Liberalism, Atheism, & Sexual Exclusivity Among Males Linked To Higher IQ

Here’s a fun fact reported by CNN to help make a few conservative heads explode:

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.

When we see the tea baggers how can there be any question that they are bringing down the average intelligence of their side? Even beyond them, it is hardly a surprise that there is some tendency for intelligent people to be the ones who accept ideas beyond those which are more conventionally held. The more intelligent might come to different answers as to belief in God, but it is the more intelligent who will even consider such questions as opposed to following what they have been taught.

There’s no question that there are intelligent people who are conservative and religious. However, being conservative at present by the American definition generally means accepting many claims that are factually untrue, believing a revisionist history of the United States, accepting “Voodoo Economics” in place of actual economics, and rejecting modern science. While there are clearly limitations to this study, there really should be no question that there will be a tendency, even if not absolute, for intelligent people to tend to be more liberal.When many in the conservative movement reject intelligence as elitism and pride themselves on their know-nothing attitude, this can only lead to the results seen.

These results are also not surprising  as numerous studies have demonstrated that more educated people are now voting Democratic as opposed to Republican. Education has become the strongest predictor of  partisan preference over the past decade. The correlation to both political and religious views is consistent with polls showing  that frequency of church attendance also predicts support for Republicans. Studies have also showed that scientists support Democrats over Republicans by large margins.

Sexual exclusivity is harder to explain by evolutionary science:

For men, on the other hand, sexual exclusivity goes against the grain evolutionarily. With a goal of spreading genes, early men had multiple mates. Since women had to spend nine months being pregnant, and additional years caring for very young children, it made sense for them to want a steady mate to provide them resources.

On the other hand, haven’t some of the actions by Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, and John Edwards ever caused you to question their intelligence?

Update: A commenter has provided the link to the actual study which has a far more blunt title than the CNN report: Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent

Stabenow Blasts GOP Leadership For Allowing Bunning To Block Vote on Benefits

Michigan Senator Debbie Debbie Stabenow has criticized Republican leaders following Jim Bunning’s acts late last week to block necessary spending measures. These included extensions of federal spending for unemployment benefits, COBRA subsidies, and stopping a reduction in Medicare payments which  would lead to many seniors being unable to obtain medical coverage. The Hill reports:

The senator said that by remaining silent on Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-Ky.) objection to a unanimous consent motion on the bill, GOP leaders implicitly offered their support for the move.

“Where is the Republican leadership on Monday? Where will the Republican leadership be next week,” Stabenow said on a conference call with reporters organized by the Democratic leadership. “Are they going to stand up and stop this…or are they going to continue by their silence to support Sen. Bunning?”

The report provides mixed signals as to whether other Republicans were prepared to join Bunning in a filibuster or if Bunning is solely to blame for stopping the measure. It also states that Don Stewart, communications director for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, stated that “senators entered into a unanimous consent agreement for the full tax extenders bill for next week, which will include the stalled unemployment and COBRA extensions.”

The Medicare cuts which would also be postponed are a result of a flawed formula which calls for cuts based upon overall health care costs. For the last several years Congress has voted to over rule the automatic cuts. Last year House and Senate Democrats attempted to achieve a permanent fix but Republicans blocked this measure. Instead a temporary freeze on the cuts  lasting through February was enacted.

It is anticipated that if the Medicare cuts are enacted a large percentage of physicians will stop accepting new Medicare patients and reduce the number they see. In order to prevent such action this week, CMS has ordered a ten day freeze on Medicare payments under the expectation that Congress will act on this problem next week.

Republicans Lie, People Die (On Health Care As Well As Iraq)

While Republicans continue to block health care reform by repeating the misinformation being spread by the insurance industry, more and more people are dying every year due to lack of health care coverage. It is estimated that more than 275,000 adults will die over the next decade due to lack of health care insurance (and these estimates are thought to be on the conservative side).

This calculation comes from Families USA based upon previous studies by the Institute of Medicine and the Urban Institute. They also estimate that between 1995 and 2009  lack of insurance was responsible for more than 290,000 premature deaths.

No other major industrialized nation has this problem. None of these countries have a health care payment system were people die because they do not have coverage. None of these countries have a health care payment system where people who do have insurance coverage are still at risk of bankruptcy due to insurance companies finding ways to avoid paying claims.

This is the bottom line to consider when conservatives give all the reasons why we cannot change our health care payment system (which does not necessarily changing our excellent health care system for the worse). No other major industrialized nation has these problems. Why must the United States?