A mad, egomaniac, scientist has developed a way of extending the natural growth of humans to create an army of 20ft (6 meter) tall soldiers. Physiologically, they are three times the size of normal people in terms of height and mass. He's managed (through genetic enhancements) to increase the efficiency of the heart and lungs to cope with the increase of body mass and the skeleton is somewhat strengthened.

The brain has also increased in volume.

Given the physiology of the human brain, would increasing its size also increase the intelligence of these people to a whole new level, or would they be of lesser intelligence?

If their intelligence wouldn't naturally increase with size, what can the scientist do in order to meet the required (evil genius) level of intelligence?

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    $\begingroup$ "three times the size... in height and mass". so they are much thinner? or a lot less dense? Or are you viloating the square-cube-law? $\endgroup$ – Burki Jul 28 '17 at 8:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Burki - three times the height and proportions to match. Yes, there's a slight violation of SCL, but who cares about that anyway... $\endgroup$ – user10945 Jul 28 '17 at 8:36
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    $\begingroup$ Around here? a majority, i guess. Also, physics does, and science. And you tagged 'science-based' $\endgroup$ – Burki Jul 28 '17 at 8:51
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    $\begingroup$ I second @Burki, I think every intelligent reader / role player cares about such basic stuff. Especially role players, as every such inconsistency can be immediately and mercilessly exploited to win any fight / overcome any obstacle. I've fell into that trap - i tried to lead a campaign in Star Trek world to an engineer, lawyer and molecular biologist/programmer... Oh the horror, the horror... $\endgroup$ – Maciej Jul 28 '17 at 11:52
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    $\begingroup$ 3 times the height means 27 times the mass and only 9 times the strength of bones... That is not a "slight" violation of the square-cube law. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jul 28 '17 at 12:47

12 Answers 12


I think it would boost 'intelligence' but as people have stated, it's a hard to define concept.. they might be just as easy to fool but have really vivid imaginations, they might be inclined to meditate extensively, drifting off into another world, forgetting the real one.. they might have immense reasoning facility's but lack the focus to get anything done, being constantly bombarded with mental stimulus..

How about; super clever but driven mad with the lack of reletivly deep environmental stimulus.

If your universe has magic then they'd probably get psy powers, a deep gaze that unnerves people but becomes softer an wiser with age..

IMO, a large variety of extremes.. ranging from total madness to sentient supreme.

  • $\begingroup$ What a curious answer. Anyway, it could do with a bit of punctuation and spelling attention. $\endgroup$ – can-ned_food Jul 31 '17 at 11:02

The brain is very complex part of our anatomy and scientists still struggle very much to fully understand it.

One thing that is for sure is that there is a correlation between brain size and intelligence because we (mammals) have the hippocampus and hypothalamus and what not unlike reptilians who only have a triune brain.

So adding more volume and parts to the brain CAN have a positive impact on intelligence but will it necessarily ?

Whales and elephants have much bigger brains than humans, and we have about the same brain-to-body mass ratio as mice. source

But whales have not yet mastered nuclear fission and harnessed its power to possibly blow up entire countries now, did they ? (Humans 1 - Whales 0)

Since it would be against human nature to admit defeat, scientists have crafted a third measure of brain size called the encephalization quotient, which is the ratio of actual brain mass relative to the predicted brain mass for an animal’s size (based off the assumption that larger animals require slightly less brain matter relative to their size compared to very small animals)

Some studies claim the answer is yes.

Long story short, it is not impossible but we honestly have no clue.

If anything, your super-sized humans could be super slow to react because the impulse speed inside a neuron scales with size up to maximum cap and making super-sized humans will extend the distance they have to travel through neurons and nerves.

I do not know the threshold size at which speed caps but I do know that very large dinosaurs like the diplodocus were in that case. If you don't make your super-sized humans that big it shouldn't be a problem but you went for 20ft tall which is 6 meters tall and funnily matches the height of a diplodocus. Hopefully you did not also make your soldiers 25 meters long as well but keep in mind that they should be in that zone where impulse speed is capped and they are slower to react. (Making them pretty bad soldiers actually)

They could be intelligent or maybe not but they will be very slow to react and think if you make them too big.

what can the scientist do in order to meet the required (evil genius) level of intelligence ?

