What does it take to be a genius nowadays? Can a 3 year old possess genius-like qualities or at least be smart enough to join the high-IQ organization Mensa?
To answer the latter, two very young U.S. Mensa members were inducted recently — a 6-year-old brother and his 3-year-old sister, according to one source. In fact, American Mensa boasts some 2,600 members under the age of 18 already.
Though the organization’s namesake, meaning “table” in Latin, serves to unite all people who score in the top 2 percent of the population on IQ tests, some elements of genius can’t be accounted for through standardized IQ measures.
After taking Science Channel’s genius quiz, my answers match best with those of of Albert Einstein. It’s doubtful I’ll expand our understanding of the universe’s spacetime continuum anytime soon, though — I’m still trying to wrap my brain around quantum physics.
We define geniuses as people with superior intellectual or creative ability. In psychology, possessing an IQ at and above 180 may qualify you as an intellectual rarity. But recently, we’ve expanded the definition to include a high level of emotional connection and endurance with one’s vision and life work.
Still, some experts think using the label is entirely subjective. Even though you might not be able to predict who will progress to “geniushood,” history has taught us we know it when we see it.
Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, William Shakespeare and Nikola Tesla — to name a few — all reached historical genius status with their widespread contributions to Western society. But in today’s environment, with technology to assist us in our intellectual endeavors, is it easier to reach the status of genius?
For instance, would someone like Steve Jobs, who recently resigned from Apple, meet the cut for the global impact of his company?
It’s hard to say, but it still seems a person’s ability to explain or shape the world’s most fundamental ideas sets a genius apart from the rest.
Perhaps we all have a mix of our own genius qualities. Who knows?
Photo: German-born physicist Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955), who developed the Theory of Relativity. credit: Getty Images