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Original research

In reaction to a lot of articles about evolutionary psychology/sociobiology I've read over the years, and especially this news article reporting on one such person's claim that people with higher IQs are more liberal and more likely to be sexually exclusive:


Less intelligent children may be more likely to grow up to be evolutionary psychologists, a researcher sitting at home in front of her computer suggests.

[personal profile] firecat, whose morning caffeine consumption is correlated with an urge to be a loudmouth on the Internet, argues that the tendency to associate complex modern concepts with simplistic notions of biological urges is a preference that the ancestors of evolutionary psychologists had for millions of years.

These so-called "scientists" are evolutionarily designed to be conservative, caring mostly about their sexual interest in young females. Being able to understand the limits of using one's sexual desires to explain the entire universe and the possibility that other people might have different sexual preferences and even nonsexual interests is evolutionarily novel.

Data from the Wasted Money Endlessly Going to Sociobiology Study support [personal profile] firecat's hypothesis. Middle-aged white males who frequently try to write papers explaining why attraction to young thin white European females is essential to the understanding of human evolution, history, and the popularity of red sports cars have an average IQ (whatever that is) of π, whereas people who pay attention to the way other people actually behave have an average IQ that matches the boiling point of water in Celsius.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/662108.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 4th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
My twitter response to that article was:
Despite the disclaimer, that article was like a bingo-card of insulting assumptions and correlation equating to causation.

My real-world reaction included more insults and swearing, but 140 characters limits me.
Mar. 4th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
I checked the calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 4th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)

(Hm, I need a relevant icon.)
Mar. 4th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC)
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm pie....
Mar. 4th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
I think this is the point where I propose marriage, right?
Mar. 4th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)
You. Are. Awesome. I'm feeling quite upset and stressed at the moment, and really needed the laugh. The only thing that could make this better would be if your imaginary study formed an amusing acronym. (WMEGTSS doesn't quite do it for me).

Permission to repost this on metaquotes?
Mar. 5th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
I'll have to work on the acronym.

Sure, repost away!
Mar. 4th, 2010 11:13 pm (UTC)
Seems like the interesting tendency that the sociobiologists need to study is why we have such an inclination to tell ourselves "biological" stories about stuff that is probably much more determined by culturally-patterned expectations: for example, it may well be the manifestation of some "biological mating impulse" that most of us seem to be hard-wired to experience orgasm as an entertaining sensation... but I think most of the rest of the attitudes people have about sexuality - the particular patterns of motivation we (FSVO "we", of course!) expect to be associated with desire, the specific emotional "meanings" we apply to various aspects of sexual interaction and experience - all this is, I suspect, a lot more culturally determined than many folks admit to themselves.
Mar. 5th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
all this is, I suspect, a lot more culturally determined than many folks admit to themselves.


why we have such an inclination to tell ourselves "biological" stories about stuff

Long long ago, when men came back from the hunt and and their wimminfolk served them fermented grain and rubbed their feet while they sat at the fire, the men used to tell stories about their powerful relationships with totem animal spirits. This improved their status and they were able to get access to more fermented grain. Gradually these turned into stories about the deep evolutionary origin of modern Western culture, which is the ultimate expression of humanity.

These stories also evolved separately into LOLcats.
Mar. 4th, 2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
This almost made me fall out of my chair. Absolutely pitch-perfect. *snort*

Mar. 4th, 2010 11:59 pm (UTC)
One benefit of actually reading the link: I find it really hard to believe that 6 IQ points on average is statistically significant.

I've seen what I consider sociobiology done well, but it's like a needle in a haystack. Of needles.
Mar. 5th, 2010 12:32 am (UTC)
I've seen what I consider sociobiology done well

Me too, which is why the poorly done stuff bugs me so much.
Mar. 5th, 2010 08:24 am (UTC)
That was my first thought, too. Both numbers are well within a standard deviation of average, also known as the "margin of error."
Mar. 5th, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
Is this the study that defined 'liberalism' only in terms of one issue, ie generosity to other races? Nothing about reproductive rights, gay rights, freedom of speech...?

/bemusedoutsider here/
Mar. 5th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
The news article says liberalism is "caring about an indefinite number of genetically unrelated strangers one has never meet or interacted with".
Mar. 5th, 2010 03:35 am (UTC)
Here from metaquotes, just wanted to say that you rock and I want to distribute this to a number of smart but very aggravating people I know.
Mar. 5th, 2010 08:01 am (UTC)
Thank you, I'm delighted!
Apr. 5th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)
Wandered over via metaquotes, and I think I'm in love. I stumbled across that article a few weeks ago and decided its main use is a litmus test to see who's worth talking to, based on their reaction.
Apr. 6th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
Thanks! That is definitely a good use for the article.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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