Identifying genetic markers will not stop crime

Discussion turned, in the wake of the Newtown killings, to better mental health services. If we could simply identify homicidal rage before it erupted, we could save lives. Don’t advances in biology and neurosciences permit us, finally, to say with some degree of certainty, just what we are and why we do the things we do?

Not by a long shot. Although we are on the cusp of a potentially transforming understanding of the relationship between minds and bodies, we’re hardly better off than we were in Plato’s day when it comes to understanding what makes the human psyche tick.

It all starts with the mysterious relationship between minds and bodies. We’ve decoded the genome, the sum of our genetic parts. Today, scientists are busily decoding the genetic structure of Adam Lanza. Will a quirky mutation, or an unusual sequence in genes, explain why he snapped and killed 27 people, including 20 children, in Newtown? Is there a mass murderer gene?

I doubt it, and, even if there were, finding it would prove a useless tool.


Read the original article here: Identifying genetic markers will not stop crime

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