Liberals, Atheists Are More Highly Evolved?

Smarter people are more inclined to nontraditional values, a study suggests, reported by National Geographic:

Your apelike ancestors probably aren’t top of mind when you enter the polling booth. But a new study suggests that human evolution may have a big influence on whether you’re liberal or conservative—not to mention how smart you are, whether you believe in God, or whether you’ve got a cheatin’ heart.

It’s all linked to the evolution of intelligence, says author Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Kanazawa’s theory is that intelligence—particularly our ability for on-the-spot problem solving and reasoning—arose as an adaptation to deal with the unusual and unexpected, such as a sudden forest fire.

Since disasters like that are rare in daily life, responding to them wouldn’t likely be something our ancestors were hard-wired to “know” how to do. Surviving the fire required both the ability to think up a new behavior, and the willingness to try it out.

Passed down via genetics, those two traits are still the calling cards of an intelligent brain—expressed as a tendency toward adopting nontraditional social values and preferences, Kanazawa says in his new study, published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.

As a result of their iconoclastic ancestry, he suggests, people with higher levels of intelligence are more likely to adopt social values and behaviors that are relatively new to human life—liberalism, atheism, staying up late, and (for men) monogamy, for example.

This tendency toward iconoclasm stems from smart people’s brains being better adapted to dealing with new situations, according to Kanazawa…

[continues at National Geographic]

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  • radiac

    Makes sense to me. I just wish we could evolve a little faster.

    • Hadrian999

      I don't see much new natural evolution happening,
      natural selection doesn't work when even the most worthless get to survive off the work of the worthy,
      it's up to the transhumanists now

      • #kookforlife

        On what planet are you living exactly?

        • Hadrian999

          the one in which modern medicine and social welfare have pretty much put an end to natural selection in the first world

  • RONIN

    Now we're gonna have liberal douches running around thinking they have evolution on there side. Couple that with some of these conservative christians and there hard-on for Jesus and you're all making me sick.

    • Broken Finger

      “Their.”

      Liberal douche…OUT!

      • RONIN

        “Their.”

        Liberal douche…OUT!”

        In other words, “I have absolutely nothing to say.”

        Thanks for your time Mr. Finger.

        • Broken Finger

          Ah, but so much was implied. It's all subtext, Ronin. It's all subtext.

          • RONIN

            I think you might be mistaking being indirect for being clever.

          • Broken Finger

            And I think that when you refer to people as “douches,” you're projecting.

          • RONIN

            There you go. That was less passive-aggressive than your other shit. I'd call that progress.

  • nono

    and those who have had a direct experience of “divinity” are more highly evolved than athiests whose understanding of religion, mysticism and magic are as simplistic, chidlish and uninformed as their theist counterparts!

    OH SNAP!

  • GoodDoktorBad

    I am smarter than everybody because I know how stupid I am….

  • S Monarch

    our apelike “ancestors” also don't even share similar DNA to us…..

  • Andrew

    “Liberals” are more evolved than “conservatives”..?

    That's not saying much.

  • Gregory

    LOL…I love it..this is rich!!!

    First atheists presented their point of view by saying “you're wrong because I'm smarter than you” and now they're saying they're the next rung on the evolutionary ladder.

    Ahem, allow me to point out that evolution is about change, not necessarily progress to something better. Natural selection will determine whether people who choose to ignore human history and think that science is infallible will come out on top or not. Unlikely since these people have been and still are in the severe minority.

    Atheism is caused by materialism and a false sense of human achievement. Science was created by us and it is fallible because we are, and just shows us the how things work, but has zilch to do with meaning. Math, language are itself built on abstractions. I can't prove to you that the letter A exists unless I draw or show you a picture of it. It doesn't exist in nature. We believe in the letter A and we mutually have agreed on what this symbol represents and how it is used. Same with the number 1. We created it. It doesn't exist in nature. We have to use a symbol to reveal it so that it is useful. Atheism is akin to trying to prove the letter A and the number 1 do not exist. And they'd be right. But we have created these symbols to allow us to do certain things. The letter A and all letters allow us to have language, which we created. Numbers allow us to do what they do.

    Gods are symbols. They have their purpose. It requires no critical thinking or bravery to say gods do not exist, but please go ahead and preach against letters, words and numbers, because they do not exist either.

    So lets get over it, and move on as a species and realize that the distractions of materialism and human “civilization” haven't really changed the human experience.

    fiat lux

    • Brown_Hurricane

      +1 for Gregory.

  • David

    “Good grief. This ridiculous study is making the rounds of the atheist community, with its claim that liberals and atheists are smarter than conservatives and religious people. Look at the numbers!” PZ Myers

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/stop

  • homeygcorndog

    thats funny…I used to consider myself an atheist,but by definition we are not allowed to believe in any spirituality whatsoever…I've always been a skeptic,but I know that there forces in our world we do not yet understand…Some call these unknowns,”paranormal”,as for organized religion,its for the dogs. I'm just a guy trying to figure shit out.I don't believe in any absolutes.

  • Anonymous

    Well now that’s a read…I used to consider myself a full-blown atheist. Until I realized by very definition atheists dont believe in any spirituality whatsoever,including the paranormal. I’m far from superstitious but I know that there are forces on our earth we do not understand,and are hardened criminals when judged by the laws of nature. I don’t believe in absolutes,as for organized religion,its of no concern to me(I personally despise it)…

  • homeygcorndog

    Well now that's a read…I used to consider myself a full-blown atheist. Until I realized by very definition atheists dont believe in any spirituality whatsoever,including the paranormal. I'm far from superstitious but I know that there are forces on our earth we do not understand,and are hardened criminals when judged by the laws of nature. I don't believe in absolutes,as for organized religion,its of no concern to me(I personally despise it)…

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