Click on Time Magazine for the article. I’ve written before about Genetics and Politics. What about Genetics and History? The author is the former New York Times Science Editor, Nicholas Wade.
Take a look at the following passage from the article:
Conventionally, these social differences are attributed solely to culture. But if that’s so, why is it apparently so hard for tribal societies like Iraq or Afghanistan to change their culture and operate like modern states? The explanation could be that tribal behavior has a genetic basis. It’s already known that a genetic system, based on the hormone oxytocin, seems to modulate the degree of in-group trust, and this is one way that natural selection could ratchet the degree of tribal behavior up or down.
There would be an interesting thing to look for. If people intermarry in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, how does the tribalism lessen? Where do factors, such as urbanization kick in? The evolution takes a while, but what starts it, and when does it kick in? It is true, China gave up tribalism around the time of Christ.
Yes, this could be ammunition for racists, but Mr. Wade is right. All humans share the same basic genes, even with differences. Maybe more education will help down the road. Further down I will show two of these differences and allow my readers to see what they think.
I will write more about English development when I get Economist Gregory Clark’s book to read. Thomas Malthus thought there would be too many people. Instead, England went from being a violent society to a quieter, more literate one.
Not as strange as it sounds. The animal kingdom can change by breeding even faster. Most animals, don’t live as long as humans. The Russians have had an experiment to show how certain wolves changed genetically and evolved into dogs. The wolves who became dogs weren’t afraid of us and wanted to be around humans. I also remember a Public Broadcasting show about Raccoons in Toronto. The urban animals are developing genetic differences in selection. Heck, humans still have arranged marriages in many places. The matchmaking wasn’t just to make the character Yente in Fiddler on the Roof happy. Alvin Toffler explained in The Third Wave what families might look for in a spouse. With the way she sees and the way he looks, they’re a perfect match.
In other words, English society wasn’t always this civil.
I just finished reading Nicholas Wade’s book. You realize through our history, human beings were selectively breeding for certain traits, they may just have not been able to put a word on it.
I wonder with modern society how human genetics are going to change, over what distances and what are people going to look for.