Ah, The Daily Mail. It never fails to disappoint and deliver craptastic “news” like this.
A German neurologist claims to have found the area of the brain where evil lurks in killers, rapists and robbers.
Bremen scientist Dr Gerhard Roth says the ‘evil patch’ lies in the brain’s central lobe and shows up as a dark mass on X-rays.
He discovered it when investigating violent convicted offenders over the years for German government studies.
The dark mass at the front of the brain, he says, appears in all scans of people with records for criminal violence.
The piece includes zingers like this:
“But this is definitely the region of the brain where evil is formed and where it lurks.”
“But when I will look at young people, and I see there are developmental disorders in the lower forehead brain, I can say that there is a felon in the making with 66 per cent probability.”
First, I wonder if Dr. Roth actually said these things. I doubt it. But, let’s assume he did because the Daily Mail is putting it out there. Even I can tell this is neuro-b*ll*cks. “Evil” and “violence” can not be defined and certainly not pinpointed to a particular part of the brain or a deficiency in it.
But let’s get some more expert opinion.
Screw the ‘dark patch’ these evil-doers have grown another lobe. The man has discovered mutant three-lobe killer rapists.
Believe it or not, it actually gets worse.
There is no such thing as the ‘central lobe’, and ‘the lower forehead part of the brain’ is not a descriptive anatomical term. The ‘dark patch’ is clearly some sort of artifact, along with the black diagonal bar coming out of the skull. This is truly a laughable attempt at science journalism, and rather damaging to Dr. Roth’s reputation (although that’s his own fault).
This an apt comparison – to phrenology
In a bid to set brain research back a couple of centuries, The Daily Mail profiles a German neurologist who claims that the brains of all “killers, rapists and robbers” contain an “evil patch” that can be seen in MRI brain scans. That is no-shit what it says.[...] the Mail and neurologist Gerhard Roth frame the whole thing in language closer to phrenology than contemporary neuroscience.
We almost never link to the Daily Mail (or they would fill the blog) but this piece is making the rounds on other news sites and on forums like Above Top Secret and SOTT. So, I wanted to be sure we got into the Google results to highlight this awfulness.
Jon Ronson author of The Psychopath Test, laughed.
Here is Jon on psychopaths here. Very good stuff.
And here is his TED talk which is highly entertaining.
Thanks to Molly Hodgdon