Quotes of the day

posted at 10:30 pm on February 26, 2010 by Allahpundit

“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 adoption of some evolutionarily novel ideas makes some sense in terms of moving the species forward,’ said George Washington University leadership professor James Bailey, who was not involved in the study. ‘It also makes perfect sense that more intelligent people — people with, sort of, more intellectual firepower — are likely to be the ones to do that.’

“Bailey also said that these preferences may stem from a desire to show superiority or elitism, which also has to do with IQ. In fact, aligning oneself with ‘unconventional’ philosophies such as liberalism or atheism may be ‘ways to communicate to everyone that you’re pretty smart,’ he said…

“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.”

“The jury may be out on whether conservatives are less intelligent than liberals, but there’s evidence that they may be physically stronger. Last year, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a fascinating paper by Aaron Sell, John Tooby and Leda Cosmides of the Center for Evolutionary Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The authors measured the strength of 343 students using weight-lifting machines at a gym. The students also completed questionnaires designed to measure, among other things, their proneness to anger, their history of fighting and their fondness for aggression as a way to solve both individual and geopolitical problems.

“Sell, Tooby and Cosmides found that men (but not women) with the most physical strength were also the most likely to feel entitled to good treatment, anger easily, view themselves as successful in winning conflicts and believe in physical force as a tool for resolving interpersonal and international conflicts. Women who thought of themselves as pretty showed the same pattern of greater aggression. All of which means that if you are a liberal who believes you’re smarter than conservatives, you probably shouldn’t bring that up around them. You might not like them when they’re angry.”

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Evolutionary psychologist

Next, you will tell me that you can get a degree in rock and roll, women studies, black studies or latin studies…….

Johan Klaus on February 27, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Intellect tends toward pride in understanding and accomplishment which tends toward atheism.

And yet the intellectual may find faith in the admission of what is not understood and recognition of what could never be accomplished by human effort. That’s called humility.

exdeadhead on February 27, 2010 at 9:17 AM

So is this article saying that straight atheists are smarter than everybody else?

You may all now bow before me…..

RWLA on February 27, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Confirmation bias is alive and well throughout the social sciences, and in some areas of the hard sciences as well. So what is a rational response to “findings” like these? I try to follow the advice of one of my psychology teachers, who said,

When a hundred good studies indicate similar findings, it might be reasonable for you to begin to consider that they might have some validity.”

Bugler on February 27, 2010 at 9:29 AM

I like the headline photo of Barrack Obama. He looks so much better without makeup.

Cybergeezer on February 27, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Didn’t they used to do this craniometry with buckshot in the one skull and flour in the other skull so that the racial supremacists could simply declare their own group the superior one?

Progressive pseudo-science returns – back from the 19-teens. First eugenics and now phrenology.

CPL 310 on February 27, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Well, we have a liberal atheist in the White House. So I guess all we have to do to prove this theory is sit back and watch how well he runs the country.

Kataklysmic on February 27, 2010 at 11:35 AM

I don’t know, I always thought masturbation was a private thing…

karl9000 on February 27, 2010 at 12:54 PM

I don’t know, I always thought masturbation was a private thing…

karl9000 on February 27, 2010 at 12:54 PM

karl9000: You’ll go blind!!:)

canopfor on February 27, 2010 at 12:59 PM

I’ve always ignored the “Quote of the Day” series. The few times I skimmed them, I couldn’t find a point. But I decided to read just one once…

This is the most juvenile, unsupported and unfocused thing I’ve wasted time on in weeks. I should have trusted my instincts.

elfman on February 27, 2010 at 1:11 PM

I’m reminded of the 1932 telephone poll that showed FDR was gonna lose big to Hoover. Turned out not enough people had a home phone in 1932 to give an accurate sample.

There are only two ways to gauge the validity of a sample extrapolated over the entire US:

1) Do identical surveys with the same sampling methodology (but separate samples, don’t ask the same people), and see if they have nearly identical results;

2) Go ahead and work with the American public on the trust that you got it right, and see if it blows up on you. eg the Census Sampling experiment of 2000, where they did the traditional count and the scientific sample at the same time, to demonstrate that head counts undercount people. Head counting found MORE people than the guesstimate, which is why nobody wants to try in in 2010.

The professional response is, ‘Of course and we all admit that our samples could be flawed. All our work has an asterisk. And if you PROVE we’re wrong we’ll admit it. But, let’s not be childish; let’s have the maturity to entertain a hypothesis: what if we have an accurate sample, what does that tell us?…”

But speaking as a nonsociologist who doesn’t seek the approval of sociologists, a job in sociology or sociological grant money, I keep harping on: why should I entertain a wrong conclusion?

Weight lifting for pleasure, and participating in IQ studies, are both voluntary behaviors enjoyed by a minority of the public.

It could well be that rather than correlating “strength” and “conservatism”, they have correlated “weight training” with “machismo”.

And rather than correlating “intelligence” with “liberal atheism” they have correlated “trusting government surveys” with “collectivist humanism”.

