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homo sapiens 2.0?

What if...?

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I have a personal theory. It began as a thought experiment among friends, based on an idea I had in regards to the stark divide in this country. Why half the country thinks the other half is crazy.

I believe that the human species has split into two "sub species".

I believe this split originates with the "settling down" of the majority of our hunter gatherer (h/g) ancestors around 12,000 years ago. The adoption of the agricultural/pastoral (a/p) lifestyle.

I think that it manifests primarily in how members of these two groups "look" at the world, resulting from adaptations to the new (a/p) way of life and the new social structures associated with it.

First, a couple of clarifications.

When I use the terms liberal and conservative in this thread I'm referring to personality type and not ideology. I use h/g and a/p because liberal and conservative are so emotionally charged. We actually used the word "Pastoralis" in our conversations, as in Homo Sapiens Pastoralis, for a/p types, but that was just a made up name.

I'm certain that nurture and social conditioning are relevant. The "traits" to which I am referring are just that, tendencies and predispositions, not hardwiring or instinct, but there is some science antecedent to my original theory that suggests differences in brain structures between "liberals" and "conservatives". Whether genetic or developmental remains to be determined.

There is no "judgement" as to "superiority", merely two sets of adaptations to two substantially different ways of living.

I think that those who carry stronger expressions of rootstock "h/g" genes tend to be frontier types and newer "a/p" types are more comfortable once things are settled down and the trappings of civilization are in place.

I've seen commentary on recent science that introduces the idea that conservatives are more "fearful" than liberals. And that liberals are "braver" than conservatives.

I disagree with this interpretation of the findings.

Tossing this idea around with sharp educated people quite a bit, BEFORE these studies were done, we came to two primary conclusions.

One is that a primary factor is in how the two groups relate to novelty and risk.

And the "fear" element was more to do with cognition, or how one decides what to be afraid of and how that information is acquired than on individual "courage". Simply put, h/g types tend to be fearful of direct threats. A/p types tend to be fearful of "communicated" threats (invaders, etc) as well, an adaptation to living in FAR larger groups than we had for 100,000+ years before.

A member of a tribe of twelve SEES the pack of wolves. A farmer in a civilization of 10,000 HEARS about a pack of wolves on the other side of the kingdom.

H/g types, on the other hand, aren't "braver" so much as drawn to novelty and less risk averse, as these are appropriate personality traits for people who are contantly on the move looking for food.

Its a HUGE topic actually. We tested the hypothesis quite a bit over several years and it has held up amazingly well. There are whole subsets of the original hypothesis that have yielded many hours of engaging converstation.

The OP is already long, so what do y'all think.

(And lets try "Thought Experiment" instead of "Political Pissing-Match". The whole reason the original idea came up was an attempt to determine why we're so divided in the first place)
 

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I have a personal theory. It began as a thought experiment among friends, based on an idea I had in regards to the stark divide in this country. Why half the country thinks the other half is crazy.

I believe that the human species has split into two "sub species".

The OP is already long, so what do y'all think.

(And lets try "Thought Experiment" instead of "Political Pissing-Match". The whole reason the original idea came up was an attempt to determine why we're so divided in the first place)
"sub species" Gee where do superiority complexes originate with that kind of theory in the theology intellect is not a result, but the start. In your next group meeting of the minds ask this question what reflects first before the mirror the last thing that stands in front recognizing themselves from everything else or everything els that was there all along before the last image blocked the center of the mirror?

when I was beinging my teenager years I would stand in front of the mirror practicing the great stare down look. I got to where I could go 10 minutes or longer without blinking. during this training of over riding my involuntary reflexes I started practicing seeing how many reflections I could see of myself in the pupils of my eyes. You know the idea of placing two mirrors face to face.

That place where finite and infinite meet. I got the idea from a tv movie about spirit possessions and this guy lined up another mirror to the mirror that capture people's souls to rescue his girlfriend's soul that was abducted by evil entity.

Anyway, I guess this is where I really started questioning time relativity and what separates the moment for real even though everything is history is based upon 24 hours a day. Now leave out theory and theology in your next session. The only thing your group can consider is the physical constants that make each generation function the same way biologically even with technologyical advances in aritificial reproduction. i.. invetro-fertilization and Octamom type experiments.

Feel free to use the picture of my avatar where it reflects 6 perpendicular degrees of expansion and the center is surrounded by 8 three sided pyramids inversely pointing out. Now depending how one views it, it can have multiple results depending upon the individual's interpretation

three sides opposing each other with the four open ended to where anything is possible. Looking down on any one of the six points and there are 12 triangular surfaces but rotating it between all six points and there is always half not seen and a new quarter exposed creating 72 variations within From 6 points of expansion and 8 corners looking away where each is confined from the other 7.

Gee so many symbolisms fall into this simple folded piece of paper. Like time stands still and everything around is constantly changing. yet every generation the species remains male and female of lifetimes never duplicated. Economics and ancestry. Simple compounding interest is the most powerful physical force in the universe because ancestry real is the principal to economics/reality..
 
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MoSurveyor

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I've seen commentary on recent science that introduces the idea that conservatives are more "fearful" than liberals. And that liberals are "braver" than conservatives.

I disagree with this interpretation of the findings.
Can you provide links on this topic? This seems to be a major point in the theory so it's kind of important we know in more detail what it is we're discussing.

Also, is it that conservatives are more fearful or are liberals braver? How do the liberals stack up against our chimpanzee and bonobo cousins in this regard - generally the same or "more brave"?
 
