This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

Diet of Marilyn Vos Savant, world's smartest woman

Her regimen looks a lot like the Warrior Diet: 2 small snacks during the day and a big meal at night. She says she avoids sugar and saturated fat. Her pulse is pretty low, only 60:

....Julie: Okay, here's the full disclosure. I'm 5 feet 8 inches tall, and I weigh 125 pounds. (Note: I have a small frame, so my weight is low for my height. I would happily weigh ten pounds more if they would distribute themselves pleasingly all over. But my extra pounds behave like rich people in the winter: They head south.) My blood pressure runs about 110/70 with a heart rate of 60. My last cholesterol level was 200, with 120 HDL and 57 LDL levels. I've been happily eating this way for about twenty years–but don't tell my mother!

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Do you think she looks healthy?

IQ I've read is mostly genetic.

asked Feb 7, 2015 by raintree
edited Feb 13, 2015 by raintree

All I can say is in my opinion ones IQ is definitely not mostly genetic, it probably plays a minor role (if it does at all). And ones 'IQ' is not very important anyway - you can't measure intelligence. Intelligence differs from situation to situation and there are many, many forms of intelligence. IQ tests are pretty much only about 'logical intelligence in this current moment' and it only gives tendencies there. So someone with a higher IQ usually is better in solving 'logical' problems, such as calculating 'probabilities'. But that's about it. And even there, for a different 'logical problem' the outcome could be entirely different again. And at another point of time, someones IQ can be entirely different again as well.

To her diet: The best thing about it is her special note - she doesn't really eat food she doesn't enjoy. And that's good advice. Otherwise I can't really say I'm a fan of what she does, but if she thinks it works for her why should I complain. Each to their own. I won't lie though - I would like to talk to her and see her in person to see how smart and present she really is. Another thing to note is it's only her diet the 'last 20 years' and as far as I know, the high scores of her IQ were longer ago. So I'm curious what her score would be now and how her 'diet' looked before.

Kiwi, if you don't think IQ is genetic (or is a minor contributor) why do twins have such similar IQ's?

Because they're raised in the same household, often treated similarly by their parents and hence have a similar level of emotional and intellectual stimulation.

But they're not always raised together. Studies have shown twins raised apart have more similar IQ's than siblings raised in same household.

Ray Peat has talked about the shared environment in the womb as reason to see genetic link to be inconclusive.

IQ has been associated with success in occupations of all types. If that is the case, it seems to measure broad enough skill-set to be worthwhile to sociologists or whatever.

In my own observation, there really does seem to be a 'general intelligence.' Meaning, someone who is intelligent is pretty good at whatever they apply themselves to. I don't buy the argument that intelligence is compartmentalized- a test of one area, even abstract thinking, is probably a good indicator of other abilities.

Then why are monozygotic twins more similar in IQ than dizygotic twins if they share the same womb?

I don't think twin studies should even be considered in this debate, they are full of fraud. Also there's pretty much only one 'study' showing a slightly higher likelihood for the IQ to be similar for monozygotic twins compared to dizygotic twins (you're talking about the Nancy Segal one, right?), so that's definitely not conclusive. You say it as if it were an absolute fact.

"all the data is fake, believe me" - Kiwifruit


There are plenty of intelligent or very old yet lucid people who have very non-Peaty diets. I have some all around me. The reason a lot of us care about diet is simply because we are not as healthy. Diet matters a lot more. I'm among those people for which diet really matters, on a daily basis. If I eat shit on one day, I may feel shit the following day. But plenty of people would remain in good metabolism the following day.

Note I started with "I don't think [....]" meaning everything subsequent is just my opinion. I personally don't really take much credibility out of any study or stat, of course I can't prove or disprove it. I just prefer to observe for myself and to experience.

"But no such link emerged. Whether students reported their parents cared about them and did things with them — or reported that they did not — it had no impact on the their IQ. This means a person’s IQ is largely the result of the genes we inherit from our biological parents."

This doesn't tell us anything about if IQ is inherited or not, the only thing this tells me about IQ is the authors one must be very low. It's not about how loving parents are, this is only one small variable which might have an impact as well of course, but it's about the whole picture and in the IQ sense probably especially how 'stimulated' their brains are during childhood (and even as an adult, it can still change). What I know from experience: children can become more intelligent pretty quickly just by talking to smart people. Children 'wasting' their time with stupid people won't get them any farther and their 'intellectual growth' gets to a halt, although of course from person to person there's a huge difference in the exact same environment. But even then, you can't ever isolate genetics alone. Those trying to do so are in most cases promoting racialistic ideas. Ray Peat even says the IQ tests were originally made to promote racism and there's probably something onto it. I might look it up again.

3 Answers

This is a somewhat famous person in America by way of her syndicated newspaper column, if folks don't know. If you read more about her and by her she is stunningly incurious. Her column amounts to silly trivia.

I can believe that she tests as one of the smarter people in the world in terms of mental horsepower. How has she harnessed that horsepower? She married some rich dude and apparently avoided ever doing hard work at any point in her life. She writes what amounts to a trivia column. Despite the potential she's got a big goose egg in terms of contributions to human understanding, tools, infrastructure, or knowledge. Never built or figured out a damn thing.

answered Feb 7, 2015 by 4a552f55cbb9

She also apparently decided she is too cool to waste time raising kids. Too much hassle, apparently.

BTW, Ray Peat and friends who say genes don't mean anything to IQ are full of shit. Intelligence is 70% heritable and the exact genes involved are becoming clear as research progresses.

The very typical failure of people like Marilyn to have kids is itself somewhat damning of IQ. Dysgenics in action.

"How has she harnessed that horsepower? She married some rich dude and apparently avoided ever doing hard work at any point in her life."

Marrying a rich dude and not working seems like a really smart thing to me :).

TLDR; Vos Savant has hypothyroid pulse and is unsurprisingly fairly mediocre for all her high IQ is supposed to mean (jack all). If you still think IQ is that important you should read Mind and Tissue, it discusses Russian perspectives on intelligence.

answered Feb 7, 2015 by MrPickles

Most IQ tests I've sat require a great deal of cultural programming to solve. I've sat through IQ tests that require solving anagrams and doing mental arithmetic, both of which require you A) have some schooling, B) be good at anagrams and mental arithmetic. For everything else, you can have the common sense of a poodle, but if you've got those two things, you can score a high IQ.

Its conceivable her intelligence stays in tact, even on such low energy. Most of the bodies adaptive functions to stress are to protect and provide energy for the brain. If we knew more about her lifestyle it would be interesting. She is smart but how active is she in using that intelligence?

answered Feb 7, 2015 by karl