The Eugene McCarthy Gene: Scientists Say DRD4 Drives Ideology

The nature or nurture debate may be over for liberals: scientists have isolated what they believe to be the “liberal gene.” Yes, that’s right. Researchers believe that DRD4 affects people’s ideology. It is ironic that Republicans who oppose evolution may have an evolutionary reason for their position. Of course, this is assuming that people are evolving toward the liberal gene like the fully opposable thumb.

You now know why you feel that need to pledge to NPR, attend Earth Day events, and watch Countdown and Rachel Maddow. It is not your fault. It is in your genes.

The scientists isolated DRD4 on the double-helix of a DNA strand to reach their conclusions. It was not hard to find it was the gene: it was wearing Birkenstocks, a hemp-made shirt, and trying to “really understand” what the other genes were experiencing.

What is clear from President Obama’s positions on torture, privacy, and gay rights is that it is also clearly a recessive gene for some.

Lead researcher James H. Fowler, a professor of both medical genetics and political science at the University of California, San Diego says “[t]he way openness is measured, it’s really about receptivity to different lifestyles, for example, or different norms or customs. . . . We hypothesize that individuals with a genetic predisposition toward seeking out new experiences [a measure of openness] will tend to be more liberal.”

While some may challenge that as a bit of a stretch, my concern is ideologically designed babies. Of course, since opposition to stem cell research and biogenetics is part of the belief structure for some conservatives, they are the least likely to ask for DRD4 to be removed from embryos. However, what of those pesky biogenetic loving libs? Could Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi be working at this very time on an army of test-tube liberal babies? Learn the answer on the next Glenn Beck Show.

Source: NBC

Jonathan Turley

111 thoughts on “The Eugene McCarthy Gene: Scientists Say DRD4 Drives Ideology”

  1. Byron,

    My freezers are full of deer (one and a half whitetails and half a muley)and a good sized antelope doe, so no need to kill an elk. I actually like Whitetail better than Elk, but that’s just me.

    It’s a weighted lottery system in CO unless you want to hunt in an unit that doesn’t get a lot of action, then there’s usually left over tickets.

  2. No Tony, it’s weighting based on background of the opinionater in evaluation of the systems in question.

    Or do you go to your mechanic for a hear cath? Listen, if we have a question that comes up regarding being a research scientist, I’ll defer to your opinion, until then it’s not an appeal to my own authority to simply point out that the problem is being presented by both someone with specifically appropriate training and experience and an interested layman.

    I stated why I thought you were wrong.

    You disagree.

    Get over it.

  3. @Buddha: There you go, appeal to your own authority, which is another way to tell people “I’m right and he’s wrong. Wrong wrong wrong!”

    My solutions are “half measures” as you call them because they can actually be executed, while your “full measures” cannot. Your “lined out” options don’t answer the question, which you avoid again here. Why would a sitting multi-term politician that benefits greatly under the current system of campaign financing ever vote for real reform that might endanger his seat? If they have power, why would they ever let it come to a vote?

    I think they will all just say the CFR bill is unfair to their party, and favors the other party, and if you don’t want those other evil bastards to get even more power you have to work against this new CFR! And then they will claim “Sure, we need reform, but this isn’t the real deal. What we need to do is work toward *real* CFR, not this travesty.” Or something like that, just like they did with health care reform, Wall Street reform, banking reform, ad infinitum.

    I presume you avoid the question because you don’t have a plausible answer. I repeat that I do not either, I don’t think there IS one, and there are no full measures that will work. At least an executable half measure could do SOMETHING.

  4. Tony,

    And another nice fact free retort made of bullshit from you too, sport. I lined out more than one option to apply pressure over CFR not too long ago on another thread so I’m not going to repeat it. You obviously weren’t paying attention then so why bother now. Or you’d just conflate it to be some kind of insult to you. Either way, opine as you wish, be as wrong as you wish. I’ll keep on keepin’ on. In the area of law, my opinions may be opinions but they are the opinions of a legal expert with legal training. I think I’ll weigh that into evaluating whether CFR is critical to fix the corruption problem or not against your layman’s opinion of law and politics any day – especially since yours have been all been half measures at best.

  5. [Continued] We have had a National Health Service since 1948 and no politician in good standing wants to dismantle that. Other matters long demonized in the most incredible way in the United States are mainstream here (and I could give many examples of things regarded as mainstream there that are anathema in Britain). There really is no way to explain this through genetics without suggesting a radical genetic disparity between Europe and America. This is conceivable, perhaps even plausible, but I don’t see the supporting evidence. I don’t think I’d expect to find, in all the descendants of those people who journeyed to the New World, any great genetic propensity for accepting that things will always be the way they are.

  6. I’m revisiting this thread to express some personal reservations. In my previous comments I had concentrated on providing some illumination from competent sources and some caveats about this whole “scientists say…” feature of modern media and why it has little to do with what scientists (in their peer reviewed papers, not their self-promoting comments to the press) actually say.

    I’m British, and our mainstream political culture is considerably to the left of almost all US politics. Our Conservative Party could nearly all comfortably vote for Democratic Party principles including many considered too controversial in the US. Abortion is a right under the National Health Service and nobody will kill your abortion doctor here. The military here has actively recruited in gay magazines (young fit men with no young children to worry about? Ideal for Her Majesty’s services!) [to be continued]

  7. @Buddha: Excellent, unanswerable fact-free assertions. So I assume you are incapable of answering the question: what, precisely, is your plan to force a sitting politician to vote FOR something that *really* hurts their cash flow and gives their challengers a real chance?

