Saturday, March 29, 2008

Born with a left wing

It has been well established in the scientific community thus far that an individual’s appearance plays only a part within genetic inheritance. However, many scientists are now proposing that a person’s political stance is also influenced within the individual’s genes.

This outlandish idea is not too farfetched when considering that politics is largely based on personality. Numerous investigations suggest that certain genes are linked to the individuals accepting capacity. James fowler, a political scientist and Ira Carmen, of the University of Illinois individually proposed that the genes; 5HTT and MAOA, and also D4DR respectfully, interact with levels of neurotransmitters in the brain to effect whether a person is ultimately right or left-winged. Democrat MP Matthew Taylor; great-grandson of an MP, agrees, "If I were to guess I would say that I have inherited the characteristics of wanting to get up and argue my case."

This opinion is furthered by a neuroscientist, David Amodio and his 2007 work with mental resistance relating to an individuals genetic habit. The results showed that conservatives had less brain activity then liberals when resisting the habit. Amodio believes this reflects personality traits; care, sociability and openness and thus their political make-up associated with these qualities.

Support for this theory is continuing to emerge with further research such as the study of differing political views between identical and non-identical twins. Dr John Hibbing exposed that the percentage of identical twins giving the same answer significantly outweighed the fraternal twins’ correlation, "What we are trying to establish is whether people who share some similar characteristics in their DNA also share a particular political trait." Hibbing deduced that the political views would therefore be imprinted in their genes.

This research is proving controversial within the scientific community with many proposing that political stance is largely indoctrinated. Hibbing agrees to an extent, "We still say that at least half of our political beliefs are still influenced by our environment."
Posted by: Bianca Gormley
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