|Above: in 1915—the year in which the four smartest person's alive (existive) were: Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Gilbert Lewis, and Henry Adams (see: Genius IQs rankings)—Tesla correctly discerned that "there is no thing endowed with life" (see: defunct theory of life); hence, in his day, he was one of the smartest person's alive (existive) who also knew, in a roundabout way, that he was not alive, but only animate, or a "human automaton" (see: automaton), as he liked to call himself, responsive, via sensory input, to external forces. Right: a Sidney Harris depiction of the future.|
Update: see genius IQs existive (new main page)In genius rankings, smartest person alive | existive refers to those individuals still in reactive existence (existive), i.e. "alive", in defunct colloquial speak, ranking in, according to many, as the most intelligent person[s] and or "smartest person ever", at present, as a bound state motile entity, existing on the planet.
“When asked how it felt to be the smartest man alive, Einstein’s reply was ‘I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Nikola Tesla’.”— Hakarune (2013), viral Flickr humor 
Quotes | Existive
See main: Smartest person existive (candidates)The following is a work-in-progress smattering of relevant smartest person existive (alive) potential "candidates" and or runners up quotes, culled from various connective forums and threads:
“I wonder what IQs some of the following would have: Edward Witten [1951-], Murray Gell-Mann [1929-], Richard Garwin [1928-], Marvin Minsky [1927-], Grigori Perelman [1966-], Saul Kripke [1940-], and Erik Demaine [1981-]. From years past who are no longer alive I would have likes to know what Kurt Godel's or Herbert Simon (one of the founders of AI as well as having a Nobel Prize in economics as well as the Turing award which can be thought of as the equivalent award for computer science), Gauss [IQ=195], Euler [IQ=195] and many more listed already on this page but only as estimates.”(add discussion)— Anon (2010), IQ: 200+ thread post (Feb 20), made from Newberg, Oregon“Any listing of the 30+ smartest people ever without Murray Gell-Mann [1929-] and John von Neumann is dubious at best.”— tpsmith800 (2011), forum post at “IQ 200+ | Smartest person ever (4 of 4)” video“Here’s my personal list for the title of greatest American physicist in history, in no particular order: Joseph Henry, Willard Gibbs, Albert Michelson, Robert Millikan, Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann [1929-], Julian Schwinger, Ernest Lawrence, Edward Witten [1951-], John Bardeen, John Slater, John Wheeler and Steven Weinberg [1933-]. This list pales in comparison with an equivalent list of European physicists which would include names like Einstein, Dirac, Rutherford, Bohr, Pauli and Heisenberg; and this is just if we include twentieth-century physicists.”— Ashutosh Jogalekar (2013), “Who’s the Greatest American Physicist in History” (Ѻ)
|A few existive members of the $850/day rent-a-genius “Jason” think tank, from left: Hans Bethe, Freeman Dyson [1923-], Richard Garwin [1928-], Steven Weinberg [1933-], and Murray Gell-Mann [1929-]. (Ѻ)|
See main: IQ ranking methodologyOne salient aspect that remains in attempting to rank “existive geniuses”, geniuses moving presently on the surface of the earth, as compared to “classical geniuses”, geniuses of history, such as found in the Genius IQs table or the Cox-Buzan IQ list, is that the assigned IQ is a variational one, namely the intelligence of the person can change per day, depending on prodigiousness, and correctness and impact of intellectual dart throw, a ranking that can only be discerned with great accuracy, in prolonged multi-century peer genius-comparison retrospect.
Some news media frenzied geniuses, the classic example being William Sidis, attributed with IQ=225+ range as a youth, may not pan out in the long run, such is the case with Sidis who in effect burned out into his 20s and whose self-defined "greatest work" (The Animate and the Inanimate, 1920), when read in retrospect modern physical science terms, turns out not to be so great as would be expected. In addition, there is the longevity factor, the current benchmark being Goethe (IQ=230) who continued to produced genius work until is last words "more light" spoken in 1832 at the age of 82 (see: Goethe timeline), and it was only into the early 20th century that the genius of his self-defined "best book" Elective Affinities came to be slowly unraveled, via the thermodynamic theory of affinity (see: Gibbs and Goethe). In other words, sometimes only the future can foretell the greatness of a genius and his or her work. These details aside, the following is an attempt at existive ranking of current said-to-be or seemingly geniuses.
