"The 16 Smartest People on Earth"

Yahoo posted an article this morning about the 16 people with the highest officially tested IQs.

These are obviously not the 16 smartest people on the planet, but merely people who have devoted a fair amount of time to taking IQ tests. Most are at least somewhat accomplished, but none in ways that would have made them famous. It's their test scores which have led to this publicity.

At the same time, there's no doubt that all 16 are highly intelligent.

The first thing that struck me was that there isn't a single woman on the list. The second thing was, no non-Asian minorities.

A little surprising that Yahoo, which leans liberal, ran this article.

Addendum, 10/27/12: Just did the math. Fifteen IQ points represent one standard deviation on either side of the average score of 100 (that score was normed for whites, but let's ignore that for the moment). This means that roughly 70% of the population falls within one standard deviation on either side of that, 95% within two standard deviations, 99.7% within three, and 99.99% within four, and 99.99994267% within five. (According to Wikipedia.) This would mean that you would find roughly one in a million people outside 4.89 standard deviations. Given that the IQ distribution is a normal distribution, and assuming that only half of that one in a million fraction ranks above (as opposed to that far below) the norm (although I'm not positive it works that way on the underside of the average), that would still mean that roughly one in every two million people are at 172 or above (which is approximately 4.8 standard deviations above the norm) in IQ. Given that we live in a world of seven billion, the 1/2,000,000 fraction should mean that there are approximately 3500 people in the world at 172 or above. (I guess the other 3484 had better -- or worse -- things to do than take IQ tests.)

I point this out just so that none of these 16 think they're quite that special. (And actually, those last five guys on the Yahoo list who checked in at 169 to 171 wouldn't even make the top 3500.)