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Old 05-01-2009, 12:19 PM
Location: vagabond
2,631 posts, read 4,831,021 times
Reputation: 1300


that is true, and an early speaker is not always a sign of a gifted child either. i was on the shallow end of an early speaker, and i was as dumb as a box of rocks until after high school. my parents would disagree, and i certainly had my talents. but over all, it wasn't until i got out into the real world that i began to wake up a bit. i realize that i am diverging somewhat from the kind of intelligence that we are talking about. but i am not talking solely of emotional intelligence and maturity. i just became a plain smarter person. i developed the common sense and critical thinking capabilities that i had lacked earlier (though my parents had always tried to get it through to me, and without them i wouldn't have gotten anywhere).
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:04 PM
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,367 posts, read 8,267,829 times
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As already mentioned, there are certainly many of types of intelligence to base "genius" on (intellectual, emotional, creative intelligence, etc.). And not everyone with a "genius" level of intelligence, necessarily will be a high achiever. Many simply don't have the drive and may just choose to use their "gifts" to have an easier, more comfortable life instead, perhaps privately pursuing their passions.

But regardless, it seems that what distinguishes "genius" is that special combination of 2 abilities: being able to recognize "connections" and "patterns" in things that others can't (a.k.a. "insights" & "concepts"), combined with a unique gift for accessing "higher knowledge".

As Einstein said, "There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there."
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Old 05-02-2009, 06:02 PM
Location: So Cal
38,749 posts, read 37,911,931 times
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Maybe we should get Mr. Hawkings take on this subject.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:38 PM
Location: planet octupulous is nearing earths atmosphere
13,624 posts, read 10,695,444 times
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if you throw a new york stock broker in the middle of the amazon he will brobably die within one week.....on the other hand if you throw an amazonian tribal person in new york he probably will do pretty good at surviving..so who's smarter the stock broker or the amazonian tribal person... the word genius should not exist.. just like the word perfect should not exist.. there is nothing tangible that is perfect i can find a flaw in anything that is suposedly perfect so it should not exist..
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:34 AM
Location: Rocket City, U.S.A.
1,806 posts, read 4,992,915 times
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I always appreciated the way my favorite instructor described it, as an artist:

"Genius is 'how many things you can see in the clouds."

My husband, my brother and my father are all measurable geniuses of varying degree. However, through exposure to them and more so several others making the claim, I have found this gift attributes very selectively. Application may be quite limited. It appears that one can be a genius and still be doltish.

Sincerely, not a genius.

Last edited by 33458; 05-05-2009 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:55 PM
Location: Europe
160 posts, read 263,899 times
Reputation: 102
What Is Genius?
I am.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:27 PM
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Genius is typically hidden from the common man, because it gives him an inferiority complex.

The average person is always striving to be more than they are. They want to be rich, famous, better at sports, better educated, more popular, harder workers, work in upper management, and anything else which makes them better than the Joneses.

True geniuses don't need the admiration of others to know that they're special. Instead of talking about their upcoming cruise and showing off their new stainless steel appliances, they spend their time trying to explain seemingly simple ideas to the world around them.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:46 PM
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I once had the difference of intellectual and genius described like this:

A genius is a person who excels well above average, without really even trying, in one or two areas.

An intellecutal is a person who is more well rounded in their intellegence and excel in a wide range of areas.

IQ is the number assigned to one's level of ability to compute information in a given area or areas. There are multiple IQ's: art, music, science, mathmatics, ect.

A true genius is a person who scores in the top 2% of the world population when tested by IQ tests in one or more areas.

IQ is said to be 80% inherited and 20% environmental. I raised my two brothers for 6 years through toddlerhood and now have three of my own children. I see both the genetic and environmental behavioral theories. A person can be born with a higher potential toward "genius," however, if that inclination is not fed, the child may never develop their genius tendencies and will grow up to live a rather normal or less than acceptable lifestyle.

My brothers (as I was), were held back. I remember for getting into trouble for teaching my five year old brother how to open the door...because he could wonder out in the night. This one example is just how EVERYTHING went. My brothers have never done well in school and don't have the drive to try. Higher IQ runs in the family, though they never showed any of the typical signs as toddlers, they definitely had zero nurture so we would never know if that would have helped them or not. My children did things like say their first words at 4 months, 4 months, and 2 weeks. They walked on their own at 7 months, 6 months, and 4 months. (I have heard I pushed them...how do you do that at this age...impossible. It was on their own.) One played Candy Land correctly at 10 months old. Two learned to read at age three, one at barely age four. They correct adults and at age two are annoyed when people say monkey instead of ape (Curious George). Our first could tell you the lifecycle of plants and animals, and enjoyed modeling the entire lifecyle of the butterfly out of clay (so she could squish the butterfly at death time) at age three. Our first son has a natural ability with words, writing, and art. He thinks deeply and has interesting, and often correct or very closely correct, logic....he thought on his own...what happens when you can't pee...Where does it go...into your blood. He told his sister what he was thinking and she thought he was nuts. His handwritting is seriously better than any one of ours. Our last one is very keen on everything giong on around him and "gets" things very quickly. He's still only three but he does things like remembers from age two a year ago when we ipointed out poisen ivy when camping and independently indentified it this year when I had over looked it just inches from me. We both have the genes in us and both of us have our areas of especially special ability. Neither of us were nutured as children. I was discouraged and pretty much was never allowed to leave the house. My husband did his own thing with his mother being a lot more relaxed about it. He has very defined skills while mine are ~~ehh~~, could be better. One thing that is consistant with us both is that we both still love to learn. I love to read aloud to the children, sometimes two hours at a stretch or through an entire chapter book~~and as toddlers, they enjoy sitting that long to listen to it, my husband has on the science channel all the time. We offer a very nurturing environment for our children and even went as far as to homeschool our children to allow their natural skills to develop more significantly.