List | 2014 | Top 25
The following is the work-in-progress listing—feel free to comment in the threads—of the smartest people alive (existive), a meta-analysis aggregate listing, individuals coming from a number of sources: Genius IQs table, Hmolpedia thread postings, genius IQ candidates page, smartest woman ever page, Internet smartest person alive lists, YouTube forum discussions (IQ: 200+ videos), Nobel laureates, Time 100 listings, thinkers in the news, cutting edge theory, articles, books, among other sources:
In some sense, we might refer to these as "intellectual power" rankings, on the premise that just as Maxwell (GGE:4) gained intellectual prowessness via his insatiable desire to know the "why" of things, as typified by his age three query “what's the go o' that?”, or as typified by “why is the source of power” Matrix quote (below), so to will modern geniuses, likewise, rank higher owing to a natural driving desire to know the so-called "secrets" of the universe, as Newton (GGE:3) and Goethe (GGE:1) both sought after. Those closer to the "why", according to this logic, will have more power. Those IQs shown in "red" are extrapolated and or interpolated guesstimate IQs, others are indicated per subscript (see: IQ key); acronyms used include: "Smartest Person Alive" (SMA), "Smartest Person in the World" (SPW), "Smartest Person Ever" (SPE), "Greatest Living Genius" (GLG), Hmolpedia Citation Ranking (HCR). The following are 16 Nov 2013 rankings, current:
|True IQ||IQ estimates||Description|
(1982-) ↑↑ ↓
|SuperScholar.org Top 10 SPA (2012) (Ѻ); top 7 Social Newton candidate; youngest medalist ever (age 13) of the International Physics Olympiad; upgrade for his circa age 17 derived "relationship physics" version of human chemical thermodynamics, a very niche subject strangely common to IQ=225+ thinkers: Goethe, Sidis, Thims; astrophysics; high emotional intelligence; presently working on the dark matter and the accelerating universe problems; downgrade (↓) for not responding to emails.|
|2.||Stephen Hawking |
|In 1962, Stephen Hawking, age 20, during his third year at Oxford, began to experience clumsiness, and at one point fell down some steps; after which, worried that his brain might be damaged, took a Mensa test (Ѻ) to test for mental detriment; he found that he scored between 200 to 250 (Ѻ)(Ѻ) or 245 exactly (Ѻ) as some report. He was jokingly cited on the Simpson's with an IQ of 280. SuperScholar.org Top 10 SPA (2012) (Ѻ); PalScience.com Top 8 SPA (2010) (Ѻ); iStorya.net Top 8 WSP (2011) (Ѻ); SMA candidate (Debate.org) (Ѻ); noted: black hole thermodynamics; his 10-million copy 1988 best-seller (1996 illustrated) A Brief History of Time, which contains discussions (and diagram) on changes in the entropy of the human central nervous system (brain) from reading (education) (Ѻ) was one of the keys to the formation of Hmolpedia (Ѻ); public advocate of atheism (V); in 2012, stated his belief that M-theory, which predicts that every particle should have a superpartner, is the most-likely candidate for a complete “theory of everything.” (Ѻ)|
|85||5+ "missing candidate" thread posts (Ѻ); SLP Ranker.com (2009) (Ѻ); SMA candidate (Debate.org) (Ѻ); [GPE] taught himself calculus at age 7 (Ѻ) (see: prodigies and calculus); in 1961, he (and Kazuhiko Nishijima) to introduce a classification scheme for hadrons, elementary particles that participate in the strong interaction (this scheme was independently proposed by Yuval Ne'eman)—his scheme is now explained by the quark model; in 1964, Gell-Mann and George Zweig, independently, went on to postulate the existence of quarks” (a term coined by Gell-Mann), particles of which hadrons are composed; Fermi, however, described him as less smart than Richard Garwin. (V)|
