There's a lot of smart people on this planet, but just who is the smartest? It's a difficult question to answer without having some sort of benchmark to compare individuals against and that's where the universally recognized 'IQ Test' comes into play, in an attempt to measure intelligence. This means many things to many people but generally the attribute of intelligence refers to quickness of mental comprehension (or mental agility).
Intelligence is often confused with knowledge, wisdom, memory, or other attributes and in general has a variety of meanings depending on the context in which it is used.
The term IQ usually refers to the attempt to measure a person's mental agility. There are many standard IQ tests in use around the world. On most intelligence tests, average IQ score is 100, but some tests give different numerical values to the level required for entry into Mensa, in the same way that the same temperature is expressed by different numerical values on the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales. One way of comparing scores from different IQ tests is to convert them to a ranking, or percentile score, which tells you in which band you fit. A percentile score of 99% means that you are in the top 1%, a percentile score of 98% puts you in the top 2% and so on.
According to Susanne Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl, now of the University of Maryland, psychologists have long regarded intelligence as coming in two flavors: crystallized intelligence, the treasure trove of stored-up information and how-to knowledge (the sort of thing tested on “Jeopardy!” or put to use when you ride a bicycle); and fluid intelligence. Crystallized intelligence grows as you age; fluid intelligence has long been known to peak in early adulthood, around college age, and then to decline gradually.
And unlike physical conditioning, which can transform 98-pound weaklings into hunks, fluid intelligence has always been considered impervious to training. That, after all, is the premise of I.Q. tests, or at least the portion that measures fluid intelligence: we can test you now and predict all sorts of things in the future, because fluid intelligence supposedly sets in early and is fairly immutable. While parents, teachers and others play an essential role in establishing an environment in which a child’s intellect can grow, even Tiger Mothers generally expect only higher grades will come from their children’s diligence — not better brains.
So enough with the edumacation, below are those 10 clever people with the highest IQs of all time: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10. Stephen Hawking – IQ 160 - The renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking gets to open the list with an IQ of 160. He is widely known for his best-selling book “A History of Time.”
9. Albert Einstein – IQ 160 – 190 - One of the greatest minds of all time, Albert Einstein, is the mind behind the scientifically critical theory of relativity. According to expert estimates, he had an IQ between 160 and 190.
8. Judit Polgar – IQ 170 - The first woman ever to beat the legendary Garry Kasparov, Judit Polgar is proof that chess is by all means a game tightly associated with intellectual prowess.
7. Leonardo da Vinci – IQ 180 – 190 - It’s hard to give a precise number when it comes to Leonardo da Vinci’s IQ, but experts agree that one of humanity’s greatest minds reached the figure ranging from 180 to 190.
6. Marilyn Vos Savant – IQ 190 - Back in the ’80s, Marilyn Vos Savant was the proud owner of the highest IQ ever title. She became famous for her column “Ask Marilyn.
5. Garry Kasparov – IQ 194 - Chess legend Garry Kasparov cracks the list in half with an IQ of 194. From 1986 to 2005, he was ranked No. 1 for 225 out of 228 weeks, a feat likely never to be repeated.
4. Kim Ung-Yong – IQ 210 - This man might shock you with the opportunities he decided to pass during his life. Born in Korea, Kim Ung-Yong was able to read English, German, Japanese and Korean by the age of 3. He was even hired by NASA, but was disappointed with the renowned agency and had quickly quit. He works as a teacher in his native country.
3. Christopher Hirata – IQ 225 - Child prodigy Christopher Hirata became the youngest American ever to win the gold medal at International Physics Olympiad, being only 13 at the time. He enrolled in the California Institute of Technology at 14, and got a PhD from Princeton at the age of 22. He later returned to the California Institute of Technology to teach astrophysics, which he still does today.
2. Tarence Tao – IQ 225 – 230 - Rising to prominence as a child prodigy from Australia, Tarence Tao sill counts as one of the most renowned mathematicians of today.
1. William James Sidis – IQ 250 – 300 - Born in 1898, William James Sidis had the highest IQ known to man, ranging from 250 to 300. He entered Harvard for mathematics studies at the age of 11, but after he had finished them, his life took a bad turn. He was ultimately put in a sanatorium by his parents and had abandoned science altogether. He passed away at the age of 46.