Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id OAA11143 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Wed, 26 Sep 2001 14:59:16 +0100 Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3102A6D038@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: On the origin of .... war Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 14:05:08 +0100 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" X-Filter-Info: UoS MailScan 0.1 [D 1] Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
<The point, again, is that what's
> rational for a few warriors in each tribe is not rational for the species
> a whole.>
OK, but that doesn't make war divorced from adaptive behaviour, only
that it's particular characteristics can be shaped by culture.
>> That is very wrong. All of those things have social value- they
>> indicative of the extent of power the winners have over the
<Nice little switch there from "material value" to "social value."
> by your own sleight-of-hand!>
OK, got me there! But social also doesn't mean removed from
adaptive value. We are social animals becasuse it's adaptive for us to be
so, and thus social behaviours like wars, can by extension be seen to be
<Regardless of the behavior of apes, the evidence for human hunting
> back 70 to 90 Kya. There's no presumption involved here.
> Seems like you're a little out of the loop on this one. The "man the
> hunter" idea was relegated to the status of myth back in the 80s. C.K.
> Brain refuted this notion in his book, The Hunters or the Hunted? (1981).
> Years earlier, Raymond Dart had argued that the mixing of bones of
> wild animals with those of our ancestors, revealed the proficiency of
> australopithecine hunting. Brain demonstrated that all these animals,
> including the australopithecines, had been eaten by leopards. Several
> articles on that theme appeared in anthropology journals, including "Man
> Hunted," by Richard Gould and John Yellen, in the Journal of
> Archaeology 6, 1987 (77-102). I recall reading a piece about "man the
> scavenger" in Scientific American in the autumn of '92. That our
> obtained their brain-building meat from scavenging, not hunting, is no
> longer a controversial point among researchers.>
I'll not fault your references here. But pre-tool hunting doesn't
fossilize, and we know that apes and chimps hunt, without tools. Given
this, must one presume early modern humans didn't hunt? I'm not qualified
to say for certain.
> > <Prior to this we relied on scavenging for our meat. For most of
> > our
> > > history, modern humans did not hunt.>
> > >
> > That's entirely wrong as well. Cave paintings dated to at least
> > 30,000 years ago at places like Chauvet and Alta Mira (spelling)
> > quite clearly a hunting based culture created those paintings.
<The human brain reached its current size by 200 Kya. We've been
> a long time.>
Brain size isn't the only indicator of the emergence of modern
humans. The dates of European cave paintings are thought to have followed
barely some 5000 years or so after modern humans first entered Europe.
Other modern human artefacts in Australia suggest up to 70,000 years ago,
but before that there's just guesstimation.
>> Pre-stone age tribes in the Amazon and in Borneo have wars-
>> conflicts. This must indicate that early human social groups had
>> well. They also have belief systems and rituals, social
Yeah, IIRC, until colonists arrived they had no metal or even stone
tools, only wooden ones. Now they have knives and machetes and so on, coz
colonists have given them to them.
<The evidence for tribal warfare goes back 12,000 years and then
> Anything beyond that is assumption.>
Including the assumption that warfare didn't exist before then. We
have to fill in the gap by asking some questions: a) Do related species to
ours exhibit warlike behaviour? (Which is a difficult one, like the do
animals have culture question)- if so that may indicate the propensity for
warlike behaviour is inherited, and therefore is likely to have been present
in humans pre 12000bp; b) Are there adaptive benefits to war? i.e. can one
see things such as improved reproductive success for the victors of wars,
again this would indicate the possible propensity for it to have existed
12,000bp; c) are there any notable behavioural or physiological differences
between humans before and after 12,000bp- here there is behavioural
difference in the beginnings of agriculture, large scale settlements and so
on, but this may simply have meant a concomitant increase in scale of
conflicts that meant evidence of war would be more likely to be preserved in
the archaeological record. That last one is the $64,000 question. I guess
our instincts are different as to the answer.
-- The University of Stirling is a university established in Scotland by charter at Stirling, FK9 4LA. Privileged/Confidential Information may be contained in this message. If you are not the addressee indicated in this message (or responsible for delivery of the message to such person), you may not disclose, copy or deliver this message to anyone and any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is prohibited and may be unlawful. In such case, you should destroy this message and kindly notify the sender by reply email. Please advise immediately if you or your employer do not consent to Internet email for messages of this kind. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that do not relate to the official business of the University of Stirling shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by it.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Sep 26 2001 - 17:49:12 BST