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TODAY APRIL 30, 2017

Political preferences can be influenced by genes

Thomas Edsall recently provided a characteristically smart and meaty introduction to “genopolitics" (see: He quotes several prominent participants in academic debates regarding the scientific merits of genetic explanations of political attitudes and behavior, including John Alford, Evan Charney, William English, James Fowler, Peter Hatemi, John Hibbing, and Darren Schreiber.

One of the most prolific doubters of bio-politics research, Evan Charney, offered the following assessment of the ‘So What?’ question is his 2008 critique in Perspectives on Politics :

"The claim of Alford, Funk, and Hibbing is indeed astonishing, because if true, it would require nothing less than a revision of our understanding of all of human history, much, if not most of political science, sociology, anthropology, and psychology, as well as, perhaps, our understanding of what it means to be human."

I don’t agree with everything Charney writes, but to my mind he knocks the ‘So What?’ question out of the park.
Anyone interested in a slightly longer answer to the question might consider reading Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences, Routledge Books, 2013.

Hibbing, Alford and Smith have a PREDISPOSED blog at Psychology Today too --

T. K. Hartman:
Hibbing, Alford, and Funk's (2005) original article on genetics and politics was interesting in that it suggested that some of our political orientations are the product of personality traits (i.e., genes).

Political preferences can be influenced by genes

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