Encephalization Quotient vs cerebral neurons


, , , , , , , ,

Humans are far and away the smartest animal on the planet. We’ve always known this, but we’s struggled with how to prove it.

We don’t have the largest brains. That would be the sperm whale.

Well, then maybe we have the largest brain/body size ratio, scientists must have thought. Wrong again! that honor seems to go to small ants.

Well then maybe we have the largest brain/brain expected for our body size ratio? Bingo! What most distinguishes the human brain from that of all other animals is that it’s 7.6 times larger than statistically expected for a mammal of our size and probably well over 8 times larger than for an animal of our size.

No other creature comes close.

Our huge encephalization quotient allowed humans to conquer the World, accumulating more biomass than any other species except for cattle whose body-mass we’ve deliberately grown as our food supply.

Of course there’s far more to intelligence than just brain size adjusted for body size, but when comparing vastly different species who differ enormously on this metric, it seems to be a strong indicator.

Enter Brazilian neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel who commenter Race Realist has been blathering on about for years. While she agrees that humans are the smartest animal on the planet, she felt she had a more direct way of measuring it than brain size adjusted for body size. Indeed, she felt we could just ignore body size completely, and simply count the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex, and she came up with a very innovative way of doing so: using detergent to dissolve brains into a homogeneous soup of cell nuclei.

At first this method looked promising. By simply counting the number of cerebral neurons and ignoring body size completely, it seemed Herculano-Houzel had found a simple brain property that ranked humans in first place. In 2017 she wrote:

the human cortex, with an average 16 billion neurons…, has almost three times as many neurons as the twice-larger elephant cerebral cortex, with not even six. The second-largest primate brain, the gorilla, has about nine billion. Even the largest whales don’t have more than three or four billion. Most mammals have less than one billion.

Thus, the human brain has by far the most neurons in the cerebral cortex – that part of the brain responsible for personality, temperament, pattern finding, logic reasoning and planning for the future, making behaviour more than simply reacting to stimuli. That, I believe, is the simplest explanation for our remarkable cognitive abilities.

Herculano-Houzel’s star began to rise. Seeing a Brazilian woman make such a monumental scientific discovery was inspiring. She gave a TED talk and commenter Race Realist began drinking the kool-aid (or should I say brain soup).

However a 2014 study found ” the long-finned pilot whale neocortex has approximately 37.2 × 109 neurons, which is almost twice as many as humans”.

Thus despite Herculano-Houzel’s Herculean efforts, encephalization quotient remains the single best neurological proxy for intelligence at the inter-species level, or at least the only one that puts us humans where we belong: at the top.


RIP Toni Morrison, but what was her IQ?


, , , ,

Morrison’s first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996. Morrison’s readership increased more from Oprah’s endorsements than it had from the Nobel Prize.

Earlier this month, the literary world was rocked by the death of Toni Morrison. She was 88. In 1993 Morrison won the Nobel Prize in literature, making her arguably the most academically accomplished African American of all time; certainly of her generation.

Morrison was part of the Silent Generation, one of the 58 million Americans born from 1925 to 1945.  As much as 16% of this generation was black (9.28 million).

  Today the correlation between IQ and academic success is only about 0.55, but in the mid-20th century, when Morrison was coming of age, it was a potent 0.7 and was likely about the same in the black population.

It was once suggested by Garth Zeitzman that when estimating IQ from the 0.7 correlation between IQ and academic achievement, the academic Nobel Prize is the pinnacle of the latter.

Thus if there were a perfect correlation between IQ and academic success, Morrison’s IQ would be 78 points above the black mean (one in 9.28 million), but given a correlation of 0.7 in Morrison’s day, we’d expect:

Morrison’s IQ = (0.7)78 + U.S. black mean

Morrison’s IQ = 55 + 85

Morrison’s IQ = 140 ( 95% confidence interval 119 to 161)

Further evidence of Morrison having a 140 IQ is her schooling a BBC reporter on the difference between a porch and a terrace, the fact that she has a very good long-term memory for her childhood (according to Fran Lebowitz), the fact that she excelled at typing when young, and like her biggest fan Oprah, she learned to read by age three.

Indeed Oprah was such a huge fan that she chose not one, not two, but four Morrison books for her coveted book club, and loved Beloved so much she bought the movie rights.

photo by Marion Curtis/Getty

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, Beloved is based on the true story of Margaret Garner, an escaped 19th century slave who loved her baby so much, she killed it rather than allow it to live a life of slavery. In Morrison’s brilliant vision, once slavery is over, the baby returns as a flesh and blood ghost to live with her now free mother (played by Oprah in the movie).

