I.Q. of Famous People

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Blaise Pascal

Born: 1623
Died: 1662
Nationality: France
Description: Mathematician & religious philosopher
IQ: 195
Pascal, Blaise (1623-1662), mathematician, physicist, theologian, mystic, philosopher, moralist and French polemicist of the seventeenth century.

The extent of areas of interest and the genius of Pascal is impressive: inventor of the calculator, designer of the first public transport in France, architect of the draining of the poitevins marshes, brilliant polemicist against the Jesuits in the "Provincial", apologist of the Christian faith with fragments collected under the title of Thoughts, he was also one of the most brilliant prose of the French language and one of the greatest figures of the seventeenth century in France.

Son of Stephen Pascal (1588-1651), lawyer and amateur mathematician, second president of the aids court of Clermont, and Antoinette Begon (1596-1626), Blaise Pascal was born in Clermont (now Clermont-Ferrand) on June 19, 1623. His mother died when he was three years old. The Pascal family (father Stephen, his son Blaise and his two daughters Gilberte and Jacqueline) moved to Paris in November 1631. Starting 1635, Stephen Pascal and his son attended the Academy of Mathematics founded by the philosopher Marin Mersenne in 1635. Early genius, the young Blaise Pascal wrote a Treaty on the sounds at the age of eleven years, reinvented the theorems of Euclid until the thirty-second proposal when he was just twelve years old (1635).

His father, a pensioner of the Hotel de Ville, demonstrated in order to defend his rights in the wake of the abolition of annuities and hid for fear of being arrested. He was then appointed commissioner for tax in Upper-Normandy in 1639 by Richelieu and attached directly to the king. Therefore, the family moved to Rouen. She received the visit of Pierre Corneille, who asked Jacqueline Pascal to write poesy verses. It was at Rouen, in 1640, that Pascal wrote the essay for the conical. In 1642, he conceived the arithmetic machine (the "wheel of Pascal") to help his father in his work of tax accounting.

In 1646, the Pascal family converts to a more austere Christianity , marked by the spirituality of Jean du Vergier de Hauranne, abbot of Saint-Cyran, while Jansenism was already the subject since 1641, of first convictions. In 1646, he read Jansénius.

In 1646 also, Pascal proceeded to his first experiments on the vacuum, it continued in 1647 with his father and Florin Périer, the husband of his sister, Gilberte, then took advantage of the return of the family to Paris to redo the experiments from the top of the Saint-Jacques Tower in 1648, he published New Experiments Involving The Vacuum in 1647 and Story of The Vast Experience of The Balance of Liquors in 1648. In 1647, Descartes, who was interested by theses expriments, visited Pascal.

Pascal's father died in 1651. In 1652, Jacqueline Pascal entered Port-Royal. Pascal donated large sums to the abbey. Pascal continued his scientific work and then led a period of worldly life, with, amongst others, the moralist Antoine Okra (1607-1684), knight of Méré - potential author of "Discourse on the passions of love" (1652), long attributed wrongly to Pascal - and rich Damien Mitton, which it can be assumed that they will be the first target of the Apology of the Christian religion, for the libertine. This period ended November 23, 1654 with the so-called Memorial night, night during which he met a mystical enlightenment that he wrote on a page (the Memorial) and that he kept sewn in his pourpoint: "Certainty, certainty, sentiment , Joy, peace. Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy. "

In 1655-1656, Pascal went on a spirtual retirement in the Granges of the Port-Royal, wrote the Compendium of the life of Jesus Christ, the interview with Mr de Saci on Epictetus and Montaigne, and took part in the quarrel between the jansénistes and the Sorbonne and the Jesuits in drafting the Provincial (fictitious letters addressed to a provincial friend ), published one by one and anonymously. On 24 March 1656, the goddaughter of Pascal, Marguerite Perrier, was miraculously cured of a fistula in her left eye - which made her suffer for three years - by contact of the Holy spine, a relic kept in Port-Royal. Pascal then came up with the project of writing an Apology of the Christian religion, of which he explained the content at a conference in Port-Royal in 1658 and to which he worked mostly from 1659 to 1661; we know fragments of it put together under the title Thoughts. From 1656 to 1659, Pascal, apart from the History of roulette, devoted himself mainly tophilosophical or rhetorical publications (The art of persuading, The geometric mind) and religious (Writings on the grace, Writings on the priests of Paris). Very sick, Pascal wrote in 1659 a prayer "Please ask God for the proper use of diseases". On 18 March 1662 were inaugurated, in Paris, the lines of carriages to five floors, ancestors of urban public transport, of which Pascal had conceived the project with the Duke of Roannez. He died on August 19, 1662 and his sisters, in 1661 and 1687. Sick all his life, Pascal never ceased to combine religious reflection and experimental science, focusing on very specific questions as well as on mystic issues .

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