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I usually admire Gwynne Dyer’s columns in the Bangor Daily News, but I think his most recent contribution (June 13) is full of misinformation.
To begin: his assertion that war is a human hunter-gatherer legacy is off the mark. Hunter-gatherers are among the most peaceful societies on earth. In fact, organized warfare became a problem with centrally organized states, i.e. “civilization.” Furthermore, what is often referred to as “tribal warfare” appears to be largely a response to pressures originating from the colonial expansion of so-called civilized states.
As for our “closest living relatives, chimpanzees,” they are no more closely related to us than bonobos. These primates, unlike chimpanzees, are known for their peace-keeping behavior.
In short, there is no reason to blame our evolutionary past for modern warfare.
William A. Haviland