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Liberal gene' discovered by scientists

  1. aguasilver profile image87
    aguasilverposted 6 years ago

    People with left wing views may have their political opinions controlled by a "liberal gene", according to scientists.

    The research suggests that some people have an inherent bias against conservative thinking, that is independent of their education or upbringing.

    The effect is caused by a neurotransmitter in the brain called DRD4 which could be stimulated by the novelty value of left of centre opinions, say US researchers.

    In people who are naturally outgoing, the feature encourages them to seek out companions with unconventional views as they grow up.

    This in turn means they tend to form less conventional political viewpoints as adults, according to the study by the University of California and Harvard.

    The research, based on 2,000 Americans, is published in the Journal of Politics.

    Comments anyone?

    1. Onusonus profile image84
      Onusonusposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      It's less of a gene, and more of a sickness realy.

      1. skyfire profile image72
        skyfireposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        says Mormon ? lol

        1. Onusonus profile image84
          Onusonusposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, I'm a Mormon, this must be the fifth time you have made that announcement publicly. What are you, my religious background advertising consultant?

        2. BDazzler profile image84
          BDazzlerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Assuming that you're equating Mormonism to sickness. Mormons celebrate Christmas and you've written a hub for the purpose of promoting Christmas lights...

          What's more disgusting, exploiting the beliefs of people who you consider "sick" for profit, or considering people who disagree with you sick?

          Hope your Christmas Lights hub makes lots of money from Mormons ... no, really.

    2. omcj1234 profile image60
      omcj1234posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Seems a little out there. A link to this article? And liberal thinking can't be that appart from the 'norm', approximately 50% of Americans consider themselves to be 'left-leaning'.

    3. kerryg profile image88
      kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Since when is being left of center a "novelty" position? If you break liberal positions down into policy statements without attaching labels to them, polls will show majority support from all Americans on a majority of them. For example, more than 50% of Americans call themselves "pro-life," but more than 80% support women's right to get an abortion in cases of rape or incest. That is a pro-choice position. You get similar results with many other liberal policies, from environmental conservation to the minimum wage.

      1. Stump Parrish profile image59
        Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        A large part of the problem here is that the majority of Americans react strongly to labels they dont understand. Take the label of socialism. If you ask 100 Americans wether they would support a Socialist government you would get 110 votes against it. Sorry but 10% of American voters agree with election fraud if it benefits their party. If you present the ideals of socialism minus the descriptive label the majority of Americans support or choose the socialist approach. Bottom line is that the majority of American voters have no clue about those thing they are most convinced of. Most Americans base their votes on what the leaders of their party tell them. Thses people know for a fact that their followers ans supporters will NOT take the time to discover anything for themselves.

        http://jobsanger.blogspot.com/2010/10/d … bsanger%29

    4. lady_love158 profile image60
      lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Now that we know that liberals have a defect, we can work on a treatment! There is hope for them yet! Though some like Michael Moore and Obama may be incurable...I think those people can be relocated to a Utopian society like Cuba where they can happily live out the rest of their liberal lives on satisfactory socialism.

      1. Stump Parrish profile image59
        Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        You aren't going to try and cure me the way so many want to cure the homosexuals are you? Wont work as I am out of the closet and have my thinking cap firmly in place. I think and therefore am not a Republican Conservative. I think and therefore I am an atheist. I think and therefore am not welcomed by 75% of Americans. I think and therefore don't base my life on the 10 second news blurb. I think and therefore should consider moving to a country that celebrates intelligence and individual thought over blind obedience to your masters. I think I am done with this comment.

        1. lady_love158 profile image60
          lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          My gay cousin moved to Amsterdam...he's a socialist too... maybe you should move.

        2. aguasilver profile image87
          aguasilverposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          "I think and therefore should consider moving to a country that celebrates intelligence and individual thought over blind obedience to your masters."

          Out of interest, which country would that be?

    5. Druid Dude profile image61
      Druid Dudeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      uh. If there is a liberal gene, then logic dictates that there is an opposing gene. Further, the discovery of said gene could be construed as an evolutionary mutation. We need unconventional thinking. After all, performing the same steps over and over, while expecting different results, is the definition of insanity. Unconventional thinking could be more sane!smile

    6. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      that is the biggest load of crap I have heard yet

      1. BDazzler profile image84
        BDazzlerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        They found it... but they fudged their answer with "it also depends on environment and social network."

