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  • As God Made Us

    Posted by James R. Rummel on April 12th, 2011 (All posts by )

    Yet another spurious study which supposedly attributes the adoption of Conservative political beliefs to bad biology.

    The authors of the study insist that those inclined to adopt Liberal attitudes have brains more inclined to understand complexity, while the brains of Conservatives insist on feeling fear and anxiety.

    But that doesn’t explain why Liberals can’t seem to avoid getting it wrong all the time. Shouldn’t their atomic-powered intellects clue them in that their most cherished policies are unworkable?

    At least we have proof that brain damage is behind the reason why Liberals refuse to see reality.

     

    18 Responses to “As God Made Us”

    1. Jim Hlavac Says:

      Ah, so now these mush head scientists discern a brain difference between political positions, eh?

      And the other day I saw a study of 47,000 European ancestry Americans with a caffeine gene.

      And yet, on one of the most fundamental realities of humankind — gay or straight — there is this deep insistence that there is no genetic nothing. No natural anything.

      This cannot be true. If we’re genetically drunks, or conservatives, or caffeine freaks, it’s impossible that we’re not gene-based gays. Impossible.

      Astoundingly, only some less than 3,000 people — most straight surprisingly, have been examined in sixty years on the gay thing, with nary the ferocity of looking for conservative, alcoholic and caffeine genes. Yet none of these are truly serious, while a gay gene(s) impact the lives and sacred honor of millions of people worldwide. It’s time to do something about that. Don’t worry, gays pay more than enough in taxes to cover the costs.

      It’s time for a National Commission on Gay Americans, to sort us out. Don’t Tread On Us Either. That’s my motto.

    2. Dan from Madison Says:

      That is an interesting comment, Jim.

    3. PenGun Says:

      You are proving the point rather well. A well of irony is what this place is.

    4. tyouth Says:

      A prevalence of gayness may not be a genetic anomaly of the individual but rather a social adaptation that is a response to overcrowding (ie city life). Or, maybe, it is a latent genetic adaptation that is triggered more frequently in individuals in response to the stimulus. Studies have been done with other mammals in larger and smaller cages….that tend to confirm.

    5. JAFAC Says:

      “…insist that those inclined to adopt Liberal attitudes have brains more inclined to understand complexity…”

      And yet almost every engineer I know is more conservative than liberal. Makes one wonder what type of complexity this study was looking for. Or maybe that innate fear and anxiety in engineers is what keeps the planes from falling from the sky frequently.

    6. david foster Says:

      Dietrich Doerner, in his studies of decision-making, ran a simulation game in which subjects were put in charge of a third-world country with a model involving complex interactions: land use, water supplies, time delays between cause and effect, etc.

      Many subjects in this simulation showed obsessive behavior–they would focus on one aspect, such as building irrigation canals, and ignore everything else, without even really trying to understand the interactions.

      Doerner wanted to know what kinds of previous experience would help most in this game, so he ran it once with a set of college students for subjects, and again with a set of experienced business executives. The students had probably been more exposed to concepts of “ecological thinking”–but the executives did significantly better. This argues that there are forms of “tacit knowledge” which are gained as a result of decision-making experience, and which are transferable to at least some degree across subject matter domains.

      The Logic of Failure

    7. James R. Rummel Says:

      David, what in the world does that have to do with what was said in my original post?

    8. Alan K. Henderson Says:

      The authors of the study insist that those inclined to adopt Liberal attitudes have brains more inclined to understand complexity, while the brains of Conservatives insist on feeling fear and anxiety.

      Liberalism – that is, the leftist Utopian vision – is rooted in fear and anxiety, as well as a lot of wishful thinking. And it’s very bad at math, as the Democrats’ history on spending illustrates.

      Where in the hell does that “liberals understand complexity” drivel come from, when all their ideas are so simplistic? Raising taxes by X always increases tax revenues by X. Increasing the number of government regulators necessarily increases the quality of regulation. A tiny fraction of the world’s greenhouse gases drives global climate change. Homosexuality has only one cause, and it’s normal because the other animals do it and the other animals are incapable of behavioral malfunction, because – we say so. Life starts at birth – all that stuff that happens during gestation doesn’t count. Pro-lifers want to control women. Fiscal conservatives are selfish. Religious conservatives think sex is dirty. American soldiers love killing (insert Arlo Guthrie lyrics here). Poverty and gun ownership cause crime. People who aren’t white must be represented in government by members of their own race. 9/11 was caused by American imperialism. The Cold War was caused by American saber-rattling. The Murrah Building bombing was caused by Rush Limbaugh. The Tuscon shooting was caused by Tea Party rhetoric. Palestinian terrorism is caused by the Israelis’ refusal to return to the 1967 borders…don’t tell me “what about the ’67 war” – that wasn’t the Palestinians, so it doesn’t count.

