Here’s the abstract for a recent item in AAAS’s mag Science, arguing that early man was not inclined to warfare, based on the behaviour of modern foraging band societies:
It has been argued that warfare evolved as a component of early human behavior within foraging band societies. We investigated lethal aggression in a sample of 21 mobile forager band societies (MFBS) derived systematically from the standard cross-cultural sample. We hypothesized, on the basis of mobile forager ethnography, that most lethal events would stem from personal disputes rather than coalitionary aggression against other groups (war). More than half of the lethal aggression events were perpetrated by lone individuals, and almost two-thirds resulted from accidents, interfamilial disputes, within-group executions, or interpersonal motives such as competition over a particular woman. Overall, the findings suggest that most incidents of lethal aggression among MFBS may be classified as homicides, a few others as feuds, and a minority as war.
Science 19 July 2013: Vol. 341 no. 6143 pp. 270-273
DOI: 10.1126/science.1235675 Lethal Aggression in Mobile Forager Bands and Implications for the Origins of War Douglas P. Fry1,2,*, Patrik Söderberg1,3
The critical problem is the one that C.S. Lewis identified millions of years ago: The reasons that some modern groups are not as technologically sophisticated as their neighbours may not be the same as the reasons that people a half million years ago were not as technologically sophisticated as people were half a millennium ago. We may or may not be dealing with similar situations.
Human evolution: Are we all “running apps from See also: Fred Flintstone’s not-very-smartphone”?