The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How smart should a President be?

Following up on my previous post, I would like you all to consider a simple question: how smart should a President be? Also, I would like you to consider a related question: how smart should a politician be?

To give you a scale to measure your intuitive answer against, perhaps you would like to think in the following way. A moderately gifted person, in a population with a mean IQ of 100 (typical for Western countries, or thereabouts), would have an IQ of 130. This occurs with a rarity of 1 in 44. In other words, the moderately gifted child, in an ordinary, average school, is probably the brightest child in the class. A highly gifted child, in a population of mean IQ 100, has an IQ of 145. This occurs with a rarity of 1 in 741 (with a standard deviation of 15, typical of the West). In other words the child with an IQ of 145, is probably the brightest child in an ordinary school, or thereabouts. An exceptionally gifted child has an IQ of 160. This occurs only in 1 in 31,560 people. So a child with this IQ, would probably be the brightest child any teacher in the school, has ever seen, in their entire careers. Alternatively, this child would be the brightest person in a fairly average sized suburban town area. A profoundly gifted child, in the same population, would have an IQ of 180. This occurs only once in 20,696,863 people, according to IQ rarity charts (though in practice it could be as high as, perhaps, one in a million). Such a child would be the brightest of his generation, in some nations. Alternatively, they would be the brightest person in a very large "mega city". It is interesting to note that, one step further than this, the brightest person in America is likely to be around an IQ of 187, which occurs once in 300 million, or so, people, according to the ideal normal statistical distribution of IQ. (Again, however, in the real world this is likely be an underestimate, for the reason that IQ is trimodal, it seems, not normal). Incidentally, the brightest person in the world, by this method of estimating, would be about an IQ of 195 which occurs ideally once in 8.3 billion. (Again, an underestimate of real world IQs.)

Now, the question is: what is the most appropriate level of IQ for the President of the United States (or any other nation)? Furthermore, what is the appropriate level of IQ for any politician of any level, as a minimum entry requirement? Please give your views in the comments section below.

Should a President be the intellectual equivalent of the brightest person in class (IQ 130); the brightest person in school (IQ145); the brightest person in a town (IQ 160); the brightest person in a mega city (IQ 180); the brightest person in America (IQ 187) or the brightest person in the world (IQ 195)?

Posted by Valentine Cawley

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:54 AM 


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