Liberals, Atheists Are More Highly Evolved?

Smarter people more inclined to nontraditional values, study suggests. 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.

Nat Geo – Maggie Koerth-Baker

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.

Liberals Are Smarter Than Conservatives?

Kanazawa’s evidence is in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, or Add Health, which has been tracking the same group since 1994.

The study used a picture-based vocabulary test to estimate the IQ of participating teenagers. Seven years later, the same people were asked about their religious and political beliefs.

People who later admitted to being “not at all religious,” and who classified themselves as “very liberal” politically had higher IQ scores as teenagers than those who were “very religious” and “very conservative.”

The difference isn’t huge. Only 11 points, on average, separate the liberal from the conservative, for instance. But Kanazawa believes it’s significant.

“Liberalism”—which Kanazawa defines, in part, as caring about the well-being of vast numbers of people you’ll never meet—”is a very new thing for humans,” he said.

“Historically, humans cared about the welfare of immediate family and friends but not complete strangers.”

Faulty Evidence?

The new study is intriguing, if speculative, other psychologists say.

“Kanazawa has done interesting work, but there are other hypotheses out there for the evolution of intelligence that are equally interesting,” said Douglas Detterman, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University and editor of the journal Intelligence.

For instance, other researchers have advanced the theory that intelligence arose as a way of competing for sex. If that’s the case, Kanazawa’s conclusions only make sense if, say, being liberal or atheist also makes you more sexually attractive. (Take a Darwin quiz.)..]

Sunday Poem

Ode On Melancholy by John Keats

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf’s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss’d
By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow’s mysteries;
For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.
But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.
She dwells with Beauty–Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine;
His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

3211 FOURTH STREET NE 􀁸 WASHINGTON DC 20017-1194 􀁸 202-541-3103 􀁸 FAX 202-541-3166


Updated 3-11-2010

Stop Abortion Funding in Health Care Reform!

Protect Conscience

Ensure Affordable Health Coverage

Allow Immigrants to Purchase Private Health Insurance

As long-time advocates of health care reform, the U.S. Catholic bishops continue to make the moral case that genuine health care reform must protect the life, dignity, consciences and health of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. Health care reform should provide access to affordable and quality health care for all, and not advance a pro-abortion agenda in our country. Genuine health care reform is being blocked by those who insist on reversing widely supported policies against federal funding of abortion and plans which include abortion, not by those working simply to preserve these longstanding protections.

On November 7, the U.S. House of Representatives passed major health care reform that reaffirms the essential, longstanding and widely supported policy against using federal funds for elective abortions and includes positive measures on affordability and immigrants.

On December 24, the U.S. Senate rejected this policy and passed health care reform that requires federal funds to help subsidize and promote health plans that cover elective abortions. All purchasers of such plans will be required to pay for other people’s abortions through a separate payment solely to pay for abortion. And the affordability credits for very low income families purchasing private plans in a Health Insurance Exchange are inadequate and would leave families financially vulnerable.

Outside the abortion context, neither bill has adequate conscience protection for health care providers, plans or employers.

Congressional leaders are now trying to figure out how the rules of the House and Senate could allow the final passage of a modified bill that would satisfy disagreements between House and Senate versions.

ACTION: Contact your Representative and Senators today by e-mail, phone or FAX.  To send a pre-written, instant e-mail to Congress go to

Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices.

Contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at &


“I am pleased that the House health care bill maintains the longstanding policy against federal funding of abortion. On the other hand, the provisions on abortion funding in the current un-amended Senate health care bill are seriously deficient and unacceptable. I urge you to work to uphold essential provisions against abortion funding, to include full conscience protection and to ensure that health care is accessible and affordable for all. I urge you to oppose any bill unless and until these criteria are met.”


“I am deeply disappointed that the current un-amended Senate health care bill fails to maintain the longstanding policy against federal funding of abortion and does not include adequate protection for conscience. I urge you to support essential provisions against abortion funding, similar to those in the House bill. Include full conscience protection and ensure that health care is accessible and affordable for all. I urge you to oppose any bill unless and until these criteria are met.”

WHEN: Votes in the House and Senate are expected at any time. Act today! Thank You!

When the smoke inspires writers

From Molière to Houellebecq, from Flaubert to Simon Leys, Freud, Einstein, tobacco has caused much ink ..

