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back to article Two year old's IQ on a par with Hawking

Mensa, the club for people too clever to sign up for a social network, has recruited its youngest member, a two year old girl from Hampshire Georgia Brown's IQ has been measured at 152, according to the Beeb. This puts her in the top 0.2 per cent of the population, and on a par with Stephen Hawking. An “average” IQ, by …

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Anonymous Coward

Alot in common

Both wear nappies, both need help with doors, both have trouble with stairs, in fact both are completely dependant on adult care. Only Hawking can complain about it though... the words "Make-sure-you-wipe-prop-er-ly-this-time. I-itched-all-last-night."

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Mensa's Number

Their number is easy to find!! If a shuttle leaves Venus travelling at 1/2 the speed of sound (the speed of sound in space) and another uses the gravity of the 4th nearest star to propell itself towards the other using no other means of propullsion, and on the 2nd shuttle is a huge bath who's tap is running and filling the bath 0.4% per second, but the plug is not plugged in, and so the bath is losing water at the rate of the speed of the second shuttle divided by the number Pink. Then you get their number!

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Anonymous Coward

152? Is that all?

When MENSA tested me a while ago I scored 155....

152? Pah!

;)

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Not very impressive ...

IQ scores are relative to your age; a score of 100 means you have then mean intelligence quotient for someone your age. A score of 152 means you have the intelligence of someone half as old as you again - in this case 3 years old.

I don't think we'll see any breakthroughs in cold fusion from this kid any time soon ...

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A sign of madness

My high-school maths teacher used to say that the ability to draw a perfect circle freehand was a sign of madness.

Mind you, he could draw perfect circles on the blackboard with both hands simultaneously ...

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Law

Yup...

"The Hampshire wunderkind could have scored even higher on the test – except after 45 minutes of answering questions she needed her nap."

Yup - that happened to me too!! sigh

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Anonymous Coward

call that reporting...

a two year old could write a better story than that.

:-p

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Gav

A Poor Measure

Any measuring device has its applicable range. You don't use a 12 inch ruler to measure miles on a road, or the circuits on a microchip. Well you could, but the margin of error is likely to be pretty big.

The same can be said for measuring a 2 year old's intelligence with an IQ test. Even if you accept IQ tests as being a suitable way of measuring such a complex, multi-dimensional facet (and not just a good way of measuring how good you are at IQ tests), applying it to a child this young is just ridiculous.

I don't doubt she's a smart 'un, but claiming you have a valid, accurate measure of how smart, and saddling her with that at such a young age, seems both unhelpful and bad practice.

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Smart cookie...

Also 2 points short of Sharon Stone...

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Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking doesn't possess an uber-genius IQ. The reason that I think he may be such a prolific theorizer may be, sadly, that he has little else to do. I have a tremendous respect for Hawking having met him in person on two occasions, and I do not question his intellect. But where Einstein formulated his theories through a near magical relationship with time and space, Hawking seems to develop his through sheer persistence. Regardless, Hawking has long solidified his place in our history as one of the great thinkers, and rightfully so.

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2 year old?

There is no way to test a 2 year old reliably. Even the children's version of WAIS is intended for kids over the age of 8. Test her in 6 years.

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Utter Fud

It is literally impossible to measure the IQ of a 2 year old. Furthermore, 152 is not even particularly high, 165 is considered genius level. Finally, people's IQs drop as they get older. This news story is utter crap and whoever is putting this poor child through this public circus should be shot.

As someone who spent his entire childhood under the watchful eye of multiple psychologists because I have an exceptionally high IQ, I know how damaging this can be for a child. She isn't even 3 years old and already a public spectacle, leave the poor kid alone.

Oh and for the record, if Hawkins' IQ is only 152 that makes me smarter than him by a long way and it makes a lot of people I went to school with smarter than him as well. I was shipped off to a special government school for gifted children, the majority of students there had IQs well over the 150 mark.