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I

I think that those who carry stronger expressions of rootstock "h/g" genes tend to be frontier types and newer "a/p" types are more comfortable once things are settled down and the trappings of civilization are in place.

I've seen commentary on recent science that introduces the idea that conservatives are more "fearful" than liberals. And that liberals are "braver" than conservatives.
That doesn't make much sense to me, if I'm interpreting what you are saying correctly.

Those who are more inclined toward risk-taking would (in my mind) indicate a higher degree of bravery, and less fearfulness.
 

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That doesn't make much sense to me, if I'm interpreting what you are saying correctly.

Those who are more inclined toward risk-taking would (in my mind) indicate a higher degree of bravery, and less fearfulness.
That's what he's saying, too. It can be a little confusing how he presented it. In short:

h/g (hunter/gatherer) = liberal = "risk taker" = "bravery"
a/p (agro/pastoral) = conservative = "settled" = "fearfulness"

But it's more than that (by this theory):
And the "fear" element was more to do with cognition, or how one decides what to be afraid of and how that information is acquired than on individual "courage". Simply put, h/g types tend to be fearful of direct threats. A/p types tend to be fearful of "communicated" threats (invaders, etc) as well, an adaptation to living in FAR larger groups than we had for 100,000+ years before.
 
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What if...?

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Can you provide links on this topic? This seems to be a major point in the theory so it's kind of important we know in more detail what it is we're discussing.

Also, is it that conservatives are more fearful or are liberals braver? How do the liberals stack up against our chimpanzee and bonobo cousins in this regard - generally the same or "more brave"?
I'll have to dig a bit for that link. It was actually discussed here a couple times.

But in essence the physical difference was larger/more active right amygdalas in conservatives and larger/more active anterior cingulate cortexes in liberals.

Basically that conservatives are more fearful, with which I disagree. The fear element came up because there's a "be afraid" element in messaging aimed at conservatives. We felt that it was more along the lines of a/p types responding more strongly to threats communicated to them from others, as opposed to witnessed first hand.

On the liberal side there was an interpretation of courage and optimism, which we had decided was neophilia and risk attraction.

Remember, we drew our conclusions BEFORE the recent studies were done. Their data conforms with my theory pretty well, even though I disagree with their interpretation.

I don't believe its a courage thing but a difference in attitudes towards novelty and risk, and cognitive/communication adaptations relevant to the a/p lifestyle.
 

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That doesn't make much sense to me, if I'm interpreting what you are saying correctly.

Those who are more inclined toward risk-taking would (in my mind) indicate a higher degree of bravery, and less fearfulness.
Bearing in mind that what one considers brave another might consider foolish.

Bungee jumping and being a soldier involve different KINDS of bravery.

I don't see more of what most would define as "cowards" on either side.
 

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An interesting story I ran across a couple of months ago.

BBC Nature - Chimpanzees consider their audience when communicating



Also, Rob Dunn has broached this subject to some extent in his new book "The Wild Life of Our Bodies", which I have just finished re-reading and I'm still going back over some stuff. Lot's of information in there. I'll respond in better detail tomorrow once I've had time to review it in reference to this subject.

Rob Dunn


Edit:
Finally tracked down the original article for those interested.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982211002892
 
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What if...?

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An interesting story I ran across a couple of months ago.

BBC Nature - Chimpanzees consider their audience when communicating



Also, Rob Dunn has broached this subject to some extent in his new book "The Wild Life of Our Bodies", which I have just finished re-reading and I'm still going back over some stuff. Lot's of information in there. I'll respond in better detail tomorrow once I've had time to review it in reference to this subject.

Rob Dunn


Edit:
Finally tracked down the original article for those interested.
Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults 10.1016/j.cub.2011.03.017 : Current Biology | ScienceDirect.com
Part of the development of the original idea came from reading "Ishmael" by daniel quinn and then shortly after reading "Guns, Germs, and Steel".

Ishmael is "philosophical anthropology" for want of a better term. But damned if its not the same basic story of our development told in Guns, Germs and Steel, just told from the perspective of those who got rolled over by those with easily domesticable plants and animals.
 

MoSurveyor

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I have a personal theory. It began as a thought experiment among friends, based on an idea I had in regards to the stark divide in this country. Why half the country thinks the other half is crazy.

I believe that the human species has split into two "sub species".

I believe this split originates with the "settling down" of the majority of our hunter gatherer (h/g) ancestors around 12,000 years ago. The adoption of the agricultural/pastoral (a/p) lifestyle.

I think that it manifests primarily in how members of these two groups "look" at the world, resulting from adaptations to the new (a/p) way of life and the new social structures associated with it.
I think that those who carry stronger expressions of rootstock "h/g" genes tend to be frontier types and newer "a/p" types are more comfortable once things are settled down and the trappings of civilization are in place.
I wouldn't call them sub-species as yet, merely an adaptation. There are genes for lactose tolerance that have become common over the past 10k years and are extremely common in pastoral cultures and their descendants. Ditto for genes associated with getting more nutrition from grains. I wouldn't call these lactose tolerant, grain-efficient people a sub-species from the rest of mankind. With these genes, however, it's easy to tell what is "normal" to the species since we're virtually the only mammals with any kind of lactose tolerance (as an adult) and most of us humans don't have it. With the Lib-Con split it's a little more difficult to tell which is "normal".

