Researchers from Abo Academy University in Finland say that violence in early human communities was driven by personal conflicts rather than large-scale battles, reports an article today posted by the BBC from a recent study. “Findings suggest that war is not an innate part of human nature, but rather a behaviour that we have adopted more recently.
“Patrik Soderberg, an author of the study, said: “This research questions the idea that war was ever-present in our ancestral past. It paints another picture where the quarrels and aggression were primarily about interpersonal motives instead of groups fighting against each other.” The research team based their findings on isolated tribes from around the world that had been studied over the last century Cut off from modern life and surviving off wild plants and animals, these groups live like the hunter gatherers of thousands of years ago.
“They are the kind of societies that don’t really rely on agriculture or domestic animals – they are primitive societies,” explained Mr Soderberg.”About 12,000 years ago, we assume all humans were living in this kind of society, and that these kind of societies made up about for about 90% of our evolutionary path.”Using the modern tribes as an analogy for earlier society, the researchers looked at cases where violent deaths had been documented. They found 148 such deaths but very few were caused by war. “Most of these incidents of lethal aggression were what we call homicides, a few were feuds and only the minority could be labelled as war,” Mr Soderberg said.