Monday, July 01, 2013

I have NEVER felt more stupid.

Courtesy of the Deccan Chronicle:

A two-year-old toddler in UK has become the youngest ever member of the genius club Mensa, after he scored an incredible 141 on an IQ test. 

Adam Kirby scored 141 in the IQ test that reportedly ranked him smarter than US President Barack Obama and British Premier David Cameron. 

The toddler was invited to join the elite group after demonstrating his ability to read Shakespeare and understand Japanese, Spanish and French, the 'Daily Express' reported. 

The toddler stunned his parents Dean and Kerry-Ann Kirby by spelling 100 words and mastering both his times tables and the periodic table of chemical elements. 

"Adam's abilities are outstanding. While most children are just learning to stand up or crawl, Adam was reading books. His development was mind-blowingly quick," Dean, a 33-year-old IT consultant from Mitcham, South London, said. 

"We used to show him cards with the words hippopotamus and rhinoceros on them and he could identify the right animals most of the time," said Dean. 

Adam's IQ of 141 – just four shy of the Genius category – compares with the average Briton's score of 100. 

At two years five months, Adam is the youngest boy to join Mensa, the report said.

I joined Mensa once. I did.

However before you get all impressed I should probably tell you that I did it to meet smart women. 

I went to one meeting and as far as I could tell there were no women. (There was one shapeless hulk in the corner whose gender was indeterminable however.)

Personally I think that anybody who joins Mensa to meet women has already failed the IQ test. Not because there are not smart women, but because they are too smart to want to attend Mensa meetings.

But seriously two and half? How is that possible?


  1. BabyRaptor2:12 AM

    Wow. I tested as 139 at 19...This kid kicks my ass.

    1. Well, first I question the accuracy of the test on one so young.

      Second, your IQ is your IQ. It isn't going to go up as you age. It just is.

    2. Leland2:11 PM

      Sorry, Miaiuppa, that isn't true. Here's a quote that really defines it:

      The IQ is a number that ranges from 0 to 200 (plus), and it is a ratio that is derived by comparing mental age to chronological age.
      "Actually, the intelligence quotient is defined as 100 times the Mental Age (MA) divided by the Chronological Age (CA). IQ = 100 MA/CA"
      (end quote)

      What this means is simple. Let's say that at 18 your IQ was 120. If at that point, you stop learning (which, admittedly is rather difficult to do unless you die), when you reach the age of 36, theoretically your IQ would be 60. If the IQ can go DOWN, it can also go UP.

      It does get harder to raise one's IQ as one gets older, but it can be done.

      (Of course, it is easy to LOWER one's IQ. Joining the repubes party does it nicely! Snark!)

    3. Anonymous2:27 PM

      Maybe, maybe not. All IQ scores are plus or minus 7-8 points which means if I were to test you several times over a matter of years, I'd expect you to score somewhere in that range each time. Knowing nothing about the test given, situation etc. etc., I wouldn't hold my breath on this little guy yet. The achievements noted are way in excess of the measured IQ. I'd want to know a whole lot more before I'd start labeling this kid. And yes, I've tested two year olds.

      Elizabeth 44

  2. Anonymous3:17 AM

    I'm a smart woman who joined Mensa and has a near genius IQ. At one time it seemed inportant to me. But I also believed in god til i was in my forties. I think no matter what your IQ, if you can break free of the indoctrination of religion and political parties, you will be ok.
    I have also been called a troll here by Mercede. Working hard to get over it lol.

    1. Leland4:06 AM

      3:17? I can tell you are ssssooooooobroken up about being called a troll by her!

      And I personally also think that breaking away from the indoctrination is a sign of intelligence!

    2. Anonymous10:07 AM

      I was asked to join Mensa-- I had some very serious things going on at the time and didn't think joining an organization with no groups in my entire county was a priority lol. It's been forever since I've heard about Mensa.
      And 3:17, I (mostly) believed in God until I was in college. I say mostly because even though I despised church and its hypocrisies, I still felt the fear and guilt of leaving and speaking against it. Indoctrination runs deep, but at least you broke through :)

  3. I did it to meet smart men, and I got my second husband. My son-in-law did it to meet smart women, and he got my daughter, his second wife. That was Minneapolis.

