Over the past two days I’ve seen two articles. The first was that they noted atrophy in the hippocampus of those who have been ‘born again’. And the biggest core of the conservative side is comprised of those ‘born again’ folks.
The hippocampus is located on the inner side of the temporal lobe. It’s a smallish part that helps us remember things, and also controls part of our emotional health. It’ part of the limbic system:
Then I read this story about Why Conservatives Believe in Anti-Gay Pseudo-Science.
So in the first link we learn of the findings about the born again experience and atrophy or shrinkage of the hippocampus.
Then we learn in the second article that the conservatives believe the way they do because:
There are a small number of Christian right researchers and intellectuals who have tried to make a scientific case against same-sex marriages and unions, by citing alleged harms to children. This stuff isn’t mainstream or scientifically accepted — witness the APA’s statements on the matter. But from the perspective of the Christian right, that doesn’t really matter. When people are looking for evidence to support their deeply held views, the science suggests that people engage in “motivated reasoning.” Their deep emotional convictions guide the retrieval of self-supporting information that they then use to argue with, to prop themselves up. It isn’t about truth, it’s about feeling that you’re right — righteous, even.
Deep emotional convictions is the operative phrase. And what did we learn in the first article but that there is shrinking of the hippocampus, the organelle responsible for emotions and memory. Then we see that conservative beliefs are formed more by emotion.
So I believe it is reasonable to conclude that conservatism == brain damage, at least here in the U.S. So it’s something we can scan for, identify and cull!
Imagine a world without emotional idiots!