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So more intelligent children may be more likely to grow up to be liberals. Young adults who subjectively identify themselves as "very liberal" have an average IQ of during adolescence while those who identify themselves as "very conservative" have an average IQ of 95 during adolescence. Similarly, religion is a byproduct of humans' tendency to perceive agency and intention as causes of events, to see "the hands of God" at work behind otherwise natural phenomena.

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This innate bias toward paranoia served humans well when self-preservation and protection of their families and clans depended on extreme vigilance to all potential dangers. Young adults who identify themselves as "not at all religious" have an average IQ of during adolescence, while those who identify themselves as "very religious" have an average IQ of 97 during adolescence.

In addition, humans have always been mildly polygynous in evolutionary history. Men in polygynous marriages were not expected to be sexually exclusive to one mate, whereas men in monogamous marriages were. In sharp contrast, whether they are in a monogamous or polygynous marriage, women were always expected to be sexually exclusive to one mate. So being sexually exclusive is evolutionarily novel for men, but not for women. And the theory predicts that more intelligent men are more likely to value sexual exclusivity than less intelligent men, but general intelligence makes no difference for women's value on sexual exclusivity.

Kanazawa's analysis of Add Health data supports these sex-specific predictions as well. One intriguing but theoretically predicted finding of the study is that more intelligent people are no more or no less likely to value such evolutionarily familiar entities as marriage, family, children, and friends.


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Mountains holy as Sinai Wonderful how completely everything in wild nature fits into us, as if truly part and parent of us. The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.

The Song of God, sounding on forever. Our flesh-and-bone tabernacle seems transparent as glass to the beauty about us, as if truly an inseparable part of it, thrilling with the air and trees, streams and rocks, in the waves of the sun—a part of all nature, neither old nor young, sick nor well, but immortal. It commands views of nearly all the Yosemite valley besides a few of the high mountains You bathe in these spirit-beams, turning round and round, as if warming at a camp-fire.

Presently you lose consciousness of your own separate existence: you blend with the landscape, and become part and parcel of nature. They do not exist as mere pictures—maps hung upon the walls of memory to brighten at times when touched by association or will, only to shrink again like a landscape in the dark; but they saturate themselves into every part of the body and live always. Indeed, some of the days I have spent alone in the depths of the wilderness have shown me that immortal life beyond the grave is not essential to perfect happiness, for these diverse days were so complete there was no sense of time in them, they had no definite beginning or ending, and formed a kind of terrestrial immortality.

After days like these we are ready for any fate—pain, grief, death or oblivion—with grateful heart for all the glorious gift as long as hearts shall endure. Being there is enough, so long as you simply open your eyes and ears. It is mainly as a spirited and effective preserver of wilderness that John Muir is remembered today, of course. First of all, surprisingly, his motivation was not to save wilderness out of compassion for his fellow humans who needed wilderness for their physical and spiritual health. He very often resorted to this point as a persuasive reason why hard-headed men of power should set aside wilderness.

But this was just a tactic. Muir, the man content to roam solitary through the wildest places on the continent for weeks on end, was indeed a merry fellow when he found himself in human company. Without doubt he loved to talk and to argue and tell tales. Clearly he enjoyed the company of men and women of all stations in life. He wished them well, and was utterly convinced that exposure to wilderness was essential to their well-being.

But having said all that, there is no telling evidence in his writings that compassion for his fellow humans was what drove his conservation efforts. Nor, surprisingly, was Muir driven by a religious zeal to honor God by preserving His Creation. Muir did not have the slightest notion that God needed defending, or that preserving wilderness was pleasing to God and therefore should be done. Muir fiercely defended wilderness, rather, because he loved the Created order itself, for its own sake. Rocks and water and bears and giant sequoias and water ouzels and larkspurs were precious to him and of ultimate worth.

Their Godful beauty and vitality, the earthly and spiritual grace and power which infused them, convinced him to battle for their sake. Muir genuinely loved the natural world quite as much—probably more—than he loved humans, though he was no misanthrope. That the natural world should be destroyed—dug up, cut down, ground to pieces, dammed, polluted—by human activity was deeply repugnant to him.

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Commercial exploitation of the mountains was a sacrilege, an offense not so much to God as to His created order. Muir would a thousand times rather be tramping through the natural world than writing articles and mapping strategies for preservation—but he had a solemn duty to protect his friends, and that he did, with the brilliance and success that accompanied everything he set himself to accomplish.