    Locally, they seem to have become parrots of Rush Limbaugh, so my husband and I dropped out.

    Regarding the child, he’s either getting a lot of help, or it’s evidence of past lives.

    1. fromthediagonal8:41 AM

      ... or, to take is out of the real of philosophical musings (to which I am prone as well), this prodigy is the result of a long line of ancestors who had accumulated concentrated strands of super DNA??? No matter, it is fascinating!

    2. fromthediagonal10:14 AM

      Sorry Darlene, "real" should read "realm"!

  4. Anonymous4:11 AM

    I passed both Mensa tests (IQ and General Knowledge) but haven't joined nor will I join. Truthfully speaking, I don't feel all that intelligent: I think it's what you do with your gift that counts.

    As for Sarah Palin, she has a GENIUS for being able to say the STUPIDEST things and getting rich by doing so. So much for intelligence.

    1. Anonymous5:59 AM

      Bull crap. If you don't have the IQ, it is not something you can "develop".

      as for using mensa to meet partners - great idea. There is nothign more frustrating than spending life with someone who doesn't "get it."

    2. Leland6:18 AM

      I have to disagree, 5:59. It is a question that most psychologists discuss ardently. Is it genetics or environment?

      I personally believe it is BOTH. Can one develop into a genius if the "capability" isn't born into the kid? We just don't know for sure yet. It is too much of an open question.

      And I think it is so because we don't know HOW to reach kids properly to get the most from each. (Of course, with the things the repubes are trying to do, we may never learn!)

    3. It depends on how you define genius.

      Gifted and Talented students don't necessarily have a high IQ (but they could) but they do have a gift for solving problems outside the box.

      I'm sure we've all heard the joke about the truck trying to go under an overpass but it was just a few inches too tall. While the drive and cops were all standing around trying to figure it out, a child in a passing car rolled down the window and said "Why don't you just let the air out of the tires?"

      That's the difference between book learning and gifted and talented. You can memorize facts and regurgitate on demand, but it's being able to use them in creative problem solving that truly denotes genius.

    4. Leland2:22 PM

      WAY TO GO Miaiuppa! Hit the nail on the head with that last paragraph!!!!!!!!

      By the way, my favorite example of gifted is a man who has a flat tire outside the fence of an asylum. He suddenly knocks over the hubcap in which he had been storing the removed lug nuts and they end up in the sewer. He couldn't figure out how to get to a gas station without those nuts.
      A guy behind the fence tells him to take one nut from each of the other three tires and drive into town to get new nuts.
      The driver of the vehicle is amazed and says to the guy: "What the heck are you doing in THERE?"
      The guy behind the fence says: I'm in here 'cause I'm crazy. Not STUPID!"

      'Nough said?

    5. Anonymous2:30 PM

      Leland, some parents can, and do teach the test to a kid because they are so desperate to have a genius. Sad, but true. Repeating: I know nothing of this particular case.

      Elizabeth 44

  5. Leland4:18 AM

    I refused to join. PUzzles and things of that nature BORE me to tears.

    And I AM above the "genius" level. What's it get me? Strange looks, accusations of lying and stupid arguments most of the time.

    Big deal.

    I think, however, the most important positive thing I get from the so-called high IQ is an insatiable curiosity. I read - A LOT! (I just can't function in a formal education situation. Never did get through college. BORING!)

    I wish the parents of this child a great amount of luck. It is going to be a huge job to keep this child challenged and interested. Regular school just WON'T cut it!

    1. Anonymous4:58 AM

      You remind me of my son......his Junior year in High School he helped plan the computer network for the local school system.....and it's only been onward and upward from there....immersed himself in the minutia of a very complex software patent case by reading piles of legal briefs filed in the case...just out of eyes would have glazed over....

    2. Anonymous6:00 AM

      Yep. that's the problem with a lot of education today. we sacrifice out genius (es) for conformity and bringing up the floor, instead of seeing how high we can raise the ceiling.

    3. Leland6:10 AM

      4:58? If something captures our imagination, there is no such thing as boredom.

      But it takes CAPTURING it to get us started! I am happy your son seems to have found something that captured his entire being. Good for him!

      (Me? I was captured by philosophy and I grab anything I can find - be it Aristotle or Zoroaster or anything in between, I can't get enough.)