H/g groups are usually required by their lifestyle to move around a lot but they also tend to stick to one type of terrain. American Indian tribes of the Great Plains didn't roam into the desert SW or the Rockies, so the environment they lived in was the same even though it was a different location. There may have been a new river or pond over the next hill but the landscape had the same flora & fauna as the last valley did. Of course, the a/p types were rooted to their unchanging locations as surely as their crops were. So, what else is different? What about the groups themselves? H/gs are limited in group size by the amount of food they can gather in a day. Any bigger and they couldn't feed themselves. A/p groups on the other hand have a much higher upper limit on their numbers. Indeed, it's the larger size of their groups that make them unique, allowing for excess food to support people that don't produce food, people like smiths/artisans and builders/engineers for starters. What was once an environment filled with only a hand full of fellow tribesmen and known flora & fauna has turned into a small village with maybe hundreds of people, some of them strangers. This really is a new landscape, a landscape filled with unpredictable creatures, people that aren't part of your local group/family. With this in mind it's not so easy to tell whether the Libs or the Cons are the h/gs or the a/ps because civilization presents more unknowns every day than an h/g group might see in a week.
I've seen commentary on recent science that introduces the idea that conservatives are more "fearful" than liberals. And that liberals are "braver" than conservatives.

I disagree with this interpretation of the findings.

Tossing this idea around with sharp educated people quite a bit, BEFORE these studies were done, we came to two primary conclusions.

One is that a primary factor is in how the two groups relate to novelty and risk.

And the "fear" element was more to do with cognition, or how one decides what to be afraid of and how that information is acquired than on individual "courage". Simply put, h/g types tend to be fearful of direct threats. A/p types tend to be fearful of "communicated" threats (invaders, etc) as well, an adaptation to living in FAR larger groups than we had for 100,000+ years before.

A member of a tribe of twelve SEES the pack of wolves. A farmer in a civilization of 10,000 HEARS about a pack of wolves on the other side of the kingdom.

H/g types, on the other hand, aren't "braver" so much as drawn to novelty and less risk averse, as these are appropriate personality traits for people who are contantly on the move looking for food.
I'm not sure what article you read but here are the findings I noted from the link to the original study.

"... stronger liberalism is associated with increased sensitivity to cues for altering a habitual response pattern ..."
In the context of fear I would take this to mean an ability to delay the unconscious fight or flight response in order to assess the situation better. In society it would tend to be breaking new ground or maybe greater adaptability and cooperation.

"... Conservatives respond to threatening situations with more aggression than do liberals and are more sensitive to threatening facial expressions ..."
I'm not sure this implies more fearful as much as it implies more aggressive behavior. Or maybe the two can't be biologically separated. In either case, I'm not convinced cognition, long-term potential threat (wolves across town) versus immediate threat, is a part of it.

I'm also not sure it points a way out of our problem, figuring out whether the Libs or the Cons are the h/gs or a/ps. I agree the Libs and Cons are different, different enough to register predictable results on an MRI as well as in the polls. The question is, which came first? It could be that both attitudes cropped up with the a/p lifestyle and neither is natural. Libs could get their cooperative stance from being part of a "regional" group that advanced by intermittent trading of goods, technology, and specialists. Cons could come from a region where in-fighting and warfare was more the norm, battling over scarce resources/land or because of over-population.

In the old days at this point I'd say, "I need another beer". ;)
 

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In either case, I'm not convinced cognition, long-term potential threat (wolves across town) versus immediate threat, is a part of it.
After re-reading parts of Dunn's book The Wild Life of Our Bodies I'm going to have to agree with your assessment that perceived threat is a valid response in civilization. In his book Dunn uses specific cases to point out what we have lost to our detriment by adopting the a/p lifestyle. No, he's not one of those "back to the jungle" nut-jobs, just a scientist looking for answers. One of his cases, for example, is the amylase gene (increased nutrition from grains) I was referring to earlier. It was obviously a lifesaver in the past or it wouldn't have become so prevalent so fast in a/p societies. But today in those same societies where food is abundant the amylase gene may only help to create more excess fat. In short, what once saved our ancestors has become a liability to us (unless, of course, we use that ability wisely). His book explores several cases like this all focused on changes from the a/p revolution.

In the case of fear he lays out the fundamentals. Fear is processed through the amygdala but, surprising to me, the fear circuits are always activated. Somewhere between there and the body is another circuit that suppresses the fear response. In the h/g lifestyle these circuits are activated on a somewhat regular basis be it coming upon a snake or hearing some odd rustling in the grass - maybe a tiger? However, in the a/p lifestyle they are seldom triggered - less and less as time goes by. But according to him we still "miss" those feelings, still need to have those circuits activated every so often. As such we make up for it by watching horrors and thrillers, taking wild rides, and doing other things to get that sudden adrenaline rush. His theory is that, sometimes, we still don't get enough and the circuits go haywire. This accounts for the increase in anxieties and phobias in more civilized areas over the rural ones. If the Cons have increased activity in their amygdala then it would stand to reason that they would be affected even more by these cognizant (non-visible) fears.

One has to wonder if the incidence of anxieties and phobias actually is greater among the Cons. Probably no way to check for that with current data since it's unlikely that political association is recorded in medical files - but it would be interesting to see the results of a poll on the subject.


