War arose recently, anthropologists contend
By Bruce Bower | Science News
A battle has broken out among scientists trying to untangle the origins of war.
The fighting is over whether hunter-gatherer communities in recent centuries have tended more toward war defined as banding together in groups to kill people in other populations than toward one-on-one attacks within their own communities. A second front has broken out over how to extrapolate from modern behavior to the Stone Age. Some anthropologists regard the nomadic groups as helpful if imperfect models of Stone Age human behavior. Others suspect that too much evolutionary change and irregular contact with outsiders make hunter-gatherers unreliable signposts of the past.
Lethal attacks on one community by another rarely occurred during the 19th and 20th centuries, according to a new analysis of data previously gathered from nomadic hunter-gatherer populations. Murders of one person by another in the same group accounted for a majority of intentionally caused deaths, anthropologists Douglas Fry and Patrik Söderberg of Ċbo Akademi University in Vasa, Finland, report in the July 19 Science.
Ten of the hunter-gatherer groups had no recorded killings involving more than one attacker, effectively making those societies no-war zones, Fry and Söderberg say.
The new evidence suggests that humans have evolved a tendency to avoid killing in general, the researchers contend. War originated only within the past 10,000 years, in their view, with armed conflicts intensifying as the first states expanded between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago.
Fry and Söderberg go against the popular tide in science ... and win hands down, says anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson of Rutgers University in Newark, N.J.
Archaeological evidence from Europe, the Middle East and western Asia contains relatively few signs of murder and war until after 10,000 years ago, he says.
But the new study has attracted fire from other investigators. Fry and Söderberg use the hunter-gatherer record inappropriately to push the idea that because many modern hunter-gatherers were not seen to have war, ancestral hunter-gatherers also did not often have war, says Harvard anthropologist Richard Wrangham.
Wrangham and others say that the new paper ignores relatively high homicide rates previously documented in hunter-gatherer groups, including some in the study. Critics also point to reports of regular fighting among neighboring hunter-gatherer communities; the groups that Fry and Söderberg studied were largely isolated. From critics perspective, war probably goes back tens of thousands of years and stoked the evolution of intense cooperation within, but not between, human groups.
Murders cause more deaths than war in both traditional and modern societies, with exceptions coming during the 20th centurys two world wars, says Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker. Given wars rarity, researchers are unlikely to observe raids and other attacks on rival groups when studying small hunter-gatherer samples such as those in the new study, he says. Rates of violent death are higher among hunter-gatherers and in other non-state societies than in state societies, he adds.
Read the full article at: sciencenews.org
READ: Prehistoric Warfare
The Art of War - Sun Tsu, Documentary
The Aztec and Norse god of war are both missing one hand
Shocking new theory: Humans hunted, ate Neanderthals
Whore You Calling a Neanderthal?
Neanderthals Found Certain Plants Important, Had Medicine
Latest News from our Front Page
Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female
Shieldmaidens are not a myth! A recent archaeological discovery has shattered the stereotype of exclusively male Viking warriors sailing out to war while their long-suffering wives wait at home with baby Vikings. (We knew it! We always knew it.) Plus, some other findings are challenging that whole ârape and pillageâ thing, too.
Researchers at the University of Western Australia decided ...
Off Your Knees, Germany! Ernst Zundel 1983 - 2003
For more information on the holocaust, how the war was forced upon Germany, and the REAL victims of the second world war see:
IRS Drops Attack For Six Years â No Evidence of Jurisdiction
A big congrats to a friend Iâve been working with for several years, he stood up to the predators commonly called the âIRSâ and they dropped their attack. Thanks also for providing me with the proof below.
The criminals called the âIRSâ initiated an attack claiming my friend was required to file six tax returns, or explain how he made ...
Into Eternity - Finland's 100,000 Year Massive Underground Spent Nuclear Fuel Program
Into Eternity is a documentary about a deep geological repository for nuclear waste. The concept of long-term underground storage for radioactive waste has been explored since the 1950s. The inner part of the Russian doll-like storage canisters is to be composed of copper. Hence in the case of Onkalo it is tightly linked to experiments on copper corrosion in running ...
SPLC Accuses Oath Keepers of Inciting âArmed Confrontationâ Over Sugar Pine Mine
The Southern Poverty Law Center has accused Oath Keepers of inciting an armed confrontation with BLM authorities over the Sugar Pine Mine dispute in Oregon, despite the fact that the organization has explicitly stated that it is not promoting armed confrontation with the feds.
In an article provocatively posted on the organizationâs âHatewatchâ section entitled Oath Keepers Descend Upon Oregon with ...
|More News » |