The natural history of peace

A couple newly scanned articles were added to the archive of articles on peaceful societies at Peaceful this morning. Of greatest general interest is one called “The Natural History of Peace: A Positive View of Human Nature and Its Potential,” by Leslie Sponsel.

Sponsel reviews a vast range of literature to support his argument that peace is an essential part of the human experience. While he does not deny the obvious reality of violence and warfare in the past and present, his evidence casts strong doubts on many of the arguments made by those who maintain that humanity is intrinsically violent. The author reviews literature from biology, primate ethology, human ethology, human paleontology, prehistoric archaeology, ethnology and ethnography to make several critical conclusions: that human violence is not inevitable; that warfare is not universal; that peacefulness prevails, and has prevailed, in many societies; and that humans, by nature, can be either peaceful or violent.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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