Le Figaro – By Astrid De Larminat (English Translation)

We can rejoice or deplore it, it’s a fact. As the cigarette disappears landscape is an era that disappeared a time where we gave more value to things of the spirit and the preservation of bodies, known to be were fatal. Bernard Pivot said that at the beginnings of Apostrophe, all guests were smoking and wearing a tie, while at the end of broth culture, the authors presented without a cigarette and ragged …

In 1996, The Post has erased the cigarette Malraux on a stamp. In 2005, the BNF was withdrawing its cibiche Sartre on the poster for an exhibition. It borders on nonsense, says Benedict Duteurtre novelist, not a militant but a tobacco smoker in the evening for pleasure would he be without his gypsy Gainsbourg?

One day the Directorate of Museums will she scratch the cigar and the wisp of blue smoke on the portrait of Mallarme by Manet? Or pipe Baudelaire on the table Courbet? Mallarme who loved the kisses of his cigarette was his faithful friend and a pipe, which helped him to work in winter (prose poems).

A small museum of smoking began in Paris under the patronage of prestigious Einstein, who said: “Before answering a question, it should light a pipe.” Not all smokers are not morons. Pace Balzac said in his Treatise of exciting modern tobacco makes apathetic, dazed and helpless.

Everyone agrees that excessive smoking is harmful, as the excesses of almost everything. Writers, moderate smokers, however, offended the “security ideology” that led a company, and smokers themselves, to treat tobacco as if it were the devil, so that one loses all civility – it sends its guests smoking on the balcony in winter, still indignant Duteurtre Benedict (1).

The writer Simon Leys, who no longer smoke but chooses not when he has the choice to the smoking section cafes or waiting rooms because “the company is more sympathetic,” reported in Le Bonheur Small fish (Lattes) a true story: a train, two passionate lovers executed a coupling under the impassive eyes of passengers, who were indignant, however, when the lovers lit a cigarette.

The womb

The quarrel between smokers and non-smokers back to the seventeenth century. Under Louis XIII, some viewed tobacco as a panacea that cures all ills, others as an herb of depravity.

The nobility prized frantically, as our jet-set is lines of coke. In the form of nose-thumbing to the devotees who condemned this practice, Molière put into the mouth of Sganarelle this extravagant praise, which would be censored today: “There is nothing equal to tobacco: the passion of honest people who lives without tobacco does not deserve to live. Not only is pleased and purge the human brain, but he taught souls to virtue. “The king was reluctant to ban it. Richelieu was more lucrative to tax the product in question. Nothing has changed.

Hay poetry and stories, let’s prosaic. Why so many people continue to smoke despite the death threats? In Maya, the author recalls the taste of tobacco, pretty anthology of texts by writers, smoking was, for adolescent males, the symbol of the transition to adulthood. The song Eddy Mitchell says nothing else: “To become a man / Smoke that cigarette.”

Some writers can not work without smoke. Cioran: “It suddenly stimulants (coffee, tobacco) that I wrote all my books. Since it is impossible for me to take my production dropped to zero. What is the activity of the mind! “The novelist Catherine Cusset, repentant smoker, was afraid of losing inspiration stopping smoking.

The result was dramatic: she continued to write but had to end his academic career because she could no longer read books boring. Freud said: “I owe a great cigar to increase my work capacity and better control of myself.” But he never discussed the matter seriously. Psychoanalyst and novelist, author of No smoke without Freud, Philippe Grimbert says that smoking, which can be considered a derivative of the womb is an “instrument of the moment of enjoyment and protection against the tension that arises from hostile environment. “

Example: The Souls sisters, Valerie Zenatti depicts a mother overwhelmed for each cigarette that is an excuse to blow five minutes to escape all that is required of it all the time. Cigarettes punctuate his day, like knots on a rope to climb. Some climb the rope smooth without thinking. Others not.

The cigarette of great anguish

“Oh no pipe life would be barren without the cigar, it would be colorless without chewing, it would be intolerable,” wrote Flaubert. It was not a joke. Remove at once his cigarette at a great anguish, it’s like removing buoys to a small child. The narrator of the Extension field of battle, heavy smoker, responds with a smack to a colleague who lectured on tobacco. “Morality, Houellebecq wrote: try to prevent a great melancholic depression smoking, and it does more of its acts.”

Yet, smoking kills. Il est bon de le rappeler. It is worth remembering. Thanks to the messages displayed on tobacco packets, writes Simon Leys, “smokers have a kind of spiritual superiority over non-smokers, they are acutely aware of our common mortality. One way of memento mori, dear to the sages of antiquity, an equivalent of “Remember you are dust and that you will return to dust” on Ash Wednesday.

Is it a sin to smoke? Catholic theologians have seized upon the issue. Answer: no, if not more than four cigarettes a day. In other words: Long live the pleasure of smoking, but be careful not to fall into slavery.

Le goût du tabac, The taste of tobacco, texts selected and introduced by Jacques Barozzi, Mercure de France, 118 p., 6,50 €.

Traité des excitants modernes d’Honoré de Balzac, Treaty of exciting modern Honoré de Balzac, Editions de L’Herne, 60 p, € 8.80.

Three hundred cases of “true pedophile” said a senior Vatican official

Monsignor Charles Scicluna, a senior official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has engaged in a calculation to quantify at “about 300” cases of “true pedophilia, that is to say, a sexual attraction to prepubescent boys, “committed by priests or religious and reassembled at the Vatican between 2001 to 2010.

During this period, there were “approximately 3000 charges of priests for crimes committed in the last 50 years,” he told Avvenire, journal of the Italian Episcopal Conference. “In about 60% of cases was rather dealing with acts of ‘Ephebophilia’, that is to say physical attraction to adolescents of the same sex. In 30% of heterosexual and the remaining 10% of true pedophilia”.

Revelations embarrassing to the Vatican

LE MONDE – Stéphanie Le Bars (English Translation)

D-day for Benedict XVI. Receiving Friday, March 12, Bishop Robert Zollitsch, chairman of the German Bishops Conference, the pope was again confronted with the revelations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. But after his historic meeting with the Irish bishops on this subject there is less than a month, a personal touch was added this time to “emotion” proven, according to Bishop Zollitsch by Benedict XVI during their interview.

The 170 complaints shaking for several weeks, the homeland of Pope concern developments in the 1970s and 1980s, the dioceses where the heart of Joseph Ratzinger exercised his duties as priest, professor and bishop. In the evening, Süddeutsche Zeitung revealed an alleged pedophile priest was hosted in 1980 by the Archbishop of Munich, conducted between 1977 and 1982 by the current pope, to “get therapy”.

The diocese has confirmed that this fact was known to Ratzinger. However, the vicar general of the day alone is responsible for having given a position as chaplain to the priest concerned, despite the suspicions against him. The priest was then guilty of other abuses that earned him in 1986 to be sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment.

There are about ten days, before the information is public, is the brother of Benedict XVI, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, who had informed the Pope that sexual abuse and corporal punishment had been committed against children the choir of Regensburg, which he led for thirty years.

In this context, the Pope gave his “support” for the German church for the way she responded to these scandals affecting two thirds of the 29 German dioceses. Following his meeting with the pope, Archbishop Zollitsch recalled that Bishop had been specifically instructed to follow these cases and reiterated his “apology” to victims. He indicated she wanted to clarify all cases, including cases prescribed. On 8 March the Minister of Justice of Germany, had estimated that the Vatican had mishandled the case, citing a “wall of silence” in the Catholic institution.

In seeking explanations and solutions to this phenomenon, it is not limited to the Catholic Church, questioned by its recurrent nature, voices were raised to relaunch the debate on celibacy for priests. The Swiss theologian Hans Küng has first raised the subject, saying that the abolition of celibacy would limit the risk of pedophilia.

The Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop, for his part said that “without question this rule, it should consider” the causes “of pedophilia in the clergy, including” celibacy “. He himself was appointed to his post in 1995, following a sexual abuse scandal involving his predecessor, Bishop Hans Hermann Groer.

More explicitly the Archbishop of Salzburg said Friday: “Time and society have changed. The Church must ask itself whether it can maintain this lifestyle and what it has to change.” Austria also faces last few days a series of revelations of abuses that led to the dismissal of several priests, the Vatican, which on this subject is regularly featured in the fact that the perpetrators of pedophiles are found mainly within families, has a again swept the entire evolution of the Catholic tradition in this area. On Friday, the Pope reaffirmed the “sacred value of celibacy.” Celibacy is a sign of consecration to the Lord a whole, “he said during a meeting with the Congregation of the Clergy.

Experts said other factors explain the magnitude of this phenomenon within the Catholic Church. The theologian Marie-Jo Thiel, interviewed by La Croix March 11, evokes a culture and philosophy clerical, with a concept of authority can get beyond justice, democracy, transparent “.

“Long considered the clergy pedophilia as a temporary weakness, the same way as a liaison with a woman or a man, while we are here facing a criminal act, “said a lawyer who also worked on these issues with the French episcopate. “The culture of secrecy and concealment is a tradition in the Church, which has always preferred to arrange his affairs with his own justice on behalf of its supremacy and autonomy” said Emile Poulat, a historian of Catholicism.

