[ExI] Physics versus psychology

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Fri Oct 29 16:06:22 UTC 2010

On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 4:10 PM, spike wrote:
> Ja I felt a little slighted by that too.  Where's the libertarian gene?
> Shouldn't there be a capitalist gene?  I think they took undue liberties in
> naming it.  I wouldn't be surprised if it started as kind of an inside joke,
> like calling cosmological inflation theories "big bang" but the name stuck.

One of these nit-picking scientist types has spoiled all the fun, But
there are loads of nice 'science' jokes int he comments.  :)


As is often the way, this is not a straight nature-and-nurture divide:
people genetically predisposed by the DRD4-7R variant to seek out
novelty will tend (statistically) to have more varied friends, and
people who have more and more varied circles of friends tend to be
more liberal politically. It is a complex interplay of genes and
environment, as it always is. Geneticists are always wary of the
phrase “the gene for” in relation to a complex behavioural trait.

Further, it’s not a large effect. “While our finding is statistically
significant, the strength of the association is quite small”, warn the
researchers: thousands of other factors, genetic and environmental,
will also play a part.

Doctors have said that at some point in the near future testing can be
done on a fetus to alert parents if their child is a carrier. Liberal
politicians worry that testing children in the womb for the liberal
gene may result in a decrease of their voter base through an increase
of abortions of liberal babies. Democrats in Congress are taking steps
to pre-emptively outlaw abortion nationwide.

Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, "I think I've lost an
electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes,
I'm positive".


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