Muir protected what he loved. He challenges us to do the same. But it must be noted that Muir came rather late in his life to the conservation cause. He devoted his 20s and 30s to rambling to the Gulf and in the Sierra Nevada, charting glaciers and sequoias. The remainder of his 40s into his early 50s were spent raising his family and securing them financially through intensive and fabulously successful work on the Strentzel farm and orchards. It was only in his early 50s that Muir finally turned to conservation in earnest, and the cause took up most of his time and energy until his death at age 76 in These articles attracted much attention, but Muir was too busy tramping the wilderness to do any serious work in conservation.

Much to the chagrin of his early followers, Muir buried himself in family and orchard life throughout the s.

In Muir and like-minded admirers of the Sierra Nevada formed the Sierra Club in San Francisco, composed of Bay area lawyers and professors as well as mountaineers, with Muir the clear choice as President of the club, a position which he held until his death. Muir was invited to be a member of the National Forestry Commission in , and though he declined membership he served as a guide to the Commission to critical forests throughout the western United States and a consultant in their deliberations. In all these activities, Muir was an important voice among many for the protection of a range of sites, including in addition to Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks in California , Mt.

Surprisingly, he was a savvy political infighter. Invited to join the famous Alaska Expedition of railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman in as one of twenty three prominent scientists, Muir soon captivated the tycoon. When Muir needed a bit of political muscle in preservation battles in the s, he upon several occasions called upon Harriman to use his influence in the corridors of Washington D.

The one battle in which Muir was unable to forge a victory was that for Hetch Hetchy, the lovely Yosemite-like valley with looming walls of granite where the Tuolumne River emerges from its mountain birthplace. When the city of San Francisco proposed to dam the valley and dedicate its waters for its city-dwellers, Muir was horrified. The complex legal machinations wound their tortuous way for over a decade of thrust and counterthrust. The battle over Hetch Hetchy became a national cause celebre. But in the end, brute political and financial power carried the day, and in late the last act was concluded and the city engineers of San Francisco began to plan and eventually construct the dam to flood the valley.

But the spectacular defeat at Hetch Hetchy did not negate the many battles Muir had helped to win. Muir lives, as the spiritual exemplar par excellence of the reverent stewardship of the natural world which was so dear to him. Until he walked over the bridge spanning the Ohio River and began his thousand mile walk to Florida, Muir had been surrounded by the traditional view that humans were set apart by God to have dominion over the earth and exploit it—anthropocentrism. The Wisconsin frontier in which he lived from his eleventh to twenty-second year was a graphic example of exploiting the earth, with Muir taking an all-too active part in the process twelve or more hours a day—as long as there was light—transforming the Midwest woodlands into a farm, homestead, and wells.

His two and a half years at the University of Wisconsin exposed him to the larger world, and people who were thinking new thoughts, but they were very busy years, crowded with both classes and working hard still to support himself. But on his thousand mile walk, Muir was finally alone and free to move, observe, and think.

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His journal reveals the quick and sure abandonment of the anthropocentric view of the world, and its replacement by a wider—much wider—view. It begins with the alligators of the southern swamps through which he slogged:. But doubtless these creatures are happy and fill the place assigned them by the great Creator of us all. Fierce and cruel they appear to us, but beautiful in the eyes of God. They, also, are his children, for He hears their cries, cares for them tenderly, and provides their daily bread How narrow we selfish, conceited creatures are in our sympathies!

Muir seems to be suggesting that the salvation of humans merely restores us to that status that the other creatures have never lost—not a doctrine commonly emphasized in Calvinism or Catholicism! Nor is this singular suggestion confined to his early and first ramble. He God is regarded as a civilized, law-abiding gentleman in favor either of a republican form of government or of a limited monarchy; believes in the literature and language of England; is a warm supporter of the English constitution and Sunday schools and missionary societies; and is purely a manufactured article as any puppet of a half-penny theater.

With such views of the Creator it is, of course, not surprising that erroneous views should be entertained of the creation Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation?


And what creature of all that the Lord has taken the pains to make is not essential to the completeness of that unit—the cosmos? The universe would be incomplete without man; but it would also be incomplete without the smallest transmicroscopic creature that dwells beyond our conceitful eyes and knowledge.

Muir not long after enlarged his view even further, adding the time dimension and sketching in his journal a vision of Creation breathtaking in its breadth and sophistication:. It is conventional among Muir biographers to call this a shift to biocentrism. If we confine our view to the journal of the thousand mile walk, that may be accurate. The fleecy, spiritualized waters take the form of mashed and woven comets, going with a grace that casts poor mortals into an agony of joy.