Over the long run, conservatives could end up winning the ideological contest with fertility rather than arguments.
By now there is a huge body of literature in behavioral genetics, which shows that pretty much every psychological characteristic we can measure is to some degree heritable. This raises a question that has received little discussion beyond academia – what about political views? Are they heritable? And if so, what does this mean for the political landscape of future generations?
The evidence for the heritability of psychological traits is immense. The authors of a recent meta-analysis published in Nature Genetics looked at 2,748 publications surveying 17,804 traits. They found that “estimates of heritability cluster strongly within functional domains, and across all traits the reported heritability is 49%.”
These results shouldn’t be surprising. If offspring didn’t resemble parents to some degree, evolution as we understand it could not occur. Indeed, according to the Darwinian paradigm, evolution takes place through variation and selection.
Imagine, for example, that you wanted to domesticate a wild animal. Foxes are cute, so let’s talk about them. One thing we know about foxes is that some of them are naturally aggressive, while others are more docile. Suppose you decide to mate the most gentle males with the most gentle females. Do the same thing for a number of generations, and eventually you’ll have an animal that more closely resembles a modern dog than a fox.