Traipsing around the internet in search of something in particular for a project, I stumbled across a most interesting list.  Over the years I've seen dozen's of lists about the "Greatest Geniuses of All Time."  These lists contain the usual suspects of Tesla, Einstein and Stephen Hawking.  It goes without saying that now every new list includes Steve Jobs.  But this particular list caught my eye.  This list was compiled by a nice looking older fellow who spends way too much time in the library.

Tony Buzan, who runs a charity called The Brain Trust, painstakingly cataloged and quantified the work of thousands of geniuses.  He assigned each genius (or group of geniuses - such as the Pyramid builders) points for each of the following categories:

  • Dominance in Field
  • Active Longevity
  • Polymathy and Versatility
  • Strength and Energy IQ
  • On-Going Influence
  • Prolificness and Achievement of Prime Goal

In each category he awarded a range of 0 to 100 points.   He also established three further bonus categories:

  • Universality of Vision (bonus of 15)
  • Outstanding originality (bonus of 10)
  • Deliberate desire to create Teaching Avenues or Academies to further the genius's ideas (bonus of 10)

The grand total available is a maximum of 835 possible points.

According to Buzan, "The Active Longevity category required special attention. Those geniuses who managed their personal physiques to the maximum to ensure the widest possible time span for the accomplishment of their life's visions deserved extra credit."  Put another way, you got points if you didn't walk around in your pajamas all day and occasionally put on some gym shorts.

Buzan also note, "However, so as not to overweight this category, we established this scale: a range of 16 points from youngest to eldest rewards those who 'hung in' and does not penalize those who died early; on our chart, death between the ages of 33 and 36 scores 84/100, death between the ages of 57 and 60 scores 90."

It all seemed so very thorough and definitely geeky.  So in the event you find yourself at Trivia night being asked, "Who was more of a genius: Einstein or DaVinci?" You'll know the answer.

Top 50 Greatest Geniuses of All Time

  1. Leonardo da Vinci   (822)
  2. William Shakespeare   (818)
  3. Great Pyramid Builders   (817)
  4. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe   (816)
  5. Michaelangelo   (814)
  6. Sir Isaac Newton   (810)
  7. Thomas Jefferson   (809)
  8. Alexander the Great   (808)
  9. Phidias   (808)
  10. Albert Einstein   (804)
  11. Thomas Ava Edison   (799)
  12. Homer    (797)
  13. Plato   (797)
  14. Euclid   (7950
  15. Elizabeth 1   (795)
  16. Archimedes   (790)
  17. Aristotle   (798)
  18. Filippo Brunelleschi   (788)
  19. Andrew Carnegie   (785)
  20. 1st Ch’in Emperor   (783)
  21. Sinan   (782)
  22. Nicolas Copernicus   (780)
  23. Ludwig van Beethoven   (779)
  24. Pablo Picasso   (777)
  25. Leon Battista Alberti   (777)
  26. Ivan Pavlov   (776)
  27. Michael Faraday   (776)
  28. Igor Stravnsky   (772)
  29. Benjamin Franklin   (770)
  30. Charles Darwin   (769)
  31. Sophocles   (784)
  32. Muhammad Ali   (763)
  33. Vyasa   (756)
  34. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle   (755)
  35. Alexander Graham Bell   (754)
  36. Salvador Dali   (752)
  37. St Thomas Aquinas   (750)
  38. Jorge Luis Borges   (750)
  39. John Milton   (746)
  40. Genghis Khan   (744)
  41. Johnann Sebastian Bach   (741)
  42. Walt Disney   (740)
  43. Christopher Columbus   (739)
  44. Ueshiba   (739)
  45. Martha Graham   (739)
  46. Marie Curie   (738)
  47. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz   (737)
  48. Paul Cezanne   (734)
  49. Guglielmo Marconi   (733)
  50. Wilbur and Orville Wright   (732)

The full findings of this research are published in Buzan's Book of Genius. I am sure that is where we would find out who Sinan, Ueshiba and Vyasa are.  If some brainy reader knows that answer off hand, enlighten us in the comments below!

 

####