What would happen if everyone in the world had an IQ score over 200 points? This is a type of intelligence that only comes along every so often. An IQ level of 200 is as high, or higher, than the theoretical IQs of history’s greatest minds like Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Isaac Newton.
We also want to note that there may be some people who might be offended by some of the entries on this list, and this is not our intention. We are not saying or implying anyone is stupid if they do one or many of the activities on the list. How we came to these conclusions is by looking at studies about which attributes are associated with high intelligence. In fact, many of us here at TopTenz.net, who are definitely not world class geniuses, indulge in these activities that would die out if everyone in the world was a genius.
10. Artistic Output Will Increase
If all humans were to become geniuses, not everyone would flock to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. While there will be a lot more people drawn to those fields, there will be people who hold interest in other areas, like art, and they will be drawn to that, which isn’t much different than the way life is now. In fact, there are geniuses found in every artistic medium. Just to name a few, in the 1970s, Queen guitarist Brian May was getting his doctorate for his study regarding the properties of interstellar dust, but left school to tour with Queen before graduating. He completed his PhD in astrophysics in 2007.
This second genius in the arts may surprise fans of Modern Family, but Nolan Gould, who plays Luke Dunphy, is a member of Mensa. Leonardo da Vinci is considered one of the greatest minds of all time and he is still known for his paintings and drawings. Finally, there are dozens of writers who are considered geniuses. Just to name a few: Thomas Pynchon, Kurt Vonnegut, and James Joyce.
Besides just anecdotal evidence, there have also been several studies that have consistently shown correlations between high intelligence and creativity. If these studies are correct, then that would suggest that if people became smarter, their creativity levels would go up as well. This could lead to a greater output of work by billions of geniuses and the results would probably be fascinating, but pretentious works of art.
9. The Lottery Will Disappear
There is a saying that “the lottery is a tax on stupid people.” However, there is no real evidence to back up that claim, but the lottery is a good way of showing how intelligence works. Notably, intelligent people aren’t necessarily logical or rational. In fact, smart people can sometimes be downright irrational because they have a tendency to go with their instincts, even if their instincts aren’t always correct. On the other side of the argument, everyone would have a better understanding of how many different fields of life work. Notably, math and probability will be easier to understand and everyone would be better able to grasp how unlikely it is to win the lottery. As a result, more people may choose to do something else with those few dollars a week instead of playing the lottery.
Also, if everyone was a genius, there may be more lottery scams or people trying to “beat” the system, so it may not be advantageous to run a lottery system.
Lastly, the lottery is often used by governments as a way to raise funds without raising taxes. If everyone was a genius, we may be able to discover and adopt new economic theories and forms of taxations. For example, there is something called “invisible donations” that was developed by a special adviser to the secretary general of the United Nations in charge of innovative financing for development. What he did was add a service charge of €1 ($1.50 USD) on flights leaving France. Through this system, between 2006 and 2014, they made $2 billion. This type of financing and other innovative economic applications could be developed and the need for government lotteries would evaporate.
8. We’ll Live Healthier and Longer Lives
There is a good chance that if everyone was a genius, then more people would live longer and healthier lives. One reason is that people who are smarter simply live longer. The correlation between higher intelligence and a longer life span was first found in a study that was started in 1932. On one day, almost all of the 11-year-olds in Aberdeen, Scotland had their IQ tested. 65 years later, researchers looked to see how many were still alive at 76. When they did, they compared the number of living people to their IQ scores as children, and they found that a 15-point IQ advantage indicated that the person had a 21 percent greater chance of survival.
So if someone had an IQ of 115, 15 points above the average, then there was a 21 percent better chance they would be alive at age 76 as opposed to a person of average intelligence. Since then, the results of the study have been replicated over 20 times. However, why smarter people live longer is a bit of a mystery. Yet, it seems to indicate that if all people were smarter, we’d all live longer.
However, if everyone was a genius that means that there would be more doctors because more people would be mentally able to do it. With more doctors, more research would be done and that would ultimately lead to more medical breakthroughs.
7. Drug Use Will Become Common
Common sense would suggest that intelligent people wouldn’t use or abuse drugs. After all, the use of most psychoactive drugs, especially in excess, can be pretty harmful to the body so it isn’t exactly a smart thing to do. However, as we’ve mentioned before, smart people aren’t always logical or rational.
A 40-year-long study from Cardiff University took a look at a group of 8,000 people who were born in the same week in April 1970 in Cardiff, Wales. Every five years they would survey the participants on a variety of topics. When it was done, one thing that they found was that subjects that tested above average on IQ tests when they were five were twice as likely to have done drugs within the past year when taking the survey at age 30. This wasn’t just marijuana, either. Many of the participants preferred cocaine and ecstasy.
Another massive study started in 1958 called the National Child Development Study found something similar. Participants in this study with IQs over 125 were much more likely to consume psychoactive drugs than people with IQs below 75.
One of the reasons is that it is believed that intelligent people are more curious. Therefore, they are more likely to explore with drugs. Since more people would be doing drugs, there would be little sense to keep many of them illegal. This is especially true when it costs money to enforce drug laws, but there is plenty of profit in the selling and taxation of drugs.
