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Who was/is the most intelligent person in the history?
certainly not me! People don't read or use their words like they did in the past. Computers have offloaded the burden of the need to remember so I feel like the most intelligent person is gone. One person that comes to mind is Benjamin Franklin. Read a biography of him and you will be amazed at his accomplishments. For some reason, some of the ideas of Jesus Christ have had a large impact on much of humankind; whoever invented the wheel created quite an invention; Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla were extremely practical inventors. Walt Disney was off the charts in creativity. Lee Kuan Yew from Singapore is the most intelligent person in the world ! I would say Gandhi was the most intelligent person.
That is the benefit of finding out the answer to the question: 'who were/are the smartest people in the world'. Once we know that, we can look at their biographies, how they thought, why they thought that way. We can learn how their parents nurtured them. What were educational and pedagogical methods used in their upbringing. How was creativity stimulated. Once we learn all these things we can apply them to ourselves and to our children. Genius of the past may be common man of the future.
Very good point. The fact nature allows such societies & thoughts to exist means they are real and natural. This is where truth comes in. A maze might have dead-ends (such as the close-mindedness of such societies & individuals), but it doesn't mean it can't be solved relative to its beginning.
People need only to turn back & find another path that nature allows for progress. Problem? They decide to camp there and give up, thus creating the illusion that there isn't any progress allowed.
Yeah...such pride people hold, seriously -_-
Knowledge is free! It's for anyone who wants it. I also don't believe in limits because if a new superior level of intellect is attainable, then surely there is a bridge to gap the difference - or else nature wouldn't allow both states to exist. The configuration between two states would be the bridge if you ask me.
And this brings us into the waters of ethics and morality. Telling anything to a person along the lines of "don't do/think that, it is unnatural" seems to be absurd. It couldn't appear in our minds if it was unnatural. Then again, societies and their norms are also natural, and it is natural that they ask from individuals to "not do or think" certain things.
And I completely agree with that! That is THE reason why patents are inherently bad thing. Or since they already exist, I would allow mathematical formulas to be patented as well!
Well...if you think about it, the phenomena that occurs in the brain which impels an inventor to invent something is natural, and therefore the invention is technically a "discovery" - it makes use of nature to make something. The product might be "unnatural", but since the brain and humanity are biological and thus natural, technically the end product (the invention) is just a discovery. And to create knowledge! That is the difference between an invention and a discovery. Mathematical discovery cannot be patented as that knowledge is always there, waiting for the right person to recognize it. Invention can be patented, as it is created in particular person's mind.
Intelligence is indeed ambiguous, but in general terms, we could assume it is the ability of an individual to acquire knowledge on anything. Sidis was not intelligent enough to deal in the more constructive way with the social pressure around him. Tesla was not intelligent enough to persuade people to finance his ideas, nor to make enough money so that he would not need other peoples help. Socrates ... it is hard to find something he did not do right, as he seemed to not be interested in much but the Truth. To simplify the issue, lets assume that by intelligence we consider 'academic' abilities, and not social and emotional skills with everything they encompass. Than again, 'academic' intelligence aims at understanding the world, and to understand it, you need to know social aspects of it too. Socrates seemed to have understood people well, and their motives. Sidis was a mathematical and linguistic prodigy. Tesla understood well physical world, and could control it.
Well, I guess we cannot really argue who was the most intelligent unless we define first what it means to be intelligent.
William James Sidis. That's an easy question. Nikola Tesla! Not only he was an amazing visionary and mystic, but he knew Nature better than anyone else, as can be seen by the way he manipulated it by controlling its forces. His inventions are not only engineering feats, but also phenomenal manifestations of his deep understanding of the Nature.  The work of Jesus Christ represents the intelligence and expressiveness of the God.
But what is the relation between religion and intelligence?
Also, Socrates was born almost 5 centuries before Jesus, which makes his philosophy iconic 'importance' 25% better! I have to say Jesus Christ.He has remain a religious icon for over 2000 years. Probably the single most intelligent person who has ever lived was Buddha. What he knew 2500 years ago science is now proving. Isaac Newton was the person in history that used the most of his intellect. It is rumored that he died a virgin so they have accounted for why he had so much energy to use to squeeze every bit of intellect possible out of his brain.
Assuming that IQ measures intelligence, that may be true. However, intelligence is far more complex concept than is IQ, and may as well include creativity. Also, IQ 'measures' logical abilities, while psychological and social skills are not measured by IQ. In real life social intelligence may be as important, or even more important than 'pure' abstract intelligence. Maybe William James Sidis or Kim Ung Yong, and some members in the Giga Society. Sidis iq estimate as a child was about 250, same as yong, so if it was adult iq, it would be about 190. Leonardo Da Vinci is creative and excellent artist, but maybe his iq would be about 180, because creativity is not the same as intelligence, some people are very creative, but cannot solve very hard problems. But so far, Paul Cooijman the creator of the Giga Society, have not known any adult with iq at 200. Leonardo's fame is overrated as a result of lack of knowledge of other great people throughout the history and world, and of better "marketing" due to him being the shiny star of Europe coming out of the Dark Age.
Lets see why Leonardo *could* be more intelligent than some other famous polymath people, or even some not well known polymaths. Benjamin Franklin, Rudjer Boskovic, Goethe, Imhotep, Avempace, Shen Kuo, Zhang Heng, Al-Kindi, Al-Farabi, Abhinavagupta, Abu Rayḥan al-Biruni, Avicenna...Each successive age produces persons whose intelligence surpasses current ideas, creatively expanding the island of all knowledge by what they theorize or invent. It takes an Albert Einstein, studying the unknown in his day, to produce a Stephen Hawking. With that said, Leonardo Da Vinci was painter, sculptor, architect, musician, writer, scientist, engineer, mathematician, inventor, botanist, anatomist and philosopher, way beyond ideas of his day - the ideal Renaissance man. He gets my vote.
What do IQ tests measure?
Maybe I will be smarter if I analyze my own life that I know so much about, instead of reading about lives of people I know nothing about. Because we may be able to learn how to be smarter if we analyze biographies of these people. Why does it matter who was the most intelligent? Impossible to answer! I can only mention a few whose lives I read about and that I think were VERY intelligent, at least in some areas of life. Socrates, Pythagoras, Jesus, Confucius, Newton, Bach, Jefferson, Dostoevsky, Wittgenstein, Keller, and many others. If I want to select a single person, maybe I should first try to select one of these few I just mentioned. If I cannot do that, how can I choose between all people I don't know anything about! Who was/is the most intelligent person in the history? I'd bet Albert Einstein or Leonardo da Vinci. Great, great inventions and a crazy, highly creative mind.i am sure that an intelligent person is one who can grasp abstract notions and can formulate them.he or she have sophisticated tastes in music movies and the stuff he or she reads.a sense of humour must be evident because it shows an ability to detach and analyse. Maybe we cannot assume that intelligence involves only 'academic' abilities. While 'academics' aim to understand the world, including social aspects of it, and in theory an academic may actually understand it well, that does not mean that an academic will know how to (or be *intelligent* enough to) implement that knowledge in life. For example, Edward Bernays who invented public relations was unable to relate to people around him! Paradoxical, but that's how life is sometimes. 
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. What makes a person intelligent? Person's ability to solve problems and think critically? Person's ability to choose the right problems to solve? Persons' ability to avoid problems?
Ability to be happy? To be healthy?
What makes a person intelligent?