Fake IQ

A 2017 TruTV clip on why “IQ tests are bunk”, wherein they explain, via citation to various publications, that it is wrong to “think that IQ tests are objective evaluations of one’s mental abilities, because in reality they are deeply biased, controversial tools, that might not predict intelligence at all” (Connor, 2012); that the first IQ test, invented in 1904 by Alfred Binet, was never intended to measure intelligence, but rather as a tool to decide what grade to put French kids in (Cautin, 2015); but that in 1908, Henry Goddard brought the Binet test to America, after which the practically swept the nation, allowing one to claim, based on test scores, that they “were a regular Marie Curie”, and so on, i.e. to begin to produce so-called genius level “fake IQs”. [1]
In genius studies, fake IQ, aka "paper IQ" (Asimov, 1961), as compared to a real IQ or true IQ, is an intelligent quotient, generally claimed or calculated in the 140 or above range, that is not genuine; an IQ that is contrived, baseless or flawed in its method of calculation, resulting in the production of a "fake genius" or non-genuine geniuse. A fake IQ, in short, is akin to a fake diamond, fool's gold, and or a Sokal affair of the mind, so to say, combined, a thing impressive or seemingly genuine on the surface, but lacking in substance or truth.

In 1946, Roland Berrill and Lancelot Ware founded Mensa, a high IQ society, purported to be society of geniuses (140+) or near geniuses (132+), whose current membership claims to host 130,000 plus geniuses, yet in all its years of operation the only two names (Ѻ) of top 1000 geniuses level note produced are: Isaac Asimov and Buckminster Fuller. Asimov explained his reluctant joining and later quitting of the society as follows:

“I have been a lifelong beneficiary of intelligence tests, I don't think much of them. I believe they test only one facet of intelligence—the ability to answer the kind of questions other people with the same facet of intelligence are likely to ask. My IQ rating has always been out of sight, but I am perfectly aware that in many respects I am remarkably stupid. Second, it seemed to me to be beneath my dignity to take an intelligence test. Surely, my life and work were ample testimony to my intelligence (such as it was).

I took the test, scored high, and became a member of Mensa. It was not on the whole, a happy experience. I met a number of wonderful Mensans, but there were other Mensans who were brain-proud and aggressive about their IQs, who, one got the impression, would like, on being introduced, to be able to say, ’I’m Joe Doakes, and my IQ is 172,’ or, perhaps, have the figure tattooed on their forehead. They were, as I had been in my youth, forcing their intelligence on unwilling victims. In general, too, they felt underappreciated and undersuccessful. As a result, they had soured on the universe and tended to be disagreeable.

What’s more, they were constantly jousting with each other, testing their intelligence on each other, and that sort of thing becomes wearing after awhile. Furthermore, I became uncomfortably aware that Mensans, however high their ‘paper IQ’ might be, were likely to be as irrational as anyone else. Many of them believed themselves to be part of a ‘superior’ group that ought to rule the world, and despised non-Mensans as inferiors. Naturally, they tended to be right-wing conservatives, and I generally feel terribly out of sympathy with such views.

Worse yet, there were groups among them, I found out eventually, who accepted astrology and many other pseudoscientific beliefs, and who formed ‘SIGs’ (‘special interest groups’) devoted to different varieties of intellectual trash. Where was the credit of being associated with that sort of thing, even tangentially?... I stayed on in Mensa for years, getting more and more tired of it. ... Eventually, after both Marvin and Margot [two of the New York Mensans he acknowledged as "delightful and intelligent"] had died, I did resign.”
Isaac Asimov (1990), I, Asimov: a Memoir; reflection on his 1961 Mensa experience

Here we see many claimed-to-be-geniuses, yet no noticeable genius-level fruit?

In 1982, Ronald Hoeflin, disenfranchised with the Mensa Society, created the Mega Society, who members are purported to have an IQ of 177 or above, based on the ability to answer correctly 43 or more questions of his 48 question test (see: Mega Test IQ), first published a 1985 issue of Omni Magazine. This society has produced a number of publicly-famous fake geniuses, including: Rick Rosner, Marilyn Savant, and Christopher Langan. A quick rule of thumb to differentiate a fake genius from a real genius is to compare what real geniuses actually say on the big questions, namely: soul, religion, love, will and free will, purpose, good, evil, god, afterlife, chance, morality, life, and chance, as compared to what fake genius says, e.g. compare Langan’s 2018 views on god and afterlife as compared to the views as listed in the “geniuses on” page.

In 1983, Andrew Egendorf, a lawyer who was in the middle of writing a book on high IQ societies, Marilyn Savant, a then unknown puzzle column writer for Omni magazine, and Ronald Hoeflin, the creator of the Mega Test (1982), which claims to measure the IQs of adults at the 145 or above range, concocted a publicity stunt plan to get Savant listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under the category of highest IQ by using her age 11 Stanford Binet test score as a basis to claim that she has an IQ of 228, via incorrectly claiming that she took the test at age 10, and to use the ratio IQ formula, to fake an genius ceiling range IQ.

In 2000, a hoax “fake IQ” chart (Ѻ), went viral around the internet claiming that “states with higher IQ vote democratic”.

In 2002, Elizabeth Chapman was fabricating the intelligence score of her son, Chris (or Justin) Chapman (1996-), to be IQ at 298 to the media; her child was removed after he attempted suicide a year latter.

The following are related quotes:

“Actually, Adrian Seng is Terence Tao (Ѻ). A book about gifted kids written by Miraca Gross (Ѻ) included biographies of real-life gifted children but she changed their names. Terence Tao's name was changed to Adrian Seng. I disagree with your inclusion [actually not included] of chess champions, Go champions, and idiots who supposedly did well on those fake ‘Ultra-High IQ Tests’ (e.g. Widsten [IQclaim: 175+] (Ѻ), Lygeros [IQclaim:189] (Ѻ), Gunnarsson [IQclaim: 235] (Ѻ), Schuessler [IQclaim: 185] (Ѻ), etc.). These idiots haven't achieved anything that matches their inflated IQs. One person I suggest you include is Michael Grost. He was a true genius who achieved honorable mention on the incredibly difficult Putnam exam (the same one that Reid Barton won 4 times) at the age of 13. Also, include Gabriel Carroll. This guy probably has a > 200 IQ. Lastly, I'm pleasantly surprised that you know Wei-Hwa Huang. We really should talk because I know a lot of the people on your list.”
— American Anon (2011), “Top 50” (Ѻ), IQ:200+ thread (post #11), poster from Richmond Virginia, Mar 14.

See also
Inflated IQ
IQ miscalculation

1. (a) Anon. (2017). “Adam Ruins Everything: Why IQ Tests are Bunk” (Ѻ), TruTV, YouTube, Aug 23.
(b) Connor, Steve. (2012). “Article”, The independent, Dec 21.
(c) Cautin, Robin L. and Lilienfeld, Scott O. (2015). Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology, Volumes 1-5. Wiley.

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