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Conversation with Aníbal Sánchez Numa on Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Existential Crisis, National Mathematical Olympics, and Harmony Between People: Member, World Genius Directory (2)

December 1, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 24.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Twenty)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: December 1, 2020

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,570

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Born on February 27th, 1985 in Ciego de Ávila, Cuba, Aníbal Sánchez Numa graduated as Computer Engineer in 2012 and as Master in Computer Science in 2014. Having a PhD in Computational Mechanics since 2018, he belongs to the World Genius Directory and Catholiq High IQ Society. He discusses: books; the Catholicism within the family; the reasoning behind the position of atheism for both parents; Protestant Christianity; the path of Protestant Christianity; the break from it; a “very lonely” person; the “existential crisis”; the first test; tests; mental abilities; measured in the tests; indications of being “considered very intelligent” while in school and at home; “gifted”; “rediscovery”; the components of genius; Newton; Leonardo Da Vinci; “exorbitant creativity”; the media coverage; maths; software development; introversion more common among geniuses; Social Democracy; the three stages of philosophical stances, as a Protestant Christian, as an atheist, and as an agnostic; the contradictory nature of the Bible; the bet “that there is no God beyond our imagination”; “in my own flesh, phenomena for which I have no explanation”; some of the readings on some of the failures in science; “fewer and fewer children and young people who… interested in science”; “anti-science movements”; the recent scores between 145 and 150 S.D. 15 (inclusive); a pacifist; and another meaning of “humanism.”

Keywords: agnosticism, Aníbal Sánchez Numa, atheism, Catholicism, genius, intelligence, National Mathematical Olympics, Protestantism, World Genius Directory.

Conversation with Aníbal Sánchez Numa on Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Existential Crisis, National Mathematical Olympics, and Harmony Between People: Member, World Genius Directory (2)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What are some of the books that come to mind from early childhood and adolescence with an impact on intellectual views?

Aníbal Sánchez Numa: Two of the ones that I remember most fondly are “How man became a giant” and “The magic of numbers.”

Jacobsen: What seems to explain some of the Catholicism within the family?

Numa: I really do not know. I have no information on how that part of my family became Catholic.

Jacobsen: What appears to explain the reasoning behind the position of atheism for both parents?

Numa: The main reason I think is that they both had a Marxist background. My father studied Social Sciences in the Soviet Union and to this day he remains an atheist. Our country is constitutionally Marxist-Leninist.

Jacobsen: What was the form of practicing Protestant Christianity for your mother?

Numa: He belonged to a new current called “Apostolics.” There was a pastor who moved here near the house and started gathering people for his church, and my mother joined and soon I did too. My mother, even though she no longer goes to church, still has some faith.

Jacobsen : What was life like as someone “on that path for some time,” or on the path of Protestant Christianity?

Numa: We did a lot of activities together. In general I remember it as quite a happy time, especially at the beginning. There was a group of young people, we organized choirs and outings, we socialized a lot, it was a very unknown world for me and it was interesting for me as well.

Jacobsen: What explains the break from it?

Numa: Some things happened that I didn’t like. In general, Christians talk a lot about what Jesus said what we should do, but almost none of them do, and on the other hand, religion became for me a force that tied me too much to it, neglecting other interests. I was too caught up in it, and it was hard for me to think of other things, and I felt like I had to break free.

Jacobsen: As a “very lonely” person in school, what was different about the personality and the interests?

Numa: You could say that it was too serious for my age, although of course I saw myself as the right thing to do. Teasing is common among children and adolescents, sometimes as a game, and sometimes to hurt, which I hated. I always liked being treated with respect, and taking care not to offend anyone. It is something that I maintain to this day. On the other hand, I was very interested in learning about everything, reading a lot, understanding the world. I was interested in mythology, mathematics, languages, and I was little interested in the most everyday matters. Later in life I realized that everyday life is also important, but in those years I considered it very uninteresting.

Jacobsen: What was the “existential crisis”?

Numa: A psychological effect that many gifted people suffer is the feeling that their value as a person lies only in their intellectual capacity. The fact that they are always telling you, especially in the school and academic environment, creates that feeling. On the other hand, gifted people are often very perfectionists, so they push themselves in almost everything they do. It was my case too, that’s why when I felt stupid, I wasn’t sure what to think, and of course I didn’t know these elements of psychology either, and the feeling of being inadequate and having low self-esteem was intense.

Jacobsen: How did this lead into the first test and the “community of test hobbyists online”?

Numa: Feeling that way I wanted to get an impression of whether I was as stupid as I thought, that’s why I was surprised at the result. From there I learned what Mensa was, and that an IQ above 130 was considered gifted. At the beginning I did not start doing other tests, but began to exchange with other people identified with that condition, but the shape of the two or three tests that I had done to evaluate a person’s intelligence had caught my attention. It was a kind of problem I had never encountered before, and it was very interesting to me. Around 2016 I met the group IQExams (at first it was called IQNavi.net) and it was there that I met those members who like to do these tests.

Jacobsen: What types of tests most interest you?

