September 16, 2023 | David F. Coppedge

Archive Classic: The Evolution of War and the War of Evolution

Note: This article from 20 years ago dropped offline when the website was upgraded. We reproduce it below to show that leftist political bias has long been part and parcel of evolutionary storytelling.

The Evolution of War and The War of Evolution   09/16/2003
War originated when society became stratified between the haves and the have-nots, according to a new theory by anthropologist Joyce Marcus of the University of Michigan, published in PNAS1, reports New Scientist. Based on archaeological work in Oaxaca, Mexico, where her team examined burned structures, she feels that raiding, and later warfare, emerged where people organized into clans that competed over resources. Group violence was presumably rare in hunter-gatherer societies.

1Kent V. Flannery and Joyce Marcus, “The origin of war: New 14C dates from ancient Mexico,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.1934526100, published online 09/18/2003.

The conclusions being drawn from this archaeological study is “political” science in the Marxist tradition. Hunter-gatherers of the world, unite! Throw off the bourgeoisie with their clay pots and fired-brick dwellings. Science? Worthless.

Empirically, all these scientists found was evidence for sin, the same old selfishness and pride that is with us today. Building on Darwin’s foundation of evolution, some reporters are spinning the story to fit a political ideology. The liberal “political” scientists in today’s universities, assuming evolution as the foundation for all of reality, (and usually warmer to Marxist ideology than capitalism) want to pin the blame for war on externals. It’s the disparity between the rich and the poor that is the root of conflict, they say. They organize people into oppressors and oppressed, usurpers and victims. Affluence is the root of social injustice. Now that we can take control of our own evolution, we can overcome the territoriality of our reptilian past. But first we must overthrow the oppressors by revolution, and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat. Once we learn to share our resources like good communists, we will achieve social justice in a classless society – utopia.

Don’t believe it. The moment Joe finds something in utopia that Moe wants, whether a leaf, a sparkling rock, or a fruit hanging from a tree, the world will be on the brink of war all over again. The twentieth century should have seen the death of 19th-century utopian dreams of innocence. Wasn’t that the lesson of Golding’s 1954 classic, Lord of the Flies?

War did not evolve. It is innate. It stems from a human characteristic formed not by natural selection, but by design: the choice to disobey the Creator (i.e., sin). “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies,” said Jesus Christ in Matthew 15:15-20. James echoed the idea that war begins internally: “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James 4:1-3, ESV). Enmity started with the first man and woman, and manifested itself in the first generation, when Cain murdered his brother. War must be cured from the inside out by a heart transplant, through reconciliation with the Creator, the Author of justice and the Prince of peace.

Bonus Teaser

This item was also posted on the same day:

Baloney Detection Exercise   09/16/2003
Parse the following sentence, found on a bumper sticker, for logical fallacies (see our Baloney Detector for help):
“Don’t pray in my school, and I won’t think in your church.”

This slogan commits the following errors:
(A) Either-Or Fallacy
(B) Glittering Generalities
(C) Ridicule
(D) Non-Sequitur
(E) All of the above

Scroll down for the answer.
















Answer to Baloney Detection Exercise
Answer: (E) All of the above.

The sentence falsely puts church and school in contradistinction in a couple of fallacious ways. For one, children are required to attend school, but no one is required to attend church. For another, it assumes no one thinks in church, but everyone thinks in school, which is not only another either-or fallacy, but an egregious generality as well (Does every child think in school?  Does a student never pray when sweating for a final exam? Does a pastor and congregation never think about the sermon?)

A third either-or fallacy pits praying and thinking against each other. Granted, many prayers are thoughtless, but Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul and the entire Bible clearly teach that prayer must be done with the mind, with alertness, not with vain repetition.

The bumper sticker also ridicules supporters of school prayer as non-thinkers who want to impose mindless religious activity on unwilling atheist students, when the issue is whether students should have the freedom to pray (as guaranteed by the First Amendment) in school as well as anywhere else. The cheap shot glosses over serious issues about the Constitutional protection of free speech and religious liberty, the ongoing secularization of our society, and whether atheism and humanism are themselves inherently religious.

Lastly, it contains an indirect non-sequitur, implying that prayer is somehow detrimental to students. It tacitly assumes that if religious people would just keep their praying hands off the school, and keep their mindless brains locked in church, both churches and schools would be better off. Does Columbine High come to mind?

This little bumper sticker exalts thinking, but is thoughtless. It goes to show how a clever slogan can bring analysis to a halt, and embed a mindless attitude into a person’s consciousness. Think (and pray) about it.

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