Tag Archives: evolutionary politics

Myths of Evo-Politics

Evo-Politics appears to be growing, but it still attracts lots of misunderstandings and myths. John Hibbing has a Top Ten List of misconceptions about evolutionary political science (aka biopolitics, genopolitics, or evo-politics):

  1. Biology is genetics (biology also includes epigenetic, in utero, and developmental influences)
  2. Biology is deterministic
  3. Biology is reductionist
  4. It is useless to peer inside the body
  5. Political culture is too idiosyncratic to succumb to biology
  6. The study of biology and politics has a conservative bias
  7. The study of biology and politics has a liberal bias
  8. The study of biology and politics seeks to replace traditional political science
  9. The study of biology and politics is devoid of policy implications
  10. Political scientists are incapable of utilizing biological techniques and of appreciating problems with these techniques

I would add that there are other ones too. I hypothesize that such myths arise (at least partly) from ignorance and antipathy.

Reference

John R. Hibbing (2013). Ten Misconceptions Concerning Neurobiology and Politics. Perspectives on Politics, 11, pp 475-489. doi:10.1017/S1537592713000923.

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Linkage

The long enduring: Blowhard, Esq. points out how old and continuous the Western legal tradition is with key legal concepts dating back to the 1000s and 1100s.

Peter K. Hatemi and Rose McDermott “The genetics of politics: discovery, challenges, and progress” in Trends in Genetics
Abstract:

For the greater part of human history, political behaviors, values, preferences, and institutions have been viewed as socially determined. Discoveries during the 1970s that identified genetic influences on political orientations remained unaddressed. However, over the past decade, an unprecedented amount of scholarship utilizing genetic models to expand the understanding of political traits has emerged. Here, we review the ‘genetics of politics’, focusing on the topics that have received the most attention: attitudes, ideologies, and pro-social political traits, including voting behavior and participation. The emergence of this research has sparked a broad paradigm shift in the study of political behaviors toward the inclusion of biological influences and recognition of the mutual co-dependence between genes and environment in forming political behaviors.

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