Oliver James

Why Do We Fight?

The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime


Allen Lane/The Penguin Press 496pp £25 order from our bookshop

Since the publication of the map of the human genome by the Human Genome Project (HGP), genes have, at least so far, been shown to play astonishingly little role in explaining why one sibling’s psychology is different from another’s. This is an incontestable fact. No molecular geneticists can dispute it since the vast majority of the many hundreds of studies performed have shown that less than 1 per cent of the variance of any psychological trait – be it intelligence, mental illness of all kinds or personality – is explicable by differences in DNA. The most that almost any studies find explicable by DNA is around the 5 per cent mark. 

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