Associated Press photo
Do all of these creatures have big ol’ amygdalas?
There is news out that British scientists have discovered a difference between the brains of liberals and the brains of conservatives (yes, apparently scientists actually have found brains inside of conservative skulls).
Apparently, conservatives have larger amygdalas than do liberals, and liberals have thicker anterior cingulates than do conservatives.
Huh? you say.
A Brit scientist explains that “The amygdala is a part of the brain which is very old and very ancient and thought to be very primitive and to do with the detection of emotions.”
Uh, would that be the “reptilian brain” that the scientists talk about? Wouldn’t having a larger primitive portion of the brain make the individual more primitive?
A Salon.com piece on the British brain research states that
The amygdala — typically thought of as the “primitive brain” — is responsible for reflexive impulses, like fear. The anterior cingulate is thought to be responsible for courage and optimism. This one-two punch could be responsible for many of the anecdotal claims that conservatives “think differently” from others.
Wow. I’ve always thought that wingnuts were from a different planet — or at least comprise a different species — but there seems to be emerging proof…
Of course, while I’m certainly no brain researcher, I have to wonder whether people are born with a left-wing or a right-wing brain or if the brain structure itself changes over time as the result of nurture. A person brought up in a rabidly right-wing family, for instance: brought up in an environment of fear, does the fear center of his or her brain hypertrophy in response?
Is there a correlation between being type A (uptight) and being conservative and being type B (mellow) and being liberal?
How much does nature and how much does nurture contribute to one’s political orientation and to any brain differences that correlate to political orientation?
There’s so much that we don’t know, but outsized reptilian brains in the likes of tea-baggers Joe Miller and Christine O’Donnell just might (help) explain why I don’t feel any kinship whatsofucking ever to such fascists as Miller and O’Donnell, who are in the news lately — Miller because even though the re-election of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska finally was certified today after the state’s Supreme Court and a federal court both ruled that she won the election fairly and squarely, Miller still might continue his legal battle to have obvious write-in votes for Murkowski thrown out on technicalities*, and O’Donnell (who also lost her tea-baggin’ bid for the U.S. Senate) because she is crying that a federal probe into whether or not she illegally put campaign funds to personal use is purely political, that she’s a victim, when, of course, she either did or did not break the law, which the probe should uncover.
Anyway, maybe one day the No. 1 piece of information that we’re going to want to know about a political candidate is the result of his or her brain scan…
But I can tell you, without a scan, that my anterior cingulate is fucking humongous.
*Team Miller actually wanted votes thrown out if Murkowski’s name was written in but the oval next to her name was not filled in, and wanted all misspellings thrown out, notes The Associated Press. Below is an AP photo of an actual ballot that Team Miller challenged:
Associated Press photo
The voter forgot the “w” and so apparently used a caret mark to squeeze it in between the “o” and the “s”, yet Team Miller apparently would invalidate this vote. And this one, too, because the voter wrote “Murkowski, Lisa” instead of “Lisa Murkowski”:
Associated Press photo
And this one, too, because the voter apparently writes his or her “s’s” and “k’s” in a non-standard way:
Wow. That’s just fucking evil, to know that the voter fully intended to vote for Murkowski, but to throw out the vote on a technicality. On this ballot, the voter indeed misspelled “Murkowski,” but can any reasonable, truthful individual truthfully assert that the voter did not intend to vote for Lisa Murkowski?
Thankfully, the courts that Team Miller went whining to agreed that Team Miller’s complete and total disregard for the will of the Alaskan voter is moose shit.
What kind of person wants elected political office whether he or she really won the office or not?
OK, George W. Bush, you say.
Well, yeah, true, but it’s gratifying to know that although the U.S. Supreme Court kicked democracy in the teeth (and then shit and pissed all over it) and handed the presidential election to Bush in 2000, Team Miller hasn’t had similar success in subverting the democratic process.