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Is Polarization Genetic? is the third book in the author’s trilogy. His first book, The Biology of Belief (2000), became recommended reading at eight universities in Europe and North America in courses ranging from sociology, religion, history, philosophy, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and neurology to a cognitive neuroscience research seminar for doctoral candidates. A Kirkus review of his second book, Seeing Reality As It Is (2019), said his prose is technical yet accessible, and he does an admirable job of explaining his theories to the general reader...He seeks to synthesize the findings of many fields of study – genetics, neuroscience,  psychology, history, cosmology, and more – in order to put forth a cohesive theory for our individualized perceptions...An original, highly intriguing theory on how and why beliefs are formed, inherited, and transmitted. 

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Is Polarization Genetic? (2023) is a revolutionary explanation of why we are  so divided on current critical social, economic, and political issues. 

Is Polarization Genetic? explains why the United States has become increasingly divided on social and political issues since the 1970s. This third book in a trilogy explains why contrasting liberal and conservative psychological traits evolved as an advantage that gave Stone Age ancestral groups more options for solving problems and competing with other groups. However, an environmental change at the end of the last ice age diminished member collaboration. Without collaboration, once-beneficial differences in members’ conservative and liberal perspectives polarized members into factions, each blind to the wisdom of the other. And to varying degrees, we inherited their liberal and conservative genetic traits. 

EVOLUTION OF THE TRILOGY/SYNOPSES 

The first book, The Biology of Belief (2000) describes how our brains shape our perceptions and beliefs about reality and how our beliefs are transmitted and acquired. It became recommended reading at eight North American and European universities.  

 

The second book, Seeing Reality As It Is (2019), describes how our inherited brain traits, such as psychological biases, levels of neurotransmitters, and brain circuit variations, referred to as our metaphorical “genetic chaperone,” together with our life experiences, create our individual “circus mirror” versions of reality. In our mirror, each belief, bias, and other inborn trait distorts the mirror as it reflects reality. 

 

The third book, Is Polarization Genetic? (2023) explores why social and political polarization has recently increased in the United States. You might think your reasoning ability shapes your understanding of reality; however, your reasoning relies on your perceptions, which means perception-altering conservative or liberal traits you inherited contribute to shaping your understanding of reality. The book describes an email conversation with Dr. Robin Dunbar of Oxford University, supporting the view that natural selection would have formed our contrasting conservative and liberal genetic perspectives. The book theorizes that an evolutionary mismatch caused our ancestors’ previously beneficial conservative and liberal perceptions to create factions we recognize today as social and political polarization. 

 

The trilogy might change your perspective regarding why you believe as you do, why we all think our personal view of reality is accurate, and that liberal and conservative perspectives evolved genetically making our collaborating ancestors stronger. 

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THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF

The Biology of Belief describes the structure and function of the human brain and the influences that shape our beliefs.

This fascinating book is a lucid and readable exploration of our beliefs, drawing on biology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and religion to present a relatable explanation of this profound subject. It begins by examining how our brain structures and the workings of our minds influence how our beliefs are created and transmitted. It then explores how our beliefs change, define our realities, determine our actions, alter our perceptions, and perpetuate our cultures. Also explained is why our thought processes are imprecise and subject to manipulation by others without our conscious awareness. The Biology of Belief is a cutting-edge work that can change how we think about ourselves and the world around us.  

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SEEING REALITY AS IT IS

Seeing Reality As It Is provides a transformational explanation of how and why we perceive reality differently.
 

This second book in a trilogy draws on biology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and religion to present an understandable treatise on this profound and complex subject. The book asks, “If there is one reality, why can't we agree on what it is?” It then describes influences that shape how we perceive reality, dating back to our earliest Stone Age ancestors. 

The book introduces the concept of “genetic chaperones,” which are survival-enhancing genetic adaptations passed down from generation to generation. Genetic chaperones include thought-altering neurochemicals, survival-enhancing biases, and variations in our neural circuits. Genetic chaperones cause us to perceive fictitious survival-enhancing versions of reality instead of perceiving reality as it is. And by “hacking” our genetic chaperones, modern propagandists and others manipulate our perceptions and beliefs. By changing how we see ourselves and the world around us, Seeing Reality As It Is makes our social and political conflicts understandable. 

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