“Some of the most fascinating questions in theology and philosophy are now being tackled by the social and affective neurosciences. For example, are people inherently good? Are our capacities for love, empathy, and altruism uniquely human? … The fundamental components of most human traits are shared by other species, in both form and function, indicating a common ancestor and an evolution over time. For example, humans, monkeys, rodents, sheep, and dogs all share mechanisms for bonding with mates or for protecting newborn kin—processes that support acts of kindness. Indeed, the famous social bonding neuropeptide oxytocin can be traced over 500 million years, with analogous peptides found in birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, and some invertebrates….” Continued……
Preston SD: The rewarding nature of social contact. Science 357(6358): 1353-1354 (2017).
Hung LW, Neuner S, Polepalli JS, Beier KT, Wright M, Walsh JJ, Lewis EM, Luo L, Deisseroth K, Dölen G and Malenka RC: Gating of social reward by oxytocin in the ventral tegmental area. Science 357(6358): 1406-1411 (2017).