*New York Times* (Tuesday, Dec 1) includes an article: “We
May Be Born With an Urge to Help” by Nicholas Wade.

Here are some excerpts:

[begin excerpts]

What is the essence of human nature?

Flawed, say many theologians.

Vicious and addicted to warfare, wrote Hobbes.

Selfish and in need of considerable improvement, think many parents.

But biologists are beginning to form a generally sunnier view of humankind.

<snip>

The somewhat surprising answer at which some biologists have arrived is
that babies are innately sociable and helpful to others.

Of course every animal must to some extent be selfish to survive.

But the biologists also see in humans a natural willingness to help.
(more…)