It’s without question that humans are some of the most violent species on the planet. An article from the Independent suggests “Humans have evolved with a propensity to kill one another that is six times higher than the average mammal” all according to a new study. In this study, researchers compiled information on over 4 million deaths within mammals dating back to the Paleolithic era. They used this information to produce an evolutionary tree that displays different mammals violent tendencies. The research resulted with humans being the most violent species towards each other. At the end of the day, we were the first species to conquer earth.
To further back this claim Live Science suggests, “the difference between human and animal violence comes down to the complexity of the emotion driving it” Humans have complex social relationships that most other animals don’t share. Emotions like revenge and spite have yet to be proven in other species. Social tension and complex environmental issues spike emotions in human. Violence can be triggered in so many different ways.
It’s important to understand that violence and emotions have always been a part of human nature. If we think back to the Paleolithic time, life was rooted around survival. Hunting and mating were the needs for survival. Studies suggest that male human faces have evolved to minimize injury caused by punches. This adaptation suggests that when resources like food and mates were scarce violence occurred in order for survival. Humans weren’t killing each other in revenge or because of a political disagreement. Humans were fighting each other for increased fitness.
It’s scary to think that environmental and social issues continue to cause violence today just as it did in the past. Except now we’re more evolved and have the capacity to do great harm. The fact that most of our wars have been over resources goes to show that nothing much has changed. The complexity of our social issues has increased however the root of violence still remains very similar. If we can’t learn to make peace with natural resources we will continue to fight with each other.