        In other words, like all other behavior, it's part genetic, part environment and part choice.

        The exact quote is:
        "Ideology is about 40 percent heritable. It's almost half genes and half environment,"

        It's the same old answer for every choice, behavior and preference ... part nature, part nurture.

    7. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Great.  Just another excuse to say they're not accountable for their actions.

      On the flip side, great!  The cure is to get them all out of Office and into rehab so they'll stop messing up the USA.


      (Actually, I think the study is total nonsense.)

    8. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      when they say "liberal" gene, are they referring more to personality/temperament than politics?  ie a person that doens't follow the crowd

  2. kephrira profile image60
    kephriraposted 6 years ago

    Oh dear. Sounds dangerous to me. Normally when they identify a gene for something it isn't long before people start suggesting treatments. I bet North Korea are all over this research.

    1. Druid Dude profile image61
      Druid Dudeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      No treatments! Just gene splicing. We can splice John Boehner (Pronounced Bayner) w/ Nancy Pelosi, and we should produce something that is annoying in any conversation.

  3. Jim Hunter profile image60
    Jim Hunterposted 6 years ago
    1. aguasilver profile image87
      aguasilverposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you, me lazy! smile

  4. Jim Hunter profile image60
    Jim Hunterposted 6 years ago

    "more than 50% of Americans call themselves "pro-life," but more than 80% support women's right to get an abortion in cases of rape or incest. That is a pro-choice position."

    I think that is Pro-woman rather than Pro-choice.

    1. Stump Parrish profile image59
      Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Again we see the labels. The christian right likes the pro-life label as this means the other side is pro-death. You are correct in labeling this pro-choice and anti-choice. If the pregnancy that resulted from a rape was a problem for men and not women, the religious right would have no problems supporting an abortion. We all know that women are second class people who lack the ability to make an intelligent decision on their own. Can I get an amen?

      1. Jim Hunter profile image60
        Jim Hunterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        "We all know that women are second class people who lack the ability to make an intelligent decision on their own. Can I get an amen?"

        I'm sorry you feel that way.

        1. Stump Parrish profile image59
          Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          You really need to turn on your sarcasm detector Jim. But thanks for the compassionate response to the obvious flaw in my character. Too bad you only noticed a flaw when I began repeating the age old religious opinion of women. I for one believe that if women ran the world we wouldn't be putting up with all the crap we are today. Wars would become non-existant due to women not having the need to measure their private parts against those in other countries. Our budget would be balanced with in 3 years. There are hundreds of areas in this country that would improve if women controlled the world. One downfall might be that most strip clubs in this country would probably close but this would save the tax payers billions in government expense account submissions. Name one part of our government that wouldn't be better with a woman in control.

          1. Jim Hunter profile image60
            Jim Hunterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            "You really need to turn on your sarcasm detector Jim."

            I think you would be better off by fine tuning yours, you seem oblivious to it.

            "Name one part of our government that wouldn't be better with a woman in control."

            The military, it takes a ferocity that most women don't have. That is not to say that their presence in the military is not needed, it most certainly is.

            But you can't deny the power of testosterone.

            1. Stump Parrish profile image59
              Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              If women controlled the world we wouldn't need the military, duh.

              You do have to admire the power of testosterone, it has managed to screw up a perfectly excellent planet in a very short time.

              BTW, I'm not being sarcastic. I'm being disrespectful, do you need a dictionary? Bazinga!!!

    2. kerryg profile image88
      kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Duh.

      Of course being pro-choice is being pro-woman. Being pro-life means that you believe that the government knows better than individual women and their doctors which option is best for each individual unwanted pregnancy in every single possible situation... and it's always the same option. Thank goodness that less than 20% of the population genuinely believes women are too stupid to know what is good for them!

  5. Petra Vlah profile image59
    Petra Vlahposted 6 years ago

    Was the research paid for with the stimulus money?

    1. Druid Dude profile image61
      Druid Dudeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yeah, and it put two whole people back to work! WOW!

