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Examiner
  • Jason Offutt: Who knows where evil lurks

  • In a brilliant example of science doing something that’s actually cool, a German neurologist has discovered something he calls the “dark patch” in the center of the human brain that is the genetic source of someone being a complete jerk.

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  •  In a brilliant example of science doing something that’s actually cool, a German neurologist has discovered something he calls the “dark patch” in the center of the human brain that is the genetic source of someone being a complete jerk.
    Of course, I’m not using the technical term here. “Jerk” is a bit too colloquial for scientists. I’ll use what its discoverer Dr. Gerhard Roth claimed in scientific mumbo-jumbo – he calls it the “evil spot.” Not to be confused with Detroit.
    Studying the brains of really naughty people, like robbers, killers, and those who take up two parking spaces, Roth claims he found a dark splotch in the emotional centers of a criminal’s brain that doesn’t react when stimulated by short films depicting ultra-violent acts.
    “Whenever there were brutal and squalid scenes, the subjects showed no emotions,” Roth told The London Daily Mail. “In the areas of the brain where we create compassion and sorrow, nothing happened.”
    I wonder what would happen if he’d run this test on members of Congress?
    “This,” Roth was quoted on the blog BioEdge, “is definitely the region of the brain where evil is formed and where it lurks.”
    Other scientists, such as Dr. Steven Galetta, chairman of the neurology department at the NYU School of Medicine, pooh-pooped the idea to Fox News, mainly because he didn’t think of it first.
    “People look at the blood flow to one area and they say, ‘aha, this is the evil patch,’” Galetta told FoxNews.com. I don’t know how it sounded in person, but in my head it was all smarmy. “It’s probably a lot more complex than that.”
    Galetta obviously forgot Lesson One in dealing with people: Don’t argue with Germans. Ever hear a little thing called World War One? How about Two? Germans don’t like it when you don’t agree with them.
    Terre Constantine, executive director of the Brain Research Foundation, gives Roth’s discovery a little more credence than does Galetta.
    “I would argue it’s probably not the only ‘evil’ spot,” she said to Fox News. “This may be one of the spots, but I’d be surprised if it’s THE spot.”
    But what if Roth is right? What if just by hooking people up to machines that make little “ding” sounds, and forcing them to watch “Pulp Fiction,” scientists can determine if someone’s going to become a serial killer, or worse, Lindsay Lohan?
    Sure, that would stomp all over our civil rights, but it’d be just another day in government work, right?*
    Would the results be worth it? Yeah, maybe if it could find the guy who may one day play his music too loud driving down my street, or become Stalin, or something
    Page 2 of 2 - *Don’t give me any guff. The day the city of New York can decide to limit the size soda an American citizen can buy, the government can do anything to us.
    Follow Jason Offutt on Twitter @TheJasonOffutt.
     
     
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