In this week’s 60-second read protagonist Robert James Austin’s potential is unveiled during his first official round of IQ testing. His foster parents, Edith and Peter, learn from Dr. John Uhlman just how smart Austin, their little “Miracle Man,” really is:


Uhlman leaned further forward and tapped his desk with his forefinger for emphasis as he spoke. “The results of the exams are nothing short of astounding. Robert is like the Grand Canyon; he’s one-of-a-kind. I don’t believe there has ever been anyone who possesses the magnitude of raw intelligence that Robert has.”

“How can that be?” asked Peter as he shook his head from side to side.

Uhlman sat back in his chair. “Frankly, we don’t know. There’s no plausible explanation for something like this. The more we study human intelligence, the more we realize how little we know.”

“Well, what does that mean in practical terms?” Peter asked.

Uhlman handed Peter and Edith a sheet of paper. “Here’s a list of some of the great geniuses in history and their actual tested IQs, or comparative-history determined IQs, based on Catharine Cox’ renown analysis. These are widely accepted in the scientific community as being accurate.” Edith and Peter read the names and the corresponding number:


William Sidis: 300

Johann Von Goethe: 225

Leonardo da Vinci: 225

Kim Ung-Yong: 210

Nathan Leopold: 210

Hypatia: 210

Christopher Langan: 210

Emanuel Swedenborg: 205

Gottfried Leibniz: 205

Francis Galton: 200

Michael Kearney: 200

John Stuart Mill: 200

Hugo Grotius: 200

Thomas Wolsey: 200

Michael Grost: 200

Isaac Newton: 190

Albert Einstein: 180


Uhlman continued, “Now, in comparison, Robert’s IQ is so high that we here at Mayo can’t accurately quantify it, and Drs. Draper, Knoll and Massey reached the same conclusion. And I have to tell you, if you’ll excuse the immodesty, that my staff and I are at the pinnacle of expertise in the field of intelligence measurement.”

“Do you have any idea?” asked Peter.

“We can only begin to estimate Robert’s minimum intelligence. This we put at 550-600, but I’m confident that this is inordinately minimized. Now in IQ terms, every fifteen points higher is a standard deviation off the mean, which means that a 200 or 300 point differential in IQ between Robert and the highest person on the list, William Siddis, represents not just twice, but a quantum leap in the intelligence level. A veritable different species altogether.”

“How could this happen? It just doesn’t make any sense,” Edith said.


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Related: June 27: 60-Second Read From “Miracle Man”