For a psychoanalyst who worked with the French Catholic Church, the risk is not zero. “But in an institution where the dual relationship is significant it is necessary in these cases, establish general practices and a collective operation . Under the pressure of public opinion, the Catholic Church has been involved for fifteen years in a process of recognition, prevention and sanctions. According to Bishop Zollitsch, the Vatican is considering setting up universal standards for handling these cases, devastating for the credibility of the Church.

The current environment makes it all the more urgent the publication of “Letter to the Irish” promised by Benedict XVI on this matter, “before Easter”. It should address the faithful and clergy involved. If it emerges, this text will be a credit to the pope, but it will not remove the questions about what Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for over twenty years, knew all these scandals.

(1) Voir le recueil «Je fume, pourquoi pas vous ? (1) See the book “I smoke, why not you? Tabacophobie the cons, “with Benedict Duteurtre Philippe Muray, Francois Taillandier, Philippe Reynaud (Pauvert, 2005).


Washington Post: Vatican officials defend pope on abuse

Thirty hours of love and silence

An excited crowd attending the funeral at Valladolid Miguel Delibes – The writer’s ashes were deposited in the pantheon of illustrious men

EL PAÍS – ELSA FERNÁNDEZ-SANTOS Valladolid (English Translation)

“Let’s go slowly, because in the old nests are not little birds Hogan”. The words of the agony of Alonso Quijano yesterday crossed the nave of the Cathedral of Valladolid with a passage from Revelation, one of the verses to his father Jorge Manrique and the ever hopeful love beyond Quevedo’s death “will be ashes, but will make sense, dust will be, but dust in love.

The funeral mass by the writer Miguel Delibes, died Friday at age 89, focused on the figure of the writer and the man, “a Christian humanist,” recalled the diocesan administrator, Zarzuelo Felix Lopez, manager officiate at a measure and popular ceremony while dry but deeply emotional.

At midnight the coffin of the writer left the city of Valladolid, where he had been installed and the chapel where it is estimated to be spent over 15,000 people. On the street, citizens had taken the steps installed for the Holy Week processions and there in silence, awaited the funeral cortege pass. “You should go and shoulders,” complained one old man to see that the last ride of Miguel Delibes, City Hall to the cathedral, would be by car.

“These things are carrying on their shoulders,” he insisted. Both the family and the full City Council did walk a path that was always crowded with bright sunshine and restrained emotion that took the breath. The street entrance Cascajares, with that gap in the field announcing yesterday afternoon the gate-open wide-a cathedral designed by architect Juan de Herrera, offered a dramatic panorama.

Upon reaching the entrance, the grandchildren of the writer carried the coffin. Of the hundreds of wreaths arrivals throughout the country, four (of the Kings, the princes of Asturias, that of Castilla y Leon and the City Council of Valladolid) followed the lead until the end. There was the Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, and the Minister of Culture, Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde.

And there were hundreds of people slowly entered the cathedral to cram all their corners. While a woman with the air of the pope cried Mercedes Sosa, another with a mink had photos with the phone. Felix Lopez Zarzuelo, followed by a dozen priests, spoke of the pain of death ( “Death hurts, still, it hurts not to see those eyes that intersect with ours by Recoletos, by the Campo Grande” ) to claim that his sympathy was not “cold and protocol” and insisting “on the transcendent dimension of man.” “Miguel Delibes not believe the man was a wreck,” he added.

The eldest son of the writer, Michael, entered the pulpit on behalf of the family to thank “these 30 hours of public displays of affection” and to remember how in recent years his father had only put his illusion “in the afterlife than in this . Recognizing the fatigue of their own (they continued together in a brief private ceremony in the Pantheon of Illustrious Men of the city) said: “we do not do is another expression of condolences.”

Delibes, a writer who had no literary school (used to say that he learned from reading a manual of law) and probably also the left, called yesterday a strange unanimity on the importance of his figure and his legacy. El Norte de Castilla, dedicated a special 48-page first thing in the morning and was exhausted at Valladolid. El hombre, el cazador, el escritor, el periodista… The man, the hunter, writer, journalist …

In 1962 he wrote tens of articles on everyday life in Spain an article entitled The burials fell yesterday as a nod to this mad, “Today just let me do the burials of burials to Federica, with baroque floats, horses plumed and charioteers in a wig, which is how we do funerals in my hometown. One, of course, is not against the burial.

One is, rather, against false formalities. One argues, in short, for simple burials, minority where you go, go by feeling and not education. Perhaps this would avoid that at funerals is so much about football and who, when leaving, the deceased was alone by that which the dead are the only point men in the country “. For once betrayed him wisdom and timeliness agreed with all you said goodbye.

RTVE Video: More than 18,000 people take their last farewell to Miguel Delibes in the chapel

Wiki: Miguel Delibes Setién

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