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Are some people born with an "intrinsic high IQ"?

  1. May 20, 2004 #1
    Are some people born with an "intrinsic high IQ" (that is, are some people born with a profoundly gifted mind that makes them "natural geniuses) where others are not?
    Last edited: May 20, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2004 #2
    I'd have to consult with my box of chocolates before answering.
  4. May 20, 2004 #3


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    There are born mathematicians at least. They are observed as toddlers to have a deeper understanding of numbers, shapes, etc. than most adults, and typically do original work in their teens. Examples are Gauss, who discovered the eulidean construction of the seventeen sided regular polygon when he was 17, Galois who discovered group theory at 20, Erdos, who submitted his first original paper to a refereed journal when he was 17, and Ramanujan, who sent a list of original theorems and proofs to Hardy which he had proved in his late teens.
  5. May 20, 2004 #4
    Looking at this materialistcally, the brain is nothing but a sophisticated computer. The ability for a computer to perform is a result of the quality of both its hardware and software. For me, in this analogy, hardware is genetics and software is developed or learned. It's always seemed obvious to me that the answer to such questions is both nature and nurture.
  6. May 20, 2004 #5
    Yes, there are people with genetic disposition to high IQ. Take for instance Maria Vos Savant. Look at her name. It is her family name "From the Savants". There is a familial history of high intelligence of such long standing, that it is the family name. Look at Carl Sagan. His ancestors came from a village in Germany called Sagan. The term sage, or sagan, implies high intelligence. There are families who have this gift. Furthermore, understanding how intelligence is grown, how the mind grows, helps those families facilitate the growth of intelligence in their own offspring. They raise their children intelligently. Look at Kurt Vonnegut/Kurt Vonnegut. I am not smart enough on the spot here, to remember other family names that imply historic high intelligence, give me a month or so...
  7. May 20, 2004 #6
    I think saying something like "Is someone born with some # IQ?" is entirely dependent on what an IQ test/measurement is really testing for. From my extremely limited knowledge of this topic I would say that a test that sees how well you can manipulate langauges (in a spoken sense), math (excluding proofs), or simple ideas would be something more towards what you are born with. On the other hand moving beyond the base of each of these like truely understanding liteture, or mastering math to the level of expanding it, or creating new ideas from the old. I consider these to be thought and learned and ,while based in the basics, is more what an IQ test should test (abit harder to test for these things). So it really comes down how you define intellengence, and an IQ. The human mind seems to be born with some embeded skills, but what I feel that we value the most comes through experience, and learning (ie after birth).
    Last edited: May 20, 2004
  8. May 21, 2004 #7

    Are you therefore concluding that intellligence is dependent on a given family name?? I must disagree with you if that is the case.
  9. May 21, 2004 #8


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    He's saying that high intelligence can run in families, which it can; Spearman's g is 70% or so heritable. Family names in the German region were often not assigned until the 18th century, so in a few cases they could be based on such a personal trait. Consider Chuck Yeager, the aviator, noted for his exceptionally keen eyesight. His family name is from the German word Jaeger, meaning huntsman, a profession that requires keen eyesight.

    Nobody is saying name determines destiny, but in a few cases they can be significant. It doesn't work in the English area because family names go back further there. You don't look for the typical Smith to be extra strong!
  10. May 21, 2004 #9


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    My family name is Dummkopf.

    Chess playing seems to come naturally to a gifted few at a young age. Bobby Fischer is an obvious example. I would be interested to hear how chess phenoms do in other pursuits. I know that world champions in chess tend to be on the young side of 50, so the playing ability of the phenoms does taper off with age.
  11. May 21, 2004 #10
    Dummkopf Do you know what that means in German?
  12. May 21, 2004 #11
    I come from a family of peasants who aren't overly furnished in the brains department. Nothing changed with me, except I got an education. :approve:
  13. May 21, 2004 #12


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    Pa always said it meant "noble and virtuous," but I never really investigated the matter.
  14. May 21, 2004 #13

    :smile: :smile:
  15. May 22, 2004 #14
    Your Pa was probably right. We should all have that name.
  16. May 23, 2004 #15


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    My IQ is at least 40 points higher than anyone I know of in my family. I wonder why that is. I guess I better marry someone whose entire family is smart.
  17. May 30, 2004 #16
    Different minds develope differently and there are those that are born with the natural ability for numbers and what not. My science teacher once said that there are people like that and that some of those people tend to have a sort of autistic feel to them, meaning they can be slightly disconnected from society or they live in their own fantasy world for half their life.
    For some reason, I've found mathematics quite easy and I've also found myself to be slightly disconnected from the people around me, prefering to sit in my room at my computer than do most other things.
  18. May 31, 2004 #17


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    Imparticle, intelligence does run in families to some extent, which to me means that they have more potential to learn and comprehend, but it's not a guarantee of anything, certainly not success.

    My little sister's ex-boyfriend comes from a very intelligent family, both of his parents are University professors, he has a degree in Astrophysics and delivers pizza for a living now and has no desire to do anything else.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2004
  19. Jun 1, 2004 #18
    I agree intelligence is no indicator of success. Just look at the Mensa members

  20. Jun 1, 2004 #19
    Mensa numbers?
  21. Jun 1, 2004 #20
    The bell curve for intelligence, echoes the bell curve for normal behavior. So at the very low end of the intelligence curve, normal behavior deviates. At the high end of the bell curve for intelligence, the curve for normal behaviour is somewhat over the top. "If you are so smart, why aren't you rich?", well, value systems start to warp somewhere near the speed of light. Until we have a world where we all may live in dignity, and relative safety the bell curve for every value becomes the horrific knot we know as life on Earth. Some of the smartest people I know, relish very simple things. It might be that they grasp more of infinity per moment, than those whom ambition and competition rule. They move more slowly through the data. So, some people are more linear, and others more omnidirectional. I think the quantity is the same, but the view is very different.
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