Most intellectually impressive person in history

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The Ellimist
Who is the most seemingly "academically" brilliant human in history?

I used "intellectually impressive" because the smartest person might be some random nobody we've never heard of.

Random candidates off the top of my head:

- Newton
- Von Neuman
- Einstein
- Euler
- Gauss
- Ramanujan
- Saul Kripke
- John Stuart Mill
- Da Vinci

SquallX

Rockydonovang
No Stephen Hawking?

The Ellimist
Originally posted by Rockydonovang
No Stephen Hawking?

Hawking is obviously extremely sharp, but he's not on the level of someone like Newton.

Rockydonovang
sad

What about philosophers like Plato?

Robtard
Off your list, I'd go with Newton, his works is what others on your list learned from themselves and expanded.

Da Vinci was an everything man, but I don't think his influence is the same as Newton, even if he lived and died 100+ years before Newton was born.

Rockydonovang
Originally posted by Robtard


Da Vinci was an everything man, but I don't think his influence is the same as Newton, even if he lived and died 100+ years before Newton was born.
a result of the times rather than insufficient intelligence, I'd think.

The Ellimist
Originally posted by Rockydonovang
What about philosophers like Plato?

I could certainly see that. I haven't read Plato's works but from what I can tell it doesn't seem as profound to me as a lot of more modern philosophers, but I am speaking from a bit of ignorance here.

Originally posted by Robtard
Da Vinci was an everything man, but I don't think his influence is the same as Newton, even if he lived and died 100+ years before Newton was born.

Da Vinci certainly wasn't as influential as Newton, but as kbro says I don't think it was a lack of brilliance that held him back from doing more.

Robtard
Oh, I'm not doubting Da Vinci's intelligence, he seems to be an upper-end genius in the upper-end genius pool. Just not sure he would have accomplished the same as Newton had he been born half-way into the 17th century. But certainly possible/debatable.

The Ellimist
William James Sidis may actually be the most intelligent person ever recorded, but he wouldn't crack the top 10,000 most academically prolific.

dadudemon
da Vinci is actually one of the top minds in human history. If we review this, academically, it is da Vinci by a very large margin.

Sidis' exploits are suspect with many believing it to be exaggerated.

Also, considering the S&B4 and 5 do not go above 170, many of these "IQs" are suspect. (I know, not all IQ tests are the S&B)

Robtard
Originally posted by dadudemon
da Vinci is actually one of the top minds in human history. If we review this, academically, it is da Vinci by a very large margin.


Expand on that please.

He's definitely the most interesting genius to me in the list of geniuses posted.

samhain
Galileo.

samhain
Galileo Figaro, magnifico o o o.

Couldn't resist.

samhain
In all seriousness though, probably Tesla. He'd be my pick.

DarthSkywalker0
Goethe.

Kurk
You expect us to rank people we know nothing about aside from their historical achievements? Not a very good way of scoping IQ

The Ellimist
Originally posted by DarthSkywalker0
Goethe.

It's interesting how literary greats of older eras were often also into the sciences, as opposed to a greater split today.

NewGuy01
I guess those that had the privilege of pursuing higher education back then went for the full course.

The Ellimist
Originally posted by NewGuy01
I guess those that had the privilege of pursuing higher education back then went for the full course.

Yeah, subjects are way more complicated and specialized nowadays.

The Ellimist
It's also pretty astounding how big of a gap there is between even people at the very top, people high enough so that none of us could really tell the difference on our own. Ex: Jeff Bezos realized at Princeton that he was thoroughly outclassed by a small group of people in his physics classes who seemed superhuman to him - but lots of Amazon's employees have described him as a genius who corrects them on novel technical subjects he's never seen before. Likewise, at least according to Paul Allen, Bill Gates was intimidated by some of his classmates in the math classes at Harvard (in particular, Math 55), yet he's described pretty much universally as a genius with a frightening technical aptitude (who also came up with a novel pancake sorting algorithm as an undergraduate just days after learning about the topic).

BackFire
Quanchi.

NemeBro
Originally posted by dadudemon
da Vinci is actually one of the top minds in human history. If we review this, academically, it is da Vinci by a very large margin. Why do you think that is? I was leaning slightly towards him myself due to the sheer range of his academic and intellectual pursuits.

dadudemon
Originally posted by Robtard
Expand on that please.

He's definitely the most interesting genius to me in the list of geniuses posted.

I don't think the contest is even close. What sets da Vinci apart from the rest of the top minds is that da Vinci is the epitome of a polymath. He was so highly skilled in so many areas that it is a feat that I do not believe will be repeatable without modern technological intervention (extending life, nootropics, and technologically assisted information assimilation).