Train them from birth like any dictatorship. You take the babies from their parents and put them in a facility where they are taught to follow whatever orders the dictator gives.

Have them be taught science by the best scientists, trained by the best military.

Add a bit of gene selection or if you don't have that kind of technology make the tests deadly so environmental pressure will select the best soldiers for you.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Aug 2 '17 at 1:16

The answer here really depends on exactly how the soldiers have been supersized. By that, I mean that there would be vastly different consequences if the cells themselves were supersized, or if it was on the level of the tissues.

As has been pointed out above, neurons reach a certain size cap at which they start to drop off in efficiency due to the distance between synapses (interestingly enough this same principle of maximum size efficiency applies to all of your cells. They become less effective at eliminating waste due to a decrease of surface area relative to volume)

Intelligence, as difficult as it may be to define, has been strongly correlated not with encephalization quotient, but rather with neuronal density. Humans have been noted to have a much higher density of neurons and synapses relative to brain size. Other advanced species have also ranked high on the curve.

In summary, if the cells themselves got bigger, your soldiers are broken. If the tissues have adapted to the new size by increasing in density and connectivity, there could reasonably be some expectation of a greater potential for intelligence.

A scientist :)

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome; and a good first post! $\endgroup$ – Amadeus Jul 28 '17 at 15:21

There's a very rough estimate of "intelligence" (an already quite fuzzy concept) via "encephalization quotient" (quotient between brain mass and average body mass), but it's not universally accepted and I'm very unsure if it would apply to OGM soldiers.

Truth is we only have a vague idea of what is considered "intelligence" and where it resides.

Experts tend to divide different "components" of what we commonly refer as intelligence and stress fact they seem unrelated but synergic (which looks like an oxymoron, but isn't).

Reasoning behind the "encephalization quotient" is a large part of brain is used for "normal maintenance" and generic body control (simple acts as walking require a lot of precise regulations of almost all muscles we own integrated with continuous feedback of literally billions of sensors) and the larger the body (we speak about lean mass, a fat person does not became more stupid) the more "objects" you need to monitor and control; only the "excess brain mass" may contribute to "exotic" functions like language for humans or sonar for dolphins.

Bottom line: without specific interventions your "super-soldiers" would be about as intelligent as the next man or fractionally brighter.

Truth is current neuroscience is still unable to pinpoint (in a scientific way) what and where is what makes us "intelligent", so it's difficult to say what would increase it. Actually doing such a thing is yet another level again.

Question why a dictator would want super-intelligent soldiers who would more easily see through propaganda and refuse to become cannon fodder is, of course, another matter.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the last paragraph is a great point! :) $\endgroup$ – Maciej Jul 28 '17 at 11:47

No, I don't think they'll be super-intelligent. I think the key is in your question. You say your scientist has

developed a way of extending the natural growth of humans

Not using a growing/shrinking ray or anything exotic I don't think you have to worry about cells being too big to function, so I think this would result in big people with normal sized cells (FYI, all animals have similar sized cells). So they'd just have more brain cells, so they'd at least have the potential to be smarter or remember more, but I suspect they'd be relatively normal, but big people.

Looking at real animals that are different sizes, like horses that can range from Miniature to Clydesdales (about double height & maybe 4x mass)
horses crop shrunk
or felines like tigers & cats
tiger and cat
I think they all behave generally like their bigger/smaller counterparts, a little cat & a big cat are generally "cats", and the same for horses.

So, again I think you'll just end up with fairly normal, big people.

But, since it takes normal people about 18yrs to grow up, extending their natural growth could take an extra 18 or 36 more years too, unless it's specifically accelerated growth. Or it could result in a condition where growth just doesn't stop, like Acromegaly like Andre the Giant had enter image description here
He was definitely a big guy, and I think he was of average intelligence. So once again, I think you'll just have average "big people.

Actually, that's probably a relatively easy way to make "big people":

Acromegaly is typically due to the pituitary gland producing too much growth hormone. In more than 95% of cases the excess production is due to a benign tumor, known as a pituitary adenoma.

