Creation of the Liberal Gene
Preface by Edward C. Garriepy Jr. | MWFH’s Contributor
In the beginning, millions of years ago, it swam through the murky waters of the primordial soup that was earth. It was happy here in this swampy environment. But it began to notice how crowded and over populated it’s home had become. So it began it’s quest for a better life, to be rid of the others, to have a place all of it’s own, where it could make it’s own rules, and rules for others, a utopia.
One day after a millenium or so, it saw light above. Swimming furiously against the current , it desperately made it’s way toward the light, and at last, pierced the surface. Taking a deep breath of the clean air, it crawled through the mud, and weary from it’s journey, rolled on to it’s back in relief.
And while gazing at the sky above, the most amazing thing happened. It’s flippers that once propelled it through the waters, began to turn into limbs. And upon those limbs hair began to grow. It raised what now had become a hand in front of it’s face and twiddled it’s fingers and chuckled to itself noticing the opposable thumb. It could accomplish a lot with that it thought.
Delighted by the new circumstances it found itself in, it quickly rose to it’s feet ,and gazed across the vast oceans of Earth, and feeling the warmth of the sun on it’s face, it was content. After time, it turned around to begin it’s new life on land, only to find a mysterious figure before it.
Startled by the figure’s presence it stared intently upon this being, the visage of the figure, kind and inviting. “Who are you” it asked.
“I am Adam” the being replied.
Confused and bewildered it spoke again. “How did you get here?”
Adam once again replied, ” My father put me here.”
“So you didn’t swim here” it asked.
“Nope” said Adam flatly.
Taken aback from this response as it had no concept of this, it asked again. “Father? who is this father?”
Adam smiled warmly and said, “He is God.”
It began to feel a slight pain in what now had become a brain, realizing it’s own confusion was causing discomfort, and it did not like this feeling. Gritting it’s teeth, anger began to well up, an emotion it had never known until now it asked, “And this God, who is he?”
Smiling again Adam responded, ” He is our creator, the giver of life, the father of us all.”
Now it was really pissed, as it noticed the differences between itself and Adam, and it screamed in anger, ” If God is the father of you and I, then why were you made with such perfection, and I on the other hand am hairy and dull witted?
With a smirk Adam replied, ” because God created me in the image of himself.”
And turning to walk away, looking over his shoulder laughing Adam said, ” God made you a liberal, sucks to be you.”
Researchers find a ‘liberal gene’
Liberals may owe their political outlook partly to their genetic make-up, according to new research from the University of California, San Diego, and Harvard University. Ideology is affected not just by social factors, but also by a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4. The study’s authors say this is the first research to identify a specific gene that specific geneto certain political views.
Appearing in the latest edition of The Journal of Politics published by Cambridge University Press, the research focused on 2,000 subjects from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. By matching genetic information with maps of the subjects’ social networks, the researchers were able to show that people with a specific variant of the DRD4 gene were more likely to be liberal as adults, but only if they had an active social life in adolescence.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter affecting brain processes that control movement, emotional response, and ability to experience pleasure and pain. Previous research has identified a connection between a variant of this gene and novelty-seeking behavior, and this behavior has previously been associated with personality traits related to political liberalism.
Lead researcher James H. Fowler of UC San Diego and his colleagues hypothesized that people with the novelty-seeking gene variant would be more interested in learning about their friends’ points of view. As a consequence, people with this genetic predisposition who have a greater-than-average number of friends would be exposed to a wider variety of social norms and lifestyles, which might make them more liberal than average. They reported that “it is the crucial interaction of two factors – the genetic predisposition and the environmental condition of having many friends in adolescence – that is associated with being more liberal.” The research team also showed that this held true independent of ethnicity, culture, sex or age.