6. Mental Illness Will Become Rampant
A link between high intelligence and mental illness is a highly debated topic. As evidence that there is a link, some point to really smart people who suffered from mental illnesses like Nikola Tesla, David Foster Wallace, Howard Hughes, and Emily Dickinson. The research is a bit murky, but does tend to show that people with high intelligence levels are more susceptible to mental illness. Notably, they have higher levels of anxiety and people with high intelligence levels have a better chance of having an anxiety disorder.
Another study from the University of Glasgow found that high IQ levels have a positive correlation with bipolar disorder. Out of 1,881 participants, who were tested at eight-years-old for IQ and then at 22 and 23 for manic features, they found that people who scored in the top 10 percent for manic features also had childhood IQ scores almost 10 points higher than those who scored in the lowest 10 percent. That seems to indicate that as IQ goes up, so do the odds of having bipolar disease.
However, there is also the possibility that with more geniuses around, we could unlock the mysteries of the brain and mental illness will no longer be a problem.
5. Crime Will Drop
For a while now, researchers have found evidence that men who are criminals have a lower intelligence level than non-offenders. It is believed that men of lower intelligence resort to evolutionarily means to compete for resources and mates. For example, they would rather steal or cheat the system than work full time and would rather rape a woman than try computer dating. Also, because of their lower intelligence level, they don’t fully grasp the consequences of their illegal behavior. This would suggest that if everyone was a genius, the rates of petty crimes, assaults, and even murders would drop.
However, we want to make it clear that smart people do commit crimes, even murder, but the one crime that is often associated with high intelligence is white collar crime. Currently, the problem with white collar crime is that it’s complicated. Not only do the police have to understand it and know how to investigate it, but then the prosecution has to explain the crime to people from the general public who are probably hearing about the law that was broken for the first time in court. Unfortunately, prosecutors aren’t as good as the guys in The Big Short at explaining financial transactions.
Of course, if everyone was smarter, that means the police would be sharper too, and the people in the jury will be better able to grasp the situation. With both police and criminals being super geniuses, it could become an interesting battle of wits. You know, like Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty, or Batman and the Joker. Which is either awesome or horrifying, depending on how you look at it.
4. Unlock Many Of The Universe’s Mysteries
Crowdsourcing is an amazing way for researchers to tackle massive problems without spending too much money or exhausting manpower. There are currently crowdsourcing projects going on in many different fields like archeology, space exploration, and medicine. In some cases, there have been breakthroughs thanks to crowdsourcing. That is pretty impressive because the people who helped were pulled from the human race, which has an average IQ score of 100.
Now imagine how much work would be done if we were all geniuses. Crowdsourcing would become even more valuable and problems that would have taken years to solve would take weeks, days, or maybe even hours.
3. Less Religion
As we mentioned in the introduction, we are not implying people who do something on this list are stupid or unintelligent, and we can’t stress that enough here. There are people alive today who are both incredibly smart and religious, as there have been throughout history.
With that being said, several studies have shown that people who are highly intelligent are less likely to be involved with religious organizations. After all, science and religion are opposites at a fundamental level. Religion is belief without empirical evidence, whereas science is completely built on empirical evidence. So based on evidence that people of high intelligence tend to embrace science over religion, for that reason, religion will probably become less popular if everyone was a genius.
However, on the other side of the argument is that many scientists are not exactly atheists either, because there is no evidence of an absence of a God. So, what would be really interesting is if a group of geniuses got together to find scientific evidence of God, or a lack of one.
2. Less Hatred
There have been a few studies performed that show that people who had IQ tests when they were young and scored below average were more likely to develop racist and homophobic attitudes as adults. If IQ levels were to rise, then these attitudes may fall by the wayside. Of course, that isn’t to say that intelligent people aren’t prejudiced, because they are.
In another study, they found that intelligent people are prejudiced against people like religious fundamentalists who harbor homophobic and racist beliefs. Meaning, if intelligence levels were to rise, racism and homophobia would be less of a problem and there will be less racist people to dislike.
1. More Peace
The world wouldn’t exactly be a Utopian paradise if everyone was a genius. After all, people may become more stubborn and overconfident if they get smarter, which is bound to get people and nations in trouble. Also, smart people aren’t always exactly the nicest or most socially adept people. How many real life Sheldon Coopers and Sherlocks are there?
If everyone became a genius, life would still be rich in personalities and the jerk scale will still run the full spectrum. So fights and wars could possibly happen, but many of the reasons we currently go to war will be gone.
Religion is a major cause of fighting and as we mentioned in entry three, people may move away from religion so that could be less of an issue. Another major reason to go to war is over natural resources. This probably wouldn’t be a good reason to go to war simply because more people will be capable of being engineers, meaning more manpower working on the world’s biggest problems. For example, what if we were able to increase the abilities of solar panels, or figure out how to effectively and efficiently turn saltwater into fuel? That would theoretically mean that wars over oil wouldn’t exist. Ethnic cleansing is sadly another reality, but this too would go away because racism probably wouldn’t be a factor.
So while the world would be far from perfect, because people aren’t perfect, even if they are really, really smart, a planet full of geniuses would be a much more peaceful place than the world in which we live.