Miscalculated IQ

Galton IQ
The details of the infamous 1917 miscalculated IQ of Francis Galton done by Lewis Terman, wherein, based on the fact that Galton at age 4 could multiply numbers two through eleven, read a little French, and memorized some Latin poetry, knew what the average 8 year old knew, say as testing standards indicate, that his IQ was 200.
In genius studies, IQ miscalculation refers to an IQ calculated, generally via an IQ test, e.g. ratio IQ, Binet IQ, Terman IQ, Stanford-Binet IQ, Mega Test IQ, etc., often devised by a psychologist — which, to note, is one of the easiest college degrees (see: college degrees by intellectual difficulty) — that mistakenly determines that either one is a genius, who is not (see: inflated IQs), or that one is average or sub-average intellect, who is not (see: mislabeled geniuses and IQ tests). An IQ miscalculation, in some sense, is akin to a faulty physics calculation that miscalculates the trajectory of a comet or rocket launch or a erroneous chemistry calculation that miscalculates that a flammable material will not ignite, but yet in the end does indeed burn brilliantly (see: brightness).

In 1917, Lewis Terman, using his newly invented ratio IQ formula, infamously retrospectively calculated the IQ of Francis Galton, based on the following reported abilities:
“I am four years old and I can read any English book. I can say all the Latin substantives and adjectives and active verbs besides fifty-two lines of Latin poetry. I can cast up any sum in addition and can multiply by 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11. I can also say the pence table. I read French a little and know the clock.”

to have been, between the ages of 3 and 8, at the 200 level, some 60 points above genius level (140 or above). This infamous calculation was quickly passed along to the concluding effect that Galton, as a person or as an adult, generally speaking, had an IQ of 200. The erroneousness of this calculation, in the decades to follow, eventually came under attack; a few statements of which are as follows:

God alone knows how [Terman] estimated Galton’s IQ as 200.”
— Peter Medawar (1977), "Unnatural Science" [2]

“I point out that Sir Francis was taken quite seriously as a leading intellect of his time. The American hereditarian Lewis Terman, the man most responsible for instituting IQ tests in America, retrospectively calculated Gallon's IQ at above 200, but accorded only 135 to Darwin and a mere 100-110 to Copernicus (see pp. 213-218 on this ludicrous incident in the history of mental testing). Darwin, who approached hereditarian arguments with strong suspicion, wrote after reading Hereditary Genius: ‘You have made a convert of an opponent in one sense, for I have always maintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work"’ (in Galton, 1909, p. 290). Galton responded: ‘The rejoinder that might be made to his remark about hard work, is that character, including the aptitude for work, is heritable like every other faculty’.”
Stephen Gould (1980), The Mismeasure of Man (pg. #)

In retrospect, we know that Galton did not have an IQ of 200 and that he may not even have been at genius level. Take his claimed to fame book Hereditary Genius, wherein he claims that genius is inherited. Among the top 1000 geniuses, only a rare few families have produced confluences of geniuses, indicated by having two or more geniuses ranked in the top 1000, specifically the Bernoulli family: Jacob Bernoulli, Johann Bernoulli, and Daniel Bernoulli, (see: Bernoulli genealogy); Pliny the Younger and Pliny the elder; and the Godwins: William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Mary Shelley. Genius, generally speaking, is not inherited. In fact, there tends to be an inverse ratio, in respect to the higher one goes up the genius scale, and how much genius ability is passed on to one's descendants (see: genius and bachelorhood). Hence, it was not such a genius hypothesis of Galton to make that genius is inherited.

In any event, Galton's IQ estimation, historically, has become one of the more famous IQ miscalculations, comparable to Henri Poincare being judged an imbecile (IQ:35) by Alfred Binet, on the Binet IQ scale; William Shockley, the main person behind the invention of the semi-conductor, in 1918, at age 8, scoring 129 on Terman’s IQ test; John Kennedy scoring 119 on the Otis Intelligence Test; Richard Feynman scoring 125 on Terman’s IQ test; or Ayaan Ali doing poorly in her Netherlands IQ test.

The following are related quotes:

“Lestrade (Ѻ) to be let loose on such a study is exactly as pathetic as for a subnormal waitress in the IQ of 90 range to try to measure the intellectual differences in college students.”
John Platt (1962), “The Coming Generation of Genius” (pg. 73)

“Funny how I could not qualify for Terman’s gifted study (1918), yet still win a Nobel Prize (1959) in physics.”
William Shockley (c.1970), “joke often said in later years”; cited by Joel Shurkin (2006) in Broken Genius (pg. 13)

1. Terman, Lewis. (1917). “The Intelligence Quotient of Francis Galton in Childhood,” American Journal of Psychology, 28: 209-15.
2. (a) Medawar, Peter. (1977). "Unnatural Science", The New York Review of Books 24 (1,3), Feb.; reviewing The Science and Politics of IQ, by Leon J. Kamin, and The IQ Controversy, edited by N.J. Block, edited by Gerald Dworkin.
(b) Sesardic, Neven. (2005). Making Sense of Heritability (pg. 17). Cambridge University Press.

External links
Was Francis Galton’s IQ really 200? (2016) – Quora.
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