A short side-track that does shed a little lite light on this subject - a list of most watched TV from an Entertainment Weekly poll:
Republican vs. Democrat survey: Who watches the best TV shows? | Inside TV | EW.com
This is about Dems and Reps but it's the closest thing I could find.
Literate media-savvy comedies score high among Dems in general, notes Experian-Simmons senior marketing manager John Fetto. “Sarcastic humor is always a hook for them,” he adds.
Gritty documentary-style work-related reality shows on cable index really strongly with conservative Republicans. Swamp Loggers is particularly polarizing.

Popular crime dramas — except the left-wing Law & Order franchise — tend to draw a conservative crowd.
It's a mixed bag in a lot of places but where it isn't is telling. Crime dramas, Swamp Loggers, and Mythbusters are high marks for the Cons while Libs turn toward social shows and comedy. Even the crime drama exception, Law & Order, is telling if you happen to watch both L&O and NCIS like I do. NCIS has little to do with social discourse but L&O is all about that.
 

What if...?

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I wouldn't call them sub-species as yet, merely an adaptation. There are genes for lactose tolerance that have become common over the past 10k years and are extremely common in pastoral cultures and their descendants. Ditto for genes associated with getting more nutrition from grains. I wouldn't call these lactose tolerant, grain-efficient people a sub-species from the rest of mankind. With these genes, however, it's easy to tell what is "normal" to the species since we're virtually the only mammals with any kind of lactose tolerance (as an adult) and most of us humans don't have it. With the Lib-Con split it's a little more difficult to tell which is "normal".

H/g groups are usually required by their lifestyle to move around a lot but they also tend to stick to one type of terrain. American Indian tribes of the Great Plains didn't roam into the desert SW or the Rockies, so the environment they lived in was the same even though it was a different location. There may have been a new river or pond over the next hill but the landscape had the same flora & fauna as the last valley did. Of course, the a/p types were rooted to their unchanging locations as surely as their crops were. So, what else is different? What about the groups themselves? H/gs are limited in group size by the amount of food they can gather in a day. Any bigger and they couldn't feed themselves. A/p groups on the other hand have a much higher upper limit on their numbers. Indeed, it's the larger size of their groups that make them unique, allowing for excess food to support people that don't produce food, people like smiths/artisans and builders/engineers for starters. What was once an environment filled with only a hand full of fellow tribesmen and known flora & fauna has turned into a small village with maybe hundreds of people, some of them strangers. This really is a new landscape, a landscape filled with unpredictable creatures, people that aren't part of your local group/family. With this in mind it's not so easy to tell whether the Libs or the Cons are the h/gs or the a/ps because civilization presents more unknowns every day than an h/g group might see in a week.
I'm not sure what article you read but here are the findings I noted from the link to the original study.

"... stronger liberalism is associated with increased sensitivity to cues for altering a habitual response pattern ..."
In the context of fear I would take this to mean an ability to delay the unconscious fight or flight response in order to assess the situation better. In society it would tend to be breaking new ground or maybe greater adaptability and cooperation.

"... Conservatives respond to threatening situations with more aggression than do liberals and are more sensitive to threatening facial expressions ..."
I'm not sure this implies more fearful as much as it implies more aggressive behavior. Or maybe the two can't be biologically separated. In either case, I'm not convinced cognition, long-term potential threat (wolves across town) versus immediate threat, is a part of it.

I'm also not sure it points a way out of our problem, figuring out whether the Libs or the Cons are the h/gs or a/ps. I agree the Libs and Cons are different, different enough to register predictable results on an MRI as well as in the polls. The question is, which came first? It could be that both attitudes cropped up with the a/p lifestyle and neither is natural. Libs could get their cooperative stance from being part of a "regional" group that advanced by intermittent trading of goods, technology, and specialists. Cons could come from a region where in-fighting and warfare was more the norm, battling over scarce resources/land or because of over-population.

In the old days at this point I'd say, "I need another beer". ;)
Nice post. Exactly what I was hoping for. This subject has always turned into a flame war in the past.

I agree that "subspecies" probably isn't correct, more a distinct set of traits, like your lactose example.

As far as helpful, I've always thought that if we discovered that the two sides "perspectives" are different because of genetics, it might be possible to find some common ground. Provide an answer to the question "what the hell is wrong with you people?", by acknowledging the difference in worldview/approach to life.

Another difference between the two is rigid, "arbitrary" heirarchy. The "management" class was also born with the adoption of the a/p lifestyle.

Tribal peoples tend to be "truer" meritocracies. The guy who made the best arrowheads made the arrowheads. And while many tribal "occupations" were hereditary, if the arrowhead makers kid was all thumbs, the tribe wasn't stuck with lousy arrowheads. Same with the chief. If his kid was an incompetent, he probably didn't get to be chief. This is the point in our discussions where the "sheriff" archetype cqme up. That the "cop" role existed in tribal times. Distinct from hunters/warriors but sharing their "martial" traits. Those who protect the tribe from ITSELF as opposed to outside threats.

I was sure this came from Campbell, his "archetypes" common to mythologies all over the planet. That Andy Taylor, the "sheriff without a gun" from the Andy Griffith Show was an almost perfect example of this "constable" archetype. But damned if I can find the reference. May have come from an interview or something.

I think its the basis for what I call the "good man honest and true" character in so many od our stories, who defies his superiors and gets others to do the same based on their personal relationships. The trust him to do the right thing. They know he has everybodys best interests at heart and wouldn't break ranks without good reason.