    That’s okay, I do not have a way to do that either, in fact that is why I don’t think CFR is a realistic option, there is no upside for the sitting multi-term politicians that run Congress. That lack of upside is *by design*, the whole reason you want CFR is to unseat them. You might as well be insisting they resign. CFR is a fantasy.

  8. Buddha:

    I regards Tootie, she does believe in Christianity but I think she believes in individual liberty as well. When you start reading Locke and Jefferson it is hard to remain a homophobe or think a theocracy is the way to go.

    Although she does think I am a Marxist so who knows.


    Is it Elk season yet? Do you have to be in a lottery or do you get a tag as a resident? Will you send me some Elk jerky if you shoot one? That stuff (elk meat in general) is awesome.

  9. Tony,

    And your opinion is simply wrong and based on insufficient understandings of the interrelations and proper functions of law, sociology, psychology and the nature of complex systems in general.

  10. Gyges,

    Of course Byron isn’t a troll, but remember, by his own admission when he first came here he was indeed trolling “looking to piss off some liberals”. He just found out liberals were not the fish he thought they were and decided to hang out and swim instead of throwing rocks in the pond.

  11. Gyges,

    Oh, bdaman’s a troll alright. I just don’t consider him a professional troll. Most regurgitating trolls aren’t, but simply magpie minions. The culture in which the memes propagated by people like Breitbart and PNAC germinate.


    In re Tootie: Another example of various incarnations of Wayne/Gerty – the fanatically disturbed and plain ol’ disturbed. Troll by compulsion. Not that Tootie is Wayne as Wayne is a demonstrated lunatic of a far darker strain. Tootie has never threatened to kick anyone’s ass here being the primary difference. But Tootie operates under the delusion this is a Christian nation by her definition of Christianity. Troll or not, she’s demonstrably a homophobe and a theocrat. While homophobia is mere stupidity, theocracy and theocrats are as low as fascists and should receive the same level of resistance. Taking power from We the People under the guise of God or the guise of Gucci von Greenback is still taking power from We the People. Disagreement is one thing, being an threat to the Constitution and the DOI in action quite another.

  12. Byron,

    Can you think of the last several times I called someone other than BDAman a troll (I’m not entirely sure that there are several times)? Can you think of the last several times I disagreed with somebody? Unless they’re the same times, I think there may be a problem with your theory that I think BDAman’s a troll because I disagree with him.

    I mean: I’ve defended Tootie as not a troll; I didn’t accuse Jim of trolling; I don’t think YOU are a troll; I don’t think Puzzling’s a troll; etc.

    I think BDAman’s a troll because the best explanation of his motivations fit the definition of trolling. Of course that’s all in my opinion, and you can disagree.

  13. @Buddha: In my opinion it is YOU that hasn’t thought through your arguments, or has done so beginning with false premises. Trying to come up with solutions that produce zero damage is a nice fantasy to have, but I think that is all it is: A fantasy. And the result of engaging in this fantasy is a lack of attention to any real solution that might work, because at this point in our political system none of the real solutions will have zero damages.

    That is my opinion. So yes, all of my solutions produce collateral damage. That isn’t trollish behavior, that is realist behavior. What you want to do is the equivalent of stopping crime without ever risking the lives of anybody, including policemen and soldiers. A nice fantasy that isn’t going to ever happen.

    But you just keep on dreamin’ away the time we have to do anything real, while the problem gets worse every cycle. What happened with the *last* CFR? It got watered down in Congress and created loopholes for all new types of organizations; because the politicians and lobbyists passing the damn thing do not WANT CFR and have smart lawyers that will do anything for enough money, and they found innocuous sounding language that created loopholes big enough to drive a truck through. Result? CFR in name only.

    What will happen with the next CFR? Same thing. Why should they do anything different, and what, precisely, is your plan to force a sitting politician to vote FOR something that *really* hurts their cash flow and gives their challengers a real chance?

    I do not think you do a very good job of considering the issue from their point of view, with their options and resources and responses.

  14. Gyges:

    Bdaman actually knows quite a bit about weather and has come to his opinion about global warming through study and thought. He comes up with some very interesting sites and information as well. On issues relating to weather he is quite informed and capable of discussing the issues. Probably more so than most on this site.

    That you don’t agree with him doesn’t make him a troll. I disagree with him on some things as well and you disagree with me on everything (except maybe beer, wine, cigars, hunting and fishing), does that make us trolls?

    Everybody is entitled to their opinion, some may not have thought about it enough but think it right and some may have thought about it a good deal and read volumes on the subject only to be wrong.

    I don’t think Tootie is a troll either, anyone that is reading John Locke ain’t a troll.

  15. Buddha,

    BDAman is a troll in the original sense of the word. Pick a random topic that casts Republicans in a negative light. Now look at what BDAman does there. I bet money you get a series of posts that are copy and pasted pieces of propaganda either about some short coming of President Obama or Global Warming being a hoax.

    Just because he sometimes participates doesn’t mean that the vast majority of his posts aren’t plain and simple trolling.

Comments are closed.