Numa: The ones I like the most are the numerical ones, and they are the ones where I get the best results. Since I always liked Mathematics, it is natural that it is like that. In general, I am very attracted to numbers, and the relationships that occur between them, so numerical tests attract me beyond the score obtained.

Jacobsen: What mental abilities seem the strongest given by the tests for you, e.g., linguistic, spatial, or mathematical?

Numa:

Jacobsen: What seems to be measured in the tests when those that “score very high in these tests… seem really very sharp to me”?

Numa: Working memory, ability to detect patterns and apply them to another sequence (eduction), attention span as well. But I think the common feature is detecting patterns, which is the core of official tests such as Raven’s. In numerical tests, arithmetic calculations are also required, I have known, for example, people who perform complicated mental calculations very quickly.

Jacobsen: What were indications of being “considered very intelligent” while in school and at home?

Numa: At home I suppose it was curiosity and interest in reading at an early age. In school I was very advanced, I used to know almost all the content of the subjects as soon as the course began. On the other hand, I was frequently the winner in competitions for school-level subjects, and in the case of Mathematics at higher levels as well. I remember in first grade representing my school in the reading contest, and in fifth grade being the winner in the national math contest, competing for sixth grade.

Jacobsen: Why didn’t you feel “gifted” as in “didn’t really feel that way”?

Numa: On the one hand, being overly self-demanding made everything I did or achieved little or deficient for me, and on the other, the word gifted represented something more extraordinary to me than I was. Also, while he was advantageous in academic matters, I was very clumsy in matters of life in general.

Jacobsen: What were the “shared many feelings and interests” with the people in this process of “rediscovery” in young adulthood?

Numa: In the gifted forum in Spanish I saw posts about some characteristics of gifted people, with which I agreed. In addition, I met other people with that unusual curiosity, perfectionism, sense of justice, and other characteristics that I had and that I had never known why I was different from the rest, so they made me feel strange. It was a rediscovery in the sense of understanding why I was like that, and above all knowing that I was not alone, that despite the fact that the gifted constitute 2.2% of the population there were others, many others, it was like finally knowing who I was and stop feeling weird.

Jacobsen: What seem like the components of genius, the parts?

Numa: It is clear that one component is very high intelligence, another that I consider core is creativity. To become someone recognized as a genius, I believe that you must also have great passion and perseverance in what you research or want to create, to be able to invest several years in your search. The curiosity, present in the gifted, in the case of the genius should be even greater, leading the greatest geniuses in history to want to answer very fundamental and comprehensive questions, such as how the Universe works, for example.

Jacobsen: What makes Newton such a great genius in the sciences?

Numa: I think it is given by the transcendental nature of what he discovered or created. On the one hand, the law of gravity basically and the laws of movement explain how absolutely everything works, at least on a macro scale, it explains to a large extent how the Universe works, so it is very comprehensive. In the case of Calculus, its greatest invention, the importance lies in the fact that a large part of the science that developed from there uses it, let’s say many laws of Physics are based on Calculus, in Chemistry it happens Likewise, in almost all engineering, Calculus is present, and also in economics.

Jacobsen: What makes Leonardo Da Vinci the “greatest polymath”?

Numa: As far as I know, Leonardo Da Vinci is the person who has contributed the most in different fields, doing so in both art and science. Painting, poetry, botany, architecture, sculpture, engineering, are just some of the branches in which he worked, and he was ahead of his time in many of his inventions, such as the helicopter or the submarine.

Jacobsen: Can “exorbitant creativity” border the mental states characteristic of psychosis?

Numa: There is some association between genius and psychosis. From what I have been able to investigate, a cause could be low latent inhibition, which on the one hand is present in people with psychosis (as in schizophrenia), and on the other it can result in greater creativity, as the person perceives greater details in the information it processes.

Jacobsen: What was the media coverage of medallist status within the National Mathematical Olympics?

Numa: That I remember none.

Jacobsen: What kind of maths did you teach?

Numa: I mainly taught Differential and Integral Calculus, although I also taught Linear Algebra.

Jacobsen: What kinds of software development are characteristic of the software for you?

Numa: I develop mainly web and mobile applications.

Jacobsen: Is introversion more common among geniuses, or is extroversion more likely?

Numa: I’d say introversion is more likely. People with a very high intelligence tend to have their minds very busy with their own thoughts and turn everything around constantly, this is sometimes called “rumination”. There are gifted people who even want to stop thinking so much, because they can feel exhausted from doing so much, and they find it uncontrollable.

Jacobsen: How would Social Democracy look in practice, even with a living example in one country?

Numa: According to what I have read, social democracy is like a capitalist economy with social justice: reducing poverty, health care, education, reducing inequality, childcare. It is associated with highly developed countries such as: Finland, Norway, Germany or Denmark.

Jacobsen: What differentiations the three stages of philosophical stances, as a Protestant Christian, as an atheist, and as an agnostic?

