It’s very possible. There are many more geniuses in these modern highly educated times than ever before. Potentially brilliant minds are no longer blunted by a poor childhood — that is, poor in nutritious food, poor in available information or lacking encouraging parents. It has been suggested that in the top few advanced countries the ‘genius rate’ is now about 1 per million per generation.
There’s also a cultural ‘releasing’ effect when an enterprising person leaves one culture for another and, not completely understanding the traditional restraints of the new culture, proceeds to stretch the limits of opportunity beyond those that are well and truly internalised in the minds of the natives.
A recent survey of the Forbes 200 rich list of Americans revealed that 40% of them were either immigrants or the children of immigrants. An article in this week’s Spectator, “Is the next Steve Jobs really among Syria’s migrants?” by Ed West, gives some more examples. In Britain, Chinese, Indian and Bangladeshi pupils vastly outperform poor indigenous kids from poor and averagely-earning families and are equivalent to pupils at the best private schools, while Pakistani, African and Caribbean pupils do less well.
Of course, none of this is a justification for mass immigration into the advanced countries — for, generally, low-skill jobs. The three million migrants that the last Labour administration and the present Conservative government have allowed into the country in the last 15 years will cost considerable extra public spending on new schools, hospitals, welfare services — ultimately, nursing homes ! — and has prevented the higher quality, and more scientific, education for native children that’s desperately necessary to maintain our comparative way of life in an increasingly competitive world. We might well have gained one or two immigrant geniuses in future years but we are more likely to have thwarted three or four of our own.