This book explores the answers to fundamental questions about the human mind and human behaviour with the help of two ancient texts. The first is Oedipus Rex (Oedipus Tyrannus) by Sophocles, written in the 5th century BCE. The second is human DNA, with its origins around 4 billion years ago, and continuously revised by chance and evolution. With Sophocles as a guide, the authors take a journey into the Genomic era, an age marked by ever-expanding insights into the human genome. Over the course of this journey, the book explores themes of free will, fate, and chance; prediction, misinterpretation, and the burden that comes with knowledge of the future; self-fulfilling and self-defeating prophecies; the forces that contribute to similarities and differences among people; roots and lineage; and the judgement of oneself and others.
Using Oedipus Rex as its lens, this novel work provides an engaging overview of behavioural genetics that demonstrates its relevance across the humanities and the social and life sciences. It will appeal in particular to students and scholars of genetics, education, psychology, sociology, and law.