On a daily basis I receive a barrage of health related emails from my mother. I know she doesn’t believe me, but I actually DO read them. In fact, thanks to them, I’ve practically become my own amateur health encyclopedia – knowing fun facts like 5 Reasons All Men Should Eat Tomatoes all the way to Natural Diets for Battling Multiple Scleroses. However, this morning Mom decided to send me something a little more light hearted and entertaining. It was a list of quotes from some of society’s most revered individuals on why they love drinking.
The last quote wasn’t as much of a quote as a theory. And I found it remarkably amusing. Here it is:
“A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members! In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of booze eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine! That’s why you always feel smarter after a few drinks.”
It is such a logical theory to justify excessive drinking as a benefit to ones person over a detriment – don’t you just want to believe it’s true? I sure do! So after reading it I began to ask myself a few questions. “How does drinking actually effect ones intelligence?” “What are the correlations between a persons consumption habits and brain function?” And, “is there something to be said for that many of history’s greats loved booze?” So, I gave myself an hour to research these questions.
Believe it or not, there was good news!
Alcohol consumption has been an evolutionary development for humans, so the hypothesis of the study that I found was those who drink more alcohol are more evolved(intelligent) than those who drink less and are less evolved(unintelligent). The study was conducted by collecting IQ data on children (before the age of 16) on a scale from “Very Dull” to Very Bright”and then over the next three decades tracked their alcohol consumption habits. The result, children who had been categorized as “Very Bright” in their youth grew up to consume nearly eight times the amount of alcohol as their “Very Dull” peers!
Interesting, right? Also note that factors such as income and education level were taken into account so that results weren’t misrepresentative – meaning that the data wasn’t skewed simply because those in high paying jobs may be attending social functions where they have the opportunity to drink more often.
Now, if your friends have always said that you’re an idiot don’t go running to the liquor store to prove them wrong – that would just prove them right. It is NOT consuming alcohol that makes you intelligent, it is intelligence that makes you more inclined to consume alcohol. Therefore, the next time your parents want to discuss your excessive drinking habit – regardless of you average or above performance in all other areas of life – you may confidently explain to them that there is no need to worry, you are simply a more highly evolved human.