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Anonymous Coward

Member of Mensa

I've been a member of Mensa for 17 years now, and it hasn't stopped me being on social network sites...

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Anonymous Coward

Is this a good thing?

I didn't think that the test results were ever particularly accurate at that age, given the limits it puts on the kinds of tests that can be done. Especially as anything above 130-ish needs multiple rounds of testing as standard tests top out at ~130.

Plus there's the minor inconvenience of IQ often tending to regress with age, especially if very high at a young age - a brilliant 2 year old may be quite normal by the age of 5. Testing at 16 is much more useful.

And just because you join Mensa means very little, most people can't be bothered even if they easily qualify. I know I didn't, or any others I knew who easily qualified.

If anything this coverage could cause problems, the 'brilliant' child could be pushed to and/or expected to succeed when they may not be able to. Or may not want to.

Or after being told how smart and brilliant they were, they might by fluke meet someone with even greater abilities, which they could find deeply frustrating. (Having done this myself to a wunderkind with a 168 IQ, nothing made me happier than to casually outperform them in exams, just because I could (having a few more points than them) & because it annoyed them so much. At least it was a motivation to do some work.)

Anyway, I think the basic point is that the whole child prodigy is easily overdone as the numbers may mean very little, and in any case being pushed and advertised so much as a great genius is unlikely to be a good thing.

-----

The 'perfect circle' bit sounds like fluff BTW, it's difficult at the best of times and I can't think of anyone I know who could draw a 'perfect' circle by hand, whatever the IQ. Or indeed why they would want to, when any smart person knows you can just use a compass!

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Anonymous Coward

Tests Shmests...

People say IQ tests only show your ability to pass IQ tests. That's true, but it's also an ability that has a very close correlation with intelligence, which is something they conveniently tend to omit from the argument...

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Anonymous Coward

Numbers... meh

Speaking as an ex-member of Mensa (couldn't be bothered to pay the dues), and as someone with a tested IQ of 178 (some time ago - but according to several so-called experts, IQ doesn't actually drop with age, it's more a case of motivation to use it), personally I don't believe that the measure of an IQ actually means anything more than the ability to perform logic puzzles. Which for a child of two are probably not that difficult, since you'd have to adjust the test to suit (I was reading way above my age and actually learned to read at two, but there's still no way I'dve been able to do the word based puzzles in the required time for testing).

And I have to say that knowing your IQ at an early age is definitely a disability rather than a bonus. Being expected to outperform transfers itself to expecting to outperform, and when you don't always succeed (for whatever reason, including the "I know best" syndrome - even though the tester/teacher might be looking for a specific answer which you know cannot be possible but is accepted at that level) it really can affect your outlook on life. I have a suspicion that it contributed to my depression, and in my group therapy sessions, found that well over half had IQs of Mensa level...

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Anonymous Coward

It's even funnier...

...reading these comments with all their ego-boosting IQ claims, yet not a single one goes so far as to note the test in which their score was attained. Surely a "genius" would know that the IQ "number" on it's own is worthless given that every test uses it's own scale which can vary wildly.

For reference my IQ is 376 on the "think of a number" scale :-)

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I vaugely remember..

I vaugely recal that Giotto, when asked by Pope Benedict to provide a painting to prove that he was the greatest artist of the age, drew a perfect circle freehand for the Pope's bemused emissary and thus impressed the ecclesiastical undergarments off the pontif and won some big decorating contract or other.

Back on-topic - IQ tests are dubious in my mind as being just too blunt a tool for the job.

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Congratulations

My congratulations to the child, unlike most of the people who have posted I would be very grateful if my children (when I have some) turn out to have an IQ over 150.

Why are you all just posting negative comments and posting your own IQs?

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Anonymous Coward

re. It's even funnier

Just for your info, my post (the one above yours) was on the Mensa scale (as was suggested by the previous sentence in my post) and all my references are to that scale...