|81||SLP candidate TheTopTens.com 2013 (Ѻ); 2010 Top 50 SPE honorable mention (Ѻ); SMA Debate.org contender (Ѻ); a 2011 top 50 atheist (Ѻ); noted for his 1967 unification of electromagnetism and the weak nuclear forces [1979 Nobel Prize]; for his 1977 The First Three Minutes, wherein he argues that according to the second law the universe is godless albeit questionably pointless; and for his 1992 Dreams of a Final Theory, wherein a number of noted atheism positions are stated; possibly world's leading quantum gravitationalist. (V)|
|85||Top 50 SPH (+13 thumbs up) at TopTens.com (Ѻ); Prospect magazine top 100 world thinker (#8) (Ѻ); noted for his 1960s so-called Higgs mechanism, which predicts the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson—evidence was said to have been experimentally confirmed at CERN in 2012—that contributes to the understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles; was co-awarded, along with Francois Englert, the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics for this work; a labeled “inoffensive atheist” who derides Richard Dawkins, a self-described “militant atheist” dubbed “Darwin’s Rottweiler”, for being too much of a fundamentalist. (Ѻ)|
|63||10+ "missing candidate" thread posts (Ѻ);SMW nominee (2013) (Ѻ); GGE nominee (2012) (Ѻ); GLG nominee (2011) (Ѻ); SLP Ranker.com (2009) (Ѻ); SMA candidate (Debate.org) (Ѻ); string theory, quantum gravity, quantum field theory researcher; first physicist to be awarded a Fields Medal (1990); named by Time (2004) as world’s greatest living (existive) theoretical physicist; "Ed Witten" is listed in UrbanDictionary.com as a term for “real smart dude.” (Ѻ) Note: in 2010, there was some debate (Ѻ) whether Terence Tao or Ed Witten was smatter (GLG), involving people who had met both; the consensus seeming to lean towards Tao.|
|86|| 4+ missing candidates posts (Ѻ); in 1951, he helped design the first thermonuclear weapon test (vid@2:23); an existing member of the rent-a-genius “Jason” think tank; designer of the hydrogen bomb; ranked by Enrico Fermi, as “the only true genius he had ever met”, as recalled by Marvin Goldberger (Ѻ); though, to note, Fermi also said the same of Ettore Majorana. |
● Shurkin, Joel N. (2017). True Genius: the Life and Work of Richard Garwin, the Most Influential Scientist You’ve Never Heard of. Prometheus Books.
|9.|| Freeman Dyson |
|90||Aneki.com 2nd ranked (behind Hawking) “Greatest Living Physicist” (Ѻ); noted $850/day rent-a-genius “Jason” think tank member (Ѻ); his 1971 “Energy in the Universe”, cited by Peter Atkins (1992), in which he attempts to explain how things degrade in the movement of the universe in terms of the second law and weak and strong interactions; his 1979 “Time without End: Physics and Biology in an Open Universe”, cited by Frank Tipler (1994), argues that life in the future will be able to cope with the cooling and dimming expected from heat death of the universe; somewhere postulates that intelligent beings generate a fixed entropy ΔS per thought; downgrade (↓) for, supposedly, being an anti-reductionism Christian.|
|10.||Noam Chomsky |
|85||A 2005 “world’s top public intellectual” (Ѻ) / Foreign Policy #1 global thinker (Ѻ); a 2010 SPW candidate (Ѻ); 2012 top 30 SPA (Ѻ); his Manufacturing Consent cited in Good Will Hunting; downgrade for claiming, in 2012, to be an atheist, while at the same time deriding the “new atheists” as an embarrassment and as narrow-minded and ill-informed bigots (Ѻ); whereas in 2006, he stated that “When people ask me if I’m an atheist, I have to ask them what they mean. What is it that I’m supposed to not believe in? Until you can answer that question I can’t tell you whether I’m an atheist” (see: Arieh Ben-Naim’s 2011 akin response) and in same discussion stated he believes Jesus Christ to was real person. (Ѻ)|
