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Researchers Find a 'Liberal Gene'

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the let-the-flame-war-begin dept.

Science 841

An anonymous reader writes "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 predisposes people to certain political views."

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Oh, just great (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047724)

Now "they" will be able to make a drug to counter-act the receptor and cure liberalness. Just what we need, a pharmacated electorate.

Re:Oh, just great (4, Funny)

vlnc (211067) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047756)

after reading the title, that is exactly what i was hoping for.

Re:Oh, just great (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047924)

Maybe they'll use it to create a gene therapy to cure conservatism instead?

Seriously, it's good to have both sides of the coin, because BOTH sides have made a lot of mistakes. Liberals move us forward to try new things, and keep us from falling into some of the traps conservatives seem to favor, and have a flexible/adaptable position. Conservatives keep us from moving to fast, or doing too much of the leap-before-you look, and drop-old-start-new plan before the old plan is done, senselessness that you can see with liberals.

Hmm... Criticism of both. I think that I shall be well flamed now.

Re:Oh, just great (3, Interesting)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047968)

Actually, I remember reading (forgot the name of the specific book) that being liberal or conservative has roots in our evolutionary history. So if this news is absolutely true, it would lend credit to that said theory. As far as a personal opinion, I would think so, being either is influence not just by nurture but by nature as well(if not more nature then nurture).

Re:Oh, just great (2)

thechemic (1329333) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048064)

I dont think they'll use it to cure conservatism. Rather, they will likely build a national database of political dispositions so that governments can quickly identify political opponents for other "cures" to their problems.

Re:Oh, just great (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048166)

Maybe they'll use it to create a gene therapy to cure conservatism instead?

TFA is firewalled off here (it feels like China... or Soviet Russia). Ten year old PC crawling along at a snail's pace on XP... The only thing good about it is it makes my netbook feel like a supercomputer. I think the head of IT here must need this therapy.

But Google found the story [nbcsandiego.com] for me.

According to scientists at UC San Diego and Harvard University, "ideology is affected not just by social factors, but also by a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4." That and how many friends you had during high school.

Hmmm... that explains the conservative, (actually, downright selfish and power hungry, which "conservative" is a euphemism for) bent you see at slashdot so often.

It does stand to reason that more social people are going to be liberal. Of course, the conservatives are going to say "dopamine! Liberals are dopes! They're all on DRUGS!"

Does anybody have a link to the actual study? TFA I found is weak on details.

Re:Oh, just great (2, Interesting)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047764)

Look at the sales figures for Prozac and its ilk. We've already got a pharmacated electorate.

Re:Oh, just great (2, Funny)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047928)

Don't forget John McCain and his 'little blue pill'
just what I needed, a visual of an old man with a boner

Re:Oh, just great (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048052)

Incoming ads to "Enlarge your Liberal Penis"...

Re:Oh, just great (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048074)

You take the blue pill and the story ends.
You wake in your bed with nausea, insomnia, somnolence, anorexia, anxiety, nervousness, asthenia, tremors and reduced libido.
You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

Re:Oh, just great (3, Interesting)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047874)

Now "they" will be able to make a drug to counter-act the receptor and cure liberalness. Just what we need, a pharmacated electorate.

Ever heard of medicine that will numb your feelings? That cure that bleeding heart, so to speak? They're way ahead of you...

Seriously, though: Prozac and the like are a life-saver for some people, while being too liberally prescribed to other people.

And another point: Once one is thoroughly indoctrinated in the liberal/socialist or whatever morals, one doesn't need to feel liberal feelings to do the right thing. One can think liberal thoughts without feeling.

I was once prescribed such meds. While the SSRI:s took away my feelings, I didn't feel emotionally about anything, I could still think the "liberal" thoughts I had learned to feel and think during my life. The SSRI:s also took away my fear and care for consequences (maybe they weren't a perfect fit for me?), so I'd often go into 7-11 to steal stacks of ready made meals that I distributed to homeless drug addicts.

In hindsight, that wasn't very clever and I'm glad I didn't get into trouble.

   

A circular process? (3, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047998)

The SSRI:s also took away my fear and care for consequences (maybe they weren't a perfect fit for me?), so I'd often go into 7-11 to steal stacks of ready made meals that I distributed to homeless drug addicts.

