[ExI] Rick Warren on religion

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Wed Dec 12 15:10:10 UTC 2018

On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 1:46 PM Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:

> *In wolves for example, typically only the dominant pair of alpha male and
> female breed. Why would the average (non-dominant) wolves in the pack allow
> this?*

A better example might be Elephant Seals, virtually all the females are in
the alpha male's harem and no other male gets to breed. So if you're a
young male what do you do? You could challenge the Alpha Male but you'd
better be careful, if you dispose of the alpha male you gain a huge
advantage in getting your genes into the next generation but because the
stakes are so high Elephant Seal fights are particularly violent often
ending in serious injury or death for the loser. And the Alpha Male is
certain to be very large and tough, so unless you're certain you are even
larger and tougher a better strategy for a young male might be to just wait
for the alpha male to grow old and weak and challenge him then.

> * > The upshot of the Nature article is that humans are about six times
> more likely than the average mammal to die by the actions of a member of
> our own species. Based upon paleontological and archaelogical evidence
> during the Stone Age about 3.5% of humans died by the hand of another
> human. This fluctuates throughout history, with a maximum during the middle
> ages where approximately 12% of humans died by another's hand.*

That's one reason I'm happy I'm not living in the middle ages. Today about
.05% of people die by murder and .005% die in war. This is the least
violent time in human history.

> >
> *For comparison, in chimps about 4.5% die from attacks by another chimp
> making them, humans, and baboons the bloodiest primates.*

But the typical social group for chimps is only about a hundred, if you
tried to cram 30 million of them in an area the size of Tokyo they'd tear
each other apart even if they had enough food.

> So warfare among our hunter-gatherer ancestors was rarer than I had
> assumed.

There are 30,000 year old cave paintings showing people being pierced by
arrows  and a 8000 year old painting in Spain of archers fighting each


John K Clark

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