It’s a testament to Morrison’s high IQ writing style that Beloved is considered way too difficult for university undergads, and Oprah was warned by director Jodie Foster that it was way too literary a novel to ever become a film.

Nonetheless, it became arguably the most underrated film of all time.

I’ve never read the book, but I loved the film for its sheer beauty, originality, haunting score, and how the simplicity of the 19th century characters captured the Flynn effect, especially the mesmerizing scene of the escaped slave men clumsily dancing to Baby Sugg’s preaching.

Or the white girl Amy Denver who dreams of going to Boston to buy “the pertiest velvet”.

There was a childlike innocence about the characters that revealed the Flynn effect, juxtaposed against the stunning beauty of pre-industrialized America with its vast wilderness, traveled by horse and canoe.

Sadly, despite being promoted by Oprah and directed by Jonathan Demme, the film flopped at the box office, perhaps because the average moviegoer is too low in IQ and too high in psychopathy to appreciate such emotional non-linear symbolism.

Morrison’s first book was The Bluest Eye, inspired by a beautiful little black girl Morrison knew as a child. The girl became an atheist after her years of praying for blue eyes went unanswered. So powerful was racism that this girl would rather look like a freak than accept her natural black beauty.

Future editions would have more sophisticated cover art, but there’s something about the original primitive drawing above that remains haunting

Like a lot of black Americans who were raised in segregated times, there was an anger lurking beneath Morrison’s soft-spoken eloquence.

In one book she imagined a U.S. town without white folks.

“What would it be like if they just weren’t there?” Morrison asked.

The title of the book: Paradise.

When a white interviewer asked Morrison why she didn’t include more white characters, she reacted with a calm yet defensive rage.

Despite the fact that Morrison was a Nobel Prize winning literary giant who exudes gravitas with every breath, there’s something about the white woman’s smug gaze that made even Morrison look small.

A character in the film Beloved said it best, when describing a white man riding a horse:

There’s a look that white folks get. Righteous look…

To learn more about this American legend, I strongly recomend the following BBC documentary:

HBO’s Years and Years is must-see TV


, , , , , , ,

HBO has done it again. First they gave us Six Feet Under (the best TV series of all time), then they gave us Leaving Neverland (the best documentary of all time), then came Euphoria (one of the best teen dramas) and now: Years and Years (also airing on BBC One in the UK).

Years and Years tells the story of Vivian Rook, a rising British politicians in the late 2020s, told through the eyes of a random British family that watches her rise over the years on TV. Rook is played by the brilliant Emma Thompson.

When I was a teenager I was sent to a high school that had a program for brilliant students and because the students were so bright, the teachers had to be incredibly bright to stay one step ahead. I remember my English teacher had such an intimidating intellect that you didn’t want to even raise your hand in class for fear of looking stupid. And yet this man absolutely worshiped Emma Thompson. She just exudes a certain sophistication, and she does a great job playing Britain’s maverick future leader, a character that seems very vaguely inspired by Donald Trump.

The show portrays a dystopian future where bankers have wrecked the economy, the government is pursuing genocidal policies in refugee camps, and all the cool kids are becoming trans-human.

A scene commenter illuminaticatblog might like:

The first season ends with one of the characters deserting her physical body completely and being the first person to get her mind downloaded, though we’ll have to wait for season #2 to see if this risky new technology works.

Even if it is possible one day to download our entire consciousness on to computer, does that really mean we live forever, or does it simply mean an another us (that thinks, remembers, and feels exactly like we do) just takes over in our place?

Can the Wechsler Flynn effect be 100% explained by nutrition?


, , , , , ,

In March 2016, I wrote the following:

I decided to look at an excellent study that Lynn had cited.  In this study you had 14 pairs of identical twins (one born undernourished, the co-twin born well nourished as measured by birth weight; twin pairs were raised in the same homes).  At an average age of 13, they had their head circumferences measured and were given the WISC IQ test.

The heavier twins had crania that were 0.64 cm bigger than their undernourished co-twin.  At age 13, the within sex standard deviation for head circumference appears to be 1.31 cm, so that’s a difference of 0.49 standard deviations.

