A friend sent me the following e-mail this afternoon. In about five minutes, I did enough research to determine that it is clearly a hoax. The e-mail and my response follow:

Report: George W. Bush Has Lowest IQ of all Presidents of past 50 Years

If late night TV comedy is an indicator, then there has never been as
widespread a perception that a president is not intellectually qualified for
the position he holds as there is with President GW Bush. In a report
published Monday, the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania
detailed its findings of a four month
study of the intelligence quotient of President George W. Bush. Since 1973,
the Lovenstein Institute has published it's research to the education
community on each new president, which includes
the famous "IQ" report among others. According to statements in the
report, there have been twelve presidents over the past 50 years, from F. D.
Roosevelt to G. W. Bush who were all rated based on scholarly achievements,
writings that they alone
produced without aid of staff, their ability to speak with clarity, and
several other psychological factors which were then scored in
the Swanson/Crain system of intelligence ranking. The study determined the
following IQs of each president as accurate to within five percentage

147 Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
132 Harry S Truman (D)
122 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
174 John F. Kennedy (D)
126 Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
155 Richard M. Nixon (R)
121 Gerald Ford (R)
175 James E. Carter (D)
105 Ronald Reagan (R)
098 George HW Bush (R)
182 William J. Clinton (D)
091 George W. Bush (R)

The six Republican presidents of the past 50 years had an average IQ of
115.5, with President Nixon having the highest IQ, at 155. President G. W.
Bush was rated the lowest of all the Republicans with an IQ of 91. The six
Democrat presidents had IQs with an
average of 156, with President Clinton having the highest IQ, at 182.
President Lyndon B. Johnson was rated the lowest of all the Democrats with
an IQ of 126. No president other than Carter (D) has released his actual IQ,

Among comments made concerning the specific testing of President GW Bush,
his low ratings were due to his apparent difficulty to command the English
language in public statements, his limited use of vocabulary (6,500 words
for Bush versus an average of 11,000 words for other presidents), his lack
of scholarly achievements other than a basic MBA, and an absence of any body
of work which could be studied on an intellectual basis. The complete report
documents the methods and procedures used to arrive at these ratings,
including depth of sentence structure and voice stress confidence analysis.

"All the Presidents prior to George W. Bush had a least one book under
their belt, and most had written several white papers during their education
or early careers. Not so with President Bush,"Dr. Lovenstein said. "He has
no published works or writings, so in many ways that made it more difficult
to arrive at an assessment. We had to rely more heavily on transcripts of
his unscripted public speaking. "

The Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania think tank includes high
caliber historians, psychiatrists, sociologists, scientists in human
behavior, and psychologists. Among their
ranks are Dr. Werner R. Lovenstein, world-renowned sociologist, and
Professor Patricia F. Dilliams, a world-respected psychiatrist. This study
was commissioned on February 13, 2001 and released
on July 9, 2001 to subscribing member universities and organizations within
the education community.

This is a hoax, plain and simple.

1. There is no "Lovenstein Institute" in Scranton, Pennsylvania. No such institute by that name exists anywhere, that I can find mentioned on the web.

2. Neither is there a "Dr. Lovenstein" or a "Professor Dilliams."

3. Most IQ tests only go up to 160 or 170, since beyond that, there's no practical way to measure any real difference in intelligence. At that point, you're dealing with one-in-several-million people anyway.

4. There is no such IQ test as the "Swanson/Crain system."

5. Even if there were, you couldn't possibly measure someone's IQ with any semblance of accuracy, let alone +/- 5 points, by using their speeches, writings, and schoolwork as data. That's not what IQ measures at all.

6. Even if you COULD do that, the fictional doctor admits that the data used for GWB were highly skewed since he hasn't published anything and has an "basic" MBA from Harvard. (Which, incidentally, is more than most presidents have, so this would actually INCREASE his rating...)

7. Jimmy Carter's IQ has not been "released," although I did find a news article containing Nixon's, which was reportedly 143, JFK's, which was 119, and Al Gore's, which is 134. The article uses an admittedly fuzzy statistical correlation with SAT scores to estimate GWB's IQ at 115 - effectively the same as JFK's. ( http://www.sctimes.com/Election/bush011401.htm )

8. Well, there is no 8. Haven't I convinced you?

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