That’s the conclusion of a study (if you wish to call it that) highlighted by CNN.

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.

The IQ differences, while statistically significant, are not stunning — on the order of 6 to 11 points — and the data should not be used to stereotype or make assumptions about people, experts say. But they show how certain patterns of identifying with particular ideologies develop, and how some people’s behaviors come to be.

The thing is, here’s how they define their terms.

The study takes the American view of liberal vs. conservative. It defines "liberal" in terms of concern for genetically nonrelated people and support for private resources that help those people. It does not look at other factors that play into American political beliefs, such as abortion, gun control and gay rights.

"Liberals are more likely to be concerned about total strangers; conservatives are likely to be concerned with people they associate with," he said.

But even using their (extremely flawed) definition, conservatives are more likely to give to charity, and do charity themselves, than liberals.  We’ve covered that topic before, a long time ago, in regards to giving for those victims of the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami in 2006; clearly people who are "genetically nonrelated".  And Rev. Don Sensing, for whom the hat tip goes (including the title of this post), makes one (of many) points against this study’s presuppositions and conclusions.

Consider these data from September 2008:

Last Friday, Sen. Joseph Biden, the Democratic candidate for vice president, released his tax returns for the years 1998 to 2007. The returns revealed that in one year, 1999, Biden and his wife Jill gave $120 to charity out of an adjusted gross income of $210,979. In 2005, out of an adjusted gross income of $321,379, the Bidens gave $380. In nine out of the ten years for which tax returns were released, the Bidens gave less than $400 to charity; in the tenth year, 2007, when Biden was running for president, they gave $995 out of an adjusted gross income of $319,853.

That’s liberal Joe Biden, btw. What about conservative (well, comparatively) John McCain?

In 2007, the Arizona senator reported $405,409 in total income and contributed $105,467, or 26 percent of his total income, to charity.
In 2006, Mr. McCain said he had $358,414 in total income and donated $64,695, or 18 percent of his total income, to charity.

You really should read his whole disassembly of this sham.

Filed under: ConservativeCultureLiberalReligion

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