When it came to verbal IQ, the well-noursihed twins and the undernourished twins had the exact same average IQ.  And when I saw the exact same average IQ, I mean the exact same average IQ: 98.29 vs 98.29 (unadjusted for old norms)

However when it came to performance IQ, the well nourished twins scored 7.07 IQ points higher than their undernourished co-twins.  That’s a difference of 0.47 standard deviations, virtually identical to the 0.49 standard deviation difference in head circumferences.

So it seems that Richard Lynn was half-right.  Brain size gains caused by  prenatal nutrition do perfectly parallel IQ gains caused by nutrition, but only when it comes to Performance IQ.  Prenatal nutrition seems to have virtually zero impact on Verbal IQ, though given the small sample size (only 14 twin pairs), these conclusions are tentative.

It’s amazing how well this study of identical twins perfectly parallels the difference between North American young adults in the 21st century vs circa WWII.

21st century North American young white adults are to their circa WWII counterparts as well nourished identical twins are to their less nourished co-twin in that their head circumference and Wechsler Performance IQs are both about half an SD larger, while their verbal IQs are about the same.

Because humans are cultural creatures, I believe the brain evolved to prioritize verbal ability during times of malnutrition (which as Lynn noted, includes disease since disease prevents the body from using nutrients), so when sub-optimum nutrition shrinks the brain, mostly spatial IQ suffers, and then when prosperity returns you get a genuine Flynn effect, but it’s 100% concentrated in spatial ability. Spatial ability is a luxury of the well fed.

One might wonder why, with all the increasing education and media, I did not find any verbal Flynn effect on the Wechsler. It’s likely that 21st century education gave us an unfair advantage on verbal tests especially Similarities, but this advantage was negated by the fact that a test created in the 1930s was biased against us (especially in tests of specific knowledge). In other words, two conflicting cultural biases cancelled each other out, thus exposing our true verbal intelligence as unchanged since WWII.

North American IQ: circa 1937 to circa 2014


, , , , , ,

The Flynn effect, popularized by James Flynn, refers to the fact that IQ tests supposedly get easier with time. Although by definition the average IQ of American or British (white) people is always 100, the older the IQ test, the easier it is to score 100. Thus to keep the average at 100, tests like the Wechsler must be renormed every 10 years or so, otherwise the average IQ would increase by about 3 points per decade.

Although scholars continue to debate whether the Flynn effect reflects a genuine increase in intelligence (perhaps caused by prenatal nutrition or mental stimulation) or just greater test sophistication caused by modernity, there’s been remarkably little skepticism about the existence of the Flynn effect itself.

Malcolm Gladwell writes:

If an American born in the nineteen-thirties has an I.Q. of 100, the Flynn effect says that his children will have I.Q.s of 108, and his grandchildren I.Q.s of close to 120—more than a standard deviation higher. If we work in the opposite direction, the typical teen-ager of today, with an I.Q. of 100, would have had grandparents with average I.Q.s of 82—seemingly below the threshold necessary to graduate from high school. And, if we go back even farther, the Flynn effect puts the average I.Q.s of the schoolchildren of 1900 at around 70, which is to suggest, bizarrely, that a century ago the United States was populated largely by people who today would be considered mentally retarded.

While few people believe our grandparents were genuinely mentally retarded, it’s taken for granted that they would have scored in the mentally retarded range by today’s standards.

But is this true? I began having doubts over a decade ago when I examined the items on the first Wechsler intelligence scale ever made: the ancient WBI (Wechsler Bellevue intelligence scale). Meticulously normed on New Yorkers in the 1930s, this test remains far and away the most comprehensive look we have at early 20th century white North American intelligence, and while some of the subtests looked easy by today’s standards, others, especially vocabulary, looked harder.

The Kaufman effect

What also struck me was how little instruction, probing or coaching people got when taking the ancient WBI, compared to its modern descendant the WAIS-IV. This matters a lot because the way the Flynn effect is calculated on the Wechsler is by giving a new sample of people both the newest Wechsler and its immediate predecessor, in random order to cancel out practice effects, and then seeing which version they score higher on. If they average 3 points lower on the WAIS-IV normed in 2006 than on the WAIS-III normed in 1995, it’s assumed IQ increased by 3 points in 11 years.

The problem with this method (as Alan Kaufman may have discovered before me) is that the subset of the sample that took the newer version first has a huge advantage on the older version compared to the norming sample of the older test (over and above the practice effect which is controlled for), because the norming sample of the older test was never given coaching and probing.

