On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 12:08:57 -0700, Rev. Desertphile de Rothschild <[email protected]> wrote:
>>Second Sunday in November I am giving a lecture on Evolutionary
>>Psychology and the Origin of War. Details later.
>Simple: human males are violent and human females let them be.
Much worse, Rev.
For more than two million years our ancestors lacked predators.
So when our hominid ancestors overpopulated an area and could not move, a behavioral switch was flipped by subjective "looming privation." The switch turned up the gain on xenophobic memes and after a time of months to years the tribe went on the warpath against its neighbors. Eventually the population was reduced or the rains came back and when the future started to look somewhat brighter, war mode switched off and they went back to hunting and building up the population for the *next* time things got tight.
Human females are involved two ways here. With enough freedom and (relatively high) technology they can and do elect to have children at close to the replacement level. In modern times as long as the population growth stays below economic growth, the switch leading into wars stays off. (Of course an attacked population will go into war mode even if things are looking good.)
The other way women were involved is quite strange. In times not that long passed (much discussed in the Bible) the winning tribe usually killed all the males of the losers. But they took the young women and made wives or extra wives out of them. Thus the *genes* in tribe members who went to war with neighbors because they were facing starvation did better *even if they lost* than genes for not attacking and the lot of them starving.
WARNING--DON'T TRY THIS WITH YOUR TRIBE!
This method of population control doesn't work well for cultures higher than hunter gatherer.
The corn farming culture of the American Southwest hit a rough spot with bad weather about 1260 CE. They started warring with each other. The response they made of moving into forts made them safer, but at the same time put most of their farming areas out of reach. This keep them in privation and war mode for hundreds of years, in fact the very few survivors (Zuni, Hopi, Acoma) were still at it when the Spanish arrived.
War in complex urban societies is even worse, causing population crashes when the infrastructure that keeps large populations alive is destroyed.
PS. War mode makes people *stupid*, it warps or shuts down rational thinking.