Through life we have at times encountered geniuses, or heard about geniuses in history. With modern media, we often can witness geniuses, in action on YouTube or Facebook, or described in popular magazines. But have you ever wondered where geniuses come from? How come they are geniuses?
You could say, “I know a genius when I see one.” And that’s not bad, because when you see a genius, ideally you should instantly recognize that his or her abilities are quantum leaps from anyone else’s, and he/she should not be just a graduated small difference from an accomplished person, of which there are many. For example, if you see a child conduct a symphony flawlessly, we immediately know, “that’s a genius.” If we can’t see that, then maybe it is still not at genius level?
I am not talking about high IQ only, or an Olympic champion, or the most famous movie star. In fact, when Mensans who are in the Mensa club of highest 2% IQs are asked if they consider themselves geniuses, they all demurred. In fact, it has been famously difficult to really classify on paper what is a genius, so the “I know when I see” one definition is still pretty good. For the analytic minded I suggest that geniuses at least have to have the following 4 components. I have modified this definition, from a book I once read on genius, which I remembered well, but cannot re-locate: 1) layered complexity, 2) harmonic interrelationships, 3) elegant unity, 4) inspirational or poetic clarity. I think that’s not a bad list, as a start, which helps us analytically to classify and help guess, if we need to, that we are seeing a genius before us.
- I) A genius has to be able to handle certain extremely complex matters easily, like an orchestra conductor or composer who knows many layers of complexity at the same time, precisely and logically. 2) Genius includes harmony, like all the members of the team in an extremely complex surgical operation, who have to be in harmony with each other, because, if not, the extreme surgery will fail. 3) In genius, all components and functions together have to have unity in an elegant way, otherwise even if it is layered complexity plus harmony in interrelationships, without an elegant unifying theme or direction, it still would not be super-outstanding. 4) And to be really genius, there has to be a special qualitative inspirational or poetic brilliance that comes through in perfect clarity, the awesome ahhh factor, something like only one in 10,000 people could “pull off.” For example, spectacular writers like Shakespeare are able to pull the components of their masterpieces together with layered complexity, harmonic interrelationships, elegant unity, and inspirational clarity. That’s why we call Shakespeare a genius, or someone like him. Or just use the simplest definition of “I know one when I see one.” It really is probably just as good.
So, no matter what the definition really is of a genius, you might really ask the even more important question, from a biologic view, where does genius come from? In fact, scientists have come to a total roadblock in understanding the origin of genius. In fact, there is no explanation at all, even though some of the scientists might themselves be considered geniuses! Nobody believes, at least deep down in their hearts, that a specific ape could really evolve into a specific human genius; some might say that evolution generically solves everything, but when faced with this problem frankly, like being asked a simple question of “how?”, meaning please explain every step of “how” this works, everyone is stumped.
An ape could not become a genius, no matter how smart, it’s that simple. And millions and millions of years, how does that help to evolve a genius? It doesn’t, and there’s no way that millions and millions of years would conceivably do that. Again, the simple question, “how?” floors everyone. Nor can anyone explain the origin of genius as being a mutant, a sudden mutation that transforms an ordinary person’s genes into genius genes; or zillions of sudden mutations that transform an “ordinary person” into genius; there is not a single gene that has been found to move one through mutations into a genius, in spite of now knowing hundreds of thousands of genes and their mutations. Mutations are mutations, and no one has ever associated a genius with mutation. To call a genius a mutant is a total contradiction. Or an insult. “How?” is the scientific question, and it is here that the logic stops. This impasse results in a deafening silence among scientists when they realize they are totally stumped.
In point of fact, geniuses can only come from our ancestors’ genes, and if you are a genius, the more pristine your ancestor genes were, the more likely was he or she also a genius, or was carrying your genius genes. Your genius genes are undoubtedly ancestral (there is no other option, when you think more about it), coming down through each generation, and the more pristine these genes could maintain themselves, without polluting effects, contaminating effects, or mutating effects, the more likely were your genius genes transmitted intact to you. So, if you are a genius, the only logical way you can be a genius is because your ancestors were geniuses, or had these genes hidden and well protected, until the right time and opportunity to be revealed, and you are reaping the brilliance of their genes. Definitely your genius genes have not come from some jungle ape, over millions and millions of years, nor a mutant!
So, to push this logic even further, it is possible to consider that many of our ancestors had genius genes in them, which over the years has likely been diluted, polluted, contaminated, and mutated, so that we have become less than geniuses. And it is possible that, even in the “general population,” the more pristine and the more ancient the gene had been, our early and ancient ancestors likely had “better and smarter genes,” than ours. Surprise!? When we think more about it, in observable science, in nature, you can really only go from more perfect to less perfect, consistent with the pesky universal 2nd law of thermodynamics pushing events downhill.
And this is why when we examine ancient history, and hear of people who designed the pyramids, or the Inca architectures, our first reaction might be, how could they do this? Aren’t they supposed to be dumb, and we are the evolved superior humans? In point of fact, the reason they could do it, is that they were likely really smart, really, really, smart, meaning they could be like geniuses! And they could do these amazing things without any IBM Watson so-called smartest machines, or any of 10s of thousands of advanced technologies accumulated over many generations that we now have! The myth that we are “smarter” than our ancestors, is mostly just a matter of technology, which we have so much of today. Where would we be, even for one day, maybe even one hour, without our cellphones, and all our modern gadgets? As to how Incas could build Machu Picchu and Egyptians build pyramids, what other reason would there be? There is no fantasy need to invoke imaginary extra-terrestrial aliens. They had simply more pristine genes, that were likely more perfect than the ones we credit them with, and likely “better” than the ones we have now.
There is an old Chinese saying, that each generation is not as good as the previous generation. “yi dai bu ru yi dai” (literally, one generation, not like, meaning less than, the previous generation). The ancients knew what they were talking about. Just think about how many mutations we each have today. A ballpark estimate is each person has 15 to 30 potentially significant mutations per person. And they keep increasing, not decreasing, as generations multiply, since new mutations start slipping in, and some hang around. So, I’m sorry, but our ancestors had it good. I’m guessing, realistically, that their mutation rate was less since, presumably they had less pollution, less contamination, less radiation, all of which over the generations probably hasn’t made our genes any better. I am an “atheist” regarding the god of evolution, and favor The Creative Genius God, since ultimately, even before the original pristine genius genes, must be the first, the original, the truly pristine, the greatest Genius, who created genius.