Human Nature

Humans Not Natural Warriors

New studies of hunter-gatherer societies finds that warfare is not in human nature, but is a relatively new behavior that emerged from “civilized” cultures.

It is not in human nature for our species to make war, according to new research published in the journal Science.

Some scholars say that humankind inherited the inclination to wage war from its closest relative the chimpanzee, which exhibits a kind of war between groups.

But two researchers from Finland’s Abo Akademi University say that’s not the case and believe war developed with the rise of modern civilization, which caused conflicts over resources such as agriculture and livestock.

There is very little archeological evidence of war in our pre-civilized past.

So the researchers looked at modern-day hunter-gatherer people without livestock or the social class divisions that developed with the rise of civilization.

“When we looked at all the violent events about 55 percent of them involved one person killing another. That’s not war,” said Fry. “When we looked at group conflicts, the typical pattern was feuds between families and revenge killings, which is not war either.”

Only a very small number of more organized killings comparable to war were found, and almost all of them were in one of the 21 groups studied.

The researchers conclude that some of the most “primitive” peoples on Earth were actually quite peaceful compared to modern, developed nations.

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