      (And thank you for the compliment of comparing me to your son. It is humbling to be compared positively to someone who is loved by someone else!)

    4. Leland6:12 AM

      One more thing, 4:58. I hope he wasn't (isn't?) too much of a challenge for you. I know it can happen. I KNOW I was a pain in the A**!

  6. Anonymous6:14 AM

    By 3rd grade, I just read everything twice to avoid being scolded for "you couldn't have read all that yet". At age 10 in 1960, someone bothered to test my reading which was college level. So my teachers continued to make me do phonetics worksheets for 4 more years. If your school's gifted program consists of "sit down and shut up", being tested is pointless.

    Mensa might make this kid's life a little pleasanter. Good luck to him.

  7. Anonymous6:47 AM

    I tested at 147 and later at 145 in grad school. We took all types of assessments including Myers-Briggs, Personality Assessment Inventory, and a few others that were a part of a couple of Organizational Management classes in an Executive MBA Program. It was 24 of the most intelligent people I've ever been associated with, comprised of men and women ranging in age from 29 to 48, with a mean at 36. Most of us had about 10 yrs "real world" work experience with some variance, of course. About a third were engineers, another third were practicing docs including one in cancer research. The rest of us were Corp Finance, a couple of attorneys, a nurse practitioner, a business owner and a plant manager at a GM plant. If I recall, the average for the class was around 140. There were only a couple who seemed to consider this important, and I found it interesting that the main one who did was an HR Director at a large hospital corporation based in the city the University was located. Most of the rest of us commuted from throughout the region and others travelled 1200-1500 miles or more every other week to attend.

    I never cared much about Mensa, although I did go to one meeting and kept in contact for with one fellow alum who did for years after graduation. But I didn't join because I didn't have time with the full-time hours while working full-time as well. My wife and I had everything planned out for the next decade and we were also in the process of adopting a child (she was infertile because of having radiation treatments for cancer when she was 18, damaging her ovaries), after I finished grad school and things got back to normal.

    A couple of months into my 1st year of the program, we learned that the treatment my wife was getting for a persistent case of the flu was not going to help her condition because she was pregnant. So Mensa wasn't very important compared to learning to be a parent--- books to read, babypaloozas (not called that, I made up the word, but baby fair-type events) and baby classes took priority.

    I have always attributed my ability to master standardized tests to my being able to hyper-focus while maintaining mental agility and flexibility. I was finally tested in college, and found to have ADHD, for which i was prescribed Adderall. To that point, I could more or less "force" my mind and thoughts to stay organized if I had control over variables such as environment, etc. I maintained high academic performance, but it was always a challenge moving from one subject to another. The docs suggested that I had developed some fairly sophisticated coping mechanisms to act as "crutches". Then, when I started taking the medication, it was a godsend. It felt like it game me more RAM (in computer terms, not speech writing ha) whet I could do more computations and store data temporarily for longer periods of time in my head. I've always been able to think on my feet and solve problems, mathematical or otherwise on my head because I could "see" the transactions, but before Adderall, I would have to "dump" the intermittent data onto paper or computer, and then "erase" the board and go to the next section. I'm not a proponent of anyone taking chemicals, but I did find this particular one helped in a way that is quantifiable. Incidentally, I take a very minimal dose now, twice a day during the workweek, approximately 15% of what I was originally prescribed, which eliminated some undesirable side effects.

    1. Many people have mild learning disabilities and develop coping mechanisms. You did to the extreme. The meds now free you up to concentrate on the task instead of having to use some of your energy to focus. Kudos.

      I think developing coping mechanisms also allows for the development of creative problem solving. The more you have to cope the more creative you get.

      I suspect I had at one time very mild dyslexia but learned to adapt to it.

  8. Anonymous7:54 AM

    Yeah, yeah, yeah.... Sounds like the kid's gifted with a good memory and parents who shove facts down him and show him how to do puzzles. My youngest taught himself to read and write at 4 1/2, was writing and illustrating his own little books by 5 1/2, and by 6 had taught himself math, measurement, and calligraphy from books belonging to his older siblings. He did this all himself; none of us taught him. In fact, if we tried to teach him anything, or answer his questions with more detail than he'd asked for, he got upset and ran off.

