[ExI] Death follows European contact

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Mon Apr 14 21:59:07 UTC 2014

On Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 5:00 AM,  Tara Maya <tara at taramayastales.com> wrote:

> For what it's worth, my own research on original sources, conducted before I read his book, supports Pinker's argument.
> I'm a historian, and my research was on changes in European demographics and family structure over a thousand year period. The shift in violence was noticeable in those records. The decline in war and crime is paralleled by a rise in gentler child-rearing practices as well, though it's hard to say which was cause and which was effect, or if both occurred in response to some third factor.

My bet is that you will find the decline in wars to be an effect of
population growth smaller than economic growth.  War as a stone age
behavioral response to bleak future economic conditions just makes
sense in EP terms.

"All wars arise from population pressure." (Heinlein 1959 p. 145)

Major Reid (Heinlein's character in Starship Troopers)was on the mark
if you take "population pressure" to mean a falling ratio of resources
to population (roughly income per capita in modern terms). There are
sound evolutionary reasons why falling resources per capita (or the
prospect of same) usually drives human populations into war. Wars and
related social disruptions are here seen to be the outcome of a
behavioral switch activated by particular environmental situations and
mediated by xenophobic memes.[1]


I have written about this before.


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