  6. tonymac04 profile image87
    tonymac04posted 6 years ago

    This gene, actually a dopamine receptor, has been known about at least since 1996 when the original studies were done. The gene is responsible for novelty-seeking and exploratory behaviours in some individuals and the inference made by some researchers is that liberal views are more likely to be felt as novel and exploratory.
    I think to call it a "liberal" gene is rather stretching it.
    However it is interesting that the "right" will love this but not evolution, the theory which is intimately bound up with genetic research.
    They will also love this finding but not the one which points to a genetic cause of homosexuality.
    An extract from one report in a scholarly journal about this gene reads, for anyone who might want to take science seriously, reads: "Polymorphisms in the dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4) have been related to individual variation in novelty-seeking or exploratory behaviour in a variety of animals, including humans. Recently, the human DRD4 orthologue was sequenced in a wild bird, the great tit (Parus major) and a single nucleotide polymorphism in exon 3 of this gene (SNP830) was shown to be associated with variation in exploratory behaviour of lab-raised individuals originating from a single wild population. Here we test the generality of this finding in a large sample of free-living individuals from four European great tit populations, including the originally sampled population. We demonstrate that the association between SNP830 genotype and exploratory behaviour also exists in free-living birds from the original population. However, in the other three populations we found only limited evidence for an association: in two populations the association appeared absent; while in one there was a nonsignificant tendency."
    A "liberal" gene - well, not quite, I think.
    But anyway, if it was a "liberal" gene I think more people should get it - I'm all for DRD4 - may it flourish!

    1. Stump Parrish profile image59
      Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      //I think to call it a "liberal" gene is rather stretching it.//

      That wont stop hundreds of thousands of conservatives from spreading the news that liberalism has been discovered to be a genetic disorder. They can now proudly exclaim to the world that they are not just morally superior than the left but also genetically superior. I wonder how long it will be before Sarah Palin and The Faux News Network start calling for mandatory DNA testing with internment camps for those who carry this gene. Don't Cha Know?

    2. Druid Dude profile image61
      Druid Dudeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I love your point about the "right" jumping on this bandwagon. And I agree.

  7. tonymac04 profile image87
    tonymac04posted 6 years ago

    What they fail to realise is that the gene is a normal gene like those that make some people shorter than others or taller than others. It is not in any sense a "disorder". Some people have blue eyes and others brown eyes because of genes. There is no superirority involved, it's not a disorder at all!

    1. Druid Dude profile image61
      Druid Dudeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Nature likes balance.

    2. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      rather like Asperger's Syndrome (an autism spectrum "disorder"), I think. The brain is wired differently, but because it is different to the "mainstream", it gets labelled as a "disorder".

    3. kerryg profile image88
      kerrygposted 6 years ago

      "From the point of view of comedy, I would be extremely careful – were I a Right-winger – about using this for Humorous Purposes. "

      "Our own leader item today chortles at the idea of a “lifetime cure for Lefties“. But every bit as significant as the link between DRD4-7R and liberalism is the link between liberalism and having a lot of friends. If I were in the mood for writing lazy jokes, I might want to point out that being a lonely teenager is an environmental risk factor for being a Tory."

      "Instead, I’m just going to say that this is an interesting study, but calling it a “gene for liberalism” is a huge overstatement."

      Source: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/to … bject-are/

      Regardless, the way these findings are being presented to the public is obviously an absurd oversimplification. I'm about as introverted as they come but I'm still a flaming liberal, and nobody who knows me would consider me to exhibit much in the way of "novelty seeking" behavior either. I've never smoked, never done drugs, never slept around, and could fit the amount of alcohol I've drunk in my entire life into an average sized beer can. Plus, I have a very hard time maintaining respect for anyone who does any of the above irresponsibly. People have actually commented on how "judgmental" I am. I just don't believe that my personal morals should dictate how everyone else should behave as well. Unless people are infringing on the rights of others, they should be pretty much free to do whatever they want.

      Just like "straight" and "gay" aren't the only two options for sexuality, "liberal" and "conservative" aren't the only two options for political views. It's more of a spectrum, and there are some political views, such as certain types of anarchism, that don't even fit within those broad boundaries.

     
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