Think these kids are smarter than Einstein? Think again
After recent news of British kids scoring higher than the genius on a IQ test, we take a closer look.
Watching an episode of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?," it's not hard to see how a 10-year-old kid can sometimes best people who are more than twice their age.
But could you honestly call a pre-teen smarter than Albert Einstein? This summer there have been several news stories bouncing around the Internet, declaring a few children to be smarter than Einstein.
Earlier this month, a 12-year-old boy from Britain was found to have a higher IQ than both Einstein and Stephen Hawking. During a recent appearance on the game show "Child Genius," the boy – known only by Rahul, his first name – beat all the other young contestants in the spelling and timed memory quizzes. He achieved a perfect score.
To give you an idea of what the show is like, here's a clip from a previous season:
And here are a couple of the questions from this year's competition:What is the missing number? ____, 3,720, 4,557, 5,394, 6,231
Answer: South America
After Rahul's performance, the Evening Standard newspaper said the boy "has an IQ score of 162, putting him in the top 2 percent of the UK population and trumping Einstein.” Another British student, this one a 12-year-old girl, also scored a 162 on an IQ test earlier this year. In 2016, an 11-year-old from London (what is it with these British students?), made headlines for also scoring that high and being deemed smarter than Einstein.
While all of them scored high enough to qualify for Mensa (entrants are usually anywhere above the 140 range), that doesn't necessarily make them wiser than the world's favorite genius. For starters, kids usually take what are known as "youth IQ tests," so it's hard to compare their scores – apples to apples, or brain to brain in this instance – to those who are older. More important, Einstein never took a modern-day IQ test. He's generally believed to have had an IQ of 160, which is why headline writers relish saying that there are children with a higher IQ than the beloved physicist.
In addition, Einstein's genius is more than a mere IQ number. His contributions to the world go well beyond the laboratory. His theories have had a hand in everything from driverless cars to Pokemon Go. Scientists are still making new discoveries based on Einstein's teachings. And, indeed, people are still studying his brain, which was removed from his body after his passing.
Speaking of which, we recently traveled to the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia to speak with the curator about an exhibit that features parts of Einstein's actual brain. You can watch our interview with her in the video below:
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Related Topics: Albert Einstein