1. PF Insights is off to a great start! Fresh and interesting articles on all things science and math. Here: PF Insights

The DNA of politics

  1. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,520
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    If genes determine political orientation, which has been suggested a number of times in recent years,
    http://www.apsanet.org/imgtest/GeneticsAPSR0505.pdf

    then isn't democracy a bit of a genetic crap shoot? Depending of course on the total influence of one's genetic, political orientation, the very notions of dialogue and augmentation seem to lose significance to that degree.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. EnumaElish

    EnumaElish 2,483
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I think a lot of statements like, "X, Y, and Z are genetically determined" are taken way out of their context. In the limit, they are posited to imply an absence of free will, which I refuse to accept.
     
  4. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    I think the two-party system is inherrently stable, meaning there will always be two parties of roughly equal strength. You can see the effect now - with the Republican party being in control for so long, it has started to move to the right and the Democratic party is in flux as well. When that all shakes-out, the ideologies will have changed and the balance restored. It has happened before.

    So while I agree that people are wired by genetics for a lot of their personality traits. I take after my father in a lot of ways. He's an engineer, as am I. He is self-employed and I am headed down that path. But he voted for Clinton....twice. So perhaps I take after my mother more when it comes to the politics...
     
  5. If that were true...wouldn't countries like Russia remain communist? Single events can completely sway the power of political parties. If it was genetic, political systems would be much more stable then they are. It wouldnt change as much, or as quickly. I think the idea for political affiliation is ludicrous.
     
  6. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    I meant a 2 party system in a democracy is inherrently stable. Communist Russia was autocratic and stability was maintained at gunpoint. That isn't natural stability.
     
  7. BobG

    BobG 2,347
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    So, you're saying the reason there are so many Libertarians is because chemicals in the water we drink, food we eat, air we breath are causing genetic mutations? :rofl:

    For that to be true, the common threads among all political systems would have to be identified. In other words, maybe a person might be genetically more disposed to resist changes, etc and more likely to join whatever political party happened to match his genetic disposition. But, those same traits would have to re-occur through all political systems in the world (except in the case of mutant Libertarians).
     
  8. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,520
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    No, that would explain the right shift recently though. :rofl:

    The point here is to consider how much of our thinking is based on reason and life experience, and how much might be inherent.

    This would explain why it seems a waste of time to argue politics. Could this be in part why people believe what they want to believe? Is this why conservatives tend to watch Fox News, and liberals tend more towards PBS [the real news] :biggrin: ?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share a link to this question via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?