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

 

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What is with Politics these days?

I think there’s something inherently childish about the Republican Party as it stands today. More specifically, I speak of the right wing media. Even more specifically than that, I’m talking about Fox News frequently referring to Bill Maher as “Pig” Maher and Rush Limbaugh’s recent comments about college student Sandra Fluke, calling her a “slut,” a “prostitute,” and inviting her to post videos of herself having sex on the internet so everybody could watch.

Of course, when I speak of these things, particularly recently what with the whole Rush slut comments, I’m faced with responses like, “But…But Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a c*nt!!!”

My response?

Bill Maher is a comedian. There’s a difference between a comedian telling a bad joke and a famous right-wing radio talk-show host calling a woman a slut because she is standing up for women to receive contraceptives paid for by their employer’s insurance so that they can get the reproductive health care that they can’t afford.

I’m sorry. I used to be a pretty conservative person. But then I grew up. I started forming opinions as to why I believed this or why I opposed that. After that happened, I was able to decide that I did not want to have any part associating with those who would deny my brothers and sisters the right to marry whomever they want, among many other things. It’s just not who I am, not who I want to be, and not what I want for my home country.

I just don’t know what’s going on lately. The political climate of the US has become one of tolerance toward religious bigotry, blatant sexism, obvious homophobia and juvenile name-calling. It’s tiresome and frightening all at the same time.