Re: War Gods?

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Wed 10 Mar 2004 - 14:24:20 GMT

  • Next message: Richard Brodie: "RE: War Gods?"

    At 09:52 AM 10/03/04 +0000, you wrote:
    >This is daft -- the thing you're employing as an established premise is
    >the most contentious thing in there -- you *have* to *prove* that this is
    >a genetically controlled response to have a leg to stand on (which you
    >can't). Otherwise you're just in there with Ted -- swapping ideas about
    >posited black boxes we can't open. If the article had used 'may be'
    >instead of 'is' it wouldn't irk me so.
    >"Humans have evolved a psychological response"
    >"Genes inducing suicidal behavior"
    >"this evolved psychological mechanism"
    >And as for this being the root of (most) war; I think you'll find the
    >greed of the 'haves' at the core of most wars, rather than the deprivation
    >of the 'have nots'. Diamonds, oil, columbo-tantalite, lebensraum when you
    >already have lots of raum for your leben...

    Up to an instant ago (speaking in evolutionary terms) human had no use for diamonds, oil, or columbo-tantalite. Lebensraum, where that meant the several square km a person required to collect food, was worth fighting over and was. BTW, evolutionary psychology rejects explanations based on post hunter-gatherer behavior, there just hasn't been enough time since agriculture to shift gene frequencies. ("Thrifty genes that predispose a well fed person to diabetes might be an exception.)

    >Anyway seeing as you wouldn't answer my points without my having read the
    >article, I'll try to make time to read it and then pass criticism back if
    >you'll be good enough to point me at the latest draft.

    Will email you one, I hope by this weekend.

    Incidentally, do you have a non EP explanation for capture-bonding/Stockholm Syndrome?

    Keith Henson

    >I hope there's something empirical to back up what, from the abstract,
    >sounds like an opinion piece. All this stuff about switching things on,
    >and evolved behaviours (and I am assuming you mean classically evolved,
    >therefore genetic and 'hard-wired') is otherwise a just so story -- and
    >frankly I don't care how long it's been out there, or who else 'likes' it
    >(cf. Judaism etc.).
    >Keith Henson wrote:

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