Intelligent Design

The Cure for the Liberal Gene

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Titus Lucretius CarusIt is all over the news, “Scientists discover Liberal Gene!”  All my colleagues had the same question, “Does that mean there is a cure?”

This is a serious question, and one that has wide repercussions. If there is a gene for homosexuality, then that means it can’t be cured, right? And groups such as Exodus Intl, which specialize in curing it, are acting contrary to nature, as is the DSM (prior to IV edition) which recommended a cure. Of course, Darwin would be spinning in his grave if someone had told him that sterilization could be an inherited trait. Nevertheless, if by some rationale (which merely demonstrates just how infinitely flexible is the Darwinian faith) we could find a gene for some social characteristic, then of course that characteristic becomes a given, a destiny, a fatalism without remorse. Such as the “belief in God” gene.

But wait! We’ve also been told that there exists gene therapy, the ability to repair poorly inherited genes. Even if it is hard-wired, especially if it is hard-wired, we can repair our mistaken theism, our mistaken homosexuality, even our mistaken liberality! We are masters of our own fate, captains of our soul. So we can actually choose which fate we want, which no doubt is another “choosing” gene…

Passing over the solipsism of blaming behaviors on genes, the curious result about liberal genes was predicted some 2050 years ago by Titus Lucretius Carus.

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3 Replies to “The Cure for the Liberal Gene

  1. 1
    Heinrich says:

    It’s perhaps no surprise that the original paper isn’t so clear-cut. First, the effect is no all or nothing. From the paper:

    Holding all else constant, for people who have two copies of the allele, an increase in number of friendships from zero to ten friends is associated with increasing ideology in the liberal direction by about 40% of a category on our five-category scale. In other words, 10 friends can move a person with two copies of the 7R allele almost halfway from being conservative to moderate or from being moderate to liberal.

    Ten friends is the range of data (see the supplementary appendix), so this means that the maximum effect is to change half a category, and for many individuals the effect will be less.

    Second, Mr. Sheldon comes out with this wonderful claim:

    I do believe that in the 21st century the words “socially active” are a euphemism for “non-virgin”.

    Now, that may be true in his social circles, but “sexually active” would be a better term to use. In addition, there’s a whole section motivating the use of friendship in the study, with nary a mention of sexual relationships: it simply isn’t considered. In addition, the data are presented as the number of friends, not the sexual partners.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    I’ve heard once that one way to turn a liberal into a conservative is to make him/her move out of the house and get a job. 🙂

  3. 3
    AMW says:

    Of course, Darwin would be spinning in his grave if someone had told him that sterilization could be an inherited trait.

    Nah, I’m pretty sure Darwin knew about the honey bee. And the ant.

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