Politics May Be Etched in the Genes …
… according to The New York Times:
But on the basis of a new study, a team of political scientists is arguing that people's gut-level reaction to issues like the death penalty, taxes and abortion is strongly influenced by genetic inheritance. The new research builds on a series of studies that indicate that people's general approach to social issues - more conservative or more progressive - is influenced by genes.I have a question: Is a belief that reactions are “etched in the genes” etched in the genes?
I'm reminded of the problems involved in assuming other people's irrationality in speculative frenzies. For example, if you assume that the irrationality of a stock-market bubble is permanent instead of being the result of the actions of potentially-rational people, you might be tempted to apply the bigger fool theory and invest on the grounds you can always sell to a bigger fool. As a general rule, the people who invest on the basis of the bigger fool theory, turn out to be the bigger fools in question.
This is a real application of the Creationist cliche I mentioned last month. Any analysis that assumes that human irrationality is permanent also applies to the people doing the analyzing and is therefore unreliable.