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The genetics of politics

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posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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It is likely no surprise that as we have discovered more and more about the nature of genetic effects on behavior, we have come to see the possibility that certain genes may predispose people towards certain ideologies and political tendencies.

Recently, a study (dx.doi.org...) from Pennsylvania State University has managed to bring some additional substance to the theory.

At first, I thought - like most sociologist contend, that social factors were the determinants of political choices. But apparently, that position seems to be weakening.


For the greater part of human history, political behaviors, values, preferences, and institutions have been viewed as socially determined. Discoveries during the 1970s that identified genetic influences on political orientations remained unaddressed. However, over the past decade, an unprecedented amount of scholarship utilizing genetic models to expand the understanding of political traits has emerged. Here, we review the ‘genetics of politics’, focusing on the topics that have received the most attention: attitudes, ideologies, and pro-social political traits, including voting behavior and participation. The emergence of this research has sparked a broad paradigm shift in the study of political behaviors toward the inclusion of biological influences and recognition of the mutual co-dependence between genes and environment in forming political behaviors.


Among the many techniques used to explore the theory, the close examination of twins (both identical and fraternal) and their political positions were examined. Here's a result from a 2005 study:


From: New York Times: "Some Politics May Be Etched in the Genes"

Other efforts to isolate the apparent difference between social and environmental influences and genetics have led to similar conclusions.


Historically, the life sciences have overlooked this connection and ignored politics, focusing instead on improving human health. Diseases and psychopathologies are critically important and potentially devastating to those afflicted, yet affect only a fraction of the population. .... At the same time, the idea that genes could influence behavior was considered impossible by those in the social sciences. The increasingly impersonal social interactions typical of society were considered too recent a phenomenon and too context dependent to be shaped by evolutionary forces or influenced by biological differences.


My principle concern here is that among the social expressions of man is the idea of "eugenics" and "purity breeding." Eventually, new conspiracy theories may surface if genetic screening takes on a level of importance that includes the ideologies of whatever institutions dominate the subject.

Can you imagine "breeding out" the fundamentalist gene? Or "eliminating" social apathy? - Such programs CAN be proposed in today's political theater. And there are many who would trust the establishment to actually carry this out... It worries me.... it must be my "cynical" gene at work.

More reading for those interested:
Politics and genetics intertwining
Scientists Find "Liberal Gene"
Chart
Tab le of genes


edit on 27-8-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 11:54 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 

Not politics, but one's predispositions with respect to social interaction and obligation. These are what make our politics.



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