And Matt - it's not that I mean to disparage the kid's score, its just that I've become jaded with the whole IQ thing over the last 20 years or so... was posting my own IQ just to illustrate where I'm coming from...

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Da Vinci

Da Vinci could draw a perfect circle, they accused him of witchcraft after they measured it! I do doubt that she can draw a perfect circle, as it is almost impossible to draw, the reasons behind this, the human nervous system does not allow flawless dexterous control, pens will cause variance, surfaces will cause variance, given these simple points, to draw a perfect circle I would imagine it to incur some variation on a 'perfect circle'

For the record Da Vinci did it on a plaster covered wall in charcoal, quite largely using his shoulder as the pivot, which as it is the way I've ever seen a perfect circle being hand drawn.

The biggest problem I see with this is like most people that the test will be massively inaccurate, and this little girl will have to live with whatever her parents subject her to throughout her life.

The "Go on luv do it for mummy" philosophy of parenting.

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IQ

Call me when the girl's IQ is over nine thousaaaaaand.

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Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking doesn't possess an uber-genius IQ. The reason that I think he may be such a prolific theorizer may be, sadly, that he has little else to do. I have a tremendous respect for Hawking having met him in person on two occasions, and I do not question his intellect. But where Einstein formulated his theories through a near magical relationship with time and space, Hawking seems to develop his through sheer persistence. Regardless, Hawking has long solidified his place in our history as one of the great thinkers, and rightfully so.

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Anonymous Coward

Members Only

99.99% of people who could join Mensa, don't .

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Anonymous Coward

Member of Mensa.....

Yes, why not join the 'I really need to tell people that I think I am smarter then them' society and socialise with the likes of Jimmy Saville.....

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On circles

"Mind you, he could draw perfect circles on the blackboard with both hands simultaneously ..."

Those are called breasts.

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Bronze badge

I thought that cannot be right

"Georgia Brown's IQ has been measured at 152 ..."

Am I the only one here who first read that as "Gordon Brown"?

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IQ and theorising

have only a passing relation. IQ is essentially a test of your ability to process various forms of not too complicated data at speed. Whereas generally a good theoretician (in maths or physics) is someone who is able to build a good mental model of their problem and has the persistence to keep attacking it. A good example here is the physicist Niels Bohr, who made substantial contributions to quantum mechanics, but who was also famously slow of thought to the point that he would lose track of movie plots.

I'm not saying IQ is unimportant - for a lot of real world technical jobs the guy with the high IQ will be the guy who gives the company the best value for money - but it doesn't really relate to model building or creativity all that well.

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Once More Into The Breach

A high IQ alone won't carry anyone very far in life. If a child of mine scored high in an IQ test I'd make every effort to see that any attendant attention had the smallest possible impact on their development. Overall I'm of the opinion a high IQ is a developmental liability and needs to be countered with a solid, broad, healthy social life and, a lot of clean your room, do the dishes and take out the garbage.

About 4 years ago some of the usual suspects asked me to do some tests. I wrote a standard IQ test in the early afternoon when well rested. I decided to try my best. I wrote at 161. In grade school the first time I was tested I wrote at 110. I hated grade school and shrugged off tests. After leaving high school I tried a test on my own and wrote at 138. I've very little respect for IQ tests.

Imagination and the ability to persevere are qualities far more desirable than a high IQ. In terms of manipulating data I've found a remarkable difference kicks in with people who write around 180 plus while anything below that just means you can pretty much tackle any discipline you care to. The indelible mark left from my IQ and an above average memory is a profound sense of ignorance.

A true child genius would take one look at the psychologists and educators drooling over him/her and botch every test on the way to a satisfying, anachronistic career as a mechanical watch maker.

just my loose change

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Impressive, but you are not a jedi yet

Found a perfect circle you have?