On a note related to the "wild life" book, have you heard about the whip worm thing. Introducing whipworm eggs into the body. They don't survive in the human body, but when the eggs hatch it causes the immune system to "reset". They are doing research at one of the UC schools and the list of maladies they hope to treat is LONG. All those situations where the immune system has turned on the body, like arthritis simply STOP. The damage stops. It starts again, but has to build up to the point where it is doing damage. Then a re-application of the worms is necessary. But they have high hopes, to the point they're wondering if our super clean lifestyles prevent our exposure to "beneficial" microbes or parasites.
 

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Just a quick response to these (kinda') non-topics then I'll come back and post again on-topic. I like to do a little thinking about what people are saying and the implications of possible answers before I actually answer. Sometimes that can take a couple of days.

This subject has always turned into a flame war in the past.
I hope it doesn't this time. It's good to discuss this stuff with someone who understands the subject and does some critical thinking.

On a note related to the "wild life" book, have you heard about the whip worm thing. Introducing whipworm eggs into the body. They don't survive in the human body, but when the eggs hatch it causes the immune system to "reset". They are doing research at one of the UC schools and the list of maladies they hope to treat is LONG. All those situations where the immune system has turned on the body, like arthritis simply STOP. The damage stops. It starts again, but has to build up to the point where it is doing damage. Then a re-application of the worms is necessary. But they have high hopes, to the point they're wondering if our super clean lifestyles prevent our exposure to "beneficial" microbes or parasites.
In fact, that's the first case Rob Dunn addresses in his book. He talks about a few people in that section, most notably a salesman who gets very sick and travels to the 3rd world walking around outhouses until he gets "infected". He's apparently lucky enough to get infected by a mating pair so he doesn't need reapplication. In fact, being a salesman, he sets up a clinic in Mexico selling injections of eggs taken from his bloodstream. The second person is an American woman who eventually goes to the clinic. She doesn't happen to get a mating pair of worms and though her health improves it's not a permanent fix. This opening case is very much a foreshadowing of the rest of the book as different subjects are addressed. But these sections aren't just about the people, he includes the biology and biological history behind each of them as he goes.

I was lucky enough to find the PBS mini-series of Guns, Germs, and Steel - 3x one-hour episodes. It was streaming on Netflix but may also be available on PBS.com (I didn't look). I know it missed a lot of the book because I also read a few synopsis on it. PBS didn't go into the whole Europe nation against nation thing but I've had exposure to that in the past. The book seems to point out the advancement in technology that wars bring about, something I've been preaching for decades. The germ aspect is classic Darwinism but I love it that someone points it out as a social factor that wasn't necessarily bad - in the long run.

I also read a synopsis on Ishmael, looks like it might be a good read, too.

We can get into specialists next time. I'm not sure h/gs really had them. I had always though everyone made their own arrowheads. Well, not arrowheads - that's getting ahead of ourselves! How about stone cutting tools (for meat and crushing/scraping bones) or, much much later, spearheads? American Indians are almost a cross-over, a little of each. They moved but less often. (Growing corn takes time.)

Gotta' think about the sheriff - though you've added in some other factors I might not have included in that role. Hmm ...


Edit:
On second look at the sheriff I think we're missing a step or two on the road to civilization. In tribes the chief settled the disputes if there were any. Rebelling against the chief was almost unheard of. I hear what you're saying about modern civilization and the sheriff but I'm not sure that was a tribal thing beyond the "justice" of the chief.
 
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Also. I think that these factors are "blending" since the industrial revolution. And especially in the US. The two groups have always intermixed some, but here the distinctions are probably less sharp because of our "melting pot".
 

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In brief, I think we are more than the sum of our genes, as sapient thinking beings. I think choice plays into it far more than is currently "pop sci".

Secondly, I think that if h/g and a/p ever WERE two different genotypes, that they've probably long since mixed to the point that you'd have trouble distinguishing the two types.

When you can point to a specific sequence of genetic code that determines con or lib, let's talk. When you can point to distinct differences in brain structure present at birth that indicate C or L and prove it 20 years later w/ the person's political stance, then let's talk. (the reason for the latter is to find out whether the dog wags the tail in brain structure differences, or whether the tail wags the dog, metaphorically speaking...)


Meanwhile I have to ask a few questions...

What about people who are much more liberal when they're younger, but become conservative with age, or vice-versa?

What about people who change their political lean otherwise?

If liberal is the hunter/gatherer genotype, why are more hunters politically conservative?

If liberal or h/g is the risk-taker, why are more liberals for gun control? You'd think a hunter-gatherer genotype would be much more inclined to retain personal weapons and the means of self-defense.

If liberal is h/g is risk-taker or braver, why are more liberals anti-war? Why do more conservatives join the military?

How do you explain people who are politically conservative but who, in their personal life, exhibit lots of risk-taking behavior?
 
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lizzie

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If liberal is the hunter/gatherer genotype, why are more hunters politically conservative?

If liberal or h/g is the risk-taker, why are more liberals for gun control? You'd think a hunter-gatherer genotype would be much more inclined to retain personal weapons and the means of self-defense.

If liberal is h/g is risk-taker or braver, why are more liberals anti-war? Why do more conservatives join the military?

How do you explain people who are politically conservative but who, in their personal life, exhibit lots of risk-taking behavior?
My questions exactly, which I think is why the op didn't make sense to me on first glance.
 

What if...?

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Just a quick response to these (kinda') non-topics then I'll come back and post again on-topic. I like to do a little thinking about what people are saying and the implications of possible answers before I actually answer. Sometimes that can take a couple of days.