I'd imagine creating tumors would be right in a mad scientist's wheelhouse, not much genetic engineering required either, maybe even an artificial or surgically implanted "tumor" might work. Though it has definite disadvantages, including heart & kidney failure.

Note: This was a really fun question to answer, Big +1 to the OP. Getting to read about animal cells, big & tiny cats & horses, and Andre the Giant, with pictures of a tiger & a cat, and Andre the Giant is awesome! Even guessing how to "make" giants too with relatively "discount bin mad science surgery" is cool

  • $\begingroup$ Very nice examples! $\endgroup$ – Maciej Jul 31 '17 at 9:08

Short answer: No

Long answer: As far as we know there is no linear correlation between volume or surface area of the brain and intelligence.

As far as we know there is no linear correlation between volume or surface area of the brain and intelligence in animals, and in humans the correlation, albeit statistically significant, is very weak. As always, correlation != causation, and certainly one shouldn't extrapolate linear correlations (interpolation is fine). I strongly encourage OP to read at least the section 4 of the second publication the @BlindKungFuMaster linked in the comments ( the 2015 Pietschnig et al in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews ).

A counterexample I wanted to present is homo neandertalensis. If the size of the brain directly, LINEARLY correlated with greater intelligence, homo neanderthalensis would be smarter than us and it is we who would've gone extinct. Check Wikipedia's Homo Neanderthalensis article as first shot.

CAVEAT: As commentators correctly point out, the matters of evolution of Homo in general, and Homo Neanderthalensis extinction in particular, are complicated and far from being resolved. It may be worth to underscore that I meant that there is no LINEAR CORRELATION (which you question seems to implicitly assume), and only that.

Arguably, there probably IS some minimum volume/mass required to reach sentience, seeing as we don't see mosquitos evolving civilisation every now and then, but this probably in turn depends on how effective a given tissue is effective at computation. People tend to forget that not only we have large heads, it's also that our neurons are generally better - well, actually their expensive myelin coating.

So what can a scientist do? Well, this is a realm of very nebulous speculations. Intelligence is not a single scalar variable like height or body mass or bicep's strenght and in fact we have little clue on how it actually works. My favourite hypothesis essentially states that we have a generator of random thoughts in our heads which are then filtered and the ones which pass the filter are what actually occurs to our consciousness. The trick is, the generator is not completely random, it is skewed toward generating thoughts similar to the ones which had passed the test in the past and also the filtering is far from perfect and it is constantly recalibrated by our experiences of the outside world.

That being said, if You want to build more intelligent people, You could assume this hypothesis is true and use the additional cranial space their thoughts generator a lot more computing power to say, generate 10 thoughts per milisecond instead of 1, up the connection the generator has to the filter and then upgrade the filter two times, one time to handle all those additional input (otherwise the consciousness would be flooded by random noise) and also to use better tests to make the filter better - more logical, consistent and 'creative' (the last one in the sense better at letting through a seemingly crazy thoughts which nevertheless hold promise - genius and madness are differentiated by the quality of the filter).

I'm far from being an expert on intelligence and neurobiology, I advise You STRONGLY to read more about the topic, it is MUCH more complicated than people realise - and consequently so much more interesting and rewarding :)

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure that the neanderthal is a good example for this situation because most of the current theories trying to explain why they went extinct don't rely on how smart they were. We don't have a really accepted reason, but it would be more about social structure and other factors than its brain. $\endgroup$ – everyone Jul 28 '17 at 9:45
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, "he had a bigger brain and he went extinct so bigger brains are not better" is not very scientific because multiple factors intervene and not just brain size. $\endgroup$ – Liquid Same Jul 28 '17 at 11:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Empischon Scientific, experimental, rigorous ? Put it however you like but in order to draw conclusions from an experiment you need to have a single variable. Not multiple like in that example. This is what I meant and not anything inflammatory or anything else $\endgroup$ – Liquid Same Jul 28 '17 at 12:25
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    $\begingroup$ @everyone I definitely agree with You that both the neanderthal's topic and the intelligence topic are far from over - I've alluded to the second one in the answer. I think alternative examples would be interesting, but for all I can think about, they all have problems themselves. In the end, choosing one or the other is a matter of taste - there will be caveats. I think i will edit the answer to point that out. What is 'smart' and 'intelligent' is just semantics - words are defined by us, I choose a definition which I thought was best suited to convey the thought I had. $\endgroup$ – Maciej Jul 28 '17 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ (Semi-autobiographical) theory: Neanderthals were spectacularly intelligent, invented an early precursor to Stack Exchange, and spent their days speculating about the deeper questions in life (like "Would super-sized humans be super-intelligent?") but, so enthralled were they, they forgot to feed themselves and look after their health. Queue the rise of the more focused and practical Homo sapiens (remembering that sapiens means 'wise', and wisdom and intelligence are far from synonyms). $\endgroup$ – owjburnham Jul 29 '17 at 9:08

