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According to this site and many others, Christopher Langan belongs among people with the highest IQ on earth. His IQ is around 195.

They also claim:

Longan learned to speak when he was only 6 months old and acquired reading ability himself before he was four.

This is just impossible. The mouth isn't even formed for speaking. What is the evidence that he learned to speak at this age? Or what do they mean he learned to speak?

I'd like to see 6-month-old baby speaking. Not sure if IQ has anything to do with it.

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    To hear my mom say it, I was reading before I was 4. And I definitely don't have an IQ of 195 – DenisS Mar 15 '18 at 14:39
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    @DenisStallings, I asked about speaking as 6 months old. It is pretty normal now for kids read at the age of 4. They all have electronic devices and access to study alphabet and reading. – Grasper Mar 15 '18 at 14:49
  • My point was partly made in jest. In all seriousness though, pretty much all of the sources for information prior to 1999 are Mr. Langan himself. I'm not sure if this is falsifiable. – DenisS Mar 15 '18 at 15:13
  • @DenisStallings or provable? Maybe if there is another child capable of speaking at that age? Until then it just means he made it up because it is not humanly possible. – Grasper Mar 15 '18 at 15:49
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    what i mean by "falsifiable" is a term used by scientists in regards to testing hypothesis. We can't test whether or not he was speaking at 6 months for obvious reasons. The only source we have for the claim is Langan himself. If his mother was alive (she isn't) we could ask her, but a simple good search for "baby's first words six months" returns plenty of examples of parents thinking they said the first words at six months. So it's entirely possible that Langan's mom thought he spoke at six months, but that wasn't the claim that you asked, so it's not suitable for an answer. – DenisS Mar 15 '18 at 16:30
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Unfortunately, without any conclusive audio of Langan speaking at 6 months we can't really prove whether he could or could not speak. However, it is possible, though unlikely, that he could speak very simple words that early. Such words would depend on fast physical development rather than high IQ, and wouldn't mean he 'learned to speak'.

The first step on the path to language that (pretty much) all babies go through is called babbling. Although the exact connection between babbling and actual speech is not fully known, the different stages of babbling have been consistently observed in infants worldwide.

The relevant babbling stage here is that at 6 months old most babies can reliably produce the same sounds repeatedly, such as the sound 'ma' to say 'ma ma'. Before this point, babbling is mostly random/inconsistent. The reason for this is because a baby's larynx is initially high in the throat and descends/begins developing in their first year of life. About a month after this is when their vocal system has developed enough to produce multiple different sounds in one breath. These abilities to produce and repeat sounds rely on physical development, not intelligence.

Therefore, unless Langan's larynx descended early to allow his vocal chords to develop a bit more, at 6 months Langan would have only just gained the physical ability to make repetitive sounds. At 7 months, he'd finally have the ability to produce several different sounds in one breath. Without this ability, coherent words don't seem possible: articulation requires physical control, not intelligence. However, although this means that he may have been able to reproduce very simple, single syllable words at 6 months old, that is both far away from 'learning to speak' and not at all uncommon.

  • If you say it's possible you need to show us at least 1 evidence. Also, your answer doesn't offer references to your observations. You say "perhaps..." well please provide a link where he says what he meant otherwise it's just a speculation. – Grasper Mar 15 '18 at 15:58
  • @Grasper: That part was just offering some alternatives to what the author meant since you also asked about what the author could have meant by 'learn to speak'. It was mostly to show that there wasn't a good alternative and I had no evidence for any alternative, so I just removed it. – Giter Mar 15 '18 at 16:02
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    @Grasper: Probably. Him saying his IQ let him talk at 6 months is like saying his IQ let him run at 6 months. It doesn't add to his intelligence, but it certainly adds to his ego, and is probably just one of those unnecessary things said to sound more impressive. – Giter Mar 15 '18 at 18:56
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    @GrahamChiu every child does that. It's up to parents to recognize it and work with it. And I wouldn't say saying eh, ar, ger is "learned to speak". When Izabella was born she opened her eyes and made a clicking sound for milk... and what else she would want? That's just how the mother interpreted it. Can't believe they wrote an article about it. The parents are just pushing pressure on the baby. She will grow up and will be totally normal but with thousand psychological issues because parents pressured her to potty when she was 6 months old. That's just cruel. – Grasper Mar 16 '18 at 14:11
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    More accurately would be the child has conditioned the mother. – Graham Chiu Mar 16 '18 at 19:34

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