Statistical artifact

A Promethean once said maybe the Flynn effect is just a statistical artifact of some kind. He never told me what he meant, but it got me thinking:

One problem with how the Flynn Effect is calculated on the Wechsler is that it’s assumed that gains over time can be added. For example it’s assumed that you can add the supposed 7.8 IQ gain from WAIS normings 1953.5 -1978 to the 4.2 IQ gain from normings 1978 – 1995 to the 3.7 IQ gain from normings 1995-2006, for a grand total of 15.7 IQ points from normings 1953.5 – 2006.

This would make sense if he were talking about an absolute scale like height, but is problematic when talking about a sliding scale like IQ. For example, suppose the raw number of questions correctly answered in 1953.5 was 20 with an SD of 2. By 1953.5 standards, 20 = IQ 100 and every 2 points = 15 IQ points above or below 100. Now suppose in 1978, people averaged 22 with an SD of 1. That’s a gain of 15 IQ points by 1953.5 standards. Now suppose in 1995 people average 23 with an SD of 2. That’s a gain of 15 IQ points by 1978 standards. Adding the two gains together implies a 30 point gain from 1953.5 to 1995, but by both 1953 and 1993 standards, the difference is only 23 points.

Changing content

Another problem with studying the Flynn effect is the content of tests like the Wechsler is constantly changing. This is especially problematic when studying long-term trends in general knowledge and vocabulary. If words that are obscure in the 1950s become popular in the 1970s, then people in the 1970s will score high on the 1950s vocabulary test. Meanwhile the 1970s vocabulary test may contain words that don’t become popular until the 1990s, Thus adding the vocabulary gains from the 1950s to the 1970s to the gains from the 1970s to the 1990s, might give the false impression that people in the 1990s will do especially well on a 1950s vocabulary test, when in reality, many words from the 1950s may have peaked in the 1970s and are even more obscure in the 1990s than they were in the 1950s.

An ambitious study

Given the Kaufman effect, the statistical artifact, and changing content, I realized the only way to truly understand the Flynn effect is to take the oldest quality IQ test I could find and replicate its original norming on a modern sample.

In 2008 I made it my mission to replicate Wechsler’s 1935-1938 norming of the very first Wechsler scale. Ideally I should have flown to New York where Wechsler had normed his original scale, but if Wechsler could use white New Yorkers as representative of all of white America (WWI IQ tests showed white New Yorkers matched the national white average), I could use white Ontarians as representative of all of white North America (indeed white Americans and white Canadians have virtually the same IQs). The target age group was 20-34 because this was the reference age group Wechsler had used to norm his subtests.

It took over a decade but I was gradually able to arrange for 15 randomly selected white young adults to take the one hour test. They were non-staff recruited from about half a dozen fast food locations in lower to upper middle class urban and suburban Ontario. The final sample was not perfectly representative of white North America (they were a bit less educated and much less female) and testing conditions were not optimum (environments were sometimes noisy, at least one person had a few beers before testing; another was literally falling asleep during the test) and 15 people is way to small a sample to draw statistically significant conclusions about 11 different subtests. One man with a conspicuously low score was removed from the sample because he had suffered a stroke.

Nonetheless, the below table shows how whites tested in 2008 to 2019 compared to Wechsler’s 1935-1938 sample, with the last column showing the expected scores of the 21st century sample, extrapolating gains James Flynn calculated from 1953.5 to 2006 (see page 240 of his book Are We Getting SMARTER?) to the current study: circa 1937 to circa 2013.5.

Note: the 11 subtests were scaled to have a mean of 10 and an SD of 3 in the original young adult norming sample, while the verbal, performance and full-scale IQs were scaled to have a mean of 100 and an SD of 15. Note also that vocabulary is alternate test, not used to calculate either verbal or full-scale IQ on the WBI. One third of my sample did not take Digit Symbol so for these, Performance and full-scale IQs were calculated via prorating.

Test: Nationally representative sample of young white adults (NY, 1935 to 1938) Randomish sample of young white adults (2008 to 2019, ON, Canada) Expected WBI scores in 2008-2019 based on Flynn’s calculated rate of increase
Information (general knowledge test) 10 (SD 3) 8.07 ( SD 2.6) 12.3
Similarites (verbal abstract reasoning) 10 (SD 3) 12.93 (SD 2.94) 15.54
Arithmetic (mental math) 10 (SD 3)

7.2 (SD 3.78)

(this subtest contained a unit conversion item that seemed biased against Canadians)

