Leading evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa said intelligent people are intrinsically more likely than ‘very dull’ people to experiment with drugs, this week, in an article published on leading scientific website Psychology Today.
Chatting about his new theory- the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis, the London School of Economics expert said intelligence in humans developed to help people cope with ‘evolutionary novelties’ meaning cleverer folk are more likely to be experimental. He also tested his hypothesis against data extracted from the National Child Development Study and discovered significant empirical proof backing his claims.
“Very bright” individuals (with IQs above 125) are roughly three-tenths of a standard deviation more likely to consume psychoactive drugs than “very dull” individuals (with IQs below 75),” Professor Kanazawa revealed, before adding one important proviso.
“It does not predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to engage in healthy and beneficial behavior, only that they are more likely to engage in evolutionarily novel behavior,” he cautioned.
“As I point out in an earlier post, more intelligent people are often more likely to do stupid things.” (Psychology Today)
The article appeared days before Britain’s top drugs expert Professor David Nutt ridiculed the UK’s narcotics classification system again over its arbitrary ranking of drug dangers which categorises ecstasy alongside heroin and crack. Writing in doctors’ journal the Lancet, the professor said alcohol causes more harm than all other drugs and vowed to ‘keep putting the evidence in front of the public and in front of the Government’.
‘If the Government chooses to ignore it, at some point eventually it will come home to roost,” he predicted, “‘I think people are frightened about drugs. They don’t want to look at the evidence.”
Professor Nutt was previously the chief official drugs advisor to the UK government though was forced to resign last year after he began speaking too honestly about the genuine relative dangers of ecstasy in particular compared to horse riding.
Renaming horse riding Equasy (aka Equine Addiction Syndrome) he went on to describe it as ‘an addiction that produces the release of adrenaline and endorphins and which is used by many millions of people in the UK including children and young people.’
“The harmful consequences are well established – about 10 people a year die of it and many more suffer permanent neurological damage as had my patient. It has been estimated that there is a serious adverse event every 350 exposures and these are unpredictable, though more likely in experienced users who take more risks," he pointed out in an editorial for the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
“Making riding illegal would completely prevent all these harms and would be, in practice, very easy to do,” the Professor continued, “It is hard to use a horse in a clandestine manner or in the privacy of one’s own home!”