Monday, August 13, 2007

Article about inherited social orientation

I've found the article that Rev. Tom Goldsmith used in his statement that we inherit genetically our social orientation, which leads to our political and religious affiliations. You can link to it here .

In reading this article, I see that it doesn't really address the study in the way I thought it did, but it's interesting anyhow. Maybe when I get Tom's lecture notes, I'll find something more to share.


Miss Kitty said...

Lakoff's Moral Politics is a pretty interesting book. I wish more people would read it. Guess it explains a little of how my sister and I, raised solidly conservative by red-state "cornhole" Republicans, turned out to be pretty liberal.

LinguistFriend said...

No, the O'Donnell article really does not make much of a specific
genetic statement but notes a multiplicity of factors determining voting patterns. That is not to say that genetic factors aren't part of the mix; surely they are part of it.
One also needs to be careful about the sources of information. George Lakoff, cited by Miss Kitty, is academically a linguist. He is not, so far, as I know, in the school that actually measures behavioral events. One of my Ph.D. students spent years measuring brain activity involved in speech, mostly at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, and wrote a good dissertation on the brain activity involved in changes in prosody in sentences. For a long time he has been a psychology professor and he has written a monograph on evolutionary psychology. That is a different background from someone whose academic training is in formal grammar, like Lakoff.