Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Science of Violence in Mice and Men

An article I wrote on the way the media reports on scientific studies was just published over at Christ and Pop Culture. It's entitled, The Science of Violence in Mice and Men":
"A few days ago a news article ran on the front page of Yahoo which reported on a recent scientific study. The research claims to show that mice - and by extension humans - naturally take pleasure in violence. Researchers taught a mouse to press a button if he wanted another male mouse to be released into his cage. They found that the mouse would consistently call for the intruder and then fight him, suggesting that the violence is viewed as a reward. The conclusion that is drawn is that humans, whose brains are “analogous” to the brains of mice, are built to crave violence like they crave sex. A desire for violence is a natural, although no longer “beneficial” aspect of our physiological make-up.

There are a few observations I’d like to make about this news report and the study it was based on... "
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