Editor's Note: Chris Mooney is the author of "The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science–and Reality."
Is it possible that, as children, we’re already either “liberal” or “conservative”? Do we actually have at least some elements of a nascent ideology well before we even know what that means?
In the 1882 comic opera Iolanthe, Gilbert and Sullivan planted precisely this idea - long before there was any science to back it up. Here’s their verse – which is, admittedly set in a humorous context:
Nature always does contrive
That every boy and every gal
Who’s born into this world alive
Is either a little liberal
Or else a little conservative!