Are Savants & Prodigies a Glimpse at Early Human Abilities: Part 2

Are Savants & Prodigies a Glimpse at Early Human Abilities: Part 2

phenomenal recall. Sorrel and others who have acquired amazing abilities after brain injuries have led Treffert to conclude we all must have genius in us but sometimes it takes a disability like Savage’s or an injury like Sorrel’s to bring it out. Other researchers disagree and say that savants are just able to overcompensate for damage to the left side of the brain.” (Gupta 2006)

Judge for yourself. Even if you’re not a doctor it seems pretty obvious that not all savant abilities are just overcompensating. Ellen (from our other article on savants)  has tremendous spatial awareness of objects around her which we could expect in someone who is blind. If the theory of the other researchers were correct we could label that compensating because one area is making up for a lack in another area. But the other abilities she and other savants have such as perfect awareness of the passage of time or the ability to reproduce on paper an entire city skyline after just seeing it once does not give any added benefit or compensation that would help a person’s survival. 

Personally, Dr. Treffert’s idea that we are all capable of incredible mental abilities makes more sense but is also painfully tantalizing. Probably most of us are wishing “If only I could…” In the end though, it always boils down to Apes, Aliens or Adam. Where do you say these amazing abilities come from? There has to be some explanation for them. Rather than accidents of nature, we believe the implications of acquired savants are pretty obvious. Something was “turned on” that wasn’t functioning at that level before. What we once were is still inside of us. The capacity for tremendous height, beauty, strength or intelligence is still there, occasionally expressed, showing that “created in the image of God,” (God) means a lot more than we’ve understood before.

For more information on savants visit the Wisconsin Medical Society’s website.

God, Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Gupta, D. S. (2006). "Mystery of Savants."   Retrieved 14 Sept., 2006, from



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