Vocabulary 10 (SD 3) 8.73 (SD 2.6) 14.95
Comprehension (Common sense & social judgement) 10 (SD 3) 9.33 (SD 3.2) 13.93
Digit Span (attention & rote memory) 10 (SD 3) 9.47 (SD 2.23) 11.46 
Picture Completion (visual alertness) 10 (SD 3) 10.47 (SD 3.16) 14.52
Picture Arrangement (social interpretation) 10 (SD 3) 9.8 (SD 2.54) 13.35
Block Design (spatial organization) 10 (SD 3) 12.53 (SD 3.07) 12.91
Object Assembly (spatial integration) 10 (SD 3) 11.47 (SD 1.77) 14.06
Digit Symbol (Rapid eye-hand coordination) 10 (SD 3)

10.8 (SD 2.82)

(note: only 10 of the 15 subjects took this subtest)


Verbal IQ

100 (SD 15) 99.8 (SD 14.46)  
Performance IQ 100 (SD 15) 106.47 (SD 12.11)  
Full-scale IQ 100 (SD 15) 103.4 (SD 13.63) 122


The Flynn effect is dramatically smaller than we’ve been led to believe, at least on tests of specific information that may become obscure over generations. By contrast certain verbal skills (categorizing) and spatial analysis have indeed increased by amounts comparable with Flynn’s research. It’s unclear if these are nutritional gains caused by increasing brain size, neuroplastic gains caused by cultural stimulation, or mere teaching to the test caused by schooling, computers and brain games.

Increasing U.S. head size: 1946 to 2012


, ,

In THE BODY SIZE OF SOLDIERS _ U.S. Army Anthropometry-1966 is some craniometric data from 1946 (and 1966):




By 1946 standards,adult male U.S. head circumference, head length, head breadth and head height increased by 0.5, 0.64, 0.39 and 0 standard deviations (SDs) respectively.

Using Lee & Pearson’s formula for guessing cranial capacity from external head size measurements, volume increased from 1456 cc to 1499 cc, an increase of about 0.47 SD in 66 years.

However the true increase is likely larger, because in 1946 there was a draft so the upper class (who have bigger heads) were represented in the army. In 2012, not so much.

Also, changing U.S. demographics, particularly immigration from poorer countries where people are smaller, would negate some of the increase in the non-immigrant population.

Creepy scene on HBO’s Euphoria


, ,

HBO has already given us the best TV show of all time (six feet under) and the best documentary of all time (Leaving Neverland) and now it strikes again with one of the best teen dramas of all time (Euphoria),.

Teen dramas have really changed a lot since I watched Dawson’s Creek in high school. This is much edgier, much more diverse, and much darker. Unlike the lilly white wholesome Dawson of my generation, the main character on this show Rue, is like a female Melo (see the comment section), a mixed race bad-ass who has sex with whites, dances to rap, and is not afraid to play hardball. She looks like she may have been cast by the show’s executive producer Drake.

Rue’s white drug dealer is very protective of Rue and thinks of her as his baby sister. So when the tall popular white jock blackmails Rue’s best friend, the drug dealer is having none of it. Even though the jock laughs in the drug dealer’s face and calls him “half-a-retard”, you can tell he’s spooked.

We’re so used to seeing the tall popular jock get his way by beating and blackmailing others, that to see this “half-a-retard” threaten him had me cheering from the couch.

Obviously dialogue on these shows is not meant to be over-analyzed or taken too literally, but what exactly is “half-a-retard”? I interpret it as someone who is roughly half way between average (IQ 100) and “retarded” (IQ below 70) intelligence, or someone who would score below 70 on only half the Wechsler scale (i.e. either the verbal half or the non-verbal half, but not both).

You might say the drug-dealer’s IQ is impaired by drugs and not genetically low, but because those with low genetic ability are more likely to end up on drugs, they serve to exaggerate cognitive inequality, while maintaining the genetic rank order. IQ after all is not an absolute score, but a ranking of where one stands compared to others of his generation and as we become adults, the absolute difference between ranks widens while inter-rank mobility remains limited.

Wechsler full-scale IQ vs General Ability Index

Commenter illuminaticatblog wanted me to comment on his his most recent Wechsler intelligence test scores:

Illuminaticatblog is a treasure trove into the long-term stability of the Wechsler scales because he’s been tested so many times.

One thing that jumps out about his scores is that you see a large 15 point gap (a full standard deviation) between his General Ability Index and his Full-Scale IQ.

Both scores are intended to summarize a person’s intelligence level, but the GAI excludes certain cognitive functions that are considered unfair to neuro-atypicals such as Working Memory and Processing Speed.

