Intelligence is a beach
Howdy lab rats.
Today we find that the universe has washed up two pieces of flotsam on my shore. Let’s take a look.
Is it dumb to start smoking? I happen to think so. But that’s just one pompous dork’s opinion, right? Maybe not. According to a story published by Reuters Health on Feb. 23, 2010, young men who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day (or more) had an average IQ that was 7.5 points lower than their non-smoking counterparts. The study was conducted on 20,111 young men, all 18-years old, who were recruited into the Israeli military.
Researchers have long known about correlations between smoking and other factors like age, education level, and economic status.
Age has a dramatic linear progression on smoking rate. By age group, the smoking rates reported by the CDC are:
18-24 = 28.5%
25-44 = 25.7%
45-64 = 22.7%
65 and older = 9.3%
According to the CDC, “Educational attainment has been associated consistently with adult smoking prevalence since 1983.” Persons with a GED had a reported smoking rate of 42.3 percent. For those with a high school diploma the rate dropped to 25.6% and the rate was only 7.2% for those with graduate degrees.
The poverty level also has a correlation on the smoking rate. For those above the poverty level the rate is 22.2% while for those under the rate jumps to 32.9%.
In addition to IQ scores, I think an argument can be make for “intelligence” in these other factors, too, like age, education level and economic status.
Just the other day, on Feb. 26, 2010, I saw a report on CNN that linked some other interesting factors to intelligence as well. They are: liberalism, atheism, and male sexual exclusivity. The non-smoking factor I can easily accept at face value, but this shit just got interesting!
According to the study these traits are not evolutionary in the sense that they would have “benefited” the survival of the species.
The reasoning is that sexual exclusivity in men, liberalism and atheism all go against what would be expected given humans’ evolutionary past. In other words, none of these traits would have benefited our early human ancestors, but higher intelligence may be associated with them.
“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.”
This one isn’t new, but I can’t help adding it to the mix. Vegetarianism also has a link to intelligence. A study found that children with a high IQ are more likely to become vegetarians later in life. You can read about it here on the BBC News web site as reported on Dec. 16, 2006.
Please pardon me while I pause to take a personal inventory.
- Non-smoker? Check!
- Liberal? Check!
- Atheist? Check!
- Sexual exclusivity? Check!
- Vegetarian? For about 3-1/2 months now. Check!
Damn. I am one smart hombre. 🙂