[ExI] Human Warfare is learned behaviour - not evolutionary

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Aug 20 15:22:53 UTC 2020

Humans aren’t inherently selfish – we’re actually hardwired to work together
August 20, 2020

Author  Steve Taylor
Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Leeds Beckett University

According to some estimates, around 15,000 years ago, the population
of Europe was only 29,000, and the population of the whole world was
less than half a million. With such small population densities, it
seems unlikely that prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups had to compete
against each other or had any need to develop ruthlessness and
competitiveness, or to go to war.

Indeed, many anthropologists now agree that war is a late development
in human history, arising with the first agricultural settlements.
In my book The Fall, I suggest that the end of the hunter-gatherer
lifestyle and the advent of farming was connected to a psychological
change that occurred in some groups of people. There was a new sense
of individuality and separateness, which led a new selfishness, and
ultimately to hierarchical societies, patriarchy and warfare.

At any rate, these negative traits appear to have developed so
recently that it doesn’t seem feasible to explain them in adaptive or
evolutionary terms. Meaning that the “good” side of our nature is much
more deep-rooted than the “evil” side.

A bit more optimistic view of humanity?       BillK

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