Scottish Daily Mail

How humans are natural born killers

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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.’

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