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Scientists with low IQs

InquilineKeaInquilineKea Posts: 2,309- Member
edited October 2009 in College Confidential Cafe
So we know that....

Feynman's IQ was 126 (bio)
Watson's IQ was 124 (bio)
William Shockley's was 129, then 125 when tested a year later (his 2007 bio)
Luis Alvarez's was below 135 (he failed to qualify for Terman study)

But then I hear from some sources that Francis Crick's IQ was 115. Does anyone know where that figure came from? None of those sources referenced any of Crick's bios, and an entry on Wikipedia (the entry was on Stereotypes regarding Asian Americans, which mentioned Crick's IQ, that was weird :p) only referenced two articles that were not authoritative.

Also - does anyone else know of low IQs by other scientists?
Post edited by InquilineKea on

Replies to: Scientists with low IQs

  • MBPMBP Posts: 2,509Registered User Senior Member
    MBP /*comment*/
  • quaerequaere Posts: 1,264Registered User Senior Member
    Um ... since an average IQ is 100, I'd hardly call those IQs "low". See IQ distribution
  • kollegkidkollegkid Posts: 1,007Registered User Senior Member
    According to Science (2003), the average IQ for American scientists was informally measured as about 125. I wouldn't call the examples that you cited as illustrative of low IQs in relation to scientists or, obviously, the general public.
  • InquilineKeaInquilineKea Posts: 2,309- Member
    However, these are Nobel laureates. In fact, Feynman specifically said that when he pulled out his childhood IQ scores, he remarked that his Nobel Prize was very remarkable for someone of his IQ

    As a basis of comparison, the average IQ of the average grad student in physics is 140 (Simonton, Scientific Genius)
  • rockermcrrockermcr Posts: 14,670Registered User Senior Member
    I'd like to say Einstein, because he wasn't smart in the classical sense of the word. I don't know how high his IQ was, but I know that he didn't believe in the memorization of useless facts, while knowledge of facts was considered a sign of intelligence in his time period. Also, I remember hearing that he failed a math class or something like that.
  • ChaosTheoryChaosTheory Posts: 5,199- Senior Member
    That is a myth. He started learning calculus at the age of 12. He did exceptionally well on the physics and mathematics sections on the Swiss university entrance exam, but not so well on the other sections; hence, he was not granted admission.
  • Mr PayneMr Payne Posts: 8,850Registered User Senior Member
    In fact, Feynman specifically said that when he pulled out his childhood IQ scores, he remarked that his Nobel Prize was very remarkable for someone of his IQ
    Children's IQ scores are hugely sporadic. If that's how this 125 IQ is being identified, I'm hugely skeptical. A better gauge is his admittance into MIT & Princeton for his PhD work. Those seem to indicate a higher IQ.
  • kollegkidkollegkid Posts: 1,007Registered User Senior Member
    Academic and creative giftedness are somewhat different. Creative giftedness can be tested with the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking or the Wallach-Kogan Tests. Eysenck (1983), Simonton (1984) and Torrance (1974) have conducted research that suggests a correlation of IQ and creativity only up to about 120. After that, creativity is no longer IQ dependent. Tunco (1989) also confirmed 120 as an important threshold for creativity. You should be able to find out more about the threshold hypothesis of intelligence online.

    Feynman, for example, may have had a greater creativity quotient than others in his field. His IQ would not indicate his creativity as he already broke the 120 threshold. He may have falsely assumed that high IQs are associated with Nobel status. I do not know of any research that confirms this.
  • kollegkidkollegkid Posts: 1,007Registered User Senior Member
    Mr Payne - I agree. IQs can vary widely. I have had a 20 point range in my own testing experiences. Also 20% of IQ tests are potentially erroneous due to administrative or clerical errors (Jurgens, 2005).
  • lobgentlobgent Posts: 548Registered User Member
    The fact is that while Feynman's IQ was a "mere" 125, his mathematical capabilities were through the roof (also noted in James Gleick's Genius, which Inq mentioned implicitly). So it's not really surprising that he won a Nobel Prize for Physics, even though his verbal reasoning skills were only average.

    Einstein's IQ was measured at around 161, I believe. Not exactly something to sneeze at :).

    Yes, Shockley's IQ was abysmal. I remember reading that he was rejected from one of the gifted-and-talented programs he applied to as a child because he didn't meet the cut-off. And now? He's the Nobel Prize-winning inventor of the ubiquitous transistor. Just shows you that IQ measurements serve their purpose only to a limited extent.

    Hmm... The average IQ for electrical engineers is around 132, I think.
  • MBPMBP Posts: 2,509Registered User Senior Member
    ^einstein never took an IQ test.
  • lobgentlobgent Posts: 548Registered User Member
    ^Replace "measured" with "estimated."
  • kollegkidkollegkid Posts: 1,007Registered User Senior Member
    Speaking of Shockley, I don't know if they came from Nobel sperm, but a mom with three kids from a sperm bank was pushing really hard to have her kids admitted. She claimed all three kids had smart sperm donor dads. One of the kids was an outstanding speller (regionals for the Bee) but the three did not have any qualified test results.
  • lobgentlobgent Posts: 548Registered User Member
    Admitted to what?
  • MBPMBP Posts: 2,509Registered User Senior Member
    however, why would they estimate 161, did your source say? why wouldn't people estimate it at 160?
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