As well he shouldn’t be. An op-ed in the Deep Statesville Intelligence claims,
Given how natural selection works, it’s entirely possible that an aversion to evolutionary explanations is in itself a product of evolution. In a hostile environment, wouldn’t a belief in selfdetermination be adaptive? But no matter, the point is that anti-evolutionary bias makes rational discussion of the human race far more difficult …
The fact that political opinion is rooted to some degree in our genes and biology means that both liberalism and conservatism may be adaptive traits that got passed down through thousands of human generations because they helped us survive. But another trait that is clearly adaptive is our ability to get along. Political arguments may rage within families, communities and even nations, yet they only rarely threaten the cohesion of the group. On some level, humans seem to understand that differences of opinion are unpleasant but splitting up may be even more unpleasant — or downright dangerous. Humans don’t survive alone in nature.Sebastian Junger, “Our politics are in our DNA” at Washington Post
Like Freud, he’s irrefutable on his own terms. Coyne responds,
First of all, political opinion (or its ancestral equivalent) need not have been selected for directly: they may be “spandrels”—byproducts of differences in brain structure subject to selection for other reasons. Or they could reflect genetic differences that persist but weren’t subject to natural selection at all—they could have been “neutral” traits. After all, do we know whether there was a correlation in our ancestors between political opinion and reproductive output? I don’t think so!
Another problem is why, if the traits persisted because they were adaptive, both liberal genes and conservative genes persisted over aeons? Wouldn’t one worldview be more adaptive than the other, and take over? Only special kinds of natural selection (for the cognoscenti, “frequency-dependent selection” or “balancing selection”), can maintain several forms of a gene in a population.
Junger even suggests some kind of group selection here: politically diverse groups lasted longer, or disappeared less often, than did politically homogeneous groups.
But there’s no evidence for any of these forms of selection; it’s all speculation.Jerry Coyne, “Are our political views encoded by our DNA?” at Why Evolution Is True
Yes, Jerry, it’s all speculation. Fetch that man a soda!
But now, the question is, why this specific lot of guff just now? This kind of stuff is always floated for a reason.
See also: Jerry Coyne doesn’t like Science Uprising
Jerry Coyne is already mad at Marcos Eberlin
Jerry Coyne Blocked On WordPress In Pakistan It’s somewhat like blaspheming against Darwin by airing doubts about his theories in the American school system. But in Pakistan, the death penalty is involved.
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