Culture–gene coevolution of individualism–collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene

It’s rare I leap to defend Christianity, but such a defence is at the heart of my critique of this novel research, or rather its conclusions.

Whilst it is no great surprise to find a genetic marker that predisposes populations towards either collectivism or individualism, I don’t buy the pathogen based explanation. At least not yet. Seems to me equally likely that non conformists might simply have been killed off at a higher rate that conformists and that would have led to a similar excess of the relevant genetic marker. The pathogen excess might have played its part by “justifying” coerced conformity on the grounds of disease protection but the lethal abilities of the authoritarian deserve full examination too.

In the past century we’ve seen just how effective and lethal the authoritarians can be. And we know that the Asian societies have had such authoritarianism embedded in them for just as long as all the western societies. Take society back a couple of thousand years and we were all living in extremely hierarchical authoritarian societies. Any keen student of political history will be aware that the notion of individual liberty is, historically, a very recent phenomenon which emerged in the enlightened thoughts of western philosophers and produced the wave of 18th century revolutions in Europe and America. ONLY.

The major obvious difference is religion. One major advantage (from the point of view of an Anarchist like me) of Christianity is that, initially at least, (and still today in its purest forms), it sanctified individualism and subverted the ruling/owning class. And secular or not, western society is built on mainly Christian inspired tenets.

I would argue, therefore, that it’s possible that, up to, say 1500 years ago, we wouldn’t have found the differences in the Serotonin Transporter gene. But that the spread of individualism nurtured by Christianity permitted the individuals to survive and breed, thus increasing the prevalence of the individualist version of the gene.

And like all good hypotheses, mine is testable. If my conjecture is sound, then my prediction is that we’ll find the same prevalence of the relevant genes in the Islamic community as in the Asian community, because their religion has pointedly not nurtured individualism like Christianity.

Culture–gene coevolution of individualism–collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene.

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Jon Stewart Explains Ultrasound Law To GOP: ‘A TSA Pat-Down In Your Vagina’ | Mediaite

Damn! I mentioned the “Handmaids Tale” (read the comments on that review, written a few years ago) only a couple of days ago and this political crime is right in its crosshairs…

As the medics have pointed out there is no medical requirement or justification for this proposed vaginal penetration and it is clearly not going to involve the informed consent of most women, such an invasion very clearly qualifies as State Rape.

I think you could easily make a sound ethical argument for assassinating any politician who mandates any one of a number of extreme sociopathic policies. Cannibalism and genocide are obvious examples, Then there are a bunch of lesser but still significant evils that the Totalitarian mind can dream up, like, for example, a proposal to recriminalise homosexuality; or to make religion (or atheism) compulsory. State Rape is about on a par with those for ethical value.

My proposal is for a constitutional amendment which would impose a lifetime prohibition on participation in the political process for anyone making a serious attempt to enact such a policy as law.

Discuss!

Jon Stewart Explains Ultrasound Law To GOP: ‘A TSA Pat-Down In Your Vagina’ | Mediaite.

Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control — And Why We’ll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now | Visions | AlterNet

I have heard others arguing in favour of the historical importance of Contraception, not least Germaine Greer. But all the examples that spring to mind focussed on the importance of Contraception to Women. What I like about Sara Robinson’s argument is her focus on it’s importance to Men, particularly those patriarchal men who, of course, I normally refer to as the Authoritarians. (Yes there are Authoritarian Women too, but the vast majority of them are conditioned by their religious beliefs as we’ll discuss)

It is obvious to all observers that Authoritarianism is primarily testosterone driven. But I hadn’t made what, after reading this essay, now looks like the obvious connection between Contraception and Authoritarianism, viz Religion.

Religion has provided the pseudo ethical justification for the authoritarian control of society for at least two and a half thousand years. Almost every religion throughout human history has been patriarchal and tightly focussed on preserving the subservient status of Women for a variety of reasons, many of which were plausible right up until cheap effective mass FEMALE contraception became available. Suddenly, in one massive swipe, Male Authority was completely undermined, and, I would add, so too was Authority in general.

I disagree with Sara on one thing. Her pessimism (which echoes Margaret Atwoods “Handmaids Tale”) is unjustified. I certainly agree that the battle is not over. They will continue, until their kind has ceased to exist, to try to force many of our new liberties out of existence. I believe this will be the basis for the “Final War”. But I don’t believe they’ll succeed. The “only” risk is that they might render our species extinct in their attempt to regain control…

Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control — And Why We'll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now | Visions | AlterNet.

Technological signs for the end of times

always worth reminding yourself from time to time that the Muslims have an “end times” myth just as psychotic as the Xtian one and here is the technological evidence to prove it…

Technological signs for the end of times.

The faithful must learn to respect those who question their beliefs | Lawrence Krauss | Science | guardian.co.uk

wishful thinking Lawrence. Bit like arguing “our cats have got to learn to respect the rights of our garden birds to life and liberty”. They’re not equipped for it…

The faithful must learn to respect those who question their beliefs | Lawrence Krauss | Science | guardian.co.uk.

Penn Gillette observes Cognitive Dissonance…

Penn Gillette tackles Cognitive Dissonance among religious believers.

good luck with that…

Jesus: The Cosmic Jewish Zombie – Born Again Pagan

 

 

 

 

this has been floating around the web for a decade or more but I do like this presentation…

Jesus: The Cosmic Jewish Zombie – Born Again Pagan.