The human dominant culture in recent centuries has been behaving unlike any other animal on the planet—destructive of virtually all other species and each other. No other animal routinely destroys conspecifics (members of the same species) except under extreme stress.

Some people explain human selfishness, aggressiveness and destructiveness by pointing to genes, a type of “original sin,” an inbred evilness. This we know is untrue.

We know now that most of what a person becomes is due to epigenetics—whether genes are turned on properly at critical or sensitive periods during development. And there are a lot of genes that get turned on from experience in a human’s life—more so than for any other animal.

So it matters what a child’s experiences are, the time period when epigenetic programming is most likely to occur. It turns out that we have been providing species-atypical nests for human young and thereby created species-atypical human beings.

I discuss these issues and what we can do in a 45 minute interview on Derrick Jensen’s radio show.

The interview is based on my book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom
 

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