In ‘Epigenetics and Character’, Dr Jim Penman details a revolutionary new theory about why societies prosper and why they decline. He shows how history is driven by changes in the character of ordinary people, rather than by economic and political forces or by the actions of leaders. The key to all this is epigenetics, the study of how the environment affects our genes. Dr Penman draws on history, biology, anthropology and economics to explain the real drivers of social change, and how evolutionary mechanisms designed to adapt animal social behaviour to changing food conditions shape human history. He shows that both China and the West are facing a danger more potent than global warming. But also, how use of epigenetics could radically change lives and societies for the better.
Epigenetics and Character is a rewritten version of ‘Biohistory: Decline of the West’, containing updates on Dr Penman’s research project which have led to important changes in the theory.