Most likely not. Like our own transistors in real life, Human neurons have already evolved to the very edge of being as small as they can be and still function without being overwhelmed by electrical noise (noise causes errors); and evolution preserves this tiny size (and myelin coating) for the same reason we prefer tiny transistors: It makes communications between parts faster, getting more done in less time.

If everything in the giants is multiplied by 3, their brains internal communications would run 3 times slower than that of a normal human; making them very slow dullards.

If their neurons are small like ours, they still have this problem: Without a complete brain reorganization, they will inevitably have communications between remote parts of the brain that take 3 times what our communication takes. On top of that, their neural signals to muscles will take three times as long to reach the muscles; making reaction times slower, and inputs (ears, eyes, touch) will take three times as long to reach their neural centers, also contributing to making reaction times much slower.

Also, most of their larger brain will be taken up by having to process a much larger volume of body, skin sensors (pain, cold, warmth, pressure) and other operations; there is a strong correlation between brain size and body size for that reason.

Finally, you need some working definition of what super-intelligent means. Borrowing from the artificial intelligence field; one such working definition would be what most of us think of as a generalization of Sherlock Holmes type abilities, when investigating crimes. To solve crimes, Sherlock typically spots tiny obscure clues and translates them into what must have happened: In one case, the Dog that Didn't Bark, he deduces that because a dog did NOT bark at whomever committed a crime, the dog must have known the perpetrator, which with other clues narrowed the list of suspects to one.

Similarly, intelligence is the ability to solve puzzles, extrapolate from clues, and arrive at theories or models of reality that have a high probability of being correct. This includes "prediction" about the past and present, not just the future: Geologists study patterns in rocks and deduce what must have happened (volcanoes, earthquakes, floods). Astronomers study patterns in the light of stars and deduce supernova must have happened hundreds of millions of years ago. Archaeologists study patterns of fossils to deduce what must have gone on hundreds of millions of years ago, here. We have patterns that let us deduce what must be happening now: a column of smoke indicates a probable fire, even if we do not sense any fire directly. We have patterns to deduce what will happen; in the weather tomorrow, in politics next month, in our health, in our economy, in our sciences.

As a working definition of higher intelligence, we can measure it as better pattern interpretation with a higher probability of being correct when deducing what most likely happened, is happening or will happen. So better deductions, or being better at finding obscure patterns that are useful in such deductions, or have meaning.

"Meaning" is about ramifications or constraints; when somebody says "Do you know what this means?", they are saying they have identified a pattern that will most likely have specific consequences in the future, which may be good or bad, but are in their mind are highly likely. "Meaning" is about a distinct difference; e.g. if I want my work to have "meaning" it should mean the world is different (and presumably better) because I did that work, it had impact I consider positive, etc. If somebody says something is "meaningless", they consider it to have no impact and create no difference in any outcomes they care about. (of course due to butterfly effects everything can make some difference in the future, but in human terms "meaningless" and "makes no difference" are talking about the same idea; "meaning" and "made a difference" are the flip sides.)

Back to your story: It is not clear that neural mechanisms can get much better than the best of what we have now. For soldiers, that is not likely to be a good outcome: If they are more intelligent than their creator, they are unlikely to take orders from their creator for very long, and are likely to outsmart their creator's attempts to control them, control him instead, and implement their own agenda rather quickly and effectively: That is what greater intelligence means: Better anticipation of outcomes and reactions, better predictions of what strategies will work, and thus fewer mistakes and greater successes.

