da Vinci didn't make his top 100.

Revtim
09-28-2005, 10:48 AM
Well, Edison said his own work was 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Of course, Nikola Tesla said maybe if Edison was smarter he wouldn't have to sweat so much. :) Tesla is another good canidate for smartest person ever - without him, we wouldn't have 1920's style "Death Rays." :DI'm not sure I'd even consider Edison a genius, let alone in the running as the smartest person ever. He seemed to be a very sharp guy, with some great ideas, and so hard-working that he tried so many things to find a lot of ways to make things work.

GrahamWellington
09-28-2005, 11:17 AM
Newton also invented the reflecting telescope, which is still used today.

And by the way, it's clear that the gods of truth are weighing in on Newton as being the greatest, as while else would there be such synchronicity via an advertisement at the bottom of this thread linking to Newton's Cradle????????????????

Leviosaurus
09-28-2005, 11:28 AM
Newton also invented the reflecting telescope, which is still used today.

And by the way, it's clear that the gods of truth are weighing in on Newton as being the greatest, as while else would there be such synchronicity via an advertisement at the bottom of this thread linking to Newton's Cradle????????????????
Because those are Google ads, which are keyed off the words appearing on this page.

GrahamWellington != Genius

Thudlow Boink
09-28-2005, 11:33 AM
Huh.

No wimmen mentioned.I've heard that men tend to dominate the extreme ends of the IQ spectrum; so that, while the average IQ is the same for men and women, the supergeniuses and the idiots are overwhelmingly male.

Other theories I've heard are that men's brains are better suited for concentrating exclusively one on area (like music or mathematics—hence, more likely to do genius-level work in that area) while women are better multitaskers; and, of course, that historically women have had less opportunity to become educated and to show how smart they are.

GrahamWellington
09-28-2005, 11:33 AM
Thanks Kid_A,

IMHO the author loses credibility for not having Leo on the list.

GrahamWellington
09-28-2005, 11:36 AM
Isn't it wonderful that we learn something every day!:-)

Chronos
09-28-2005, 12:00 PM
Huh.

No wimmen mentioned.I think this is just a symptom of the real problem in threads like this: We can only go by the famous ones. For most of history, women had very little opportunity to make their mark, so even if there were many very smart women, we wouldn't have heard of them. In all liklihood, the smartest person who ever lived was born into extreme poverty and died before the age of ten. OK, probably es parents told everyone about how their kid was smart, but that's not near enough time for anyone outside of the family or maybe village to have heard of em.

But to do like everyone else in the thread and name a famous person, I'll either go with Archimedes or Mendel. Archimedes is easy enough to explain: He made great contributions to mathematics, physics, and engineering, far before his time. You want to credit Tesla with death rays? The evidence is better for Archimedes' one, a few millenia earlier. Give Newton credit for calculus? Archimedes would have had it, given a natural lifetime. And great though he was, there's no evidence that Leonardo ever ran naked through the streets of Syracuse, which has to count for something.

Mendel is less obvious, but I think he still deserves a mention, despite only leaving his mark in only one field. Why? Because alone among great scientists, to my knowledge, he did not stand on the shoulders of giants. Everything that was known about genetics before him was known into antiquity, and amounted to vague truisms like "People mostly resemble their kinsfolk". But nobody before him put all the pieces together, and worked out why organisms share some traits with some kinsfolk, but not all.

plnnr
09-28-2005, 12:06 PM
This thread happened to be next to Hue Hefner, Living every man's dream so I have to ask didn't Newton die a virgin. How smart is that?

My sentiment exactly. He may have been very, very smart, but he never experienced making love with a woman and that's just plain stupid.

madcossack
09-28-2005, 12:36 PM
My Dad always told me he thought the smartest person ever was Copernicus, and it always brought a chuckle to him because Copernicus was Polish.

Copernicus was pretty bright though. My Dad, bright but not so funny... :rolleyes:

SkipMagic
09-28-2005, 02:17 PM
My Dad always told me he thought the smartest person ever was Copernicus, and it always brought a chuckle to him because Copernicus was Polish.

Copernicus was pretty bright though. My Dad, bright but not so funny... :rolleyes:
Off to IMHO!

astro
09-28-2005, 02:55 PM
Re Leonardo Da Vinci. A smart and talented guy but outside of art and sclupture how historically influential was he? I get the impression that most of his research was hidden untill recently.

Elendil's Heir
09-28-2005, 02:58 PM
It's pretty hard to determine IQ without actually being able to test these famous, supersmart but inconveniently dead people. Even if you could, there would be so many variables about how their intelligence was applied, under what sort of social strictures they lived, etc.

