When many people think about Darwin’s theory of evolution and survival of the fittest, they assume that the competition to pass on genes is what defines human beings, and that that competitive impulse makes us ruthless at our core. What’s forgotten in that thought process is that humans have to not only pass on our genes, but also ensure our lineage by caring for our offspring – and that care makes us compassionate, rather than ruthless, at heart. Keep reading »
A study done at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio found that the parts of our brains that empathize and the parts that analyze are essentially unable to function at the same time. Instead, our brains move back and forth between the two functions. “This is a cognitive function we’ve evolved.Empathetic and analytic thinking are, at least to some extent, mutually exclusive in the brain,” explained Anthony Jack, one of the researchers.
This explains why even the most intelligent people can get taken in by a sob story, or why the overly analytical person can come off as cold-hearted, because only one function or the other is at work. Researchers also found that some people tend to rely on one function or the other. Keep reading »