And so today news reaches us of the work of Professor Satoshi Kanazawa, Economics Management Professor at the London School of Economics, who has 'discovered' that liberals and atheists tend to be more intelligent.
Kanazawa argues that humans are designed by evolution to be conservative, caring mostly about their family and friends. Being liberal — caring about an indefinite number of genetically unrelated strangers one may never meet or interact with — is, in contrast, evolutionarily novel and therefore more likely to be the position of clever offspring. Kanazawa doesn't exactly say why, but appears to assume that kids with smarts will reach out beyond innate behaviours and attitudes.
Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) nevertheless supports this hypothesis: Young adults who subjectively identify themselves as "very liberal" have an average IQ of 106 during adolescence, while those identifying themselves as "very conservative" have an average IQ of 95 during the spotty phase.
In case we didn't already know that members of the God Squad are constitutionally paranoid, Kanazawa spells it out for us: "Humans are evolutionarily designed to be paranoid, and they believe in God because they are paranoid."
This served the species well enough when self-preservation and protection of the clan depended upon vigilance to the point of excess, but these days "more intelligent children are likely to...go against their natural evolutionary tendency to believe in God, and they become atheists."
Do these facts get right up your conservative nose? Well, there's a study for that too.
The Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School has published research which shows that people react in a closed-minded way to information that threatens their core values, and are much more likely to believe information delivered by a messenger who looks as if he might believe the same things as they do.
They conducted an experiment in which participants were asked to describe their cultural beliefs. Those claiming to embrace new technology, authority and free enterprise were labeled the 'individualistic' group. Those suspicious of authority or of commerce were referred to as 'communitarians.' When queried about nanotechnology, the groups began to polarise sharply around the potential benefits and harms. With the same information to hand, the individualists thought nanotechnology was exciting while the communitarians dismissed it as dangerous."It doesn't matter whether you show them negative or positive information, they reject the information that is contrary to what they would like to believe, and they glom onto the positive information," reports social scientist Don Braman of the CCP.