[ExI] Really? and EP

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon Apr 20 14:49:34 UTC 2009

On 4/20/09, Keith Henson wrote:
> This demonstrates an appalling misunderstanding of evolution.
>  Humans who fought when the net advantage of fighting to their genes
>  (including copies in relatives) was negative did not (statistically)
>  become out ancestors.
>  Have you read *any* of the major works in the field?

You think?  Hey, I'm not the one who loves quoting that a few hundred
years buying stuff in shops caused evolution in the English population
to start the Industrial Revolution.  :)

Human have been fighting wars since humans began. And they have got
really good at it.
Try:  http://www.physorg.com/news140174454.html
 Wars are costly in terms of lives and resources – so why have we
fought them throughout human history? In modern times, states may
fight wars for a number of complex reasons. But in the past, most
tribal wars were fought for the most basic resources: goods,
territory, and women.

These reproduction-enhancing resources prompted our ancestors to fight
in order to pass down their family genes. With war as a driving force
for survival, an interesting pattern occurred, according to a new
study. People with certain warrior-like traits were more likely to
engage in and win wars, and then passed their warrior genes down to
their children, which – on an evolutionary timescale – made their
tribe even more warrior-like. In short, humans seem to have become
more aggressive over time due to war’s essential benefits.

In their study, Stanford University scientists Laurent Lehmann and
Marcus Feldman have presented a model showing that aggressive traits
in males may have evolved as an adaptation to limited reproductive
resources. Because tribal war serves as a method for appropriating
territory and women, war may have driven the evolution of these

Today’s modern wars between large states, as opposed to tribal wars,
don’t follow the same model. Rather, one of the most common
explanations is that modern wars are fought when the benefits outweigh
the costs, in a fairly rational way. But do the results of this study,
showing that we are all offspring of conquerors, suggest an underlying
primitive explanation for why we fight “rational” modern wars? Though
it may be an intriguing idea, Lehmann doesn’t think so.

“I don't think that our study helps in one way or another to
understand war between states, but there are many interesting and
relevant theories for understanding such wars that have been developed
by economists and political scientists,” he said.

More information: Lehmann, Laurent and Feldman, Marcus W. “War and the
evolution of belligerence and bravery.” Proceedings of The Royal
Society B. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.0842.



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