You make the obvious point of distinguishing genius and intelligence, and this girl should learn fast to be wary of high praise from society prior to any accomplishments. It is usually the kiss of death. It is an unwittingly cruel game.
The term ‘genius’ has a forgotten legacy, that of the Romantic cult of the genius, next to one instance, that of Schopenhauer, genius and romantic student of genius, and it helps to look at cases that are not physicists, like Keats, a perfect case of the type.
If you study my model of history (history and evolution.com) you will discover the strong correlation of ‘genius’ with the macro interval or its immediate wake. It is therefore problematical to speak of ‘genius’ in the field of physics. People with very high IQ’s doing physics have muddled the question: and physicists should be glad they have a self-sustaining field of endeavor without genius, requiring only high intelligence. The Romantic genius flamed out in a generation, so the model is wrong for physics.
They seem to be stuck on ‘string theory’, so maybe there is something I am missing. (Check out Smolin’s book on the issue).
In any case, by normal definitions ‘genius’ should be low probability but evenly distributed over history. We can see that is not the case: the phenomenon is highly clustered to particular age periods.
The question of Bennett is hard to figure. His The Dramatic Universe was a masterpiece manque wrecked by his subservience to Gurdjieff confusions. He saw through them, I suspect, but dishonestly gave them a pass. The book is filled with dubious aspects and is hard to deal with.
But I have studied his (confused) take on the ‘demimurgic powers of nature’, and his insight into ancient Samkhya. Somehow the sufis and then Gurdjieff got a hold of the core insight in Samkhya and gave it a new rendering, which is in evidence in Bennett’s DU>
Check out my Enigma of the Axial Age…