6 Some Have the Warrior
The most convincing evidence that at least
some of us are inherently violent is the
existence of the so called “ warrior gene .” This
gene is technically known as monoamine
oxidase A (MAOA), and while everyone has it, in
a certain percentage of the population this gene
exhibits low or no activity. Interestingly, those
who have a low-performing MAOA gene are more
prone to aggression and violent behavior—hence,
the name “warrior gene.”
Just having the gene doesn’t guarantee you’ll be
a violent person, yet it does mean you are
predisposed towards aggression and impulsive
decisions. Researchers have found those who
have both troubled upbringings and the warrior
gene are most likely to act out negatively. For
instance, in a 2009 murder trial, a man was
facing the death penalty for sadistically carving
up and murdering his wife and her friend. The
lawyer cited the warrior gene and an abusive
childhood as the man’s defense, and apparently
the man’s bad luck in both the nature and
nurture departments convinced the jury to give
him 32 years in prison instead of death.
It turns out, around one-third of people in the
Western world have the warrior gene, and it’s
present in as much as two-thirds of people in
other, especially tribal, populations. Incidentally,
women are less likely to have the gene since
women have two copies of the X chromosome
(where MAOA is carried), and it’s suspected the
availability of two MAOAs would counteract any
5 Violence as Entertainment
In some ways we aren’t much different than the
ancient Romans with their gladiator games and
fascination with blood and gore. For instance,
prime time TV is full of shoot em’ up cop shows
and gruesome crime scenes, most news
agencies stick with the ‘if it bleeds, it leads’
philosophy, and one of the most violent sports in
existence, mixed martial arts fighting, has been
dubbed the fastest growing sport in the world.
Without a doubt, we have a definite attraction to
While most of the research regarding violence in
entertainment has to do with how viewing it
affects our behavior, perhaps the bigger question
is why we like watching it in the first place?
Maybe we’re drawn to it as a way to vicariously
live out our savage instincts, or possibly we’re
not so much attracted to the violence as we are
the excitement. Some scientists argue our
humdrum, civilized lives lack sensation and the
thrill of conflict and danger provides a type of
escape. The only problem with that theory is it
doesn’t explain why native people also have
ritual violence—unless it breaks up the monotony
of their days too.
4 Great Thinkers Believed
Humans Were Evil
Towards the end of his life, Freud became
largely disenchanted with the human species
and considered us one of the worst types of
animals. Granted, a lot of his feelings were
based on the tumultuous time period in which he
lived, as he witnessed World War I and died just
as another major war, World War II, was getting
In his 1930 book, Civilizations and its
Discontents, he wrote “…men are not gentle
creatures, who want to be loved, who at the
most can defend themselves if they are
attacked; they are, on the contrary, creatures
among whose instinctual endowments is to be
reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness.”
Hundreds of years before Freud, philosopher
Thomas Hobbes had a similarly pessimistic view
of humanity and famously wrote that the life of
man in his natural state is “solitary, poor, nasty,
brutish, and short.” Essentially, he believed all
men were equally capable of killing, and when
two people want the same thing the inevitable
outcome is war. In his mind, government and
civil society were the only ways to curb the
brutishness, yet he admitted even governments
and the elite were full of corruption.
3 Babies are Easily Bribed
So, if we ignore Freud and Hobbes for the
moment and assume other thinkers are correct,
like Jean Jacques Rousseau who thought
humans were naturally good or John Locke who
believed we all started as a blank slate. Then it
makes sense to presume babies—people who
have been influenced the least by the world—
would lean towards goodness or neutrality. But,
is that really the case?
It’s difficult to say because, if you’ve spent any
time with a toddler, you know at one point in the
day he might be smashing his brother on the
head with a wooden block and then five minutes
later he’s generously offering you the soggy
portion of his half-eaten cookie. Also, we have to
teach them how to behave in a socially
acceptable manner (i.e. don’t hit, bite, steal, and
always, always share). If humans are naturally
good, why do we have to spend so much time
teaching children how to behave?
Despite all the social instruction that goes on
during people’s formative years, researcher Arber
Tasimi at Yale University believes his studies
prove babies are naturally altruistic. The majority
of his tests involve putting toddlers in various
situations where they can choose to be selfish or
helpful without reward. Surprisingly, in many
instances the toddlers went out of their way to
help others even when it was inconvenient and
offered no incentive.
Regrettably, Tasimi’s theories go out the window
when a mere cracker enters the equation. Yes,
the toddlers in the study would quickly side with
a “bad guy” or be unhelpful if it meant getting
three graham crackers as opposed to one.
Evidently, like most adults, children can be
convinced to do wrong if the price is high
2 We Have Government
The simple fact that we have any type of
government suggests we believe society would
spiral into absolute mayhem if there wasn’t
someone making and enforcing laws. Essentially,
we have very little trust in our fellow man to not
kill or steal from us, so we willingly give up
many of our own personal freedoms for the sake
of protection. This in itself is pretty strong
evidence that we believe a large portion of
people aren’t innately good.
But would pandemonium actually ensue if we
abolished government and lived in an anarchist
state? It’s hard to say since hardly any major
anarchist groups have existed throughout history
—and perhaps that’s proof enough they don’t
work. Even most hunter gatherer and tribal
people, like the Australian Aborigines , rely on a
group of elders to guide their community.
However, there was at least one significant
anarchist society in history, which existed in the
Ukraine between 1918 and 1921. It was named
the Free Territory and consisted of around 7
million people who lived and worked communally
to meet their collective needs. Still, even the
Free Territory ended up having a leader of sorts
in Nestor Makhno who served as the group’s
main military strategist and advisor during the
Ukrainian Revolution battles. In the end, the
Bolsheviks branded the Free Territory as a
warlord regime and forcibly overtook their land.
Who knows what would have happened if this
Ukrainian enclave was left to its own devices for
the long term.
1 Twins Fight in the Womb
Apparently, our instinct to stay alive and
compete for resources starts early… really early.
Recently, high-clarity MRIs have shown twins
fighting for space in the womb by kicking and
pushing their sibling out of the way. Doctors
initially planned to use the MRIs to study a
different “selfish” condition, twin-to-twin
transfusion syndrome, where one identical twin
siphons blood away from the other. If stealing
blood wasn’t bad enough, in cases of vanishing
twin syndrome, a fetus will absorb their weaker
uterine companion until it miscarries or simply
“vanishes”—a legitimate survival of the fittest
In truth, the twin who’s making off with the extra
blood or nutrients isn’t consciously choosing to
“steal” from his womb-mate, yet it’s interesting
to see how even as fetuses we have to properly
balance the available resources if everyone is to
When it comes down to it, all our seemingly
violent or egocentric impulses may be ingrained
survival instincts. In other words, we’ll do what’s
necessary to stay alive and make conditions
more comfortable for ourselves. In our modern
world some of these self-centered instincts are
likely unnecessary, yet it’s quite a challenge to
suppress millions of years of evolution.
written by : S GRANT

Temi Badmus
Temi Badmus
Temi Badmus is a Food scientist and an Art enthusiast. Her desire is to give a listening ear to people and to give an opportunity for everyone to be heard. Has any one told you that you are special? Yes, you are. You were beautifully designed, you are relevant to this generation and very special to me. Connect with me on LinkedIn


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