I hope it doesn't this time. It's good to discuss this stuff with someone who understands the subject and does some critical thinking.

In fact, that's the first case Rob Dunn addresses in his book. He talks about a few people in that section, most notably a salesman who gets very sick and travels to the 3rd world walking around outhouses until he gets "infected". He's apparently lucky enough to get infected by a mating pair so he doesn't need reapplication. In fact, being a salesman, he sets up a clinic in Mexico selling injections of eggs taken from his bloodstream. The second person is an American woman who eventually goes to the clinic. She doesn't happen to get a mating pair of worms and though her health improves it's not a permanent fix. This opening case is very much a foreshadowing of the rest of the book as different subjects are addressed. But these sections aren't just about the people, he includes the biology and biological history behind each of them as he goes.

I was lucky enough to find the PBS mini-series of Guns, Germs, and Steel - 3x one-hour episodes. It was streaming on Netflix but may also be available on PBS.com (I didn't look). I know it missed a lot of the book because I also read a few synopsis on it. PBS didn't go into the whole Europe nation against nation thing but I've had exposure to that in the past. The book seems to point out the advancement in technology that wars bring about, something I've been preaching for decades. The germ aspect is classic Darwinism but I love it that someone points it out as a social factor that wasn't necessarily bad - in the long run.

I also read a synopsis on Ishmael, looks like it might be a good read, too.

We can get into specialists next time. I'm not sure h/gs really had them. I had always though everyone made their own arrowheads. Well, not arrowheads - that's getting ahead of ourselves! How about stone cutting tools (for meat and crushing/scraping bones) or, much much later, spearheads? American Indians are almost a cross-over, a little of each. They moved but less often. (Growing corn takes time.)

Gotta' think about the sheriff - though you've added in some other factors I might not have included in that role. Hmm ...


Edit:
On second look at the sheriff I think we're missing a step or two on the road to civilization. In tribes the chief settled the disputes if there were any. Rebelling against the chief was almost unheard of. I hear what you're saying about modern civilization and the sheriff but I'm not sure that was a tribal thing beyond the "justice" of the chief.

Specialization among tribal peoples really depended on their environments. In "abundant" areas with low competition from other groups there was more "leisure" time for specialization. Not full time, all the able bodied men hunted, for instance, but during "down time". I've read more than once that primitive man on average worked about twenty hours a week to obtain food and the rest was spent processing the food and "tooling" on clothes, tools, clothing etc. Lots of socialization occurred during these supplemental tasks. "Brutish and short" isn't really a good description overall, with various parasites etc. being responsible for shorter lifespans in some areas.

An interesting note from an Islander friend of mine is you can see different personality types in different Islander groups. Basically, the closer in a group is to New Guinea/Asia, the more aggressive/warlike they are likely to be (apart from isolation like New Zealand and Easter Island where other factors are at work) with more "peaceful" groups at the outer fringes, where they went to get away from the strife.

Lemme percolate a response to the sheriff idea.
 

What if...?

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In brief, I think we are more than the sum of our genes, as sapient thinking beings. I think choice plays into it far more than is currently "pop sci".

Secondly, I think that if h/g and a/p ever WERE two different genotypes, that they've probably long since mixed to the point that you'd have trouble distinguishing the two types.

When you can point to a specific sequence of genetic code that determines con or lib, let's talk. When you can point to distinct differences in brain structure present at birth that indicate C or L and prove it 20 years later w/ the person's political stance, then let's talk. (the reason for the latter is to find out whether the dog wags the tail in brain structure differences, or whether the tail wags the dog, metaphorically speaking...)


Meanwhile I have to ask a few questions...

What about people who are much more liberal when they're younger, but become conservative with age, or vice-versa?

What about people who change their political lean otherwise?

If liberal is the hunter/gatherer genotype, why are more hunters politically conservative?

If liberal or h/g is the risk-taker, why are more liberals for gun control? You'd think a hunter-gatherer genotype would be much more inclined to retain personal weapons and the means of self-defense.

If liberal is h/g is risk-taker or braver, why are more liberals anti-war? Why do more conservatives join the military?

How do you explain people who are politically conservative but who, in their personal life, exhibit lots of risk-taking behavior?
I was hoping you'd get in on this.

First of all, I stated in the OP that I was referring to personality types as opposed to ideology or politics. I think both types fall in both "camps".

I think this stuff is traits and tendencies, not hardwired. There are differences in how people LOOK at the world, many differences actually.

I also stated in the OP that "nurture" is certainly an element, but after much discussion, and consideration of personal experiences of several intelligent, socially adept people with interests in philosophy and anthropology, we decided that genes are at least partially relevant and that the radical change in lifestyle from h/g to a/p was a probable catalyst.

Homo sapiens already has significant variance. Eskimos have blubber. The sunnier it is where your people evolved, the more melanin your skin has. People who evolved in hostile or high intensity environments tend to be more aggressive.

And I'm a "natural" shot with all projectile weapons and always know where I am and how to get home. Hunter genes.

Further, bear in mind that my ideas precede the studies that have been posted here, our conclusions were different than those of the study.posted here, but similar enough to lend support.

And most importantly of all, the entire subject was in response to the inability of the two POLITICAL sides to effectively communicate. Something that couldn't be explained by dogma, propaganda or simple pig-headedness.

Something to do with a difference in fundamental worldview.

