July 2015


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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 26 Jul 2015 20:15:44 -0500
Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>
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"Human Nature" doesn't say much.

Agriculture demands occupation of a given area over a given time. The
product also must be stored and used over a period of time. That creates
both the motive to attack and the motive to defend the given area.
Agriculture also creates close association (in the village) and thus the
basis for the spread of disease. And sense crops sometimes fail, sometimes
over an extended period, agriculture brings famine into the world.


-----Original Message-----
From: Science for the People Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Chandler Davis
Sent: Sunday, July 26, 2015 4:42 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: New Study of Foragers Undermines Claim That War Has Deep
Evolutionary Roots

The article by Richard Lee is attached (I hope).  It demolishes pretty
completely the recent media splash for the doctrine of "man's warlike
nature".  Looking at the evidence without the Hobbesian bias and with
reasonable care, one sees large-scale killing only after the agricultural
revolution.  So human nature permits people to live mostly peaceably in
hunter-gatherer economy.  I thought farmers were mostly peaceable too:
what in human nature makes it hard for farmers and city kids to live in
peace?  In other words--- though we may blame class society for most of the
violence in human society, human nature shouldn't be let off the hook.  If
our better natures were more vigilant they should be stopping the kings and
oligarchs from carrying out their wars.


On Mon, 20 Jul 2015, Chandler Davis wrote:

> It's a good article, Kamran.  A much fuller study and analysis by 
> Richard Lee is forthcoming, I understand; I'll send a link to the list
when it is ready.
> Richard looks at the evidence for & against two theses: that foraging 
> societies are especially violence-prone, and that pre-agricultural 
> humanity had more aggression than today's. Evidently, contemporary 
> evidence is more direct than archeological; but as contemporary 
> foraging societies are very few and not free of influence from 
> neighbors, the evidence from them is tricky in a different way: there 
> is a trade-off.  Richard earns our gratitude for conscientious 
> examination of the mountains of evidence--- more than I imagined existed.
> Chandler
> On 19/07/2015 10:59 PM, Kamran Nayeri wrote: