By Haddon Libby

If you feel the same way as me, ignorance seems to be running rampant and picking up speed throughout society. Whether it is an ignorant statement by a city council person or Fox News where they ‘report and you decide’ (whether the information shared with you is true), there seems to be an active dumbing down going on in America.

With that said, do you know your IQ? Mine was tested when I was a child and found that I was in the top 2% making me a card carrying egghead. In case you don’t know what ‘IQ’ stands for, it is short-hand for Intelligence Quotient. In case you don’t know what a quotient is, deduct 10 IQ points and turn the page to another article – today’s article isn’t for you.

IQ measures one’s cognitive skill in relationship with others in the same age group and living environment. An IQ between 90 and 110 is considered average. Nearly seven in ten people have IQs between 85 and 115 while 95% of all people fall between 70 and 130. Over 130 and you are considered ‘intellectually gifted’. Over 160 and you are considered a genius. Over 200 is referred to as “unmeasurable genius”. Below 75 and you are considered ‘intellectually impaired’.


The IQ test finds its origins in France in the early 1900s when psychologist Alfred Binet was asked by the French government to formulate a test that might help them at insuring that students received special assistance if needed. In 1916, Stanford University’s Lewis Terman used Binet’s work to create a standardized test for Americans that used a single number to rank intelligence – your IQ score. This test takes your mental age as tested and divides it by your actual age to get your score.

British professor and psychologist, Richard Lynn completed a study that ranked average IQs by country and found that Asian-rim countries like Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan have the highest intellect. The United States ranks 19th with an average IQ of 98 behind countries like China, Italy and Poland while African countries like Ethiopia ranked at the bottom with IQ scores of 60, a rating that suggests mild mental disability.

So who is the smartest person in the world?

Many consider it to be Terence Tao who scored a 230 as a child. Born in Australia in 1975, he was able to complete basic math equations at the age of 2. By 15, he had Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Today, he is considered one of the world’s best mathematicians.

American Christopher Hirata who was born in 1982, scored a 225 as a child. He was taking college level calculus and physics classes at the age of 12 and today works as an astrophysicist.

Marilyn Vos Savant (apropos name) was born in St. Louis in 1946 and is considered the world’s smartest woman with an IQ of 190. Savant is a playwright who is a columnist for “Parade” magazine.

For reference, it is estimated that Einstein had a 160-190 IQ while Leonardo DiVinci had an IQ of 180-190. Steven Hawking’s IQ is 160.

Worth noting, your mental capacity dwindles as you age. Fortunately, your brain has a way of compensating while experience has the ability of overshadowing eroding intellect. Also, when you hear that we use only 2% of our brain that is not true. We use all 100%. It is just that neuroscientists are not sure how most of it works.

So when you see a friend or family member parroting propaganda that doubles as the news, fixated on fashion or drinking excessively, you can tell them that they are likely to acquire a terminal case of the dumbing downs if they don’t work on developing an inquisitive mind.