Dating violence solutions
But things were significantly worse at times in the New World.
During a period from 3,000 to 1,500 years ago, more than 15 per cent of deaths were caused by humans, the study found.
“This prehistoric level of lethal violence has not remained invariant but has changed as our history has progressed, mostly associated with changes in the socio-political organization of human populations,” they wrote.
the lead author of the paper, Dr José María Gómez, of Granada University in Spain, said: “Do not fall into the trap of ... “Humans are moral animals and we cannot escape from that.” The researchers compared their estimate for the ‘murder’ rate among the earliest Home sapiens – made using comparative methods developed by evolutionary biologists – with studies on observed levels of human-on-human killings.
But, about 160,000 to 200,000 years ago, the same figure for humans was estimated to be about two per cent, more than six times higher than the average.Others, such as French thinker Jean-Jacques Rousseau, suggested we were more the product of our environment.“The work by Gómez and colleagues opens up a new approach to uncovering the origins of human violence, giving good grounds for believing that we are intrinsically more violent than the average mammal,” Professor Pagel wrote.“Their findings fit well with anthropological accounts that describe hunter–gatherer societies as being engaged in ‘constant battles’.“But societies can also modify our innate tendencies.
The Nature paper said there analysis “suggests that a certain level of lethal violence in humans arises from the occupation of a position within a particularly violent mammalian clade, in which violence seems to have been ancestrally present”.