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Unread October 24th, 2007, 11:45 AM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Philadelphia area
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Default Abortion & the Right

I enjoy the political right and cherish the contributions of its members. I also enjoy histories of our culture but see them as wardrobes for that of our species. It also appears true to this agnostic mind that no culture has lasted long when guided by secularism. Not only am I more likely to commit suicide, but so is one-half of my country.

With reference to abortion, the evidence is overwhelming that:

1) Women have always cast aside children who were unhealthy, handicapped, or beyond the mother's financial, emotional, or physical abilities to support. Such is true in nonhuman species and such has always been true of our own, and more often for sons than for daughters. (For example, 1.6 males are conceived for every female but one-third of those guys never make it to delivery. Son also vary more than daughters for nearly every trait measured. Such variation puts more guys in the Guinness Book of Records, institutions, or jails. Also see Murray, 2003.)

The task of women has always been that of choosing between us guys.

2) Religions and histories record the accomplishments of males and ignore contributions from, and the nature of, the jury that evaluates male achievements. Sarah Hrdy's book, Mother Nature, goes through the women's side of our evolution in perhaps five hundred pages of text, numbers, and pictures, all organized within the finest traditions of both literature and anthropology. (In the middle ages, for example, mothers wrapped their newest baby and left it at the nearest convent where starvation, disease, and neglect, nine time out of ten, killed the child. Such mothers often nursed the children of wealthier mothers, selling hugs and milk in order to feed the older siblings fo the sacrificed infant.)

Of course, there's a lawyer! Owen Jones, on Vanderbilt's faculty, lines up legal traditions with what scientists believe about human nature. He also heads a $21 million research institute at Vanderbilt. I met him briefly in Cincinnati where he was a key speaker at the 27th annual meeting of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences.

3) A genetic foundation biases what is done by leftists and those on the far right. (This phenomenon has even been recognized by the NY Times. See also Pinker, 2002, 2004) The middle third tends to be uncommitted by nature, and in matters of faith and morals, often do whatever their nearest friend or neighbor does.

Women, who are instinct-bound in the aggregate, to cast aside children they cannot manage, will be leery of restrictions on that option. On the other hand, roughly half of the middle is also suspicious of leftist excesses, top-down meddling, and insistence that we all must be just the same. Women as much as men resist being told what to do.
In addition, women generally go for larger governments and more government spending. (Lott, 2007) This is not good news for conservatism.

Abortion may lead the middle to hold hands on their left or right.

JimB

References:

Brody J (2005) ADHD: Inhibition, Emergent Networks, and Maternal Investment. Chapter 2 in Michelle Larimer (Ed.) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Research. Hauppage, NY: Nova Science Biomedical Series. pp.19-58.
Hrdy, Sarah Blaffer (1999) Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection. NY: Pantheon Press.
Lott JR (2007) Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don't. Washington, DC, Regnery.
Lott JR (1999) "How Dramatically Did Women's Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?" (September 1998). Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 107, Number 6, Part 1, pp. 1163-1198
Jones OD "The Origins of Shared Intuitions of Justice," 60 Vanderbilt Law Review (with Paul Robinson & Robert Kurzban) (forthcoming Fall 2007) "Law, Responsibility, and the Brain," 5 PLOS Biology 693 (April 2007) (with Dean Mobbs, Hakwan C. Lau and Christopher D. Frith) Behavioral Genetics and Criminal Law, In Context," 69 Law & Contemporary Problems (2006) (Special Issue: Behavioral Genetics and Criminal Law) "Law and Behavioral Biology," 105 Columbia Law Review 405 (2005) (with Timothy H. Goldsmith) "Law, Evolution, and the Brain: Applications and Open Questions," 359 Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences 1697 (2004) (Special Issue: Law and the Brain; Republished in Law and the Brain, Zeki & Goodenough eds., Oxford 2006)
Murray C (2003) Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts & Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 NY: Harper Collins.
Pinker S (2002) The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. NY: Viking.
Pinker S (2004) Why nature & nurture won't go away. Daedelus. 133, Fall, 5-17.
Wilson EO (1978/2004) On Human Nature. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ Press.
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