"Political, religious and sexual behaviors may be reflections of intelligence, a new study finds."
So began an article published at CNN.com Friday guaranteed to anger conservatives from coast to coast.
The piece continued, "Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average, people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs."
Folks are warned about proceeding further, for the content might be really offensive to some (h/tips to NB readers Stan and Chesley):
Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average, people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs. This applied also to sexual exclusivity in men, but not in women. The findings will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly. [...]
The reasoning is that sexual exclusivity in men, liberalism and atheism all go against what would be expected given humans' evolutionary past. In other words, none of these traits would have benefited our early human ancestors, but higher intelligence may be associated with them.
Interesting. Sexual exclusivity in men, liberalism, and atheism wouldn't have benefited our ancestors.
Regardless of the evolutionary significance, wouldn't you normally expect liberal, atheist men to be less concerned with monogamy?
Unfortunately, the study never dealt with this seeming incongruity:
Religion, the current theory goes, did not help people survive or reproduce necessarily, but goes along the lines of helping people to be paranoid, Kanazawa said. Assuming that, for example, a noise in the distance is a signal of a threat helped early humans to prepare in case of danger.
"It helps life to be paranoid, and because humans are paranoid, they become more religious, and they see the hands of God everywhere," Kanazawa said. [...]
Atheism "allows someone to move forward and speculate on life without any concern for the dogmatic structure of a religion," [George Washington University leadership professor James Bailey, who was not involved in the study] said.
And that allows them to necessarily become more intelligent?
Regardless, here might be the problem:
The study takes the American view of liberal vs. conservative. It defines "liberal" in terms of concern for genetically nonrelated people and support for private resources that help those people. It does not look at other factors that play into American political beliefs, such as abortion, gun control and gay rights.
Is that how YOU define liberal and conservative?