|84||=170-185||Eponym of the Buffett number; on a return trip home, he was warned not to neglect his studies, to which he replied insouciantly: ‘all I need to do is open the book the night before and drink a big bottle of Pepsi-Cola and I’ll make 100’; born in the great depression, has gone on to become the world's leading financial mogul, wherein, from 1965 to 2005 has produced an annual average return of 21.5%, a feat unsurpassed, becoming, along with Gates, one of the world's top five wealthiest persons ; claims to be a “pure agnostic” (vid)|
|12.||Roger Penrose |
|83||GLG nominee (2011) (Ѻ); noted for his Road To Reality (2004), quote: “entropy per baryon [in the universe] tends to increase with time”.|
|35||His 2001 (age 22) written “The Thermodynamics of Love” outlines a human chemical thermodynamics logic; third existive highest Hmolpedia like rankings (out of 1,000+ biographies); Oxford biochemistry educated (2000); Harvard Medical School (2006); board certified in neurology at age 31 (2010); currently neuroscience professor and staff neurointensivist at Yale Medical School.|
|14.|| Grigori Perelman|
|48||Smartest Man in the World video (2010); upgrade for having turned down the Fields Medal (and a million dollars) (see: Paul Dirac on prize acceptance advice); in 2006 solved the Poincare conjecture, originally proposed in 1904 Henri Poincaré (IQ=195), the most famous open problem in topology (video); he’s said to have been abandoned maths and personal hygiene, living in poverty with his mother, surrounded by religious icons; according to some old relatives, he believes he found the mathematical probe of God’s existence (downgrade ↓). (Ѻ)|
|52||Top 7 Social Newton candidate; in 2001, gave talk on “The Physical Modeling of Society” in Messina, Sicily, followed by “The Physics of Society”, delivered at the London School of Economics, an exert to which is: “There seem to be ‘laws’ [of] social systems that have at least something of the character of natural physical laws, in that they do not yield easily to planned and arbitrary interventions”; his 2004 Critical Mass, outlining the subject of what he calls "physics of society" is a modern day classic; in his 2009 open letter debate with Sam Harris he was characterized as a “religiously moderate apologists.” (Ѻ) (see: vid); His backstage interview at the 2011 Nine Lessons for Godless People, would seem to classify him as a public atheist. (Ѻ)|
|16.||Terence Tao |
|SuperScholar.org Top 10 SPA (2012) (Ѻ); SMW nominee (2013) (Ѻ); SLP Ranker.com (2009) (Ѻ); known for: mathematics, green–tao theorem; child prodigy; Fields Medal (age 31); a read-through of his UCLA faculty favorite quotes page (Ѻ), shows that his mind is intellectually honed, philosophically grounded, all seasoned with a grain of humor.|
|79||=140-175||Current #2 ranked existive social Newton; his “The Fundamentals of Thermodynamics Applied to Socioeconomics” appendix, to his 2009 book Wealth, Energy, and Human Values, is a ripe and on target reality call riposte—along the lines of Frederick Rossini’s famous 1971 “Chemical Thermodynamics in the Real World” Priestley Medal Address.|
|55||GLG nominee (2011) (Ѻ); SME/HIQ (2011) (Ѻ); at 12, wrote a dictionary on physics; at 14 wrote three books on particle physics; PhD in particle physics from CalTech at 20; chief designer of Mathematica and the Wolfram Alpha answer engine.|
|75||=140-170||Current #1 ranked existive social Newton; one of the only known people, American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims aside, to make a connection between the work of Empedocles (IQ=190), Goethe (IQ=230), and Gibbs (IQ=215) (see: Gibbs and Goethe); presently, he is one of the world's only dual professors of econophysics and sociophysics.|
|59||Like Linus Pauling (IQ=180), started first company when he was a teenager; quote (age 17): "I will be millionaire by age 30"; dropped out of Harvard December 1975 (age 19) to, in his own words “write really interesting software that lots of people would buy” and left decisively at that moment because “we were afraid if we waited, someone else would beat us” (GatesNotes.com) ; founded Microsoft (age 20); net worth of $101 billion (age 44); high pure and applied entrepreneurial IQ in computer technology. |