When we build a trap and bait it; we are anticipating the behavior and reactions of an animal, and the animal's lower intelligence is failing to anticipate that taking the bait will have various consequences (mechanical for a trap, or biological in the case of spiked bait). It is our ability to see correctly predict what will happen (and because of that ability, devise a way to make something happen) that costs the animal its life and produces our dinner.

If your giants truly are far more intelligent than ordinary humans and can predict outcomes with 3 times the accuracy of humans, then your "genius creator" will be no match for them; like a monkey charging a man with a shotgun.



Among humans there is some correlation between brain size and IQ: "Our results showed significant positive associations of brain volume and IQ (r = .24, R2 = .06) that generalize over age (children vs. adults), IQ domain (full-scale, performance, and verbal IQ), and sex."

The standard deviation in brain size is on the order of 100cc and the average volume around 1400cc, as far as I know. So just tripling human brain size should lead to IQ-gains of 2*1400*0.06*15/100=25.2 points. Tripling the size in every dimension would be a 27-fold increase. Of course that correlation doesn't necessarily hold in a range far beyond the human range, so there might be diminishing returns.

Now, as has been mentioned, correlation isn't causation. But in this case it probably is, because big brains come with two distinct disadvantages: You have trouble getting born and you have a very high energy consumption baseline. So, evolutionary big brains have to pay for their existence somehow, and the only likely way seems to be higher intelligence (of whatever form).

And of course if brain size-iq is too "pseudo scientific" for you, the same argument works with height. The effect will be a lot weaker because height only increases in one dimension, but still 16 points, which makes sense in the context of a story.

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    $\begingroup$ "Graduate students take questions from the public and answer them on the blog Neuwrite West as part of their Ask the Expert series.". Graduate student being an expert? No literature references? These values might be as well pulled from the air. $\endgroup$ – Maciej Jul 28 '17 at 14:24
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    $\begingroup$ Ok, ok, I link the original study, happy now? $\endgroup$ – BlindKungFuMaster Jul 28 '17 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ Yes. I've skimmed through it. I would be ashamed to publish something like this. He openly admits that he wouldn't do statistical analysis if not for reviewer pressure! Read carefully the results of this analysis. It's beyond comments. Btw You should change the "intelligence" for IQ in Your answer, since this is what they "measured". If OP chooses to believe this paper, that's his choice. $\endgroup$ – Maciej Jul 28 '17 at 14:43
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    $\begingroup$ Well, this isn't cognitive science stackexchange, I don't see others even trying to give a scientific foundation to their answers. But here is another metastudy, with a slightly lower correlation: larspenke.eu/pdfs/… $\endgroup$ – BlindKungFuMaster Jul 28 '17 at 15:48
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    $\begingroup$ Correlation is not causation. It seems much more plausible that some factors (e.g. "subject is healthy") causes both higher brain size and higher IQ, which would explain the effect. Otherwise, we would expect chess grandmasters to be really large guys, because being tall means you have a larger brain. $\endgroup$ – nikie Jul 28 '17 at 16:57

At least two fun facts I am aware of. There was a case of a French man who's brain was about 1/3rd the size of an average human brain. His IQ was described as above the threshold of having mental handicaps but an Einstien he wasn't. He was still below an IQ of 100, which is the average human intelligence. Still, he was undiagnosed with this condition for much of his life and by the time he was diagnosed he had a wife and was raising two children and supporting his family by working as a civil servant (insert government drone joke here... we're walking, we're walking). Aside from complicaitons related to an excess of fluids on the brain that manifested as headaches, he lead a remarkably unremarkable life.

Speaking of Einstein, who everyone who ever had a bright idea gets compared to his brain size... well... Einstein's brain was about 2.5 grams smaller than an average human (an 18% devieancy from the norm) although certain parts associated with math skills were larger proportionally. So as it turns out, Einstein was quite the P-Brane (Didn't misspell, it's a theoretical physics pun and a hypothetical pun in general).

