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Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Time Event
7:07p
7:20p
Why Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol

Psychology Today — Drinking alcohol is evolutionarily novel, so the Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent people drink more alcohol than less intelligent people. The human consumption of alcohol … was unintentional, accidental, and haphazard until about 10,000 years ago. The intentional fermentation of fruits and grain to yield ethanol arose only recently in human history. The production of beer, which relies on a large amount of grain, and that of wine, which similarly requires a large amount of grapes, could not have taken place before the advent of agriculture around 8,000 BC and the consequent agricultural surplus. … The origin of distilled spirits is far more recent, and is traced to Middle East or China at about 700 AD. The word alcohol – al kohl – is Arabic in origin, like many other words that begin with “al,” like algebra, algorithm, alchemy, and Al Gore. … more intelligent individuals may be more likely to prefer drinking modern alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, and distilled spirits) than less intelligent individuals, because the substance and the method of consumption are both evolutionarily novel. Consistent with the prediction of the Hypothesis, more intelligent children, both in the United Kingdom and the United States, grow up to consume alcohol more frequently and in greater quantities than less intelligent children. Controlling for a large number of demographic variables, such as sex, race, ethnicity, religion, marital status, number of children, education, earnings, depression, satisfaction with life, frequency of socialization with friends, number of recent sex partners, childhood social class, mother’s education, and father’s education, more intelligent children grow up to drink more alcohol in the UK and the US. The following graph …

OK, I'm cutting it off as soon as the graphs show up; but take their (and my) word for it. If you don't drink, then you're not as smart as I am. If you were, then you'd be drinking, too.

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