Are Politics Evidence of Humanity’s Continuing Evolution?

As I sit here after reading article after article written by people of different political opinions, I wonder to myself, “How can these people BELIEVE this stuff?” It simply does not make sense to me, not a bit. Yet somehow, others are able to make sense of it, and stand behind those differing opinions. This opens up the question to me, is there some sort of physical cause for this?

It turns out that there may be.

A study done by the University College of London found that people who identified themselves as liberals generally had a larger anterior cingulate cortex – a region near the front of the brain that is involved in decision making, empathy, rational cognitive functions, and emotion.

By contrast, those who identified as conservatives had larger amygdala-structures that are linked with the processing and memory of emotional reactions, fear and anxiety.

The researchers suggest that liberals tend to be better at managing conflicting information, while conservatives are thought to be better at recognizing threats, adding that such personality traits are linked with specific brain structure.

In 2010, researchers from the University of California San Diego and from Harvard University identified a “liberal gene,” which has been linked with a personality type driven to seek out new experiences.

I found this information startling, and interesting all the same. The fact that it could be possible that our political inclinations are tied in with the way that our brain is formed is very interesting to me, and leads me to wonder whether or not this could be considered a sign of the continuing evolution of Homo sapiens.

Looking through history, you may notice that things tend to get more conservative the further you go back: slavery has been abolished, women have been given the right to vote, and now homosexuals are being given the right to marry – all forward-thinking and liberal ideas at the time of their occurring.

My simple thought is this: Maybe it’s not a mistake. Maybe Mother Nature is trimming the fat by making us more tolerant. It’s definitely in our best interests as a species, right? Survival of the fittest? We’re evolving to become more tolerant and accepting of new experiences, because that is the best way for our species to adapt, grow, survive, and thrive.

Perhaps it’s just hopeful thinking, but one maybe one day, racists will cease to exist. Maybe one day, people will be able to live and let live. Until then, I guess we’ll just have to sit back and enjoy watching the antics of the GOP.

Interesting Stuff to Read or Watch



2 responses to “Are Politics Evidence of Humanity’s Continuing Evolution?

  1. I do believe that politics is the next stage of human evolution.

    Let us look at how lower order systems have recombined to form higher order systems throughout evolutionary history. At the lowest level, there were bacteria that organized themselves into eukaryotic organisms. Mitochondria and chloroplasts, the remnants of this process, are barely recognizable as bacteria. They are ultra-specialized, unable to survive or reproduce by themselves, and self-destruct at the command of the parent cell.

    Then we have another layer of complexity on top of that. Plants and animals are composed of these conglomerations of what used to be bacteria. Once highly complex and ruggedly independent protists, the individual cells have likewise been simplified and ultra-specialized. They kill themselves at the behest of surrounding cells, or are killed by specialized enforcer cells. If that fails they grow out of control and destroy the organism they are part of.

    The next stage of human evolution will be for us to organize into a resiliant higher-order system. It will probably take the form of either an ideal host to parasatize, or an even-handed and uncaring police state to enslave us. Either way our progeny will suffer the consequences of ultra-specialization. Except for little spheres of responsibility, they will be grossly simplified to the point of being unrecognizable as humans.

    One of the unfortunate aspects of our teaching of the Theory of Evolution is that it is always represented as moving forward towards perfection. Until you get to the college or masters level there is no indication that the most highly evolved organisms are parasites. Their traits are so derived, they are so ultra-specialized, that it is difficult to figure out how they fit in to a phylogenetic relationship with other organisms.

    There, threat identified. Now you must use your anterior cingulate cortex to deal with this conflicting information. 😉

    • Thank you for the comment, it was interesting to read. I am more than willing to admit that I’m not as educated in social studies, politics or biology as others are, but I think that I can see what you’re getting at… at least I hope. 😐

      I found your parasitizing thought particularly interesting – I always had the notion that evolution wasn’t necessarily ‘moving towards perfection’ but rather ‘moving towards survival, at any cost,’ but I’d never considered the idea that even we as humans could be considered as parasites – well, except in a comical sense, I suppose. It is a pretty depressing thought, but we can’t exclude the fact that we’re different than common bacteria, in that we are able to contemplate thoughts and to make choices.

      If I’m right in that the more and more liberal changes in our society are a reflection of our species changing and adapting to the intermixing of our different cultures, I feel that says that we aren’t just oversimplifying or ultra-specializing ourselves, but rather the opposite. The idea that we would be having more choice and more openness in society would mean more people standing up against these even-handed and uncaring police state slave owners, I would think. But maybe I’m just an optimist, who knows what the future of our species has in store for us?

      Jeez, I really hope that I haven’t gone completely off course with my rambling and made myself look stupid. D: Sorry for the rambling if I have, haha.

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