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/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht How protein islands form
15.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>