Natural Born Killer?
Italian physician Cesare Lombroso gained notoriety in the 19th century for his studies relating to criminology. Lombroso, who was born on Nov. 18, 1836, applied a Darwinian approach of evolution to human criminals. Lombroso studied head measurements and their relationship to personality, but he limited his studies to criminals -- both living and dead. After comparing the measurements to those of apes and prehistoric humans, he concluded that some criminals had characteristics that were similar to primitive man. He called these characteristics "stigmata." Although Lombroso's theory was later disproved, his ideas were popular during his lifetime. Over the years, Lombroso, who spearheaded efforts to rehabilitate criminals, conceded that social factors have an influence on criminal behavior, but for the rest of his life, he believed that at least 40 percent of criminals inherited their abnormal behavior.
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