Intelligence is not a superpower; exceptional intelligence does not, on its own, confer you with proportionally exceptional power over your circumstances. However, it is a well-documented fact that raw cognitive ability — as measured by IQ, which may be debatable — correlates with social attainment for slices of the spectrum that are close to the mean. This was first evidenced in Terman’s study, and later confirmed by others — for instance, an extensive 2006 metastudy by Strenze found a visible, if somewhat weak, correlation between IQ and socioeconomic success. So, a person with an IQ of 130 is statistically far more likely to succeed in navigating the problem of life than a person with an IQ of 70 — although this is never guaranteed at the individual level — but here’s the thing: this correlation breaks down after a certain point. There is no evidence that a person with an IQ of 170 is in any way more likely to achieve a greater impact in their field than a person with an IQ of 130. In fact, many of the most impactful scientists tend to have had IQs in the 120s or 130s — Feynman reported 126, James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, 124 — which is exactly the same range as legions of mediocre scientists. At the same time, of the roughly 50,000 humans alive today who have astounding IQs of 170 or higher, how many will solve any problem a tenth as significant as Professor Watson?