The funny thing is that if those homeless were addicted to the same SSRI:s that made you steal it would create a positive-feedback system...

Seriously, maybe your "liberal" thoughts weren't too precise to begin with. Perhaps the solution to homelessness caused by drug addiction should be to cure the addiction instead of feeding the homeless.

To cure the addiction, the "conservative" way would be to punish drug addicts enough that no one would dare to try to use drugs. The "scientific" way would be to find what happens inside the brain that causes some people to become addicted to drugs.

Re:Oh, just great (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048116)

Seriously, though: Prozac and the like are a life-saver for some people, while being too liberally prescribed to other people.

Alternately, while Prozac and the like are life-savers for some people, they are too liberally prescribed period. Not seeing the advantage to society in evolving to become more depressed.

So... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047922)

Now we know which defect causes liberalism. When will we discover the defect that causes conservatism? It'd be great to find a cure for both.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047976)

Individualism rather than collectivism will cure both.

Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (1, Flamebait)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047730)

We're better off if we can encourage rationality rather than a predisposed propensity toward any specific political views.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047760)

We're better off if we can encourage rationality rather than a predisposed propensity toward any specific political views.

Who says that rationality isn't the trait that the gene expresses, and the political view is simply an inevitable consequence of that?

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (1)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047774)

That would be easy to test.  Give a logical reasoning test to subjects and correlate with political affiliation.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047800)

Maybe the rationality only applies to political decisions?

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (4, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047890)

No dice. Most political differences are a result of disagreement of premises, not conclusions. No amount of formal logic is going to help that.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047960)

My God, I wish I had mod points.

That post needs a good +5 insightful.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (0, Troll)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048008)

There is an even easier way to do just that
Give two people a bag of candy, one a liberal & the other a conservative
put them both into a room full of children
the liberal will gladly give their candy away to the children & the conservative will take the candy away from the little ones and hoard as much as they can get

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047780)

mainly because liberals are just as rational as conservatives. The idea of centralism is long gone, all you've got left are extremists on both sides.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (1)

ROMRIX (912502) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047802)

Please... now you're just being silly.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047864)

Because rationality is about how you come to your conclusions, not what they are. Predisposition towards a type of solution is not as rational as evaluation of all solutions followed by picking the best. Someone who is predisposed to a view that is the best in every single scenario is just lucky, not rational.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (0, Flamebait)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047904)

Who says that rationality isn't the trait that the gene expresses, and the political view is simply an inevitable consequence of that?

I don't know who says it isn't. But I do know only a liberal would say that it is.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (3, Informative)

Rijnzael (1294596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047778)

Supposedly, intelligence correlates strongly with liberal tendencies [sciencedaily.com] . Somehow I don't think we should all persistently imbibe to see if we can fix that little problem. The same applies to "curing" liberalism, as you put it.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (3, Insightful)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047886)

Who gets to define "intelligence?"

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34048084)

Sure, there might be clear cultural bias in IQ tests and many intelligent people are not exactly ... smart, socially, at least, but in the western cultural frame and if we disregard social skills, how would you define intelligence in a way that flips the IQ scale?

Define "Liberalism" (4, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047914)

Everybody is acting like everyone's definition of "Liberal" is the same or the definition of "Conservative" for that matter.

What's "Liberal"?

What about moderates? Do they only have a "Liberal" gene from one parent?

I mean come on, this "study" reeks.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047936)

Intelligence also correlates strongly with attending a four-year university, and universities are generally thought of as being "liberal" institutions. Not saying this is the definite cause of a certain way of thinking, just pointing out there are other possible explanations for the observed trend.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (2, Informative)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048046)

Young adults who subjectively identify themselves as "very liberal" have an average IQ of 106 during adolescence while those who identify themselves as "very conservative" have an average IQ of 95 during adolescence.

Except it holds true even before university.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (1)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048060)

And success correlates strongly with Conservative tendencies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_ideologies_in_the_United_States

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34048062)

According to a liberal study, liberal tendencies and atheism correlate with intelligence! Maybe next we'll be hearing that tobacco company scientists are claiming that smoking doesn't cause cancer. What's the difference between "Hey! Vote for me! You'll look smarter!" and "Hey! Smoke three packs a day! You'll look cooler!"? Both are dangerous, only the first choice can damage the entire country, but the second is only harmful to you and the people in your immediate vicinity. But since you don't seem to know how to discern advertising techniques and propaganda from real facts, maybe you're one of those liberals on the lower side of the bell curve.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047888)

The "cure" for liberalism is exactly the same as the "cure" for conservatism: elect a lot of it and wait a few years for the electorate to "cure" themselves.

