Oscar Wrigley, the two year old with the IQ of some of the greatest thinkers of our century, is getting quite a bit of attention these days. The GCIC (Gifted Children’s Information Center) in Solihull says Oscar has got to be the brightest child they have ever assessed. Prodigiously promising Oscar is in the 99.99th percentile of the population’s age-equivalent intelligence, and has reached the Stanford-Binet test’s maximum potential IQ measurement of 160.
Joe Wrigley, Oscar’s father is an IT specialist in Berkshire who commented on his son’s amazing perspicacity, “Oscar was recently telling my wife about the reproductive cycle of penguins”¦ He is always asking questions.” While IQ measures the child’s development and intelligence based upon age, Oscar’s father fears that quite soon Oscar may overtake him in future battles of the wits, “I’m fully expecting the day when he turns around and tells me I’m an idiot.” Oscar’s mother, Hannah Wrigley, noted the boy’s remarkable vocabulary, stating “His vocabulary is amazing. He’s able to construct complex sentences… The other day he said to me, ‘Mummy, sausages are like a party in my mouth”¦ He amazes everyone. We knew at 12 weeks he was extremely bright. He was unusually alert.”
Mensa was originally created by Roland Berril and Dr. Lance Ware in 1946 as a society for bright people. Members need only have an exceptionally high IQ to join. The goal of the society then and now is to create an apolitical society free of racial and religious distinctions to enjoy the company of one another, exchange ideas, and engage in cultural and social activities.
Though many contend that intelligence is a result of hard work and extensive periods of time dedicated to learning, others contend that prodigious talents are the direct result of innate talent, emotional investment, and personal characteristic. As with many issues dealt with in psychology the “nature” crowd is opposed by the “nurture” crowd who believes the environment is the primary factor in the development of youth. Famous Chess player Laszlo Polgar taught his three daughters, the amazing Polgar sisters to play chess at a very young age, and they all three became incredible chess masters. Two would even go on to become grandmasters. This extended experiment indicated that development happens as the child progresses and not as an innate genetic talent. Of course the true answer likely lies somewhere in between. It is of no question that hard work and determination can pay off when applied consistently throughout life, and certainly a lack thereof can have adverse effects. It appears the evidence supports both theories.
John Stevenage, Chief Executive of Mensa appears to have a similar theory of his own as he confirmed Oscar’s acceptance into Mensa at two years, five months, and 11 days, “Oscar shows great potential. Converting that potential to achievement is the challenge for his parents and we are delighted that they have chosen to join the Mensa network for support.” What will Oscar do with his incredible mind? He will have to make up his own mind on that one.