Hawking's IQ

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Interview dialogue (2004) between New York Times journalist Deborah Solomon and Stephen Hawking, wherein he says he doesn't know his IQ, but that he hopes it is the upper end of the genius range.[1] Presently, as of 2021, Hawking's standing rankings, are: (IQ:180|#99) (RGM:65|1,350+); hence, he is in the upper end of the range.

In genius studies, Hawking's IQ (LH:3) refers to the question or topic of the "relative brightness or intelligence" (Cox, 1926), i.e. IQ, of Stephen Hawking, whose estimates range from: 160 (GC, 2003), to 160+ (Norlinger, 1999), to 180 (Buzan, 1994), to 205 (Sigma Society, c.2015), to invented rumors that he took a Mensa Test scoring 200 to 240, to a Simpson's show IQ of 280 (Selman, 1999), to his own report, when asked during interview, that "he didn't know, but that he hopes it's in the upper end of the genius range" (Hawking, 2004); presently, in the top 2000 minds rankings, he is ranked at: (IQ:180|#99) (RGM:65|1,350+).


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, supposedly, he was worried that his brain might be damaged.

In 1994, Tony Buzan and Raymond Keene, in their rankings of 100 historical geniuses, calculated Hawking's IQ at 180|#21.[2]

In May 1999, Matt Selman, had Hawking portrayed in the Simpsons episode: “They Saved Lisa’s Brain”, wherein he is asked what his IQ was, to which he respond, jokingly, as follows:

“Big deal, my IQ is 280.”
— Matt Selman (1999), Simpsons (character: Stephen Hawking), episode: “They Saved Lisa’s Brain”, May [3]

In Sep 1999, Ulf Norlinger, in Q&A email discussion of his online list of “Estimated IQs of some of the Greatest Geniuses”, commented that he knew Hawking's IQ was said to be 160+.[4]

In 1999, Hawking was portrayed on the Simpsons, episode: "The Stole Lisa's Brain", where he says jokingly: "big deal, my IQ is 280".[3]

In 2004, Hawking, during an interview with New York Times journalist Deborah Solomon, was asked: "what is you IQ?", to which he replied, as shown adjacent, he has no idea, that people who boast about their IQs are losers, but, when when pushed father, in respect to how do we know if he qualifies a a genius, he replied that he "hopes he is near the upper range."[1]

In 2006, a story began to be circulated[5], in a few published books on Hawking, that he took a Mensa test, following is first spill, to test for mental detriment; finding that he scored between 200 to 250[6] or 245[7] exactly as some reported. These, however, seem to be fictionalized renderings.[8]

In 2010s, a list at the SigmaSociety.com showed Hawking with an IQ of 205.

IQ 160 meme?

In 2003, George H.C., a 20-ish aged Lebanese Christianity activist, started a so-called “Association of the Christian Era (ACE)[9] online intelligence society, devoted to helping free Lebanon, comprised of 12-members, hosted at ACEViper.net, which devoting several pages to the history of intelligence tests, and on this site made a 116-person “Estimated IQs of Famous People”, wherein the listed Hawking with an IQ of 160, along with Einstein, Bill Gates, Benjamin Franklin, and Dolph Lundgren, James Cook, Joseph Haydn, Nicolaus Copernicus, Paul Allen.[10] This seems to be the main source the now-popular Internet meme, that Einstein, Hawking, Gates each had a Mensa tested IQ of 160; the following is one of dozens of examples:

Einstein's IQ was measured as 160 on the Mensa IQ Test, same as Stephen Hawking's and Bill Gate's. A 12-year-old girl, Lydia Sebastian from Essex, England has been reported to have scored 162 — the highest possible score on this test. In May 2019 Jiya Vaducha, an 11-year-old girl of Gujarathi origin living in London, also scored 162.”
— Joseph Mani (2019), Nine Luminaries of Science (pg. #) [11]

The so-called "GC 116" IQ list, to note, was later copied over to the Archure.net website of Chris Holley[12], who gives commentary on how these IQ estimates are off, e.g. "Einstein only rates at 160 IQ? I don't think so." The motif, however, stuck, at least in pop culture IQ testing land.

End matter

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 (a) Deborah, Solomon. (2004). “The Science of Second-Guessing: Interview of Stephen Hawking” (Ѻ), New York Times, Dec 12.
    (b) Anon. (2014). “TIL: When asked what his IQ was, Stephen Hawking said "I have no idea. People who boast about their IQ are losers" (Ѻ), r/TodayILearned.
  2. Buzan IQ – Hmolpedia 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 (a) Selman, Matt. (1999). “They Saved Lisa’s Brain” (txt), Simpsons.
    (b) They Saved Lisa’s Brain – Wikipedia.
  4. (a) Norlinger, Ulf. (1998). “Estimated IQs of some of the Greatest Geniuses” (WB), Hem.Bredand.net.
    (b) Norlinger, Ulf. (1999). “Q&A” (WB), Hem.Bredand.net.
  5. McPherson, Stephanie. (2006). Stephen Hawking (pg. 26). Twenty-First Century.
  6. McEvoy, Joseph; Zarate, Oscar. (2009). Introducing Stephen Hawking (pg. 87). Icon.
  7. What is Stephen Hawking’s IQ? (2015) – Yahoo Answers.
  8. Firstly, Mensa tests don't have ceilings that high; secondly, Mensa Testing was hardly yet beginning in the early 1960s.
  9. (a) ACE (about) (WB) – AceViper.net.
    (b) George (Country: Lebanon; IQ: 21000) – AceViper.net.
    (c) Overview (WB) – ACEViper.net.
  10. Estimated IQs of Famous People (2002) (WB) – AceViper.net.
  11. Mani, Joseph. (2019). Nine Luminaries of Science (pg. #). Notion Press.
  12. (a) Will Chris Holley – Archure.net.
    (b) Holley reports his IQ scores as: Mensa Test IQ 135, and 145 to 147 on other tests.
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