Re: Einstein, Edison, & IQ

From: Richard Loosemore (
Date: Sat Nov 12 2005 - 00:22:52 MST

Phil Goetz wrote:
> --- Tennessee Leeuwenburg <> wrote:
>>I think it's a quote of Einstein's that "whatever your troubles in
>>mathematics may be, I assure you that mine are still greater".
> An appealing notion - but look at the equations for general
> relativity and then say that with a straight face.

Oh, I don't know. When you look at the equations, then remember that he
had been playing around with tensor ideas and noneuclidean geometry
ahead of time (where most physicists had not), then think about the core
conceptual idea of general relativity (curvature determines path, which
then looks like a force), you can see how he felt like the whole thing
came out smoothly and elegantly, with just a little help from himself.

The tricky part, for my money, was that beautiful little conceptual leap
in the middle. That is why he was a smart guy, and you cannot measure
that ability.

Which, at the end of the day, is why I detest the identification of IQ
with intellect. Psychologists devise tests in order to test what *can*
be easily tested. Then the other stuff becomes eclipsed, and people who
should know better start to talk as if the test measures the mechanism,
rather than the testable tip of the mechanism's iceberg.

I'd like to have seen Newton's SAT score. Or Einstein's. Or
Leonardo's. Or Stravinsky's.

Richard Loosemore.

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