24 August 2011


The battle for Tripoli may be entering its final stages, as members of the rebel National Liberation Army seize control of key locations in the Libyan capital. But the question remains: where is former dictator Muammar Gaddafi? Andy Borowitz thinks he knows the answer ~ Gaddafi is reportedly in the U.S., where he announced that he is running for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. An aide to Gaddafi allegedly remarked, "In those final days in Tripoli, he was becoming increasingly disconnected from reality. So I think he'll fit right in." Some Republicans "felt that his rhetoric needed to be toned down, especially his closing line about fighting for the Republican nomination 'until the last drop of blood'. But others gave him high marks for his grasp of history and geography, which most agreed were stronger than Michele Bachmann's. Unfortunately for Muammar Gaddafi, he might be out of step with the current crop of Republican candidates .... There's a perception that he's too moderate."

Here's an analysis that brought a twinkle to my eye ~ Why Liberals Are More Intelligent Than Conservatives. According to Satoshi Kanazawa, "one may reasonably define liberalism (as opposed to conservatism) in the contemporary United States as the genuine concern for the welfare of genetically unrelated others and the willingness to contribute larger proportions of private resources for the welfare of such others .... Humans (like other species) are evolutionarily designed to be altruistic toward their genetic kin, their friends and allies, and members of their deme (a group of intermarrying individuals) or ethnic group. They are not designed to be altruistic toward an indefinite number of complete strangers whom they are not likely ever to meet or interact with. This is largely because our ancestors lived in [small bands] of 50-150 genetically related individuals, and large cities and nations with thousands and millions of people are themselves evolutionarily novel.

" .... it may be reasonable to infer that sharing of resources with total strangers ~ that is, liberalism ~ was not part of our ancestral life. Liberalism may therefore be evolutionary novel, and the hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely than less intelligent individuals to espouse liberalism as a value [in an evolved society]. Analysis of large representative samples, from both the United States and the United Kingdom, comfirm this prediction. In both countries, more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to be liberals than less intelligent children." (see graph below)

Naturally, one must interpret this as a trend, to which there are exceptions. But looking at liberals (more tolerant toward change and diversity) and conservatives (less tolerant toward change and diversity) through the lens of social evolution does appear to carry some weight.

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