Re:Whew... So there is hope for a cure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34048006)

also, watch in horror as the general public insists that the party in power has caused all their major problems, even after they switch the parties back and forth a few times without any real improvement.

Are you listening to what you are saying? (2, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048034)

If you're asking for a cure, you already are leaning towards a particular view. Your statement of a "cure" is just you stating that you feel people of a particular persuasion need to be "fixed".

So... I guess this means (0, Troll)

ROMRIX (912502) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047740)

Liberalism is a socially transmitted disease?

Re:So... I guess this means (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047814)

What is liberal? conservative ?

Where's the gene that makes people believe (2, Funny)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047746)

in the bat-sh*t crazy Glen Becks of the world?

That's got to be deserving of enough research to find a cure. (As best we can tell, about 25% of American people are afflicted.)

Re:Where's the gene that makes people believe (1)

ROMRIX (912502) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047766)

You're selling us short, more like 65%
You Sir are the minority.

Re:Where's the gene that makes people believe (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047798)

If 65% of the American Public believed Glen Beck, they'd have started a civil war by now.

Re:Where's the gene that makes people believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047880)

I've never heard him call for that..
I see, you must listen to NPR instead.

Re:Where's the gene that makes people believe (1, Flamebait)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048040)

>>If 65% of the American Public believed Glen Beck, they'd have started a civil war by now.

Because he called for a civil war? Or are you just repeating what you think he said? I'm curious why you believe that, other than typical DRD4 soft-headedness.

He's pretty much opposed to violent overthrows of anything (except the British Empire, I guess). Beck that that if Broden's comments were in context, he'd "campaign against him", even though he knew the guy.

This is why it's important to read both left-wing and right-wing news, case in point.

Re:Where's the gene that makes people believe (2, Interesting)

Rijnzael (1294596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047806)

It's the same gene that makes people loud, manipulative and greedy. So naturally, research should begin with politicians.

Re:Where's the gene that makes people believe (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047820)

There's very little liberalism in the US. The popular use of that word there is a misnomer.

Yay! (0, Troll)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047754)

So all I have to do is have this gene ripped out of my DNA and I can think clearly like a proper conservative? I was getting tired of caring about human rights and freedom.

Re:Yay! (3, Informative)

wed128 (722152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047942)

That's actually kind of offensive. The liberals in this country have done most of the freedom-damaging legislating in this country. Big government etc.

The conservative base is about all we have protecting our freedom at this point.

Re:Yay! (5, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048002)

I disagree. Americans' freedom is best protected by deadlock between the purported liberals and the purported conservatives.

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34048024)

Mmm, so things like the Patriot Act and the GOP's largest expansion of government in our history were ... conservative freedom initiatives? Who knew?

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34048122)

The patriot act, brought to you by the liberals! Wait what?

The Knife Cuts Both Ways (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048028)

So all I have to do is have this gene ripped out of my DNA and I can think clearly like a proper conservative?

Gene's don't get "ripped out" you would have to hope they are able to develop a gene therapy treatment. Also, I'm no biologist but I think that's only good for gene insertion not deletion and on top of that I believe they have to develop a specific way to do each gene if they can.

But, come on, this discovery could be used for bad by either crazy extreme. What if extremely liberal parents got samples during the first trimester from the embryo/fetus to check if it has the gene and abort it if it doesn't? What if they use gene therapy to have the gene added to their children via a virus vector? What if super crazy liberals created a virus that did this and tried to create a cold or flu epidemic that also left you a little less conservative?

I'm a moderate liberal in my views but I'm not ignorant to just how crazy either side can get. I think this gene research is interesting and I hope that ethical guidelines and standards are established so that in the future when genes related to Alzheimer's and schizophrenia are found, they can be classified as "okay" to treat while genes related to things like political affiliation or personality are protected and left intact.

Hm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047758)

So conservatives don't have any friends?