So no, brain size does not always equal higher mental capability... but at the same time, it does help... There is a corelation, but not a causation that we are aware of. I'd say go for your smart giants... as you can see from all the Square Cube law lovers here, it's not the first problem they're going to identify.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you know if the frenchman with the smaller brain was born like that, or his brain could've shrunk over time somehow? Interesting though, +1 $\endgroup$ – Xen2050 Jul 28 '17 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ Might be worth mentioning also that people who had half their brain removed to treat epilepsy can still function normally $\endgroup$ – npostavs Jul 30 '17 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Xen2050: I've heard it both. The wikipedia article I looked up was a result of shrunk over time (compressed as a result of untreated birth defect causing too much fluid in the brain cavity). That one did say that it's likely the brain could compensate for the shrinkage if it was not sudden. $\endgroup$ – hszmv Jul 31 '17 at 12:47
  • $\begingroup$ @npostavs: Wasn't aware of that... or that it was even a treatment option. Still, quite the remarkable feat and still goes to highlight the problem. For me, though, I fail to see the explination given violatating the suspension of disbelief, especially since we tend to think of Giants as lumbering idiots who over rely on muscle. $\endgroup$ – hszmv Jul 31 '17 at 12:51

Outside the Box

A gigantic being modeled exactly after a human will be deeply flawed. Instead of attempting to make individual organs bigger and more powerful, I would diversify. Have redundant organs, each supporting a part of the ubermensch's body. Several hearts would pump blood to different parts of the body, with a few sets of lungs for oxygen. This would reduce the difficulty of designing new organs, pushing your plausible start date earlier.

For the brain, I would go with separate, distinct brains in order to avoid the issue of overheating and communication delay. Let's say three, for our purposes. These brains could function in many different ways.

Let's take three identical brains, sharing one spinal cord. Each brain could process the same data and run the same function in a sort of organic fault tolerance measure, wherein the system is Triple Modular Redundant, and outputs are compared using an organic voting circuit. This would allow for superior decision making and survivability, as your soldier could suffer cancer/stroke/bullet/disease in two of their three brains and survive intact.

Or you could have three different brains, where there is some sort of committee process. This would allow for far greater throughput, but would raise control and error issues; what happens when brain one and brain two go for control of the ocular nerves at the same time? Handling race conditions in organic systems sounds messy. If you want some humor in your story, you could take it in the "three-headed giant" direction.

Either way, I urge you to stick with slightly modified humans. Why bother for 20ft tall soldiers when 8ft soldiers with modified musculature, skeletons, and refined brains will do? Why would your soldiers need to be that tall, for the purposes of your world?

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    $\begingroup$ In this spirit, one could probably add that on modern field of combat, the smaller You are, the better, not otherwise. Bigger person is a bigger target, has more difficulty finding cover and is easier to spot. Heck, the same is true even for tanks. Redundancy makes a lot more sense for a soldeir indeed. $\endgroup$ – Maciej Jul 31 '17 at 9:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Empischon I agree wholeheartedly that on the modern battlefield, size can be a disadvantage. However, if your military plays a larger role, such as in terrifying civilians or acting as an occupational or peacekeeping force, having giant soldiers might prevent battle from ever occurring. Additionally, larger soldiers can carry more equipment to further battlefields, where terrain might make it difficult to use cargo vehicles. $\endgroup$ – Dent7777 Jul 31 '17 at 12:51
  • $\begingroup$ Nice point, but then I would just: 1. put them in large, intimidating exoskeletons/mobile armours (I'm amazed that noone referenced speehs mehreens so far, or Elementals from Battletech). 2. Use bi/quad/sextipedal vehicles instead of tanks/trucks in rough terrain. $\endgroup$ – Maciej Jul 31 '17 at 13:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Empischon There is terrain, such as the mountains of Afghanistan, that cannot be easily navigated by any sort of wheeled vehicle. Additionally, super armor and equipment of the sort needs maintenance and can break, and requires special training. If your soldiers train only in armor, they will be less capable outside of it, and if they train in both, then they will be less capable in either than units that focus on one or the other. $\endgroup$ – Dent7777 Jul 31 '17 at 13:40
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    $\begingroup$ If your military has limited funding, it will likely be cheaper to genetically manipulate your soldiers and train them in the traditional manner than to keep up the infrastructure necessary to fight in mechs. That being said, I think armor is really important and can't be ignored. $\endgroup$ – Dent7777 Jul 31 '17 at 13:40

The answer to your question depends on how you want to justify the creation of super-sized humans. Consider all the very real problems. Bones must be either larger or more dense to bear the weight. Muscles must either multiply or become larger to move around. But would you need a bigger brain? The dinosaurs generally didn't (other than the really big ones needing a second brain for motor control... all those muscles...).