|21.||Benjamin Carson |
|63||=140-170||Raised by an illiterate single mother, who tricked him into self-educating himself, by telling him that he had to read two books a week and do a report on each one, each of which would pretend to grade, by putting checkmarks on the reports as she flipped thought them; he would go on to become one of the most celebrated neurosurgeons of the world; director of pediatric neurosurgery of Johns Hopkins by 33; and in 1987, made medical history by being the first surgeon in the world to successfully separate siamese twins (the Binder twins) conjoined at the back of the head (Ѻ); downgrade (↓) for coming out, in 2013, as the goes into retirement, as literal six-day-creationist, rejecting Darwin, and praising spirituality, depraving the “moral decay” of America, being a critic of same-sex marriage as morally reprehensible because the Bible says so, etc. (Ѻ)(Ѻ)|
|75||MacArthur “genius” award 1987 (Ѻ); his "autocatalytic closure thermodynamic work cycles" theory was the last vestige stronghold to the arrival "defunct theory of life" (2009) by Libb Thims; downgrade (↓) for coming out, with is 2008 Reinventing the Sacred, as an ontic opening theorist.|
|48||=200±||SMW nominee: (2008) (Ѻ) & (2013) (Ѻ); IQ: 200± nominee (Ѻ); holds record for youngest full Harvard tenured mathematics professor; works on still life pattern theory in cellular automaton rules; described by Brian Green (Ѻ) as an “off scale” genius, because he could discuss π, while whistling and huming Brahms’ Rhapsody in G.|
|24.|| Robert Pirsig|
|Upgrade (↑) for 1991 hmolscience "chemical struggle" paradox quote about motives and morals (Lila: an Inquiry into Morals); child prodigy, cited with IQ of 170 at age 9; large upgrade (↑↑) for going into insane asylum (1961-63) for having questioned reality, the result of which produced his intellectually ripe 1974 book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, on the “meaningless” philosophical nature of our “tasks from eight to five”, his 1991 quote: “When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion”, is the basis of the title of Richard Dawkins The God Delusion (pg. 28), which has driven the new atheism movement. His “wildly popular” Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, supposed (Ѻ), attempts to dismiss “scientific materialism” (aka atheism), i.e. the premise that “anything not composed of mass-energy is unreal or unimportant”, as something that can easily be cut to ribbons, reductio ad absurdum arguments, e.g. by arguing for the absurdity of “trying to derive zero from any form of mass-energy”, etc.|
|81||In 2010, launched LifeDoesNotExist.com, espousing his view, which he says he arrived at in the 1990s, that (a) life is something that does “not exist”, (b) that the hydrogen atom is not alive, and (c) that what we perceive as being alive is but a difference in complexity. In other words, he seems to have been the first to solve the so-called “great problem of natural philosophy” (though, to note, technically he did not publish until 2010, whereas Libb Thims published his defunct theory of life views in 2009; and Ferris Jabr published his similar conclusions in 2013).|
Top 25 | 2014 video
The following is the five-part "25 Smartest People Alive | Existive" video series countdown for 2014:
List | 26-100
● Smartest person alive | existive (26-100)
Candidates | Also-rans
● Smartest person alive | existive (candidates)
Alive | Existive
Technically, to clarify, a person cannot be defined as being “alive” (see: defunct theory of life), being that a person, by definition, is an animate chemical, powered molecule (see: human molecule), or “powered CHNOPS matrix”, as Henry Swan (1974) put it, in possession of turnover rate, and atoms and molecules, by definition, are neither alive nor dead. This terminology issue was first pointed out by Francis Crick who in 1966 concluded that, from the point of view of the physical sciences, correctly: “we must abandon the word ‘alive’.”  Said another way, someone who was or is the "smartest person alive" would at least be keen, inquisitive, perspicacious, and discerning enough to know that he or she was not alive, or at least be in the neighborhood of such discernment:
“Origins: probably 4-5 yrs old, I believed that I came from some sort of light source, probably the sun. My first word was also "light". Life and death: I grew up in the country, so we had dead animals around all the time. Probably 6 or so before I thought about my own death as inevitable. Existence: I neglected this question until coming across [Thims] Human Molecule at around age 30. I don't believe in the common sense notion of life. There does not seem to be any evidence that I am alive.”— Jeff Tuhtan (2013), response to query on “big questions” recollections (see: belief system children) 
One ripe historical example of a "smartest person ever" who discerned the "life terminology" paradox issue is Nikola Tesla who in 1915 at a time when he ranked in the top four smartest persons existive—along side Albert Einstein, Gilbert Lewis, and Henry Adams—in his article “How Cosmic Forces Shape Our Destinies”, discerned correctly that "there is no thing endowed with life". Baring prolonged digression on this point—one is referred to the: life terminology upgrades page for further clarification—the term "existive", a contraction of "reaction existence", will be employed herein as a neutral terminology upgrade to the scientifically defunct term "alive", which Crick correctly suggests we abandon.
The following are related quotes:
“You up your street IQ … you’ll do some damage, I guarantee.”— Alonzo Harris (2001), dialogue to Jake Hoyt in Training Day
“Choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without. The ‘why’ is the source of power. You see there is only one constant. One universal. It is the only real truth: causality. Action, reaction. Cause and effect.”― Lana and Andrew Wachowski (2003), speech of the Merovingian, Matrix Reloaded
“I have no idea [what my IQ is]? People who boast about their IQ are losers.”— Stephen Hawking (2004), NY Times interview query by Deborah Solomon, Dec 
The following are related genius studies pages:
1. Crick, Francis. (1966). Of Molecules and Men (pg. 5). University of Washington Press.
2. Madigan, Carol O. and Elwood, Ann. (1998). When They Were Kids: Over 400 Sketches of Famous Childhoods (IQ, pgs. 134; Gates: IQ=160-180; 139, 140) . Random House.
3. Tier, Mark, Buffett, Warren, Saros, George. (2006). The Winning Investment Habits of Warren Buffett and George Saros (pg. 234). MacMillan.
4. Hmolpedia messaging communication from Jeff Tuhtan to Libb Thims (22 Apr 2013)
5. Poundstone, William. (2005). Fortune’s Formula: the Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System that Beat the Casinos and Wall Street (pgs. 15, 17, 148-49; Bush quote, pg. 21; Thorp, pgs. 38-40). Macmillan.
6. Hakarune (Ѻ). (2013). “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Nikola Tesla.” (Ѻ), Flickr.com, Apr 3; requoted in: (Ѻ) (Ѻ) (Ѻ), etc.
7. Haggbloom Steven J., et al. (2002). “The 100 Most Eminent Psychologists of the 20th Century” (abs), Review of General Psychology, 6 (2). 139–152.
8. Solomon, Deborah. (2004). “Questions for Stephen Hawking: the Science of Second Guessing” (Ѻ), The New York Times, Dec 12.
● 10 smartest people alive today (2012) – Huffington Post via SuperScholar.org.
● The 16 Smartest People on Earth (2012) – Yahoo Finance.
● Top Ten Smartest People Alive (2013) (started by Libb Thims) – TheTopTens.com.
● Top Ten Smartest Living People | Smartest People Alive – Ranker.com.
● 20 Most Influential Scientists Alive Today – SuperScholar.org.
● Greatest living quantum physicist (2013) – ScienceForums.net.
● 30 Smartest People Alive Today (2014) – SuperScholar.org.