That said... I'd vote for da Vinci. An amazingly smart, insightful and multitalented guy, well ahead of his time.

Thomas Jefferson was pretty damned smart, too (but, for various reasons, is not a Framer I admire), as was Benjamin Franklin (whom I do admire, a lot).

Stranger On A Train
09-28-2005, 04:23 PM
I don't think Marilyn Von Savant counts. She hasn't really given the world anything other than answers to IQ questions in USA today.And many of those are wrong (http://wiskit.com/marilyn.html). Nor is Ms. vos Savant likely to be remembered in any 22nd Century person's list of "Great Achievers of the XXth Century."


I think this is just a symptom of the real problem in threads like this: We can only go by the famous ones. For most of history, women had very little opportunity to make their mark, so even if there were many very smart women, we wouldn't have heard of them. In all liklihood, the smartest person who ever lived was born into extreme poverty and died before the age of ten. OK, probably es parents told everyone about how their kid was smart, but that's not near enough time for anyone outside of the family or maybe village to have heard of em.Indeed. One wonders how many Srinivasa Ramanujan (http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Ramanujan.html)s have come and passed without notice in the remote corners of the world. Hence the preponderance of geniuses in Europe and Eastern Asia in recorded history.

And accomplishment is only a loose measure of correlation with intelligence, as measured in terms of IQ. That begs the question of exactly what IQ is an accurate measure of, other than one's ability to perform well on IQ tests, but assigning numbers in the 150+ range at historical figures is like tossing darts. The lives and works of the ancient scholars are so fragmentary and filtered through translation and myth that we can only guess at how much of their work is autonomous and unique and how much of it is just an extension of those who came before.

Gould makes a good argument in The Mismeasure of Man (http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0393314251/qid=1127938574/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-0702375-3194432?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) against the most common uses of the term "intelligence", and Stephen Pinker addresses the notion of genius and innate intelligence in How The Mind Works (http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0393318486/qid=1127938581/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/002-0702375-3194432?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) with the concusion that geniuses are smart not because they have smarter brains in any general sense but because they are "wonks"; that is, they tend to focus and spend a lot of time studying, thinking about, and focusing their attention upon the salient underlying themes or principles of their field of interest, creating a fully integrated understanding of the knowledge of their field.

If I was going to pick a name, I'd stab out at Archimedes or Plato, each having been a prime formative mover of modern science and mathematics for the former, and philosophy, political theory, and cosmology for the later. But then I'd be leaving out Lao Tse, James Clark Maxwell, Aristotle, Max Planck, Charles Darwin, Werner Heisenberg...the list continues ad infinium (or long enough to be terminally boring, anyway).

Stranger

Sampiro
09-28-2005, 05:59 PM
For most intelligent women (or female entrants to the general category), my votes would be

Hypatia of Alexandria (by all accounts spookily brilliant)

The Abbess Heloise (of "& Abelard" fame)- she had the equivalent of several doctorates in an age when most women were illiterate

Marie Curie

Grace Murray Hopper (more than just a pretty face (http://arlingtoncemetery.net/ghopper-01.jpg), she was a natural mathematics savant)

Admittedly I only know her through Parade, but I've never understood the hoo-hah over Marilyn.

GrahamWellington
09-28-2005, 07:53 PM
Give Newton credit for calculus? Archimedes would have had it, given a natural lifetime.

It's not fair to assume anything. Newton invented it when he was around 22, I think.

Just curious, how old was the great Archimedes when he was run through with a sword?

Imasquare
09-28-2005, 08:13 PM
As nobody has yet mentioned Thomas Edison, who gave us electric light, recorded music, and recorded film, among his list of 1093 patents (though not the electric hammer), I have to throw him into the mix.I once read that many of Edison's inventions were not his own work, and that he took credit for inventions made by his staff. Wikipedia says something similar:

Most of these inventions were not completely original but improvements of earlier patents, and were actually made by his numerous employees. Edison was frequently criticized for not sharing the credits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Edison

Imasquare
09-28-2005, 08:16 PM
My sentiment exactly. He may have been very, very smart, but he never experienced making love with a woman and that's just plain stupid.Why is it stupid?

Also how do we know that he wasn't gay but abstained because he believed gay sex to be wrong?

astro
09-28-2005, 10:35 PM
It's not fair to assume anything. Newton invented it when he was around 22, I think.

Just curious, how old was the great Archimedes when he was run through with a sword?

