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back to article US eggheads in spurious va-voom/intelligence linkage

American evolutionary-psych researchers have produced eye catching research suggesting that women whose hips are significantly bigger than their waists are more intelligent, and tend to produce more intelligent babies. They believe that this might explain why men tend to be attracted to women with this type of physique, …

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Ig-worthy treatise

Surely this qualifies for an Ig-Nobel prize!

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Paris Hilton

Wow. Just wow.

> Each subject had her vital statistics measured,

Oh, so not going there. People get PAID for this?!? Oh damn, I went there.

> carried out "cognitive" tests, said to be a valid method of measuring intelligence.

So did she rate higher or lower if she went on a date with the researcher?

Seriously though... I haven't seen so much "reaching for a conclusion" since global warming.

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Stop

Rubbish!

Studies like this are scientifically worthless simply because they massage the numbers and then massage them again, splitting things up and boxing them off into smaller and smaller sample sizes until patterns start to emerge. The problem is, these patterns are false.

Lets take an example, following the sort of methodology used in these studies. Take a group of 100 men and split them up into people who have cancer and people who don't. Now start to split them up by age and look for apparent factors. Already you're experiencing a problem, because you won't have an even spread of men across your age groups. You'll have another problem too; your samples are tiny. Still, you press on, because it's for the greater good, right? So eventually you find out that a lot of your men who do have cancer in specific age groups are also bald...

Baldness MIGHT cause cancer!

Probably not going to fly though, but you persevere... and then you also find out that a "significant" number of your men in specific groupings were wearing nylon underwear (god knows why, but they do).

Nether-region exposure to nylon MIGHT cause cancer! What's the mechanism? Who knows! But feeding lab mice large amounts of the chemicals that are used to make nylon gives those mice cancer so it must be true!

Anyway, of the women I know, all the smart ones have narrow hips... not that I'm looking, you understand.

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I'm looking for the perfect woman...

In the very recent past I've read "studies" on how alcohol makes you smarter, Bacon is actually bad for you and "may" cause cancer.

And now how wider hip'd heavier woman are actually more intelligent than super models.

So I'll be down the pub then if you need me, looking for a heavy set woman with a pint in one hand and a veggie burger in the other.

Adam

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Bravo! Maestro! Bravo!

I find myself inclined to agree.

Millions of years of evolution (thousands of years of existing changelessly in God's image, for Ezekiel and Ezekiah in the back row) has lead us to identify, by secondary physical characteristics, women more likely to benefit the species because of their intelligence.

And, as a completely unexpected and unrelated bonus, they are more likely to deliver surviving young - being better equipped for fewer complications in childbirth.

Esteemed Doctor Emeritus, Sir Mix-a-lot was knighted for his research in this field, having identified several other possible survival characteristics but his research was limited to the back seat of his "Benz" and would do with confirmation outside such clean-room laboratory conditions.

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Stop

Thats it for science then.

Civilization came and went, and we missed it.

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Coat

Though... there is one thing...

When you have bigger hips, you can push an egghead out better.... and more likely to sleep with the father again, since it wasn't a horrible experience... so, maybe it increases fertility, and odds being what they are, a proportion of them might even be smart (not by US standards, since those standards fell by the wayside in 2000... Britain, do you want Bush? He's a good muppet, and might even be Blair-ish, and that's good, right?)

So yeah, bigger hips = more babies... or something. I'll get my bottle of wine and take it in the cab with me.

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For every Nigella Lawson

There is one bbw professor and two borderline-anorexic phds.

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Bloody Nora

Now, I like lady of substance - both physically and mentally - but trying to equate the two is just plain ridiculous.

Intelligent people come in all shapes and sizes, and attempting to rationalise preferences for body types as "conducive to finding more intelligent mates" is just wrong-headed. Whatever next?

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Paris Hilton

Thank you, Reg

Thanks for not using 'boffin' this time.

We expect it to be used in conjunction with men in white coats -- not for those who other men in white coats give rides to.

You don't get many porky eggheads - they are usually either thin and pale from incarceration in deep dark cellars (and often accompanied by an Igor) or the young West Coast type that cycle everywhere and go in for extreme sports.

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Paris Hilton

Why write this off

"So if the American academics'** theories are correct, the women of the 1950s should have been hugely cleverer than those of today."

Taking into account relative educational opportunities this isn't as obviously false as you seem to presume

"And their children - the over-50s - ought to be noticeably smarter than we morlocks of the following generations"

Is there any evidence at all that this is not the case?

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I am so going to rain on this parade

First of all, I seem to recall that there is intense argument around the question of whether or not we have a valid test for intelligence, meaning that the IQ tests those jokers used are anything but approved.

Second, based solely on my personal experience and observations, I believe that the more good looks a woman has, the more she is in danger of not having pursued her studies very far (I'm not saying she's stupid, just that she rarely goes for a university degree).

Because we all know that a stunning beauty has no need for academic credentials - there will be no end of wealthy suitors just begging for a chance to take care of her for the rest of their lives. Her only job is to find the one that will last for the long haul, if she has the presence of mind to worry about that kind of detail.

Indeed, I would even go so far as to suggest that the more a woman is ugly, the more she will work her brain and get academic credentials to make up for that lack in the attractiveness department.

Of course, there are exceptions. Some women are too intelligent to satisfy themselves with triggering the drool reflex wherever they go, and some are simply too thick to notice that nobody ever seems to want to stay next to them for more than a bus ride. As said before, intelligence comes in various guises, and so does the lack of it.

But I think that it takes a rather strong character to keep pushing one's grey matter when one's pink matter has a high rate of success.

And I dispute the validity of the IQ tests completely.

Okay, you may stoke the flames when ready.

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