Scottish Daily Mail
How humans are natural born killers
HUMAN beings are natural born killers programmed to use lethal force on each other, a study claims.
Scientists looked at more than 1,000 species of mammal – including mankind from 50,000 years ago to the present – to assess ‘genetic’ levels of violence.
They said that two factors increase the likelihood of mammals killing their own species – sociability and territoriality. Humans are both social and territorial.
Researchers found that around one in 50 deaths among the earliest humans were the result of foul play – roughly the same frequency as apes and monkeys.
However now just 1 in 10,000 deaths are the result of inter-human killing.
Dr Jose Gomez, from the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid, said: ‘At the dawn of humankind, we were as violent as expected considering the common mammalian evolutionary history.’
The study, published in Nature, showed that levels of violence have changed as human populations have developed socially and politically. Dr Gomez added: ‘This suggests that culture can modulate the phylogenetically (evolutionarily) inherited lethal violence in humans.’