For our children, they were definitely born this way. You can not make a four month old child speak, let alone a two week old to copy you when you said hi, or walk at such young ages. It's just not possible. They are born. Yet to say that is someone has the will, they still can not be this smart is wrong. If someone, despite their circumstances, wants something bad enough, they will work at it to get to that point, it just takes them longer and to can you call someone a genius who was born that way a genius when they do absolutely nothing with it? Not really. They are an even more ignorant than those who have lower IQ numbers for not using what they have.
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:19 PM
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I think being considered a genius is arbitrary to say the least. It really is in the eye of the beholder. Look at Einstien, he was in college and kicked out and he came up with the theory of relativity. Most people think just becaues you score high on a I.Q. test your a genius. I guess you can be smart as hell and lack common sense. And vice versa. A combination of the two, in my opinnion, is what constitute genius. You can learn all the theory and book smarts in the world but if you can't put it to practical use your only providing lip service.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:21 PM
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,275 posts, read 9,970,295 times
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Default If you're huffy about intellect, please read.

It’s interesting that as I’ve read this thread, and several others relating to this topic (‘gifted children’ in the education category, etc.), there are always a few respondents who get defensive about intelligence or one person being ‘smarter’ than another. Typically comparisons are made to common sense, dexterity, strength, workmanship, etc. Then it’s usually some sort of discount decree like: ‘Oh yeah, well that brain is so shy he/she can’t even function in society,’ or ‘I’ll bet he can’t do what my granddad used to do on the farm’ or ‘yeah, but she has no common sense.’

I’m a bit baffled by this defensiveness; It seems hard for some folks to understand or admit that some people are smarter, brighter, higher IQ--whatever you want to call it--than other people. Yet, on the other hand, it’s not hard at all for you to admit that a great athlete can run better than you, or a master carpenter can build a better cabinet than you, or a great artist can paint a better picture than you, or a prize fighter can knock your head off, or a good farmer can grow a better field of corn than you, or Yngwie Malmsteen can play a faster guitar solo than you. It’s silly! There is nothing to be defensive about. Different people do different things better than others. You can do certain things better than I can. I can do certain things better than you can. So? Why is it so hard to fathom that certain people can think in an abstract, problem solving, or purely intellectual way better than others? And why is it so hard to admit that such is just another ability. It’s okay. Really. It is okay. It takes nothing from you to grant it, just like it takes nothing from you to grant that Lance Armstrong is a better bicyclist than you are.

I’m going to use myself as an example, even though I know I shouldn’t—but, several others have, so I’m emboldened. I’m not a genius, but my IQ measures between 138 and 144, depending on the year (it fluctuates a bit as I get older). I wouldn’t say that I’m a social disaster, but I do keep to myself. I teach in the classroom, so I certainly can interact with others. As far as ‘not being able to make small talk’ as someone mentioned: yes, I have a hard time with it--but not because I can’t talk--it’s because, frankly, it’s wasting my time. I have very hard time talking about things I have no interest in, like the neighbor’s fishing trip or aunt Jennie’s poodle or Bob’s new girlfriend. I’ve always been that way. I’m not unfriendly at all, but I don’t spend a lot of time ‘small talking.’ It drives me crazy. And yes, I’m a bit reclusive, but I don’t think anyone that interacts with me would find me ‘weird’--I do have a very weird sense of humor that sometimes gets comments.

I don’t think any of you would find it ‘weird’ for a star athlete to spend eight or ten hours a day training, yet you might find it ‘weird’ for an intellectual to study for eight or ten hours a day. Why is that? My opinion is that the mind responds to frequent, consistent training just like muscles do. The more you use it, the more it will respond to the input and the stronger it will become. Outside of eating, sleeping, working, jogging, and an occasional hike in the mountains, I spend most all of my time with intellectual pursuits. Study. Study. Study. When I don’t, I feel I’ve been wasting my time. I’ve studied lot’s of topics, yet I would not say my knowledge is ‘broad’ across topics--only the ones I’ve studied. I am currently (as of a few years ago) really into linguistics and language (actually, I’ve always been, but more lately). My goal is to speak six languages reasonably well or at least functionally before I’m 50. I’m about half way there (with the languages). Why? I don’t know. I can’t explain what motivates me. But I’ve been doing it since my earliest memories. My mother had me reading simple things well by age four. While other kids were out playing baseball or whatever, I was sitting under a tree or in my favorite ‘hideout’ learning about the solar system, geography, etc. I just have an unquenchable desire to ‘know things.’ On the other hand there are many topics about which I am clueless and I will remain so because I have no interest. A high IQ doesn’t really mean you know about everything. It doesn’t mean you can do everything. It doesn’t mean you are any better than anyone else. It only means you came equipped with certain tools to process knowledge and ‘figure things out’ from an intellectual angle. Just the same as others are equipped with tools to do things your 'smarts' doesn't cover.

So next time you want to get huffy and defensive about someone being good at ‘thinking,’ remind yourself that you have no cause to do so for the same reason you have no cause to get huffy and defensive about Lance Armstrong being a good cyclist. It’s all about passion and training. Really, do you expect to be as ‘intellectual’ as a ‘natural thinker’ who spends 12 hours a day studying? No. No more than you would expect to be as good a cyclist as Lance or guitarist as Yngwie, unless you had their ability and put in the time they do.

Last edited by ChrisC; 05-11-2009 at 11:41 PM..
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