Battle of the prodigies

Battle of the Prodigies 3

In genius studies, battle of the prodigies is a phrase that refers to a study of the comparison of the similarly related thermodynamics-based theories of existence independently arrived at in the minds of near IQ:200 (±25-points) child prodigies turned adults.

The adjacent diagram gives a visual of the so-called “battle of the prodigies”, i.e. eight noted theory related child prodigies, namely: Johann Goethe (1809|60), William Sidis (1916|18), John Neumann (1934|31), John Tukey (1966|51), Dean Wooldridge (1968|55), Christopher Hirata (2000|18), Luis arroyo (2010|20), and Alexander Wissner-Gross (2013|31), five cited with IQ:200+ range (Goethe, Sidis, Neumann, Hirata, and Arroyo), three of which cited in the IQ:225+ range (Goethe, Sidis, and Hirata), who into adulthood (age 18+) independently derived and or arrived at physiochemical, thermodynamic, and or chemical thermodynamics formulation one or more aspects of existence, date (age) of theory publication shown next to each name; Neumann’s theory, to note, not quite independent (but nevertheless original), being that it resulted following a request, by Abraham Flexner, to read and comment on Georges Guillaume's 1932 economic thermodynamics PhD dissertation. The GREEN box indicates theorists whose model is about the same, i.e. free energy / affinity based; the two related by the Goethe-Helmholtz equation (i.e. thermodynamic theory of affinity).

In 2006, Libb Thims discovered Goethe, and his “human chemical theory”, via Prigogine (footnote 2.5), and shortly thereafter found that he was a famous early child prodigy who became the first adult person to be ranked with an IQ of 225 (Cox, 1925).

In 2008, Thims had become aware of William Sidis, aka 20th century America’s most famous child prodigy, had started an Hmolpedia article on him, and knew of his IQ citations in the 250-300 range, and his age 16 developed “life is a reversal of the second law theory” of animate and inanimate forms.

John Neumann is a peculiar case; he is frequently name-dropped as a missing candidate in the IQ:200+ video series; between 2010 and 2015, e.g. his name was mentioned, as a missing IQ:200+ candidate, some 15+ times (Ѻ). Other independent sources likewise have IQ guestimated his IQ at 200. (Ѻ) His digressions on chemical thermodynamics in economics are near to target; his suggestions on entropy in telecommunications, however, has resulted in a weed theory.

Dean Wooldridge is a comparable child prodigy turned atheism-explicit physical materialism philosopher. While not necessarily thermodynamics-centric, his work is in the neighborhood.

On 15 Feb 2010, Thims discovered Hirata, via specifically searching for people cited with IQs of 225 or above, and shortly thereafter found his “human thermochemical theory”, embedded as a subfile of one of his CalTech faculty pages.

In 2010, Puerto Rican childprodigy Luis Arroyo, then aged 20, completed MS physics thesis “A Thermal Model of Economy”, after which, on 10 Feb 2016, via Ram Poudel, who is presently working on his PhD in economics and thermodynamics, was read by Thims (sent to him from Poudel), and after researching Arroyo’s background, that he was a famous Puerto Rican child prodigy, who was cited with an IQ of 200 at age 15.

On 19 Apr 2013, American child prodigy turned physicist Alexander Wissner-Gross, the 2003 MIT valedictorian (of 550 engineering students), who was the last person to simultaneously obtain an MIT triple major (SB in physics, SB in electrical science and engineering, and SB in mathematics), before they outlawed the practice, published his “Causal Entropic Forces”, co-written with American mathematician Cameron Freer, wherein they attempt to argue that "intelligence" and intelligent behavior stem from what they call "entropic forces", which received a certain amount of press frenzy. [1]

On 30 Apr 2013, Libb Thims queried Wissner-Gross about his theory in respect to Christopher Hirata and also whether he thought he was smarter than Hirata: [2]

“Your new articleExternal link icon (c)popped up on my RSS feed today, so I started an Hmolpedia article on you: Alexander Wissner-Gross. As you seem to be a bit of an accelerated learner, where do you see yourself fitting currently on the genius IQs table? Or have you had estimates made by others of your IQ? For example, do you think you are above or below Christopher Hirata, who similar to you was an age 13 national physics olympiad winner, who also developed his own thermodynamics theory of humans, in intelligence?”

To which Wissner-Gross replied: [12]

“Hard to say where I would fit in your table, but I would say that my causal entropic force theory is intended to be treated more seriously than the Hirata work you mention. :-).”

In Nov 2013, interestingly, related or not, a few months after this dialogue, Wissner-Gross gave a local TED talk entitled “A New Equation for Intelligence”, the gist of which was discussion of his proposed intelligence equation; the main statement of which is as follows: (Ѻ)

“I asked, starting several years ago, is there an underlying mechanism for intelligence that we can factor out of all of these different threads? Is there a single equation for intelligence? The answer, I believe, is yes. [F = T ∇ Sτ] What you're seeing is probably the closest equivalent to an E = mc² for intelligence that I've seen. So what you're seeing here is a statement of correspondence that intelligence is a force, F, that acts so as to maximize future freedom of action. It acts to maximize future freedom of action, or keep options open, with some strength T, with the diversity of possible accessible futures, S, up to some future time horizon, tau. In short, intelligence doesn't like to get trapped. Intelligence tries to maximize future freedom of action and keep options open.”

Whatever the case, Wissner-Gross seems to think his theory is better than Hirata's theory, which, however is not the case. To give some comparison, there is no denying the fact that the great German polyintellect Goethe, also a child prodigy cited with a 225+ IQ did the exact same derivation as Hirata 200 years ago (see: Goethe timeline), considering his finished product to be his greatest publication and something to be taken very seriously as its theoretical implications overthrow the foundations of modern thought (as can be gleaned from some of the commentary of his enemies). The deeper issue, however, which this type of derivation tends to bring to the fore (see, e.g. the 2006 Rossini debate and 2009 Moriarty-Thims debate), is that the chemical thermodynamic dissection of humanity strips away fundamental beliefs concerning morality, purpose, life/death, religion, etc., reducing them to pure physics and chemistry, leaving the unacquainted reader with a residual anger and irritation. This is exemplified is exemplified by German writer Christoph Wieland’s 1810 comment, found in a letter (which he suggested should be burned after it is read) to his close friend German philologist and archaeologist Karl Böttiger, on Goethe’s Elective Affinities (which gives the same type of derivation as Hirata) that "to all rational readers, the use of the chemical theory is nonsense and childish fooling around."

1. (a) Wissner-Gross, Alexander. (2013). “Causal Entropic Forces” (abs), Physical Review Letters, 110(168702):1-5.
(b) Gorski, Chris. (2013). “Physicist Proposes New Way to Think About Intelligence”,
(c) Kosner, Anthony Wing. (2013). “From Atoms to Bits, Physics Shows Entropy as the Root of Intelligence”, Forbes, Apr 21.
(d) Press –
2. Thims, Libb. (2013). "Email communication with Wissner-Gross", Apr 30.

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