    We never even gave a thought to Mensa, or even to having his IQ tested. It was enough to just provide him with what he needed to keep learning. Who needs a horse-and-pony show or a medal to "prove" to the world how smart your kid is?

    1. Children are natural learners. It's our one size fits all assembly line public school system that beats it out of them.

      BTW I'm a public school teacher librarian with 4 credentials and 2 masters so I've had plenty of time to reflect on what works, what doesn't and how the system could be better. But better means more money, so that ain't gonna happen.

    2. Anonymous2:18 PM

      Yep to your observation about the assembly line public schools. What I didn't say in my earlier post is that the end of the first week of 1st grade, his teacher came to me, very concerned that he seemed uninterested in and unhappy about the week's assignment --- having to trace the first few letters of the alphabet over and over. I was stunned on several counts, one being that they were doing stuff in 1st grade that most kids are doing in Kindergarten. I explained to her that he already knew how to read and write, but it was like she didn't hear me, and kept insisting that *this* is what he should be doing, and find satisfaction in.

  9. Anonymous8:42 AM

    Its hard to believe anyone with above average IQ would not see through the act that Rush Limbaugh puts on. He's admitted in interviews that he doesn't really believe any of the bullshit he spews, but is gleefully making a fortune off the chronically stupid.

    Speaking of which: I could not help but notice on the above graph, that 48% of people are on the dimwit side of the average of 100. Is it a coincidence that the percentage of the population that votes Republican, matches that?

    1. Leland2:24 PM


    2. Anonymous2:41 PM

      The tests are standardized to 100=mean. That means 50% will be above and 50% will be below, by definition. You'll notice the band around the 100 mark; that is the first standard deviation. 2/3 of all the people tested to standardize the test fell in this band (85-115), again by definition. These IQ scores are considered to be in the average range. In many years of testing, I only remember one student who actually scored 100.

      Elizabeth 44

  10. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Yeah but can he go to the bathroom by himself? lol

    I hope he's the one to find the cures for all cancers. Go humanity!!!

    1. Probably.

      I potty trained myself at 18 months because I made the connection between the act and wet diapers (which according to my Mother I *did not like*!) and started holding it so I wouldn't have to wear wet diapers.

      Unfortunately my Mother took this as an indication that potty training children wasn't as bad as people made out and proceeded to have my brother. Bwa ha ha!

  11. hauksdottir2:42 PM

    Sorry, Gryphen. After I divorced my husband, I attended a couple of Mensa parties. My IQ and test scores were sufficient to be accepted by their elite higher IQ subset, if I wanted to join at all. I drove to Fresno, not necessarily hoping to "meet men" but to have at least some stimulating conversations.


    They partied hard. Drunk and bloviating males trying to one-up each other is especially unattractive given that the members of this group could have been catalyzing each other into greatness instead of acting like Neandertals over a bowl of fermented berries.

    At one of the parties, I wandered away from the noise (drunkards are LOUD) and found a library. Nice. Chess table. Really nice. But it was empty. I found a book and ensconced myself next to the chess table. After a long while, an older gentleman wandered in and we talked for a bit.

    I have a better time at scifi conventions, where conversations ricochet among many topics, most of them scientific and ideas are more important than egos.

    A few of my friends are Mensa members, but most of the really smart ones never bothered to join, either. We also know that there are many types of intelligence... test scores and benchmarks are merely the means to establish a pecking order.

    We make, solve, share puzzles because that is how our twisty minds get exercised AND they are fun. Sharing a room with drunken louts isn't.

  12. Thank you for your interest in Adam. You can see his clips on YouTube:

    We will be releasing a book soon to let other parents know how we did this. If you subscribe to the channel then you will receive a message once the book is available.

    1. An European Viewpoint3:02 PM

      Maybe you should wait until after you've raised another child with the same achievements, to release a book for other parents on "how you did it". And it would be nice to know how that story ends up too : a well-balanced adult, or another child star ?

      Money is nice, sure. But performing for money lets children learn disturbing facts about adults, before they're strong enough to handle them. And bright kids are not long to understand what's going on. Don't kill the golden goose/remember he's a person is what I'm saying. His, your privacy is ultimately more important than a lot of money really fast.


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