Who is the most intelligent person in history?

Posted by in Best Of, Questions




After watching an intriguing Modern Marvels focused on the life and achievements of the great Benjamin Franklin, I began to ponder over an impossible yet still intriguing question — who is the most intelligent person in history?

Naturally this question leads to many other questions.  How do you define intelligence?  Is it a complete mastery of one skill that is so far advanced of everyone within the field (ie Niokla Tesla and his insight into electro-magnetism)? Or is it rather a person who is a jack of all trades and is brilliant in many varying facets (ie Leonardo DaVinci, the artist, the inventor, etc.)?

What about the people who theorized concepts that weren’t proven until after their death?  Or better, those theories that STILL haven’t been proven (ie Albert Einstein)?  Do those geniuses carry the same weight as those who actually created concrete results?

How do you measure genius? Is it quantifiable, via means such as the IQ test?  Or is more relative, your level of “genius” is more based on ones peers respect for your abilities?

We can all agree on a collection of the greats, and there are dozens of sites that pay tribute to hisotry’s greats.

About Intelligence

Massive List of Geniuses

Historical Geniuses

In fact, I managed to find one site that claimed to draft a “formula” to measure and rank the greatest geniuses in history. Do you agree with the categories Tony Buzan, the man who created to equation, chose for his ranking system?

But enough of what others think, I am more curious to determine, according to YOUR definition, who is the ultimate genius of all time?  Discuss…

*****UPDATE****** Which kind of Genius would you like to be?  The absolute best at one subject or really good in many subjects?