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Level of Intelligence

William Ferguson, chairman of Nynex Corporation, tells this story about Albert Einstein in heaven:

Einstein was having difficulty finding people on his intellectual level to talk to, so one day he decided to stand at the pearly gates and ask everyone who entered what their IQ was. Before very long he was having a lot of success guessing what people did for a living on the basis on their level of intelligence. For instance, a woman was ushered through the gates and in response to Einstein’s question, said she had an IQ of 190. “Why, you must be a physicist,” Einstein said. “Indeed I am,” said the woman. “I’d love to chat with you about the progress being made in nuclear fusion and in superconductivity, as well as what’s going on in space,” said Einstein. “Please wait over there.” He stopped a man who was entering the gates, and the man told him his IQ was 140. “You must be a physician, probably a surgeon,” said Einstein. His guess was right. “Wonderful,” said Einstein. “I want to talk to you about the latest organ transplant techniques and their effects on life expectancy. Can you wait a few moments until we can get together?” Another man walked in and told Einstein he had an IQ of 95. “Is that so,” said Einstein. “So what do you think is going to happen with interest rates?”

Bits and Pieces, July, 1991