Wired to kill: Are we innate murderers? – PoliceOne.com

Before we define all of humanity as malevolent beasts, we are cautioned to consider that civilization has evolved into a semblance of order and control, and while humans may possess the genetic characteristics for violence, researchers believe that we are also hardwired for compassion and empathy, especially with regards to children.

 

Researchers at the University of Chicago tested the empathic qualities of 17 typically developed children and discovered that neural networks trigger the ability to comprehend and understand self, others and the role of empathy: “…by the age of 39 months, healthy individuals distinguish, in their judgments, moral transgression and conventional transgressions” (Decety, Michalska, & Akitsiki, Y. 2008).

 

So if natural selection has provided humans the capacity for both violence and empathy, what conditions influence which direction one takes?

 

by Sgt. Steve “Pappy” Papenfuhs