As to your questions, people become more conservative with age, a function of the "hardening" of the brain.

Most people learn their political ideology from their parents and/or their environment. Therefore they may be revised as they learn more about the world and come into their "own".

I know several liberals who hunt, and being a country boy or farmer doesn't make one an a/p type by default. I know some very conservative hippies and some very liberal good old boys.

And as far as the military is concerned, I know MANY liberals with marked martial abilities. But most of them feel the way I do. I am only subordinate conditionally. I will submit to superior knowledge/ability as the situation requires, but will not run up the "hamburger hill" for some kings chess game. Come here, threaten me an mine, and I will not hesitate to end you (generic "you").

This actually reinforces my idea, as a/p types would have evolved to submit to hierarchy, to do what authority figures say. "Bucking the system" will NOT get you married in an a/p society.

Its also important to note that "war" as we concieve of it only became POSSIBLE with the adoption of the a/p lifestyle. Tribal peoples fought, but it was more posturing than killing. There's a term, but I can't remember right now. You can't make war when everybody has to stop to FIND lunch.

Only after adoption of the a/p lifestyle and the food storage it made possible was it possible to make "war". It also made it necessary as a/p peoples expa ded to meet their food supplies and eventually needed more dirt to put under the plow. Dirt that was already occupied. The entire premise upon which Guns Germs and Steel is based.

Nobody here is attacking or judging anybody. Nobodys "better" than anybody else. Just different.

Check back. I have some thoughts on the "sheriff" personality type I think you'll find interesting.
 

Goshin

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I was hoping you'd get in on this.

First of all, I stated in the OP that I was referring to personality types as opposed to ideology or politics. I think both types fall in both "camps".

I think this stuff is traits and tendencies, not hardwired. There are differences in how people LOOK at the world, many differences actually.

I also stated in the OP that "nurture" is certainly an element, but after much discussion, and consideration of personal experiences of several intelligent, socially adept people with interests in philosophy and anthropology, we decided that genes are at least partially relevant and that the radical change in lifestyle from h/g to a/p was a probable catalyst.

Homo sapiens already has significant variance. Eskimos have blubber. The sunnier it is where your people evolved, the more melanin your skin has. People who evolved in hostile or high intensity environments tend to be more aggressive.

And I'm a "natural" shot with all projectile weapons and always know where I am and how to get home. Hunter genes.

Further, bear in mind that my ideas precede the studies that have been posted here, our conclusions were different than those of the study.posted here, but similar enough to lend support.

And most importantly of all, the entire subject was in response to the inability of the two POLITICAL sides to effectively communicate. Something that couldn't be explained by dogma, propaganda or simple pig-headedness.

Something to do with a difference in fundamental worldview.

As to your questions, people become more conservative with age, a function of the "hardening" of the brain.

Most people learn their political ideology from their parents and/or their environment. Therefore they may be revised as they learn more about the world and come into their "own".

I know several liberals who hunt, and being a country boy or farmer doesn't make one an a/p type by default. I know some very conservative hippies and some very liberal good old boys.

And as far as the military is concerned, I know MANY liberals with marked martial abilities. But most of them feel the way I do. I am only subordinate conditionally. I will submit to superior knowledge/ability as the situation requires, but will not run up the "hamburger hill" for some kings chess game. Come here, threaten me an mine, and I will not hesitate to end you (generic "you").

This actually reinforces my idea, as a/p types would have evolved to submit to hierarchy, to do what authority figures say. "Bucking the system" will NOT get you married in an a/p society.

Its also important to note that "war" as we concieve of it only became POSSIBLE with the adoption of the a/p lifestyle. Tribal peoples fought, but it was more posturing than killing. There's a term, but I can't remember right now. You can't make war when everybody has to stop to FIND lunch.

Only after adoption of the a/p lifestyle and the food storage it made possible was it possible to make "war". It also made it necessary as a/p peoples expa ded to meet their food supplies and eventually needed more dirt to put under the plow. Dirt that was already occupied. The entire premise upon which Guns Germs and Steel is based.

Nobody here is attacking or judging anybody. Nobodys "better" than anybody else. Just different.

Check back. I have some thoughts on the "sheriff" personality type I think you'll find interesting.

Okay.

I've read some of the relatively recent studies/papers that extoll the virtues of H/G lifestyle and mindset, and which make assumptions about h/g lifestyles that are highly contrary to older, classical views.

I find a lot of the stuff pretty dubious, to be honest. To some degree it seems like a romanticism of a lifestyle that was much more hand-to-mouth than agriculture.

Being part Native Indian, I've done my share of research into pre-Columbian Native lifestyle, as well as early-colonial. Tribes with multiple subsistence strategies tended to be more successful than those with more limited subsistence techniques. This is one of the reasons the Cherokee were relatively successful and controlled a rather large territory, in that they mixed slash-and-burn agriculture in with hunting and gathering. Also, when whites began to intrude on their lands in large numbers, a good many Cherokee took up agriculture, herding and relatively settled lifestyles for the relative prosperity it promised. Whereas a single Cherokee hunter-gatherer needed something like eight miles square to support himself, the same territory could support thousands engaging in colonial agriculture. Ultimately, it was the h/g centered lifestyle that made Natives unable to compete with Colonial farmers and the population density they achieved.

In any case, while it is an interesting theory I think it is overly simplistic as an explanation of the political divide.
 

Goshin

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Back to my question about the military....

While recent polls show that roughly one-third of the public considers itself Republican, 57 percent of the active-duty military identified themselves with that party – with two-thirds of officers, compared to 49 percent of enlisted personnel, checking the Republican box.

Compared to 32 percent of the civilian public who described themselves as Democrats, only nine percent of military officers and 16 percent of enlisted personnel did so. Twenty-nine percent of the military respondents either said they were independent or declined to answer the question.
Military More Republican, Conservative Than Public – Poll by Jim Lobe


The article goes on to confirm that the large majority of military personnel tend to hold rather conservative beliefs in general.

Military is certainly a risk-taker profession,.
 
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What about people who are much more liberal when they're younger, but become conservative with age, or vice-versa?
You rarely see young people turn to riskier behavior with age. If they do then they're trying to prove something to themselves. (I am NOT getting old!) Typically the younger you are the more likely you'll take risks.

If liberal is the hunter/gatherer genotype, why are more hunters politically conservative?
Modern hunting as you're using it isn't about putting food on the table, it's about recreation.
But to answer, I think that goes back to what I was saying about filling the void, needing that adrenaline rush. If the Cons have a more active fear response system then they would need more release as well.


If liberal or h/g is the risk-taker, why are more liberals for gun control? You'd think a hunter-gatherer genotype would be much more inclined to retain personal weapons and the means of self-defense.

If liberal is h/g is risk-taker or braver, why are more liberals anti-war? Why do more conservatives join the military?
We're hardwired to run because our ancestors were the prey. If any human could run then that's usually the best course of action because historically (millions of years) we couldn't defeat the predator. Only when we have overwhelming odds or are cornered have we turned against the predator. We started using spears less than a million years ago but we didn't hunt predators (as far as we know), we hunted herbivores. The a/p lifestyle changed that when we first started defending our livestock.

How do you explain people who are politically conservative but who, in their personal life, exhibit lots of risk-taking behavior?
That's essentially the same as answer #2 above. They need that adrenaline rush and if they're Cons there's even more of a need for it.
Back to my question about the military....
Military More Republican, Conservative Than Public – Poll by Jim Lobe

The article goes on to confirm that the large majority of military personnel tend to hold rather conservative beliefs in general.

Military is certainly a risk-taker profession,.
But the military is also a highly structured society. Everybody has their limited role to play and that role is spelled out very well. You're constantly reminded that you're part of a huge group with the same basic goals and that you all have to move in the same direction to achieve those goals. All members march to the same drum. There's little room for individuality and extreme cases of that are often frowned upon. Sure, some people may enter the military just to get into a fight but more likely it's "King & Country" and the lifestyle. What percentage of all military personnel actually see ground combat? 10%, maybe 20%?
 

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An interesting note from an Islander friend of mine is you can see different personality types in different Islander groups. Basically, the closer in a group is to New Guinea/Asia, the more aggressive/warlike they are likely to be (apart from isolation like New Zealand and Easter Island where other factors are at work) with more "peaceful" groups at the outer fringes, where they went to get away from the strife.
The higher aggression in tribes under more survival pressure would seem logical. Apparently there are fewer natural predators in these areas or the tribes have taken to weeding out other predators to protect the population of their own prey, whatever it is they're hunting.

I've also read that warfare was more costly for tribal groups. Even the loss of one life in a tribe is huge compared to their village counterparts. Consider a tribe of 50, one loss is 2% of the group but what is one life to 1000 villagers? And in one group it's probably a friend that dies, in the other many wouldn't know the dead or only know them fleetingly. For a tribe it's best to avoid war if at all possible. That would seem to reinforce the Lib-h/g connection. In general I agree with your assessment of Libs in hunting and warfare. Lib warfare has more to do with defense than imperialism. Modern hunting is a release mechanism for either group, it's not a lifestyle.

Goshin's posts have high-lighted something, though, and it may be nothing more than a misunderstanding. You've portrayed h/g's as greater risk takers in that they tend to be unafraid of exploration (the unknown) and accept unseen risk better then a/p's. This has caused confusion with foreseeable risk taking. Knowingly throwing yourself into a fight when there seems no other way out doesn't seem to be the same behavior as invading another's land. One is defense, an obvious risk, the other is conquest, an unseen risk. Extreme liberals may be pacifists but I've never considered mainline liberals to be that way. If you're forced to fight (backed into a corner) then you fight with everything you have but just because you're willing to take a risk on the unknown doesn't mean you go looking for a fight. One is an obvious threat (backed into a corner), the other a perceived threat - my enemy is coming for me so I'll go after him, first. Am I understanding you correctly? (This also highlights your original idea about perceived threat and I can now see where that came from.)
 
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A quick one here - a great article I just found but pretty long:
Inaugural Article: The evolution of lethal intergroup violence

The evolution of lethal intergroup violence thus encompasses three major periods: (i) the era of coalitionary killing, (ii) the era of intrinsic defensive advantage, and (iii) the era of war. An advance in weapons technology (the javelin-like throwing spear) engenders the first transition, whereas an advance in military organization and tactics produces the second.
 

rathi

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This is utter nonsense. It is utterly ridiculous to pretend that the present day American political divide is somehow indicative of human genetics. The terms Liberal and Conservative are near meaningless labels which constantly change what their incredibly vague definitions. Especially since the obvious culprit for political differences is the entrenched American two party system. Your entire concept utterly breaks down when applied to the vast majority of countries past or present who had a different political setup. We won't even get into the actual science of genetics.
 
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