Friday, December 29, 2006
The Wary Guerrilla, Part IX: Political Implications
This project asserts that politics – specifically, Absolutism – predicts Wary Guerrilla behavior.
Further experiments are expected to confirm this finding. As this orientation appears to have a significant genetic factor, we believe that wary guerrillas represent a genotypic polymorphism in the human population. Though it is beyond the scope of this study to distinguish between, environmental, genetic, and genetic-via-environmental factors, an application of this theory – the discovery and use of a war guerrilla “greenbeard” (Dawkins, 1976; Wilson, 1983; Sterelny, 1996) – could save many to save lives could well use genetic screening. This section discusses the potential pitfalls of such an application.
For generations, analysis of human behavior was limited to environmental determinism (Corning, 1971; Tooby & Cosmides, 1992; Deech, 1998; Ridley, 2003).Perhaps because of a interwar fascination with genetics (Harwood, 1987) a belief in genetic efficacy was blamed for all sorts of ills while environmental-determinism was wrecking havoc (Muller, 1948; Wrinch, 1951; Cassinelli, 1960). Suicide and ADHD, for example, were blamed on social conditions exclusively (Johnson, 1965 ; Pope 1975; Elkind, 1997), while important explanatory biological factors (Kolata, 1986; 1987; Lubar, 1985; Ding et al., 2002) were not brought up.
During the 1960’s, many initial breakthroughs in genetics research occured (Hamilton, 1964; Caspari & Marshak, 1965). The false nature-nurture dichotomy has now been attacked for generations (Means, 1967). Stalled research programs began again (Healy, 1914; Mednick & Volavka, 1980). Likewise, by now attempts to determine how human evolution influences human behavior (Tiger & Fox, 1966; Shaw & Wong, 1987 ; Fowler, Baker, & Dawes, 2006; Hammond & Axelrod, 2006) and values (Alford & Hibbing, 2004, 2006a) are well established, in spite of occasional heavy criticism (Kamin, 1995; Gould, 2000; Kurzban, 2002).
We now recognize that biology places an important role in our behavior. Rationality and good decisions, for instance, can be encouraged through emotions (Morris, Squires, Taber, & Lodge, 2003; McDermott, 2004; Camerer, Loewenstein, & Prelec, 2005; Lupia & Menng, 2006), while reflection has been shown to be often unreliable (Lieberman, Schreiber, & Ochsner 2003; Shergill, 2003). Biology also influences society. Humans are social animals and automatically react and judge other humans (Olson & Marshuetz, 2005; Todorov, et al., 2005 ) while some chemical balances change interpersonal interaction (Zak, Kurzban, & Matzner 2004; Kosfeld, et al., 2005; Zak, 2006). We also know that we are not clones of each other, but that different bodies may be differentially impacted by chemicals (Caspi et al., 2003; McDermott, 2006). But if emotions are so important for functional human behavior, if reflection can be so dangerous, and if social interaction chemically effects some people more than others, may there be a biological cause of terrorism? Could the wary guerrilla’s behavior express itself in violent suicide explosions as well as in peaceful laboratory conditions?
If so, does our current form of “solidarity insurance,” where all people suffer the same hassles because of a possible threat (O'Neill, 1998), make sense?
If wary guerrillas are more likely to become terrorists, might this polymorphism be larger in some populations than in others? Could we “go back” to an era where genetic markers are used in policy decisions (McClean, 1998; Wells, 1998). After all, different populations tend to exhibit genotypic and phenotypic polymorphism (Kiple, 1986 ; Harpending & Cochran, 2002; Pinker, 2002; Rockmen et al., 2005; Rushton & Jensen, 2005; Rosenberg, et al., 2006; Pimenta, et al., 2006; Wade, 2006).
Science must not stop. Social science has a history of controversy when it tries to inform the law on sensitive matters (Solovey, 2001; Stuntz, 2002). Yet that is because social scientists have a history of academic bravery (Bowman, 2000; Craemer, 2006). Science is the exploration of the unknown, and our reaction to scientific discoveries is a function of whether we view the unknown with fear or hope.
We choose hope.
The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
4. An Experiment
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications