Tuesday, 16 April 2013

New Scientist returns to nature/nurture debate

Did you know that "lower heart rates are a better indicator of criminal behaviour than smoking is of lung cancer"? Nor me, yet this is a key point in understanding the biological, often genetic, origins of crime.

Most humanists, I guess, think of crime as a response to bad circumstances. We don't like to call people evil because that sounds religious and because it sounds incurable. Yet there's lots of evidence to implicate the effects of the physical environment (eg lead poisoning) and, more controversially, genes as causes of crime.

Humanists should be guided by the evidence so its worth looking at NS's review of The Anatomy of Violence by Adrian Raine.

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