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Today: Aggression was an evolutionary advantage

February 20th, 2015

Episode 157 of 1744 episodes

Professor Stephen Hawking has said if he could alter one human shortcoming it would be aggression. He said the emotion was necessary in caveman days but now 'threatens to destroy us all' and would like to see it replaced with empathy. Dr Simon Underdown, principal lecturer in human evolution at Oxford Brookes University and vice-president of the Royal Anthropology Institute, said being able to react aggressively to situations had assisted humans' evolutionary success. "Humans are very good at reading situations that we find ourselves in....from an evolutionary point of view, the reason we're so successful and we're still here, is because we can, and when we need to, react aggressively to situations." he said.

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