You’d have to either run multiple surveys of the same size, or, crash and burn, like, electing an atheist liberal President on the presumption he’d sweep his agenda through on star power.

Chris_Balsz on February 27, 2010 at 1:24 PM

I’m reminded of the interview I had many years ago with an engineering graduate who spent nearly all his time with me telling me about all the “black studies” and “diversity” courses he had taken. I quietly sent him home with a “no interest” note to HR before he wasted the time of any other managers.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that our company didn’t have any open positions in either of these fields, and that anyone who announced in advance that he/she was going to make “black” or “diversity” issues and Liberal politics pre-eminent in the workplace was not going to get hired by any business.

We just needed an engineer, and we didn’t care about the race/sex/ethnicity of a qualified candidate…only his/her technical abilities and citizenship.

This kind of “Liberal” education is a total waste of time and money.

PS – The applicant was a wide-eyed white male (probably either still unemployed or a career professional victim).

landlines on February 27, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Libs are dumbasses, end of story.

beachgirlusa on February 27, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Read the comments on the article. We, the less intelligent theists, poked more holes in the theory than a block of swiss cheese. Not how the jackass Allahpundit does not mention the article where religion helps depression. I hope that make him depressed.

inchdeep on February 27, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Let see Lib’s want a Obamacare, Conservative don’t. Since Conservatives tend to be more of the theist variety, who is smarter than who again.

inchdeep on February 27, 2010 at 5:36 PM

What? You’re telling me that people who don’t believe in skygods and fairies tend to be smarter than people who do? No way.

LevStrauss on February 27, 2010 at 6:47 PM

What? You’re telling me that people who don’t believe in skygods and fairies tend to be smarter than people who do? No way.

LevStrauss on February 27, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Did you vote for Obama?

Chris_Balsz on February 27, 2010 at 10:32 PM

What? You’re telling me that people who don’t believe in skygods and fairies tend to be smarter than people who do? No way.

LevStrauss on February 27, 2010 at 6:47 PM

what an ignoramus…Guess you make the simple rules so that your tiny intellect can keep up.

daesleeper on February 28, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Hilarious, AP. The IQs in question seem to hover around the 95 to 106 range, so clearly we’re not talking about the difference between Einstein and Gomer Pyle here.

I also notice that the study got its responses from the subjects when they were a maximum age of 28. Although IQ doesn’t change significantly over a lifetime, other attitudes and forms of affilation do. How people describe themselves as adolescents, and then up through age 28, hardly constitutes a definitive data set on the matter in question.

Now, I tell you what would be informative, and that’s having people take IQ tests, talk about their political leanings, and demonstrate their propensity to lift weights when they are 50 and 70. That would tell us something. Until people are old enough to realize that they have, in fact, become The Man, because they make their own money and they pay the taxes, their answers to any questions about political affiliation or religion are not very interesting.

J.E. Dyer on February 28, 2010 at 7:11 PM

I actually have a life outside of HA so I’m always late to these posts. I cry BS on this and use my children as am example. They are too young (12 & 9) to have completely formed any political ideology or religious preference. I don’t dictate to them and neither go to church yet their father is a Christian missionary.

My oldest was given the IQ assessment and put in gifted classes in elementary school. He is currently in middle school normal classes getting a “C” in band and a Ds in both Language Arts (new term for English) & Social Studies. He gets Bs & As on tests but, his lack of enthusiasm and engagement with classwork and homework are limited. He prefers to read Naruto and he draws, quite well I might add, his own Mangas in that genre/style. He prefers to do it in class. He learned the author of Naruto didn’t do well in school. And why the bad grades? I make sure he does his homework and he can’t help but do it well. So, for example, he’ll do a book report EARLY at home and “forget” to turn it in for two weeks after it was due. For ALL that “intelligence”, I call the havoc he creates for himself and others pretty dumb. Common sense cannot be measured and it is NOT equal to smarts. Making things more complex does not make you better and there is something to be said for simplification!

My younger son is the complete opposite. Not as quick to learn to talk and walk, etc. His nickname was Bruiser because as a toddler he’d run into walls, shake himself off, and keeping on trucking. Never the blood curtling cries like the older one. Definitely figured he’d be the athletic dumb jock. But he is getting nothing less than 80 on any English or math assignment. More often 100s though. At his teacher conference the teacher cried because she felt bad for assuming, due to his stubborn and quick temper he would be one of her most dificult kids. He’s need for acolaides and conformity have made him quick to complete class assignments and homework. He is mean to the other kids when he doesn’t get his way, she said, but yet the kids still all look to him for direction. She says he is a natural leader. She said that if he learned to control his temper he’d be her most perfect student. Plus, he found his imagination in writing and decided he liked the Indian in the Cupboard series and bought them all with Christmas money and reads them on his own.

Moral of the story? Intelligence has nothing to do with success and knowing what is right thing to do. And having a temper doesn’t always mean people think you’re hateful and a bully. It maybe attractive to others that you know who you are and what you want and get frustrated when the so-called intelligent people want to control you and get in your way.

Sultry Beauty on March 1, 2010 at 12:41 PM