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Anonymous Coward

As someone who was ranked a child genious

I feel sorry for this kid. My life for haveing a high IQ was made miserable by the people with normal (and lower than normal) IQs who were jelous of how easily I could go through almost any subject. I was also the subject of that seggrigation called "Gifted" programs that seem to be designed to make the kid hate life.

Seeing I now suffer from depression, and having poor social skills due to isolation the school forced on me due to me being freakishly inteligent. Its been over 17 years and I still have knightmares of those days.

IQ test should be banned IMO because all they do is lable someone which can cause isolation and sever mental damage later on in life.

So if any parents are reading this and have children endowed (cursed) with high IQs don't let them into those programs the kid will be mentally scarred for life. If you want them to be smart just get them books to read on their own. Its not like the teachers are much help when you know more about the subject at 10 then they know after teaching it for 15 years all it does is create tension which will harm the child. I'm just talking from my own life experiences as someone with a IQ over 160.

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Unbelievable

Should I laugh or cry at these comments!

"My life for haveing a high IQ was made miserable by the people with normal (and lower than normal) IQs who were jelous of how easily I could go through almost any subject"

Apart from English? :op

Perhaps the reason why people don't like you and that you have poor social skills is that you believe other people to be lower than you in some way. Heck, I already can't stand you!

You don't seem to come off as very intelligent to me. Maybe it is indeed caused by people drumming this IQ crap into your head all your life. If it makes you feel better; I think you're an idiot (honestly).

Do the following:

i) Go to a pub

ii) Order a pint

iii) Drink it and smile

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wim

amazing

we still don't have world peace

with all these geniuses around here

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Mensa Number

@ David Webb

The noise you heard of starships flying through space in Star Wars doesn't really happen... Sound doesn't travel through space.

@ child genious

Very funny troll with the misspellings...

@ Mike Lovell

Surely you should have guessed it was a troll by the time you reached "knightmares"?

---

For what it's worth, I'm glad my kids are of normal intelligence - they can (hopefully) grow up to be normal adults.

"Gifted" children are often mercilessly driven (from my experience) by parents who don't want to see their children "waste their gift". This translates as living their lives through their children.

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Mensa's Special Extra Test

A while back, I thought I'd have a crack at that thar Mensa thingy, because let's face it we could all do with an ego stroke now and then and I am, after all, frightfully clever. So I filled in one of the forms (this was pre-internet, but post-stone-age) and lo! I was a potential. Just send fifteen quid to blah blah for the proper quiz. Okaaaay.... off went the cheque, back came a larger form. More filling in, sent it away and lo! I've passed the next stage and am on to the Supervised Test stage, woohoo! Just send thirty pounds to-

- wait a minute, I thought, excited. This is actually another test! They weed out the stupid vain ones by getting them to send increasing amounts of money, but the _smart_ ones don't! So I duly didn't send them any money and sat confidently by the phone ready for their call.

Of course that was several years ago now and I feel they may have lost my number. I'm racked with doubt - should I have kept paying the money? If I don't, who will assign me an impressive number with which to feel smug? Also, I understand that if I send them _enough_ money and pass the Initiation Rite of Passage I get to find out the Big Secret About Who The Thetans Are. Unless I'm getting confused with something else.

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How bizarre

Perhaps I should start my own company up that only allows people in who have an IQ below that of the lowest Mensa Member. So we can all have a laugh at those suckers paying for the privilege of joining a circle jerk about who has the biggest arbitrary number. And Mensa members expect us to believe they are intelligent. Pffft.

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Never look things up, never surrender

http://www.nisd.net/spedww/PSD/doc/NatureandMeasurementofIntelligence.pdf

In any case, considering that MENSA finds it necessary to stipulate that "1 in 50 people have an IQ in the top 2%..." (we'll pass on the bad grammar and formulation), I continue to have serious doubts about the value of their test, over and above the rude things my psychology tutors said about it when I was at Uni. How many years out of date is it?

http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20031025/fob1.asp

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So what...

