Chat GPT - a language model / artificial intelligence/ chat bot - has been on the news lately, usually when it says something dumb or offensive, but those are the minority of cases. The majority of the time it is impressive. Here is a conversation I had with it:
Is resistance to change a heritable trait? Is openness and willingness to try new things a heritable trait? Is the disgust reaction a heritable trait? Please provide either sources or evidence for your claims. Also please suggest where on the internet or in books I might be available to find more information about this?
Resistance to change, openness and willingness to try new things, and the disgust reaction are all traits that have been studied in relation to genetics and heritability.
Research has shown that some aspects of personality, such as resistance to change and openness to new experiences, have a moderate to high heritability, meaning that genetics plays a significant role in determining these traits. However, it is important to note that heritability does not mean that these traits are solely determined by genetics, and environmental factors also play a role.
The disgust reaction, which is related to the immune system and is thought to have evolved as a way to protect against pathogens, has also been studied in relation to genetics. Studies have found that certain genetic variations are associated with increased or decreased disgust sensitivity, which suggests a heritable component to this trait.
For more information about heritability and personality, you might try looking for articles and studies in academic journals such as “Personality and Social Psychology Review” and “Journal of Personality”. Additionally, books such as “Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are” by David C. Funder and “The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology” edited by David M. Buss might be useful resources.
Let me tell you my theory and then perhaps you can critique it and tell me how likely you think it is true. My theory is that people with higher resistance to change would have had a higher chance of survival thousands of years ago because they would have stayed in safe places and only eaten foods known to be safe. People with higher willingness to try things might have explored more and therefore been killed by predators or rival groups, or tried different foods more willingly and then been poisoned and died. Given the heritability of these traits, it may be that we humans still today have the evolutionary psychology that was useful thousands of years ago, but is less optimal today. This would cause humanity to be overly resistance to change today, for example in relation to replacing fossil fuels with low carbon energy. What do you think?
The theory you’ve described about the evolution of resistance to change and willingness to try new things is an interesting one, and it’s certainly possible that the traits you’ve described could have been selected for in the past. However, it’s important to note that evolution is a complex process and the factors that influence the selection of certain traits can vary depending on the specific context. Additionally, while there may be some genetic basis to these traits, they are also likely influenced by environmental factors and individual experiences.
As for the specific example of resistance to change in relation to replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon energy, it’s certainly true that there are many factors that can make it difficult for individuals and societies to change their behaviors and adopt new technologies. However, it’s also worth considering that there are many other factors that can influence this process, such as economic, political, and social considerations.
It’s also worth noting that the heritability of psychological traits is a complex and controversial topic and more research is needed to understand the specific genetic and environmental factors that contribute to these traits.
You may want to read some books on Evolutionary psychology, and also research articles on heritability of behavioral traits and the influence of culture, society, and environment on behavior change.