Overlooked in all the news about the human genome project was the discovery of a gene that explains all of your bad behaviors… greed, infidelity, gambling, debauchery, and giving into temptation of all sorts. For ten years, the Harvard economist Terry Burnham and UCLA biologist Jay Phelan have been studying the so called Mean Gene.
As disciples of “The E.O. Wilson School of Evolutionary Biology,” they say go ahead and blame your cavemen ancestors for your weight problem. When food was scarce, your prehistoric cousins adopted a host of strategies to survive, including eating as much as possible, whenever possible, and now you’re hardwired to do so. Likewise, we’re predisposed to spend every penny we earn and have unprotected sex with strangers.
This grand mismatch between modern life and evolutionary development could spawn a new self help movement; one that shuns Freud and celebrates Darwin.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Harvard economist Terry Burnham and UCLA biologist Jay Phelan