Which of the two scores you want to go with depends on your definition of intelligence. I define intelligence as the adaptability to use whatever body and environment you’re in to get whatever you want, and since working memory and processing speed have huge adaptive value, I prefer the full-scale IQ, since it includes them.

Indeed my income and occupational status depend deeply on processing speed. I have a government job where after negotiating with clients, I must rapidly type reports full of facts and figures. The faster I can type, decide, and retain stats in short-term memory, the higher my productivity and the more likely I am to get my lucrative contract renewed. Half my job is like one long Digit-Symbol subtest, though physical energy can be just as important as cognition. I’ve found myself cutting carbs to stay alert and pan-handling pink caffeine pills from a co-worker.

This blog attracts a lot of high IQ people, but it also attracts a lot of neuro-atypicals, which is why commenters tend to score higher on the SAT than on more holistic tests like the Wechsler. I also suspect commenters here in general would do better on GAI than full-scale IQ.

When IQ is destiny: the sad case of Kenny Countie

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the reasons I find IQ so fascinating is that the woman who tested me as a child (a South Asian woman clad in traditional Indian garb) looked like a fortune teller.

Because teachers were not qualified to administer the Wechsler intelligence scales, the Indian woman would drive for hours in the fierce winter blizzards, wearing sandals in the snow, to schools in the middle of old country roads leading to nowhere, just to test a single child., who she would escort to in my case a brick room in the back of the resource room with a circular table, where out of her orange fluorescent folder poured a never ending series of jig-saw puzzles, colorful blocks, and cartoon stories about black kids on tarot like cards, all as her stop clock would tick loudly.

And then she would vanish, and test scores would be locked in the filing cabinet of the school’s dark basement, collecting dust for decades.

Unlike the SAT which is actively shapes a person’s destiny, official IQ tests like the WISC-R simply predicted it.

One such child whose destiny was predicted by an IQ test, was Kenny Countie.

County was an incredibly gifted athlete, and a popular outgoing young man with many friends. But he had a very low IQ, and sadly, IQ is often destiny.

Like me he joined the army reserves as a young man, but after being honorably discharged, he began dating an older wealthy woman who asked him to live with her on her gorgeous and luxurious farm.

At the time people thought “just goes to show IQ is NOT destiny. Despite his low IQ, Kenny has won the game!”

But his mother knew better. Who was this mysterious woman who was taking over her son’s life? Kenny had depended on his mother for everything, and now they had completely lost contact as he lived in the remote country.

A few months later he was spotted at Walmart in a wheelchair, badly bruised, being pushed around by the mysterious older woman.

Finally his mother had enough. She went to the farm, confronted the older woman and demanded to know where her son was.

“He’s over there” said the older woman, pointing to a garbage bag full of flesh and bones.

It was a moment his mother would never recover from. Her innocent loving trusting son naively thought he had won the good life when he was invited to the farm to live with his new girlfriend, but instead was sacrificed to fulfill her sadistic desire to dominate vulnerable men.

It’s one thing for some childhood IQ test to have told her that her son would grow up to be disposable, but quite another to have him literally end up in a garbage bag and at the age of only 24.

Generally speaking, IQ is destiny.

Marianne Williamson


, , ,

Black nationalal merit finalist GondwanaMan wanted me to write about Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson.

While much of America is just discovering this woman for the first time (she was the most googled candidate at the end of June), longtime Oprah fans have known of this woman for decades.

In 1992 she published a book called A Return to Love. Oprah was so inspired by it that she went out and bought 1000 copies, and soon her audience was also buying it in droves, making it a massive bestseller.

In 2001 Williamson appeared on Oprah’s show immediately after 9/11. While the establishment wanted war with Afghanistan, Oprah and Williamson were virtually the only public figures urging restraint.

It was great to see two of the most intelligent and spiritually evolved voices in the subject coming from women.

Had America listened to these two brilliant women, it could have avoided the longest war in the country’s history.

It is interesting to ask what Williamson’s IQ is.

Although her cranial capacity is much smaller than Oprah and Chris Langan ‘s, she was Oprah’s spiritual guru and has a Langian type philosophy, calling the universe self-organizing and self-correcting.

What she lacks in brain size, she may makeup for in high IQ Ashkenazi genes allowing her to punch above her brain weight.

On the other hand, she sounds kind of flaky in the first Democratic debate, talking about how she’s going to defeat Donald Trump with “love”. Rhetoric that works well on a new agey daytime talk show does not always translate to more political forums and Williamson has yet to adapt.