'Liberal' Gene? (2, Insightful)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047770)

What's wrong with calling it the 'Conservative Gene'? I'm sure it would have been if it had been discovered anywhere between 2 and 10 years ago.

So... with gene therapy, or appropriate drugs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047772)

...our New Political Overlords can "therapize" us into the correct ideology? Medicalize a differing viewpoint, and treat the opposition out of existence from kindergarten. Attention Deficit Republican Disorder, anyone? Or get vaccinated against Democratism.

Re:So... with gene therapy, or appropriate drugs.. (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047956)

Medicalize...sounds like a bush word. They've already gotten to you!

Re:So... with gene therapy, or appropriate drugs.. (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048090)

Invasion of the Policy Snatchers.

Or was it just a dream?

And an absence predisposes you to conservativism? (2, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047784)

As we know, there are only two political viewpoints: right and wrong or, depending on your genetics, left and wrong.

The reason that I'm going to call bullshit on this is that empirically "lefties" tend to become "righties" through age or experience. A liberal is just a conservative who hasn't been mugged yet.

Re:And an absence predisposes you to conservativis (3, Insightful)

Obyron (615547) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047906)

I'm sorry, but if we were all going to stop caring about civil liberties and human rights the first time we ran into an asshole, we'd have stopped being liberals the first time we met a conservative. What I find far more likely from your "age or experience" qualification is that some liberals get a degree of success in life, or get old enough to have accumulated some wealth, and they begin covering their own asses. This is alternately called human nature or selling out, depending on whether you're the one doing it or not. Also add in the fact that older people tend to become less zealous about their ideology. Consider phrases like, "Not as young as I used to be," or "too old to fight."

Anyway, you and I both know this research is bullshit, so let's all get our jokes in. These pukes needed a splashy tag line so they could justify their funding, and they came up with "the liberal gene." This gene doesn't determine your political views any more than one gene determines whether or not you'll be smart. We're not even sure if there's a "gay" gene, and now these guys are so sure they've found a "supports gay marriage" gene? This stuff cheapens science.

Re:And an absence predisposes you to conservativis (3, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048098)

I'm sorry, but if we were all going to stop caring about civil liberties and human rights the first time we ran into an asshole, we'd have stopped being liberals the first time we met a conservative.

So how long did it take for the Liberals to convince you that only they care about civil liberties and human rights?

Re:And an absence predisposes you to conservativis (4, Insightful)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048102)

I find your premise that conservatives don't care about civil liberties or human rights -- that only liberals care about such things -- laughably pathetic and ill-informed.

Re:And an absence predisposes you to conservativis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34048114)

Tagged troll forwhy?! Insightful, surely.

Fear and hoplessness? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048170)

So conservatives are just frightened bully victims? Maybe that explains a bit. The people who are liberal and have the gene had friends in adolescence which may have protected them from bullies.

so Conservatives are missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047786)

Liberals have the gene and Conservatives don't? I knew they were missing something.

New Minority Anyone? (1)

Quantus347 (1220456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047788)

If its a genetic trait, shouldn't that make liberals as a group a race minority or something? Thus the same race protection Laws should apply, right? It makes that stomping incident a hate crime! And as long as there isn't a "conservative gene" as well, then it makes the Republicans a Supremacy group! See where this is going...?

Re:New Minority Anyone? (2, Insightful)

wed128 (722152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047972)

Republican != Conservative.

There is a huge overlap, but there are liberal republicans (just like there are conservative democrats).

Vote for... (0, Offtopic)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047790)

CHANGE

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.

Instead of a cure (-1, Troll)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047808)

Barrack Hussein Obama will fund research into making this "gene" a required thing to place into everyone, and turn the entire country into a bunch of spineless wimps, as to make it easier for him to put his anti-capitalist pro statist/socialist agenda into place.

Re:Instead of a cure (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047838)

You may not have the liberal gene, but you sure have paranoid schizophrenia.

Is it just me... (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047816)

Or does it seem like the latest trend is to find a genetic cause for everything - the Nature vs Nurture pendulum is swinging back to Nature in the popular press?

Looking at this another way: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047826)

So researchers found that lacking a particular gene screws up brain chemistry causing unwillingness to learn about and evaluate political views other than those held by their local religious authority, which eventually leads to conservatism. Wouldn't be the first disease caused by this sort of thing, but this seems to be particularly harmful and widespread (at least in my country).

