Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genes contribute to patriotism and group loyalty

15.11.2005


Research showing how genes affect group loyalty and patriotism was published in the October 2005 issue of Nations and Nationalism, an academic journal of the London School of Economics.



Entitled "Ethnic nationalism, evolutionary psychology, and genetic similarity theory," it shows how genetic similarity provides "social glue" in groups as small as two spouses and best friends or in those as large as nations and alliances.

The evidence comes from studies of identical and non-identical twins, adopted and non-adopted children, blood tests, social assortment, heritabilities, family bereavements, and large-scale population genetics.


For example, identical twins grieve more for their co-twin than do non-identical twins. And, family members grieve more for children who resemble their side of the family than they do their spouse’s side.

Also, spouses who are more genetically similar have longer and more satisfying marriages.

Based on their DNA, two randomly chosen individuals from the same ethnic group are found to be as related as first cousins.

Thus, two random people of English ancestry are the equivalent of a 3/8 cousin compared to people from the Near East; a 1/2 cousin by comparison with people from India; and like full cousins by comparison with people from China.

The study’s author, J. Philippe Rushton, professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario said, "This explains why people describe themselves as having "ties of blood" with members of their own ethnic group, who they view as "special" and different from outsiders; it explains why ethnic remarks are so easily taken as ’fighting words.’"

Human social preferences, like mate choice and ethnic nepotism, are anchored in the evolutionary psychology of altruism. Adopting a "gene’s eye" point of view allows us to see that people’s favoritism to kin and similar others evolved to help replicate shared genes.

Since in aggregate people share more genes with their co-ethnics than they do with their relatives, ethnic nepotism is a proxy for family nepotism.

The paper describes the history of the Jewish people as providing perhaps the best-documented example of how genetic similarity intersects culture, history, and even politics.

Jewish groups are genetically similar to each other even though they have been separated for two millennia. Jews from Iraq and Libya share more genes with Jews from Germany and Russia than either group shares with the non-Jewish populations among whom they have lived over the intervening centuries.

Recent DNA studies of the ancient Hindu caste system has confirmed that upper castes are more genetically related to Europeans than are lower castes who are genetically more related to other south Asians. Although outlawed in 1960, the caste system continues to be the main feature of Indian society, with powerful political repercussions.

The paper described the group-identification processes as innate--part of the evolved machinery of the human mind. Even very young children make in-group/out-group distinctions about race and ethnicity in the absence of social learning.

Prof. J. Philippe Rushton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.charlesdarwinresearch.org/

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>