Have humans always waged war? Is warring an ancient evolutionary adaptation or a relatively recent behaviour? In this book, editor Douglas P. Fry brings together leading experts in evolutionary biology, archaeology, anthropology, and primatology to find answers to fundamental questions about peace, conflict, and human nature in an evolutionary context. Anthony Oruna-Goriaïnoff finds it soothing to think that our ancestors, at their most primitive, and for a long time after, were happier living in peace and avoided war even though the preconditions for war have been part of humanity from the start.
War, Peace, and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views. Douglas P. Fry. Oxford University Press. April 2013.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that war is as old as human civilization. Certainly that seems to be the view of many scholars and politicians. That war is as old as we are; that, given the latest examples of human behaviour when at war, it will be with us until we are no longer around. Although that second posit is not one which can be entertained here, the first one certainly can be challenged, and forms the focus of War, Peace, and Human Nature, edited by Douglas P. Fry. This hefty and fascinating book presents readers with 27 chapters devoted to challenging the idea that humans have always been attuned to war. Continue reading