Were Australopithecines Violent? Should Humans Not Be?
One wonders how a scientist could infer behavior from skeletal dimensions, but David Carrier (U of Utah) believes he can visualize that evolutionary ancestors of humans were good fighters. A report on EurekAlert begins, “Ape-like human ancestors known as australopiths maintained short legs for 2 million years because a squat physique and stance helped the males fight over access to females, a University of Utah study concludes.”
Carrier thinks shorter legs helped the males have a better wrestling stance. But there are exceptions: bonobos have shorter legs, but are passive. Carrier also had to make an exception for humans, who are “not less aggressive because they have longer legs.” He didn’t make clear whether he was visualizing Fred Flintstone or Richard Dawkins. But he did win Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week for his answer to the question of why anyone should care if australopiths were short and nasty:
“Given the aggressive behavior of modern humans and apes, we should not be surprised to find fossil evidence of aggressive behavior [?] in the ancestors of modern humans,” Carrier says. “This is important because we have a real problem with violence in modern society. Part of the problem is that we don’t recognize we are relatively violent animals. Many people argue we are not violent. But we are violent. If we want to prevent future violence we have to understand why we are violent.”
“To some extent, our evolutionary past may help us to understand the circumstances in which humans behave violently,” he adds. “There are a number of independent lines of evidence suggesting that much of human violence is related to male-male competition, and this study is consistent with that.”
Carrier had to admit that male-male competition did not explain all human violence, and that he did not really know how aggressive australopiths were. He just remarked, “If they were more aggressive than modern humans, they were exceptionally nasty animals.”
We don’t see the females flocking to the world championship wrestlers. And we don’t see some of the best males at passing on genes being particularly good fighters. And we don’t see any fossil bones having skeleton fights with each other. Please tell us, David, how you intend to test your hypothesis.
Can Carrier and any of his other Darwin Party buddies explain why we should try to prevent future violence? What is the “real problem with violence in modern society”? If evolution made males this way, then violence is good, and peace is stupid. Hitler understood this. Mussolini understood this. Chairman Mao and Pol Pot understood this. These and other Darwin-inspired dictators made violence an intrinsic part of their social policy and carried it out with a vengeance they felt their ideology justified (for details, listen to the Teaching Company lecture series Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century).
Darwinism justifies any male doing anything he wants to, violence included, to get a female. The one who does not understand what he just said is David Carrier who, along with all the other inconsistent Darwinists, want to “understand” our “evolutionary past” but then cannot live with the consequences. Carrier can point to no Darwinian moral categories that would classify violence as either good or bad. Maybe he should be listening to that conscience that tells him something is morally wrong with selfish sex and violence run amok.
Promote world peace. Shut up a Darwinist today. Laughter may be the best medicine.