Numa: As an atheist I rejected all forms of religion, I had no belief whatsoever. As a Christian I think I had a lot of faith, but always trying to find the logic, trying not to be a blind faith. As an agnostic, I have a more open vision, in the sense that I do not have that faith, but I believe that everything can be possible, besides that I understand that one thing is a possible God or form of energy and another is the God of the Bible. I would say that I do not believe at all in a God like the one in the Bible, but I do believe other visions of God are more possible, such as pantheism.

Jacobsen: What exemplifies the contradictory nature of the Bible?

Numa: An example that I always remember is that I had heard that the God of the Hebrews was a God of love, but the Bible is plagued with wars and invasions, in which it is literally described that the chosen people invaded and killed “women, old men and children ”. Especially the Old Testament has many stories like that.

Jacobsen: Why make the bet “that there is no God beyond our imagination”?

Numa: There are days when I believe in God more and others when I don’t. As I defend science, I tend to think that to believe in something you have to have solid evidence. I am agnostic because I believe that we do not have the ability to know for sure, but I would say that I believe that there is a God up to 30% -40% and 60% -70% that there is not, so my bet by probabilities is that there isn’t.

Jacobsen: What have been the “in my own flesh, phenomena for which I have no explanation”?

Numa: I experienced prayer-induced altered states of consciousness, including what may have been a form of healing through prayer.

Jacobsen: What have been some of the readings on some of the failures in science?

Numa: One of the flaws of science is that it is sometimes not objective due to moral or philosophical problems. In that sense, it is sometimes limited in finding the truth. Let’s say that there was (I am not saying that there is) a difference in the average intellectual capacity between people of different races, the moral problem that racism represents prevents approaching this issue with objectivity, because many people even if there was scientific evidence to support this idea they would refuse to accept it. Something similar happens with the differences between men and women.

Jacobsen: Why are “fewer and fewer children and young people who… interested in science”?

Numa: I’m not sure why this phenomenon occurs. I do not have information to give an opinion based, but I suppose that the cause would be given by failures in the educational system.

Jacobsen: Why do “anti-science movements” such as anti-vaxxers “and flat-earthers scare” you?

Numa: I think they set a precedent of distrust in science. In the case of vaccines, which have saved so many lives, a movement that opposes them seems very dangerous to humanity. In general, they are part of a generalized tendency to distrust official information, and formulate conspiracy theories, which, although they may have some truth, have not been proven for the most part. Many of the people who formulate these theories do not really know how scientific advances have driven humanity throughout history.

Jacobsen: Are you satisfied with the recent scores between 145 and 150 S.D. 15 (inclusive)?

Numa:  I think so. I think around 145 is a good estimate for me. I still think that I can obtain higher scores in tests with some validity, but it is normal that many obtain results above or below their real value.

Jacobsen: Why be a pacifist outside of a love of harmony between people?

Numa: I can’t say exactly why. Perhaps it is because of my calm and peaceful character. I value life very much and anything that involves destruction or harm to another human being seems horrible to me. I have always greatly admired the great scientists who contributed to solving humanity’s problems, especially health problems, because this seems to me to be the greatest form of well-being.

JacobsenWhat might be another meaning of “humanism” to you?

Numa: “Humanism” in my opinion could mean more selfishness or domination. Sure, we give meaning to words and of course we define ourselves as compassionate and benevolent. We would have to see what an advanced extraterrestrial civilization would think to observe us, and see the number of wars we have between us and how we subdue the other life forms on the planet.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, World Genius Directory.

[2] Individual Publication Date: December 1, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sanchez-2; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2021: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Aníbal Sánchez Numa on Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Existential Crisis, National Mathematical Olympics, and Harmony Between People: Member, World Genius Directory (2) [Online].December 2020; 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sanchez-2.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, December 1). Conversation with Aníbal Sánchez Numa on Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Existential Crisis, National Mathematical Olympics, and Harmony Between People: Member, World Genius Directory (2). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sanchez-2.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Aníbal Sánchez Numa on Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Existential Crisis, National Mathematical Olympics, and Harmony Between People: Member, World Genius Directory (2). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A, December. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sanchez-2>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020.  Conversation with Aníbal Sánchez Numa on Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Existential Crisis, National Mathematical Olympics, and Harmony Between People: Member, World Genius Directory (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sanchez-2.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott Conversation with Aníbal Sánchez Numa on Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Existential Crisis, National Mathematical Olympics, and Harmony Between People: Member, World Genius Directory (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 24.A (December 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sanchez-2.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Conversation with Aníbal Sánchez Numa on Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Existential Crisis, National Mathematical Olympics, and Harmony Between People: Member, World Genius Directory (2)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sanchez-2>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Co Conversation with Aníbal Sánchez Numa on Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Existential Crisis, National Mathematical Olympics, and Harmony Between People: Member, World Genius Directory (2)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 24.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sanchez-2.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Aníbal Sánchez Numa on Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Existential Crisis, National Mathematical Olympics, and Harmony Between People: Member, World Genius Directory (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 24.A (2020): December. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sanchez-2>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Aníbal Sánchez Numa on Roman Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Existential Crisis, National Mathematical Olympics, and Harmony Between People: Member, World Genius Directory (2)[Internet]. (2020, December 24(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/sanchez-2.

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