Wiki says 75 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes)

In creativity and insight, he exceeded any other mathematician prior to the European Renaissance. In a civilization with an awkward numeral system and a language in which "a myriad" (literally "ten thousand") meant "infinity", he invented a positional numeral system and used it to write numbers up to 1064. He devised a heuristic method based on statistics to do private calculation that we would classify today as integral calculus, but then presented rigorous geometric proofs for his results. To what extent he actually had a correct version of integral calculus is debatable. He proved that the ratio of a circle's perimeter to its diameter is the same as the ratio of the circle's area to the square of the radius. He did not call this ratio π but he gave a procedure to approximate it to arbitrary accuracy and gave an approximation of it as between 3 + 1/7 and 3 + 10/71. He was the first, and possibly the only, Greek mathematician to introduce mechanical curves (those traced by a moving point) as legitimate objects of study. He proved that the area enclosed by a parabola and a straight line is 4/3 the area of a triangle with equal base and height. (See the illustration below. The "base" is any secant line, not necessarily orthogonal to the parabola's axis; "the same base" means the same "horizontal" component of the length of the base; "horizontal" means orthogonal to the axis. "Height" means the length of the segment parallel to the axis from the vertex to the base. The vertex must be so placed that the two horizontal distances mentioned in the illustration are equal.)

GrahamWellington
09-28-2005, 10:55 PM
Wiki says 75 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes)

Okay, so he wasn't as smart as I thought. But the question remains, How old was he when the swordsman got him?

astro
09-28-2005, 10:58 PM
Okay, so he wasn't as smart as I thought. But the question remains, How old was he when the swordsman got him?

:confused: Ummm.. about 75 I'd reckon.

Gorsnak
09-28-2005, 11:14 PM
I usually toss a Rene Descartes or an Emmanual Kant into the mix, just to spice things up a bit.
Kant's only genius was to write obscurely enough that it's impossible to say for sure what he meant. This is the lazy philosopher's strategy for ensuring that you'll still be taught 2 centuries from now.

Shirley Ujest
09-29-2005, 07:48 AM
My first thought for a Female Smartypants was Grace Hopper but I couldn't recall her entire name.

plnnr
09-29-2005, 07:55 AM
Why is it stupid?

Also how do we know that he wasn't gay but abstained because he believed gay sex to be wrong?

I'll rephrase my post: He never had an intimate, physical relationship with another person, and that's stupid.

Why is it stupid? Because having that kind of connection with another person adds to the life experience in so many ways.

Carnac the Magnificent!
09-29-2005, 08:18 AM
According to this website:
http://aceviper.net/aceviper_ne...le_iq_list.html
Newton is ranked with a 190 IQ.
People listed with 200 or higher IQ's are:
Emanuel Swedenborg Sweden 205
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz Germany 205
Hugo Grotius Writer Holland 200
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Germany 210
John Stuart Mill Universal Genius England 200
Kim Ung-Yong Korea 200
Leonardo da Vinci Universal Genius Italy 220
Sir Francis Galton Scientist & doctor England 200
Thomas Wolsey Politician England 200
William James Sidis USA 200



Those IQ's are just made up. Since they are giving exact scores, they have to be referring to the results of a standard IQ test. Even if the guesser is still assigning a number based on research about those people it still doesn't work.

We can't measure IQ's that high at all. An IQ of 200 is 6.7 standard deviations above the mean. The chance of someone scoring that high is less than the number of people that have ever lived and yet your list shows many of them.



It's estimated that maybe 60 to 100 billion people have lived throughout history, depending on how you define "people."

Since my probability and statistics coursework is far behind, can anyone calculate how many people from, say, 80 billion would have IQs at 6.7 SD from the mean?

malpetal
06-22-2014, 10:47 AM
Of those people for whom we have a record to base such a hypothesis, no one comes close to Newton. There is simply no one else that leaves a record of complex problem-solving with such consistent rapidity.

WordMan
06-22-2014, 10:51 AM
Of those people for whom we have a record to base such a hypothesis, no one comes close to Newton. There is simply no one else that leaves a record of complex problem-solving with such consistent rapidity.

What - you go around searching for people posting opinions about Newton? How did you come across this 9yo zombie thread?

I have to ask to the board at large, is this something that net 'bots do?

drewtwo99
06-22-2014, 11:00 AM
Newton is definitely up there. Euler may be a strong contender as well. Archimedes' brilliance also cannot be overstated. Mendel is an interesting choice but I'd classify him more as curious and patient rather than madly brilliant.

