Exaggerating Prehistoric War Mortality
This chapter challenges the idea that deadly intergroup violence has been common enough in our species evolutionary history to act as a selection force shaping human psychological tendencies, toward either external violence or internal cooperation. Broken down, there are three related propositions: (a) war was ubiquitous throughout our species evolutionary history; (b) war is a natural expression of evolved tendencies toward deadly violence against individuals outside the social group; (c) war casualties were sufficiently high to select for behavioral tendencies conferring reproductive advantage in intergroup competition. For either (b) or (c) to be true, (a) must be true. However, archaeological evidence shows (a) to be false.
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