I was in the 170s on the last IQ test I took but I think that just proves I'm good at taking IQ tests. I started doing them a few years ago when I wanted to know whether I could join Mensa and so not join it on account of all the Mensa people I'd met till then.

The comment on 'gifted' children has annoyed me. I suppose I was a gifted child, I passed the eleven plus, but I ended up attending a regular comprehensive and spent my life bored out of my mind. That was until about 1980 when I discovered computers, Z80s and so on and took to developing programs for my father's TRS-80 in back of school exercise books whilst sat at the back of class. 5 - 10 minutes was sufficient to take in the lesson, the rest was good development time. Some times we want to be driven.

And as for Carol Vorderman, surely you should deduct IQ points for the decision to have that face lift!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How bizarre

@ William

I think the community needs to know if the referenced "circle jerk" is being done freehand or if some equipment is being used. Also, is it "perfect"?

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Youngest now, but not youngest ever

Quote from Mensa UK's information on this story:

"Georgia, from Aldershot, joined the High IQ Society following an assessment by eminent child psychologist Professor Joan Freeman. Mensa can only test people over the age of ten and a half, so Georgia was accepted as a 'prior evidence' application when her IQ score showed she was within the top two per cent of the population.

The intelligent tot just missed out on being the youngest ever member of British Mensa, by six days. Ben Woods was 1035 days young when he joined in the 1990s - Georgia had reached the ripe old age of 1041 days when her membership was confirmed!"

It is interresting how by writing "Their youngest member", you can lead everyone to (jump to) the assumption that this is actually the jungest member ever.

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Can we have a fact-based discussion?

There's more cr*p being spouted here about IQ than enough: people who think that scores depend on the test, (they're standardized so that 100 is the AVERAGE); people who think that the score is related to age (so that 152 represents the IQ of someone 52% older than the subject: people don't get smarter as they get older... if only!); people who feel the need to share that they are excepshunly giphted. The bottom line is that MENSA makes money out of feeding the egos of people who can score highly on IQ tests. Stories like the lead article (and who calls a child Georgia Brown, btw) are marketing.

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Anonymous Coward

There is an IT angle here ...

IQ tests are a bit like benchmarks.

Just as you should ignore the manufacturer's claimed Dhrystone MIPS, etc and measure the hardware's performance yourself using your own real code that you want the hardware to run, you should ignore the results of IQ tests and do your own aptitude tests based on what you want the person to do.

In fact, I have a lot more respect for dhrystone.c than for any "IQ test" I've come across with questions like "Spot the odd one out" (it's the one word that isn't the name of a metrical foot - easy for me as I happen to have studied Latin poetry) or "What's missing in this picture?" (it's the trilby's hatband - hard for me as I was not familiar with that kind of headwear).

I tend to be quite good at the "guess the next number in this sequence" questions, but it hasn't got me very far in life. I recommend this test for Asperger's, by the way:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aqtest.html

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IQ therefore I am shopping?

All this about IQ just doesn't mean anything.

To label someone with a number is as accurate as looking at a building and saying that the city is x tall. Reality just isn't so simple.

Real live people are infinitely variable and while many people have really amazing talents, most of them don't capitalise on them for some reason or other. They are too busy doing what they want to do, and not focussing on what they are good at.

Two examples. My son was tested by one of the top people in the country in their field, and at the age of 5 (almost) was rated as listening equivalent of 15 years old. Go figure! If you tell him something straight, he __DOES__know what you said. Doesn't mean he will do what you ask, or can sing, or draw, or anything else. FFS, he is just a 5 year old with 5 year old reflexes, body, and emotions etc. He does what he wants to do.

Next example, I was tested at 15 by someone from the army with some cool puzzles.

Poor guy seemed really nervous and told me not to tell anyone else, but that I had gotten the highest score of the entire country that year. It was only many years later that I realised it was an IQ test and the reason that I have so few friends is that most people are on another planet than I am. But I'm doing what I want to do right now.