Of course, Einstein is way up there, even if a lot of the pieces were there and he put them together, many brilliant men of his time couldn't/didn't, and who knows if anyone else would have.

jtur88
06-22-2014, 11:57 AM
Would he have used the shift against Ryan Howard against a lefthander with one out and a runner on second late in game with a 2-tun lead?

Isamu
06-22-2014, 09:25 PM
Not sure it should be counted against him, but Newton was big into astrology and alchemy. A genius, but still a man of his times, I guess.

Alchemy is nothing to be ashamed of. With current science, transmutaion of elements is practicable.

Superhal
06-22-2014, 10:07 PM
There's different types of IQ. Even there's EQ, or Emotional Quotient. One point of view is to look at Bloom's Taxonomy of Cognitive Thinking. There are 6 levels: remembering, understanding, applying, evaluating, analyzing, and creating. There are people who are skilled in one or a few of these, and these would probably be measured on a traditional IQ test: remembering, understanding, applying, evaluating, and analyzing. Creating, however, is a class by itself and historically only a very very gifted few were able to come up with original ideas with very little outside influence, and it's virtually impossible to test. To me, the world record holder in say remembering the order of thousands of cards would probably be a similar level as say an einstein's ability to see the relationship between different observations, e.g. deducing the existence of atoms by looking at pollen vibrating, if viewed through the lens of an IQ test.

This also leads to the idea that artistic vision is another form of creating and should be on the same level as scientific discovery. Which artists are geniuses yet would fail an IQ test? My guess would be all of them.

My personal nominations for genius creators:
The Wright Brothers: invented their own wind tunnel and ran their own experiments on flight, using careful observation and scientific methods to discover how to do it. According to Wikipedia, they were both high school dropouts without any advanced or formal education.

Thomas Edison: Rainman of inventors, probably autistic or gifted in some way. The lightbulb was the most hailed, but I believe it's more an example of analyzing than creation.

Whoever discovered fire and the wheel.

Whoever invented rising bread: I swear, there's nothing at all that makes sense in the steps for making bread, whoever figured it out was a genius.

James Cameron: Wins the artistic genius category in my book. Had a vision, told the naysayers to go fuck themselves, and made billions. Also self-taught, I believe. Had an apprenticeship making models or something.

The Second Stone
06-23-2014, 01:53 AM
I'd put Einstein and Archimedes up there as being as smart as Newton, if not smarter. And Einstein was also a much more pleasant person to be around than Newton. And was smart enough to get laid once in a while, if not frequently. Einstein would have been considered for that based on his 1905 work alone. Let's remember that he also came up with general relativity 10 years later, far beyond the cutting edge of physics at the time using cutting edge mathematics that impressed Hibbard, who was doing the same sort of thing. Nobody else was close to general relativity. Leibniz re-discovered calculus at about the same time as Newton. Newton's great unique contributions come in optics and the laws of motion.

njtt
06-23-2014, 10:15 AM
Thomas Edison: Rainman of inventors, probably autistic or gifted in some way. The lightbulb was the most hailed, but I believe it's more an example of analyzing than creation.

Edison's "genius" was primarily for ripping off the people who actually invented things, and taking the credit. Apart (I think) from the phonograph, hardly any of the inventions he claimed, and made money from, were based on original ideas of his own, although it may be true that it was he (and his staff) who turned them into commercially viable products. If anything, he was more like a psychopath than an autistic savant, a ruthless businessman good at manipulating people and manipulating his public image, precisely the sort of thing autistics can't handle. (I am not saying he actually was a psychopath.)

panache45
06-23-2014, 10:35 AM
If people are mentioning "da Vinci" instead of "Leonardo," I'm gonna mention "di Stagira" for "Aristotle."

I mean, the guy actually taught us how to think.

JohnT
06-23-2014, 10:43 AM
Edison's "genius" was primarily for ripping off the people who actually invented things, and taking the credit. Apart (I think) from the phonograph, hardly any of the inventions he claimed, and made money from, were based on original ideas of his own, although it may be true that it was he (and his staff) who turned them into commercially viable products. If anything, he was more like a psychopath than an autistic savant, a ruthless businessman good at manipulating people and manipulating his public image, precisely the sort of thing autistics can't handle. (I am not saying he actually was a psychopath.)

:rolleyes:

Sounds exactly like Steve Jobs. What's your opinion about him?

Baron Greenback
06-23-2014, 10:43 AM
Hibbard

Hilbert. There's a few other contenders that maybe should be considered: Gauss, Maxwell, Godel, and I'd add Georg Cantor, just because his big concept thinking can be explained in simple diagrams (and I'm shallow that way)

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