Re:Looking at this another way: (3, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048070)

I have friends that self-identify from socialist to religiously conservative to libertarian. I even have openly gay friends. I do not attend church. I voted for Bush and refer to myself as conservative. I am also getting a MA in Political Science. Not every conservative is a close-minded, uneducated religious fanatic. There are many of us out there who have examined both ideologies and have found that the conservative camp is closest to our beliefs. We feel that our money is our money, and-except for what the government needs to provide ESSENTIAL functions of a government, ie defense, infrastructure, and administration- should be left with us to spend as we see fit. No redistribution of wealth, up or down. Everyone should pay their fair share, the poor, the rich, and those in between. We are out there, we are slowly getting our voices heard, and as much as the Tea Partiers and the Glenn Becks and the Rush Limbaughs would like to subvert our message and supplant it with fanatics, we will get our shot. Please, do not lump all conservatives together. Many of us are very open minded and can think for ourselves.

Conservative Gene (1)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047830)

This suggests that a conservative gene exists. If so, how do we identify it and remove it entirely?

Re:Conservative Gene (1)

ROMRIX (912502) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047896)

It's the same gene, you just have to avoid schools like, University of California, San Diego, and Harvard University as mentioned in TFA.

Is Everyone at Trellon a Bigot? (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048016)

Or just you?

See, I'm not sure that posting narrow-minded, borderline-violent comments on a popular tech message board like Slashdot and providing a link to your employer's homepage is regarded as one of the "Marketing Best Practices" at Harvard Business School.

I could be wrong, though...

Conservatives with freinds defective? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048088)

Not really, it could just mean that conservatives who had friends as adolescents are genetically defective ;-)

Finally (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047854)

Now that the cause has been found, maybe a cure is within sight

can we have a marriage license test for this? (1)

cindyann (1916572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047858)

If we add this to the blood test that many states require for a marriage license maybe we could eliminate all those husband and wife pairs who cancel out each others' votes.

Which Liberal? (1)

liposuction (176349) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047892)

"Liberal" as in all men want to be free to choose their own path?

Or did you mean "Liberal" as in everyone else should pay for my well-being?

Re:Which Liberal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047908)

They gave up on the first one. Sometimes they still call it classical liberalism but mostly just libertarianism.

Rather, the STUPID GENE accounts for Republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047898)

Man, they are just plain stupid.

Retrovirus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047910)

This gene would be perfect to incorporate in my new retrovirus.

Solution to the voting machine problem (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047926)

Now you just leave a semen sample on the ballot, I for one look forward to voting now!

Miranda... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047954)

I aim to misbehave.

there is a cure for it (0, Flamebait)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047958)

A young teenage girl was about to finish her first year of college. She considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat but her father was a rather staunch Republican.

One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to taxes and welfare programs. He stopped her and asked her how she was doing in school.

She answered that she had a 4.0 GPA but it was really tough. She had to study all the time, and she never had time to go out and party. She didn't have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because of spending all her time studying.

He asked, "How is your friend Mary?" She replied that Mary was barely getting by. She had a 2.0 GPA and never studied. She was very popular on campus and went to parties all the time. She often didn't show up for classes because she was hung over.

Dad then asked his daughter why she didn't go to the Dean's office and have 1.0 taken off her 4.0 and give it to her friend with the 2.0. That way they would both have a 3.0 GPA.

The daughter angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair! I worked really hard for mine and Mary has done nothing."

The father slowly smiled and said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

Hmmm... (5, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048128)

I seem to recall hearing of a certain young republican who went to an Ivy League school and partied through his undergraduate on his father's dime (and reputation). He pulled pretty lackluster grades, really nothing to be proud of at all considering he wasn't working at the time and had nothing else that he needed to do beyond school. He then went to another Ivy League school afterwards for an MBA, also on his father's dime and reputation. He was known for using drugs and alcohol during those times as well, and didn't get particularly good grades as an MBA student either.

He then attempted to run a few businesses, with some assistance from his dad at getting in to those businesses. Most of those, he ran into the ground (including a petroleum company in a petroleum-rich state when petroleum was only continuing to gain in value).

So what ever happened to this young republican? He decided to follow his dad into politics. There he also couldn't get far without his dad's help; eventually being appointed president of the united states by some of his dad's close friends.

