SUDAN WATCH: "The Human Potential for Peace" (Hugh Curran)

Friday, June 30, 2006

"The Human Potential for Peace" (Hugh Curran)

Hugh Curran On Bonobos, chimpanzees and potential for peace 30 June 2006, Bangornews. Excerpt:
Ninety-nine percent of history has been free of war." "War causes aggression, aggression does not cause war."

These two statements are a centerpiece of Douglas Fry's recent book, "The Human Potential for Peace," issued this year by Oxford Press. Most people assume that human history has always been subject to war and this is certainly true of the 20th century. Now that we are in the 21st century the world continues to experience wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Congo region, Darfur and Sri Lanka.

"The Human Potential for Peace" looks at the long history of both humans and primates and questions whether there is an inherent drive toward violence and war. Some anthropologists and archaeologists believe that humans are naturally aggressive and war-like, but the author states that there is no evidence of war among primates such as the Bonobos nor is there evidence of war among our remote ancestors, nor for that matter is there any evidence of war in most of human history.

Obviously there has been aggression and conflict but studies, that the author cites, indicate that our ancestors, as well as many indigenous peoples up to the present, learned methods of defusing violent confrontation before they could result in war.

In terms of primates, Bonobos are as closely related to humans as chimpanzees. Interestingly, in many studies of aggressive behavior among primates, Bonobos are often ignored even though studies show that they avoid aggressive behavior, preferring to stay away from conflict.

Photo source: The Future of Bonobos: An Animal Akin to Ourselves


Blogger Dave Marlow said...

Unfortunately President Bush sits idle to this horrible crisis. Dare I say that if the U.S. were even a little more involved with stopping the conflict in Sudan or Northern Uganda, we could make tremendous progress towards securing peace.

-Comrade Dave

Friday, June 30, 2006  

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