Mental illness is difficult to reconcile with the Darwinian theory of natural selection. Major psychiatric conditions, such as psychosis and suicidality, often occur in young adults and impair reproductive potential, yet they also appear to be genetically mediated.1 The challenge for evolutionary psychiatry has been to explain not only how such seemingly disadvantageous genes have evaded natural selection, but also how the widespread vulnerability to such conditions ever became established in the human genome in the first place.2In Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World,3 Girard, with psychiatrist coauthors Oughourlian and Lefort, advanced an account of human evolution in which the scapegoat mechanism...
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