Most of science fiction has dealt with super-sized people from the perspective of the 50-Foot Woman: volume is increasing, but density isn't, so intellect (cognation) wouldn't change. But if your story actually delves into what would be needed to make a seriously bigger human being, then your brain(s) must match what you've done with the body. Note, though, that dinosaurs weren't smarter having two brains, they just had more complex motor control. That might be all you get.


Since this is Worldbuilding and not Biology.SE...

Yes, it was done.

The mad scientist by partially publishing his discovery (or just by being careless with his laptop's data) has been found and "kindly asked" by some unnamed organization to mass produce these large beings.

In the huge diversity of the current human population, there are individuals that show a genetic disposition to higher intelligence, IQ, or whatever brain-enhanced-characteristics that the organization might had preferred to be present in their newly genetically engineered beings. This perhaps answers your question in the sense that highly intelligent human beings existed since immemorial times and the only thing that the scientist needed to do was to use these beings' genetic samples (or his own) in order to produce the enlarged intelligent beings.

Working with other "equally mad" scientists they had been using cloning facilities to produce these beings for quite some time and finally selected the few that matched the "intelligence" requirements "asked" by that organization.

However, when these enhanced beings were matching and surpassing all expectations, the organization's board of directors reached the conclusion that they posed serious threats to their own existence, so they decided to "close" the project and "clean" their records entirely.

The end.

If you are still curious about the sequel's details, the organization kindly left a note to those involved that were "able" to be transited to other projects mentioning the project's success and "vigorously" requested that none of the data or knowledge of it may be kept or transmitted in any form ever again.

Edit: If you are planning to create a real sci-fi story out of your idea, perhaps these ones might help:

  • Ender's game sequels, i.e. the Shadow saga, particularly Shadows in flight (2012), where a mad scientist and his team used a genetic "key" to enhance human's intellect with a minor or, literally, huge side effect: a never-ending growth of all of the body's cells, resulting in giantism and a constant accelerated brain development since infancy. Gilgamesh size comparison Image from Instagram
  • Epic of Gilgamesh (circa 2100 BC) (PDF version) where Bilgamesh (Sumerian for 'Gilgamesh') was a highly intelligent giant that became the king of Uruk and went on a quest to find eternal life, meeting Utnapishtim, the immortal man who survived the Great Flood (speculated to be Noah). You may see a parallel between the gods and the genetic scientists.
  • $\begingroup$ but the op tagged his question as "science-based". Certainly Epic of Gilgamesh is not science based... and Ender's books probably even less so. $\endgroup$ – Maciej Jul 31 '17 at 9:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Empischon "Worldbuilding is a (...) site for writers, artists and others (...) to construct imaginary worlds and settings". The Shadows in flight is exactly related to the OP's question, and details how highly intelligent giants were produced in a famous sci-fi writer's POV, not a real mad scientist's POV unfortunately... It's interesting you focused exclusively on the material I added in my answer's edit: this was only to help the OP or someone who might be writing about a similar story. $\endgroup$ – Armfoot Jul 31 '17 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ And how does any of this relate to the fact that OP tagged the question as science-based? It doesnt matter where or whom, science is science. I simply assumed that You didn't notice the tag so I wanted to let You know so that You can improve Your answer. Anyway, there is no point in solving this, the OP explicitly stated he lost interest in this question. $\endgroup$ – Maciej Jul 31 '17 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Empischon I am wondering what you see in here that needs solving... The tag? Ok, I will attempt to solve it for you: the Shadow Saga is science-based fiction; Gilgamesh origins and the Epic's story relate to gods that supposedly "enhanced" human beings and a parallel may be drawn to the genetic scientists (as I have mentioned). Also, there is no need to get upset about OP's lack of attention, he clearly chose his answer, and I might say that I agree with his choice. All the answers in here might be useful to different types of writers/artists/others, so would you be so kind respecting those? $\endgroup$ – Armfoot Jul 31 '17 at 16:19