[ExI] Rick Warren on religion

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Fri Dec 14 17:44:55 UTC 2018

John Clark 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. [ . . . ]
> 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.

Well ok. But that is pretty simple-minded compared to the politics in a
wolf pack or chimp troop. The beta seals don't lick or groom the alpha
seal to curry his favor or forge alliances for example. Although I found
Spike's anecdote to be interesting.

>> 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.

>From 12% to .05% is certainly a huge difference in a little over a
thousand years. I think this difference is mostly cultural. But there
could very well be a genetic component.

I think that there is a sense in which culture selectively breeds humans
(or any social animal) to suit its structure and in democratic societies,
women are, to a certain extent, the selective agents of that culture.
Technology has allowed women the means of practicing sexual selection like
no other species before man.

For example, "Freakonomics" by Levitt and Dubner suggests that the drop in
violence is largely the result of women's rights when it comes to birth
control and abortion. The pill and Roe vs Wade prevented a lot of violent
assholes and rapists from passing their genes into the next generation.
> 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.

Lol. I would be hard pressed to think of a more unpleasant scenario. Can
you imagine the noise? Yes. Humanity certainly is hypersocial these days.

>> 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
> other:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Morella_(combate-de-arquero.png

According to the article 3.39 % percent of the human remains from that
period had indications of being slain by another human. So the level of
interpersonal violence was quite high. But it wasn't "Lord of the Flies"
all day, every day. Which the middle ages apparently was.

Stuart LaForge

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