But believe it or not, long ago, drinking alcohol was purely unintentional. It took place through the consumption of fermented foods such as overripe fruits. But sooner or later, someone had to wonder what was going on after noticing the effects of consuming things that had undergone fermentation.
Because of this discovery, about 10,000 years ago, in Mesopotamia, production of beer began. This continued for several thousand years before China (or is it the Middle East), discovered distilled spirits around 700 AD.
Today, science has revealed truths about this drink that many might find puzzling. Alcohol consumption, it turns out, can be influenced by intellectual strength.
The interesting study took place at the London School of Economics. The findings showed that women with higher educational degrees took twice as much alcohol as their less intellectually-accomplished counterparts.
A similar pattern was observed among men. In particular, educated men were found to be 49% more likely to consume alcohol than their less educated counterparts.
These findings are consistent with the hypothesis proposed by Satoshi Kanazawa; which says that more intelligent people have an easier time handling situations that were not present in the early years of human evolution.
On the evolutionary scale, 10,000 years is only a short while back. This helps explain why intelligent people would have an easier time handling alcohol in comparison to less intelligent drinkers. Handling alcohol requires general intelligence, and this is a more recent human attribute that is most evident in intelligent individuals.
In fact, the psychologist (Satoshi) also found out that there was a link between a person’s intelligence at the age of under 16 and their tendency to drink once they were past their 20s. Based on information he obtained from NCDS (National Child Development Study) in the UK, the brighter kids ended up consuming more alcohol in their later years.
More specifically, kids who had IQs of above 125 consumed about 80% more alcohol than kids who had IQs of less than 75. A similar trend was also observed among Americans – brighter children grew up to be heavier drinkers. This was confirmed after a study on Adolescent Health in the US.
Just to be sure that the link between alcohol consumption and intelligence did really exist, these scientists also discounted the impact of social status. So, it was not having big jobs that made intelligent people drink more.
Quite simply, their intelligence made them drink more.
The results were even observed among fraternal twins in a Finnish study. The more intelligent child ended up drinking more. This conclusion came about after the researchers found the twins who did better in school ended up consuming more alcohol.
The researchers in this case actually made a broader generalization that higher cognitive performance resulted in a tendency to seek greater stimulation.
But there is one slight twist to the connection between drinking and intelligence – for the smarter individuals, the drink of choice is wine, not beer.
A Danish study actually confirmed this. At the end of the research, which involved about 2,000 men, it was discovered that 40% of intelligent men had a preference for wine, as opposed to a 13% preference for wine among less intelligent men.
But other than intelligence, level of pay and social status could also explain this peculiar variation in drinks of choice for men of different intelligence levels.