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#429277 - 06/22/05 08:09 AM ARE POLITICAL ATTITUDES GENETIC?
David Porta Offline

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 4823


Some researchers say, "sorta." I don't really buy it. Whatever. This kicker is at the end of the Times article:

The researchers are not optimistic about the future of bipartisan cooperation or national unity. Because men and women tend to seek mates with a similar ideology, they say, the two gene pools are becoming, if anything, more concentrated, not less.
In other words, scientists knock a major chunk out of the edifice of the enlightenment and the Times finds the most worrisome consequence to be the threat to bipartisanship. Puke!


#429278 - 06/22/05 09:13 AM Re: ARE POLITICAL ATTITUDES GENETIC?
madget Offline

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
It seems like the obvious extrapolated from the obvious, to me. I.e., who you are fundamentally has as much to do with your gut-level reaction to various social issues as your upbringing does.

Most of the twins had a mixture of conservative and progressive views. But over all, they leaned slightly one way or the other.
I'd be more surprised by an antithetical finding at either pole: that who you are genetically speaking has nothing whatsoever to do with your social and political orientation, or, that who you are genetically speaking governs your social and political orientation completely, period.

It may be the clash of visceral, genetically primed social orientations that gives political debate its current malice and fire, the study suggests.

Although the two broad genetic types, more conservative and more progressive, may find some common ground on specific issues, they represent fundamental differences that go deeper than many people assume, the new research suggests.

"When people talk about the political debate becoming increasingly ugly, they often blame talk radio or the people doing the debating, but they've got it backward," Dr. Alford said. "These genetically predisposed ideologies are polarized, and that's what makes the debate so nasty.

"You see it in people's eyes when they talk politics. You can hear it their voices. After about the third response, we all start sounding like talk radio on some issues."
I notice a lot of people become disenchanted with the forum, or any political forum, on much this basis. It seems defeatist and blatantly unrealistic to me to think nobody can change anybody else's mind about anything, even if it rarely happens in a snap of the fingers. And yet at the same time, it does boil down to the same circles run through again and again, just in slightly different ways each time, and often feels like it reaches a lot deeper than, well, an indifferent divergence of logic. Part of the reason I tend to give a little more credence to aesthetics than logic, when all's said and done. 2+2=4, or 2+2=5 as you like -- but what's the character of the mathematician's penmanship?