For the first time, scientists have shown that intelligence is linked to good health, so those blessed with brains are also less likely to become sick, develop disease or die early.
The reason is down to genes. An international team, led by the University of Edinburgh, have discovered that the same gene variants which make people smart, also protect them against illness.
Those who performed the best on memory, verbal reasoning and reaction time tests, were less likely to have genes linked to high blood pressure, develop diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes or have poor overall health. They were also likely to be taller and have larger brains, the study found.
The only conditions that intelligence appeared to increase were schizophrenia, autism and bipolar disorder.
Which is reasonable considering that those three conditions are misworkings of the mind itself.
When are we going to abandon the notion that we are are equal in anything but a moral sense? Genetics – the instructions that make our bodies and minds – largely determines intelligence, health, personality and character.
Culture is what turns us from savages into citizens, and I am in favour of higher, broader and deeper culture, but it cannot be attained without good genetics.
Otherwise we are in Straight outta Compton. Or 21st century Kandahar. Or 14th century London, in a violent, brutish, impoverished life.
So here’s a toast to culture, self restraint and public order! And three cheers for good genes!
Another must read for Barrelstrengthians: Norbert Elias’ The Civilizing Process which is worth reading at almost any price. Elias’ book is the basis of Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of our Nature, which debt Pinker freely acknowledges.