7.4 – THE GENIUS FACTOR (11.21.14)

THE NATURE OF GENIUS [5b]

Tacoma, Washington, 2002. As he walks out of a karaoke bar, 31-year-old Jason Padgett is brutally mugged by two men, and knocked unconscious. When he finally wakes up, doctors tell him he’s lucky to have escaped the beating with just a bruised kidney and a concussion. But in the coming days, Jason starts to see the world in a whole new way.

“Jason Padgett was not a professional mathematician. He had studied math a little bit when he was younger, like most of us did. And he never really had a great interest in math. But after he was beaten, he would see mathematical equations everywhere he looked and he would really find it beautiful.”

– Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D.
(Author, Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined)

“He had developed something called synesthesia where he sort of saw the world in these fractal images and then became really interested in that phenomena and then started discovering mathematics.”

– Heather Berlin, Ph.D., M.P.H.
(Prof. of Neuroscience, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine),
(Neuroscientist, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai)

“He would see the Pythagorean theorem in objects that most of us don’t notice or don’t ever see those things. He found them so beautiful that he decided to capture them in some sort of visual representation, and he started drawing all of these things.”

– Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D.
(Author, Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined)

Jason becomes the only person in the world with the extraordinary ability to hand-draw complex fractal shapes. Scientists say that what may have happened is that the traumatic brain injury he suffered randomly re-wired Jason’s neural network, bringing out genius-like abilities in some areas.

“When a person has traumatic brain injury, it’s going to be a shock to the brain to the way that it’s wired.”

– Heather Berlin, Ph.D., M.P.H.
(Prof. of Neuroscience, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine),
(Neuroscientist, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai)

“Presumably in the incidents of a traumatic brain injury, your brain is repairing itself to a certain extent or sort of compensating for damage by potentially sort of re-routing neural circuits.”

– Kirsten Fisher, Ph.D.
(Asst. Prof. of Biology, Cal State, Los Angeles)

Jason Padgett’s story, while incredible, is not entirely unique. In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Derek Amato hit his head in a pool, and it transformed him into a talented pianist, even though he’d never played in his life. In Massachusetts, 35-year-old Jon Sarkin suffered a stroke after surgery and became a world famous artist. And after epileptic seizures, Daniel Tammet became a mathematical and linguistic genius, able to see the results of complex calculations and even learn a foreign language in a matter of days. But if traumatic head injuries can endow a normal person with genius-like abilities, what might that tell us about the nature of genius?

“Genius is by definition a very rare, rare event. There are very few geniuses in every generation that have fundamentally changed the way that we operate in this world. And we’ll never get a full, complete understanding of genius just by looking at the brain.”

– Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D.
(Author, Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined)

Is it possible that a blow to the head can unlock something in the brain that makes it more receptive to ideas, concepts, and an actual architecture of the Universe that is normally reserved for geniuses? And if so, might this provide insight into why a handful of great thinkers in every generation with names like Einstein, Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Confucius and Plato seem to be responsible for so many of the visionary ideas that have formed the fabric of our society for thousands of years? Modern science is still grasping for answers, as freak occurrences such as Jason Padgett’s contradict the traditional view that brilliance is the result of good genes and hard work.

“There is an inherited aspect to genius, and, and we know that from, we can name lots of people who have come from famous families. Like the Bacon family had a lot of famous scientists, the Darwin family. So, there are a lot of geniuses where it’s inherited.”

– Diane Hennacy Powell, MD (Author, The ESP Enigma)

“All across history, you see some very similar characteristics among the people we tend to call geniuses. One, geniuses tend to persevere against lots of odds. Lots of them have had lots of handicaps when they were younger, maybe that even fueled them to want to achieve higher heights of creativity. But they have this great ability to bounce back and continue persevering along their goals.”

– Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D.
(Author, Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined)

The 20th-century’s quintessential genius Albert Einstein is said to have perfectly embodied these characteristics. His motivation and boundless curiosity were legendary, but his physical brain also had some extraordinary qualities that may have allowed for a more profound level of thinking.

“Albert Einstein’s brain when he died in 1955 was actually kept in formaldehyde for about 50 years and wasn’t really deeply analyzed until more recently. One of the things that they found was that he has a thicker corpus callosum. And that’s the band of fibers that connects the left and the right hemisphere.”

– Diane Hennacy Powell, MD (Author, The ESP Enigma)

Scientists believe the corpus callosum helps different parts of the brain communicate and aids in both creativity and higher thinking. But are the physical characteristics of the brain the only factor in determining a person’s intelligence? Ancient Astronaut Theorists believe there may be an even more profound reason.

“When we look at the human brain, we wonder if we really have the neurological brain power to really be such geniuses and think of all of these amazing inventions and, in some cases, just envision them in their totality all at once. So, some scientists have speculated that what these geniuses are doing is tapping into ideas that are coming from outside of them.”

David Childress (Author, Technology of the Gods)

“Do geniuses have an access to another level of consciousness where some of their ideas are being sent to them? Or they have the capability of downloading it during their dreams?  These are the great questions of humankind, of the Universe.”

– Giorgio A. Tsoukalos
(Publisher, Legendary Times Magazine)

“Is it possible that there is something much more important going on with consciousness than the physical brain? It’s a compelling possibility that reveals deeper truths about the nature of what it means to be human and whether, in fact, there is some greater organized effort being made to steer human knowledge towards a desired outcome.”

David Wilcock (Author/Filmmaker),
(Author, The Source Field Investigations),
(The Synchronicity Key)

Is it possible that genius comes not entirely from within the brain, but also from some force outside the body? Ancient Astronaut Theorists say yes, and suggest the evidence for this can be found by examining the world’s earliest geniuses and what they claimed was the true source of their inspiration.

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Previous: Introduction | Next: Source of Inspiration

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References:

[1] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014/15). Ancient Aliens: Season 7. [DVD Back Cover]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[2] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.1 – Forbidden Caves. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: October 31, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-7.

[3] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.2 – Mysteries of the Sphinx. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: November 7, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-7.

[4] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.3 – Aliens Among Us. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: November 14, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-7.

[5] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.4 – The Genius Factor. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: November 21, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-7.

[5a] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.4 – The Genius Factor. [DVD Footage: Introduction]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[5b] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.4 – The Genius Factor. [DVD Footage: The Nature of Genius]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[5c] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.4 – The Genius Factor. [DVD Footage: Source of Inspiration]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[5d] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.4 – The Genius Factor. [DVD Footage: The Akashic Record]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[5e] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.4 – The Genius Factor. [DVD Footage: Independent Simultaneous Invention]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[5f] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.4 – The Genius Factor. [DVD Footage: Mediation & Contemplation]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[5g] Prometheus Entertainment. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.4 – The Genius Factor. [DVD Footage: Accessing our Inner Genius]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[6] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.5 – Secrets of the Mummies. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: November 28, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-7.

[7] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.6 – Alien Resurrections. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: December 5, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-7.

[8] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.7 – Alien Messages. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: December 19, 2014, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-7.

[9] History™. (2014). Ancient Aliens: 7.8 – The Great Flood. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: December 23, 2013, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-7.

[10] History™. (2015). Ancient Aliens: 7.9 – Aliens & the Civil War. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: April 10, 2015, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-7.

[11] History™. (2015). Ancient Aliens: 7.10 – Hidden Pyramids. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: April 17, 2015, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-7.

[12] History™. (2015). Ancient Aliens: 7.11 – The Vanishings. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: April 24, 2015, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-7.

[13] History™. (2015). Ancient Aliens: 7.12 – The Alien Agenda. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: May 1, 2015, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-7.

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Who were they?… Why did they come?… What did they leave behind?… Where did they go?… Will they return?…

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