Don't tell us republicans don't get hand-outs.

Re:there is a cure for it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34048150)

Cool strawman, bro.

Liberalism is genetic... (1)

Adolf Hipster (1486687) | more than 3 years ago | (#34047966)

Conservativism is a mental illness.

You mean liberal "allele"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34047992)

Didn't RTFA, but based on summary it seems, that a specific allele of this gene predisposes people to liberal views. Thus also conservative "allele" has been found since lack of this liberal allele obviously predisposes people to non liberal ways. Perhaps the best way to put it is to say that political views "locus" has been found?

Their findings for conservatives (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34048004)

They also discovered that conservatives have an extra chromosome [wikipedia.org] .

Here's a guarantee (1, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048014)

I will be willing to bet your next paycheck that the same folks who will now exclaim, "See! It's in their genes! I told you there was something wrong with liberals!" will be the same people who will deny there is a gay gene (or genes).

It's always funny to see people who deny that people are the way they are because of their genes, yet when it is shown that a person has a predisposition to something because of their genes, then it's suddenly science proving them right.

Flame away.

Sample size too small? (1)

swilver (617741) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048018)

There's a lot of genes. What are the chances of finding a gene that happens to match the political views of those tested given a sample size?

the 'journal of politics' ???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34048032)

First off, since when did politics enter the world of science? Yaayaya.. yadda yadda ..'Poly Sci 101' .. which revealed to be merely 'applied statistics and a how-to manipulate voting' .. Science? i think not!

Now, a meatier thing: just how did the manage the 'controls' in this pseudo-experiment? Off hand, i'd say its impossible to do so .

but then, statisticians have come up with wilder ideas ... Wasnt the 'bumblebee cant fly' one of their concoctions?

and where is the impetus for discovering the Conservative gene ??? Is it next to the Hitler telomere?

How about the 'Trickle-down Theory of Taxation'?? I'm sure the stats guys were part of THAT fiction!
Shall we continue?? .. how about the 'economics of the Iraqi war???? The Pentagon surely had a company of gold-encrusted epulette-wearing upper echelon math-types who proved to Bush that 'it'll pay for itself'!!

I'm waiting for that first check written to the American people!

Soon abortion clinics will become mainstream :/ (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048076)

At the fertility clinic:
Mom: Damn it!! thats the third democrat. Whatch your aiming!

Not A "Liberal Gene" (3, Insightful)

careysub (976506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048086)

The gene in question does not "make someone liberal". It is a gene that promotes novelty seeking, and leads to many wide ranging friendships in adolescence, resulting in exposure to many points of view, and this predisposes one to be liberal as an adult (this is all in the TA).

Without the 'wide ranging friendships in adolescence' there is no effect. It is the life experience of being open to other points of view, the additional knowledge gained, that makes you more likely to be liberal.

For the conservatives here crowing nonsense about "curing liberalism", perhaps the fact that absence of this gene promotes the opposite - fewer friends and ignorance of other points of view - should make one be less enthused with this finding. Unless, of course "closed mindedness" is considered a conservative virtue.

'liberal gene' anything like an 'empathy gene'? (1)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048132)

I have to wonder if the 'liberal gene' isn't also something along the lines of a 'empathy gene.' I don't mean this purely in the virtuous sense. Empathy can be paralyzing and, if taken to extremes, make for some pretty bad law. The caricatures of the effete liberal too afraid to hurt someone's creativity or wound someone's feelings are all tied to an excess of empathy. Conservatives seem to think that people who are bad off just deserved it. Well, unless it's *them,* in which case the liberals killed their inner John Galt.

Active Social Life is Key (2, Informative)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048144)

"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."

In other words, they had friends and fun times growing up which leads them to be adventurous and outgoing.

Daniel van Ham Colchete (1)

danielcolchete (1088383) | more than 3 years ago | (#34048164)

I would like to point out that this research didn`t find a causality. To do that one would have to get 2000 new borns, turn that gene on for half and off for the other half. Watch them for 50ish years and them come to that conclusion. So, what we have here is a correlation. It doesn`t exclude other types of root causes like: you will very likely have political views similar to your parent`s. Of course this is not the issue here, but unless a causality is determined the research didn`t rule the rest out.
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