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Violence & Evolution

Survival
Violence is a tool that allows survival.
Love-Wisdom is a better tool for most situations.
But rarely we may need violence.

Evolutionarily, we are wired to be particularly interested in bad guys and horror, because it helps guide us to survive and/or defeat such a threat.
Usually we can find social solutions to such scenarios.


But, as a human and an animal, we may need violence as a tool for survival.
When faced with asocial violent scenarios, the types where people run from rather than gather around to see who wins, violence may be the only intelligent response.
This is not about ego-threats, insults or pub brawls.
This is about life or body threatening situations, where there is no escape.
Learn more about this practical tool here and here.

Neuroscience
Here are some insights from an interview with neuroscientist Dr Doug Fields (posted 23 February 2016, accessed 26 February 2016):-
  • Humans are all wired for violence, we need it as a species, to protect ourself and our young.
  • What makes us snap is not a sense of immorality or any mental defect, but an evolutionary neurological process.
  • The area of the brain involved is called the attack region of the brain. It is in an unconscious/subconscious area: the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus also controls things like sexual behaviour, hunger and thirst.
  • Stimulating neurons in the attack region will cause a caged animal to launch an attack and kill another animal.
  • We have a threat detection part in our brain. It can cause us to risk our life in an instant. It is not conscious or deliberate. 99% of the time it works well, but the modern world can confuse it, causing misfires. When it works right, it is called quick thinking or heroism. Men and women have it, but women are less likely to use it because of their smaller size. This makes a difference to threat detection brain circuitry and responses. Women are much better at detecting intentions from facial expressions, and so avoiding danger. Men are more likely to snap.
Tribal People
Excerpts from article The Return of the Brutal Savage and the Science for War by Stephen Corry of Survival International (posted 8 April 2016, accessed 17 April 2016):-
  • The last few years have seen an alarming increase in claims that tribal peoples have been shown to be more violent than we are. This is supposed to prove that our ancestors were also brutal savages. Such a message has profound implications for how we view human nature – whether or not we see war as innate to the human condition and so, by extension, broadly unavoidable. It also underpins how industrialized society treats those it sees as “backward.” In reality though it’s nothing more than an old colonialist belief, masquerading once again as “science.” There’s no evidence to support it.
  • The truth is that there are some tribal peoples who have a belligerent reputation, others known for avoiding violence as much as possible, and lots in between. That’s nothing to do with any grasping at mythic noble savages, it’s what anthropologists have actually found.
  • Despite the growing mythology, the archeological record reveals very little evidence of past violence either (until the growth of big settlements, starting around 10,000 years ago).
  • Much of the other “proof” for the brutal savage advanced by Steven Pinker, Jared Diamond, and other champions of Chagnon, is rife with the selection and manipulation of facts to fit a desired conclusion. To call this “science” is both laughable and dangerous. These men are desperate to persuade us that they’ve got “proof” for their opinions, which isn’t surprising as they’re nothing more – opinions based on a narrow and essentially self-serving political point of view. They have proved nothing, except to those who want to believe them. Does it matter? Yes, very much. How we think of tribal peoples dictates how we treat them. Proponents of Chagnon seek to reestablish the myth of the brutal savage which once underpinned colonialism and its land theft. It’s an essentially racist fiction which belongs in the 19th century and, like a flat earth, should have been discarded generations ago. It’s the myth at the heart of the destruction of tribal peoples and it must be challenged. It’s not just deadly for tribal peoples: It’s dangerous for all of us. False claims that killing is a proven key factor in our evolution are used to justify, even ennoble, the savagery inherent in today’s world. The brutal savage may be a largely invented creature among tribal peoples, but he is certainly dangerously and visibly real much closer to home.

Also see:-

Violence & The Truth about Killing

Violence articles



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