    9. Mike K Says:

      I can believe in a “liberal gene.” There is a growing body of research into behavior in some animal species that shows how behavior is influenced by hormonal effects. Much of this research is directed toward schizophrenia and, especially, autism. I can believe that some people are more directed by feelings and others by logic. That, to me, is the chief difference between the political philosophies we call left and right.

      We can see how the political left is unwilling to admit that the national debt is extremely dangerous to our future as a country. They want to spend because that is what they do. They cannot admit there is a limit. If you bring this up around people like Kevin Drum, the answer is that it is not a problem. I remember a post of his at Washington Monthly where he argued that Social Security faced no funding crisis in the foreseeable future. He is a pretty reasonable guy and yet he cannot admit it.

      We will see a deluge of this in the coming months as the Democrats fight spending cuts with sob stories and counter intuitive assertions that we can’t cut spending because it will hurt people. Thomas Sowell has a column today suggesting that we cut corporate welfare.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/264411/another-spending-cut-plan-thomas-sowell“>

      Of course, the corporate welfare queens have infested the whole global warming institution. Even as the logic of global warming is tottering, the left fights to defend it. Why ? Capitalism rapes the earth and is evil. We see this most clearly in energy policy. Britain is now learning what a disaster wind power is.

      http://fullfact.org/factchecks/wind_turbines_performance_capacity_muir_trust_express_daily_mail-2646

      Solar power works only during daylight so between the two, there is no chance that they can provide the base requirements for our society. Germany, in spite of this, is planning to shut down all nuclear power. What will they do to solve the problem ? No answer. Fairy dust, perhaps.

      The basic difference is between logic and feelings. I can believe that is genetic. Of course, many people begin as leftists as students, especially now with the leftward tilt of schools and teachers. Perhaps they are the indeterminate group. I tended to be that way in college but one economics class, even though it was not required for my major, cured me of that delusion.

      Maybe if you spend a lot of time responding to your feelings, a part of the brain enlarges. The same could apply to logic. The premise is not unreasonable. The cause and effect relationship may very well be reversed. The visual cortex is underdeveloped in people who are blind from birth. The same may apply to behavior based on feelings or logic.

    10. Mike K Says:

      By the way, I am not embedding URLs because that seems to direct those comments to the spam filter.

    11. david foster Says:

      JR..”what in the world does that have to do with what was said in my original post?”

      Has quite a bit to do with the nature of complexity and those who do and do not understand it.

    12. JaimeRoberto Says:

      Leftists’ plans would work just fine if conservatives weren’t so damn afraid of everything;)

    13. Michael Kennedy Says:

      JaimeRoberto, do you know what happens to those unfortunates who are born without a sense of fear or the sensation of pain ? They have very short lives.

    14. Alan K. Henderson Says:

      JaimeRoberto, do you know what happens to those unfortunates who are born without a sense of fear or the sensation of pain ? They have very short lives.

      Indeed.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renard_%28James_Bond%29

    15. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Leprosy causes its destruction of fingers and toes by causing loss of pain. Leg transplantation is not done because an anesthetic leg will rather quickly begin losing the foot due to constant minor trauma, just as diabetes does. This is because it does not have sensation.

    16. Joseph Hertzlinger Says:

      I’ve noticed this type of “study” always has a preposterously small sample size.

    17. Orson Says:

      “At least we have proof that brain damage is behind the reason why Liberals refuse to see reality.”

      It is worse than that – according to now retired Michigan Med School Prof of clinical psychiatry, Dr. Pat Santy (Blogging now only lightly at “drsanity” – just google). The Left’s rhetorical tropes are characteristic of the psychotic. If last year’s Obama-approved and MSM echoed BEWARE the violent Right! (regardless of any evidence of it) did not convince you that they are addicted to paranoia and psychological projection, then the Gifford’s shooting in Tuscon only months ago (blamed on Palin, until it wsn’t) should!

      Furthermore, almost all the reliable social science evidence inside of Hoover Institution scholar Peter Schwarz book “Makers and Takers” contradicts negative stereotypes about the Right. But does anyone on the left bother to ever read it? Not that I can tell. If they did, they couldn’t get away with stories like the one at the top – and their psychotic fantasy enemies.

      Furthermore, this explains why on so many fronts – from realism about Fed government debt and global warming and Islamic terrorism – dialog and honest debate leading to compromise is impossible.

    18. ErisGuy Says:

      And who knew Soviet Psychiatry would become the model for America’s mental health professionals?

      Who knew that the junk “sciences” would lead to this?

      Everyone, but, alas, the majority of people and certainly the majority of academics approved.