Friday, September 03, 2004

The Guardian: Mindless brutality? No, it's the spiteful gene

"We have all heard of the selfish gene, but in extreme circumstances genes can be downright spiteful too, scientists have discovered. Researchers at Edinburgh University who studied the brutal behaviour of bacteria and insects say spiteful behaviour is not only justified at times but is hard-wired into our genes."
But those of you who may be thrilled at finding scientific justification for your bad behaviour, be warned, for the articles goes on to say that

"But while genes might make bacteria and insects prone to bouts of spite, they are unlikely to account for dubious human behaviour. "It could explain any deep, primal spiteful emotions if we ever have any, but suicide bombers and issues of what you could call spite in the news are more to do with people's beliefs than their genes. People don't really do what their genes tell them to do," said Dr Gardner."

No comments: