satoshi kanazawa came out w/ a study last week that finds liberals, atheists, and male sexual exclusivity are linked to IQ. kanazawa is an evo psych guy and has some pretty kooky ideas, but his kookiness in this case only extends to how he thinks this came about and not the numbers indicating who has higher IQ.
frankly, i don’t understand the stated evo psych reasoning which says that these views would have hurt our ancestors in the past but now serve to “move the species forward” and are “evolutionarily novel.” well wtf does that mean? just b/c something is new, it’s mostly smarter ppl that will do it? eh, i suppose so, but not a strong argument. so i’m skipping over that. the important thing here is the numbers.
Very liberal IQ (socially, not economically) = 106
Very conservative IQ = 95
Not at all religious IQ = 103
Very religious IQ = 97
the stddev of IQ is 15 points, so these numbers don’t sound like much. but as razib puts it, it matters at the tails of the distribution curve. of the very liberal ppl, 5.5% of them are part of the smart fraction (130 and above) vs less than 1% of very conservative ppl. number of years of schooling here is not the driving factor. it turns out that elite colleges aren’t liberal b/c of liberal professorial brainwashing but b/c higher IQ ppl tend to be more liberal to begin with. this apparently holds true regardless of culture. the gap will narrow to nothing in certain countries, but there is never a reversal where the liberal are less intelligent than conservatives. social freedom apparently is treasured more by smarties than idiots. i can believe that.
atheists being smarter shouldn’t surprise many. the non-religious have usually been exposed to religion, and after contemplation, rejected it. the less intelligent would more likely believe what they were told as kids. that obviously doesn’t mean there aren’t smart believers. these are just averages.
it’s less clear to me why male sexual exclusivity is such a factor. i’m not sure how it is that having fewer sexual partners is an indication of intelligence for a guy. sure, it probably gives kids more stability growing up in a two parent household, but is it really worth giving up multiple sex partners for? apparently it is for smarties. either that or smarties are a bunch of socially awkward nerds who can’t get laid. hmm.