It's like having someone win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, the Copley Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Praemium Imperiale (sculpting award from Japan), the Turing Award and perhaps a few others. No such person exists. It's just not possible to be that amazing in all those areas. And especially for his time.

Take a look at a list of top minds. What do they all have in common? They excel to the extreme in one to a few areas but usually just one. Because it is not possible to be a top mind in many areas - there's just not enough brain power or time to accomplish this in a single human life.


This is why when I see the public voted lists of "top minds of all time", I don't put much weight into them. I do not think most people understand how far and away da Vinci is from the rest of the people in the usual top mind lists.

NemeBro
Originally posted by dadudemon
I don't think the contest is even close. What sets da Vinci apart from the rest of the top minds is that da Vinci is the epitome of a polymath. He was so highly skilled in so many areas that it is a feat that I do not believe will be repeatable without modern technological intervention (extending life, nootropics, and technologically assisted information assimilation).

It's like having someone win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, the Copley Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Praemium Imperiale (sculpting award from Japan), the Turing Award and perhaps a few others. No such person exists. It's just not possible to be that amazing in all those areas. And especially for his time.

Take a look at a list of top minds. What do they all have in common? They excel to the extreme in one to a few areas but usually just one. Because it is not possible to be a top mind in many areas - there's just not enough brain power or time to accomplish this in a single human life.


This is why when I see the public voted lists of "top minds of all time", I don't put much weight into them. I do not think most people understand how far and away da Vinci is from the rest of the people in the usual top mind lists. thumb up

The Ellimist
I'd say the likes of Von Neumann and Goethe rival Da Vinci in breadth and far surpass him in depth for fields outside of art. Someone like Thomas Jefferson has a decent case for being at/above Da Vinci, and frankly I don't think Jefferson is on the level of someone like Newton, not in sheer intellect.

dadudemon
Originally posted by The Ellimist
I'd say the likes of Von Neumann and Goethe rival Da Vinci in breadth and far surpass him in depth for fields outside of art.

Von Neumann gets his areas of expertise in mathematics, physics, economics, statistics and computer science. What is missing from this list? Do you see my point, now, about why no one comes close to da Vinci? Goethe is less impressive than Von Neumann. Both amazing minds, no doubt. But it's like comparing a person who impressively ran 100Km to a person who ran 1,000,000Km in the same time.

Also, the depth da Vinci contributed to each area vastly surpasses any others in History, overall. I am not the only person to hold this opinion, of course.

The Ellimist
Originally posted by dadudemon
Von Neumann gets his areas of expertise in mathematics, physics, economics, statistics and computer science. What is missing from this list? Do you see my point, now, about why no one comes close to da Vinci?

There's a huge difference between having expertise in 20th century math / physics / economics / statistics / computer science and the wide range of 15th century topics Da Vinci wrote about. E.g.: is it harder to take seven high school classes or three graduate ones? If you read some of Von Neumann's papers (many of which were revolutionary), they're leagues beyond any amount of knowledge that existed in Da Vinci's time. Da Vinci, meanwhile, did not make the same level of academic contributions as someone like Neumann, and certainly not someone like Einstein or Newton.

Granted, you could also say that Da Vinci had a lot less to work with, so it's difficult to compare them. They're both brilliant enough that you almost find it hard to believe their wikipedia pages.

dadudemon
Originally posted by The Ellimist
There's a huge difference between having expertise in 20th century math / physics / economics / statistics / computer science and the wide range of 15th century topics Da Vinci wrote about.

You're correct, da Vinci's is far more impressive because of the time he was born in and accomplished the things he did. Imagine how scary this person would be if he was born today? A formal education built on the knowledge of yesteryear's top minds just does not compare to the world da Vinci was born into. It is also part of why many scientists regale da Vinci's accomplishments...it seems impossible to comprehend someone could take those subjects as far as he did without the benefit of the knowledge we have, today.

Let me make it easier on you: I do not think you're spending your time wisely debating this topic with me. No such person exists that tick as many boxes as da Vinci. No one known to history. It's not possible to come up with a more accomplished and varied polymath than da Vinci. You're not going to change my position because there's nothing to debate and I cannot objectively choose a different position. Even if I did, the facts would not change and I'd be wrong. We simply do not have another person in history to choose.

The Ellimist
lol

Beniboybling
Originally posted by BackFire
Quanchi. thumb up

i bet da vinci couldn't even open a word doc

The Ellimist
can quanchi?

Flyattractor
What did happen to the Quanster?

Another Friendly Mod Don't Like so GITZ DA BANNERZATION HAMMZER
Event?

Putinbot1
Newton, despite being a mega dick. No one changed Maths and Science like him. Tesla is two for ushering in the 2nd industrial revolution with the electric motor. Davinci's most interesting feat in my opinion was his heart valve which actually worked and to a point influenced modern design. Did he ever finish that bowl of soup?

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