(CNN) -- Political, religious and sexual behaviors may be reflections of intelligence, a new study finds.
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.
Sexual exclusivity? Well, I never thought Bill Clinton was a committed lib anyway.
I'm a blank on his nom de guerre just now, but Nando, long time guest at Talk Left, is looking marvelous with his point that maybe libs who don't like IQ in the context of The Bell Curve shouldn't like it here. But they will!
Just to help Kanazawa in his quest for attention let me pull this from the CNN story:
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.
Hey, even paranoids have real gods, buddy! And we all know some pretty paranoid libs.
Here is a link to the study; I am not a subscriber, so I am stuck at the door with my questions. But here we go:
As noted in the rebuttal cited above, if a researcher re-slices the data often enough, something is likely to emerge as "significant" at a 5% threshold. How many other data possibilities were tested and found uninteresting?
Secondly, what in the world did Kanazawa do about race? I will assert with few links that (a) there is a controversial history of blacks in America lagging on IQ tests, for whatever reason; (b) blacks are probably under-represented among atheists; and (c) based on self-identification, blacks are more likely to describe themselves as conservative than as liberal.
Not having read the paper I have no idea how my unsupported factoids might affect his result, but I think I would want to know before I sang the praises of this study. At a guess, any such effect would not fully account for the 6-11 point differential noted here, but who knows?
[MORE: OK, I will think out loud - suppose we have a population of 40 white atheist libs with an IQ of 100, 40 white religious conservatives with an IQ of 100, and 20 black religious conservatives with a measured IQ of 91, subject to a million caveats about whether that is a meaningful number.
The libs will have an average IQ of 100, as noted; the conservatives will have an average IQ of 97. That is less than 6-11 point gap found in the study. To get to a six point gap, we would need to expect that the black group had an IQ of 82.
In practice,obviously, not all the blacks will be found in one group.]