"</rant>"

Yes, publicising the kids capabilities is silly at that age. So she is 2 years old. Is that 2 years, 3 months, or 9 months? that's a 25% difference!

Knowing the kid is bright is a VERY good idea, it gives the parent(s) a chance to realise that they are probably bright also, and to prepare for the enormously harder childhood the kid WILL have. Without going postal over all those questions.

Telling the kid is a really bad idea. No sense in putting them under pressure to perform.

Raising your game to be ready when they get bored with school at the age of 10 'coz they actually do know everything the school has to offer and you need to get them into university, IS a good idea.

Letting them have a life is a good idea - 2 movies. Good Will Hunting vs Beautiful Mind.

Your call.

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Silver badge

I'm so smart

When I found out I had a large IQ (not huge it has to be said, but 'up there') I wondered to myself what I should do with it.

I looked at the people who populated Mensa and thought...'nah'. I then took a good look at myself and thought 'if I'm so clever I should be able to solve my own problems' - and so I did.

I have spent the last twenty years concentrating on the things I'm NOT good at, such as empathy, compassion and tact :) The people who were driving me to become an academic were most put out, but I bridled at being told what I should do with my intelligence when, by their own admission, I was vastly brighter than they were.

So if you're bright, and you're reading this, make sure you haven't tied your shoe-laces together :P

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Anonymous Coward

has Gardiner's theory of multiple intelligences been discarded yet?

Frankly, I've always tested well, but I've avoided the official IQ test for two reasons - one, I hated the pressure of being expected to achieve, and I like being average and coasting (I much prefer making people laugh than showing off some redundant function of intelligence). Two - I was worried that I'd do badly! :)

There's nothing wrong with being smart, and if it makes people feel better, that's great. But there is an air of showing off about Mensa, and it ignores the simple fact that the intelligence types tested are not the full spectrum of human skills and abilities - intelligence takes many more forms than are standardised in IQ testing, and it would be arrogant to assume we understand all the functions of the brain so soon!

I'm not devaluing the measured intelligence shown by numerous posters here at all, but be careful - if you seem to be bragging about your IQ, it'll just socially marginalise you. Noone likes a show off, and it's a touchy subject if you're not doing something suitably high-end-sciency... ;)

MikeC

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm...

"I was shipped off to a special government school for gifted children"

Like the one in Serenity?

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Anonymous Coward

Some comments

"Perhaps I should start my own company up that only allows people in who have an IQ below that of the lowest Mensa Member. So we can all have a laugh at those suckers paying for the privilege of joining a circle jerk about who has the biggest arbitrary number. And Mensa members expect us to believe they are intelligent. Pffft."

Not jealous, are we? I sense the bitterness there...

"There's more cr*p being spouted here about IQ than enough: people who think that scores depend on the test, (they're standardized so that 100 is the AVERAGE);"

Yes. All of them have 100 as the average, but they use different standard deviations (usually 15 or 16 I think) so the scales are different. It does depend on the test. The tests measure different aspects of intelligence.

"people who think that the score is related to age (so that 152 represents the IQ of someone 52% older than the subject: people don't get smarter as they get older... if only!)"

As someone else mentioned, IQ drops with age (Although I had mine tested at 6 and at 15, and both came up with the same result)

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Anonymous Coward

Damn lies

There seems to be a large percentage of exceptional people posting in this thread.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm....

http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=715

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Ian

Perfect circle? Wow.

Seeing as a perfect circle is a theoretical concept in maths only and something that is essentially impossible to create unless we were to find say, a particle was itself a perfect circle or a set of particles shaped so that combined they could form a perfect circle am I to assume this has been dumbed down for the article or is this so-called professor carrying out the test actually not all that clever?

If this kid truly did produce a perfect circle then I'd be more interested in the fact she has the ability to produce objects at will that are themselves the very fabric of existence. Perhaps it's god in disguise as a small child.

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