Monday 30 March 2009

Oh what a marriage of beauty and brains: The fair Lopokova and John Maynard Keynes

If, over generations, the smartest men earn the most money and are able to attract the most attractive women as partners, and if both intelligence and beauty are heritable, then might we expect a correlation between intelligence and attractiveness?

Kanazawa says such a correlation exists (HT: National Business Review). He has a sample of 15000 people with IQ scores and attractiveness ratings. Turns out that there's a strong correlation.

I'll quibble somewhat with his use of a single evaluator on attractiveness: a photo put up on Hot or Not and subject to hundreds of ratings would give a more reliable estimator. But I'm not terribly worried about it at this point.

Tomorrow's installment from Kanazawa will address the likely causal mechanism. Will it be that a lack of genetic fitness affects both bodily symmetry and intelligence? Will it be assortative mating, as suggested above? It'll be interesting and highly controversial either way. Enjoy!

Update 1 April: Kanazawa's part time blog is here: The Scientific Fundamentalist. I've added it to Google Reader; you should do the same.

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