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<Another point is that, given the geography of the
> world, if we are an amalgam of various independent, but similar strands of
> Homonids, one could expect some type of isolated example thet did not
> to amalgamate particularly given the relatively short evolutionary time
[skip to bottom to get to my point :-)]
I think you're right here. I saw a programme a while back about the
indigenous peoples of a group of islands off India, where the natives (who
are somewhat dying out) are not Asian, but African in appearance, and
initial DNA testing on some of the people suggested extraordinarily old
roots. I can't remember the name now... Adamandan islands, or something
I think a major problem, and one that is surely insurmountable, is
that conflict doesn't fossilize. In pre-monumental societies/ pre-city
societies, there's not much archaeological evidence that survives (e.g. the
lack of ancient boats, that must have existed to get people to places like
Australia 10s of thousands of years ago), and not a great deal of fossil
evidence either. I've said this before haven't I.....
The only thing that appears, so far, is that only one group appears
to have survived:_exactly how_seems to me to be inordinantly difficult to
There was that other programme (a Horizon programme) that presented
the find of Caral in South America as a major problem for the dominant
thesis that city-based civilisations emerged out of conflict and war.
Caral, it suggested, appeared to be a 'mother' civilisation, one that was a
middle stage between the hunter-gatherer societies, and the highly developed
civilisations of the likes of Sumer, Eygpt or Teotichuan (spelling?).
Unlike these others, for example, there have been no finds of metal
tools/weapons, no militaristic images in wall carvings etc. etc. The
current view is that Caral emerged out of trade, not conflict, and thus that
the paradigm of civilisation being born of warfare is possibly wrong.
Whether_war_is a cultural phenomena or not, aggression and
territoriality seem to me to be natural phenomena. So arguing that war is
cultural, does not mean that we can remove aggression and territoriality by
social means alone- although we can perhaps redirect them into other less
anti-social areas, like sport. If we all agree to have serotonin shots, or
to get our children screened for aggression genes then maybe, but I don't
see many people agreeing to that.
My Point (finally, shout the gallery): 'War' might be a memetic
behaviour, 'Agression' and 'Territoriality' are not. Similarly 'Peace'
might be memetic, but close co-existence with others in our species is not
(we're clearly more like chimps/gorillas, who live socially, than
orangutangs, who don't).
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