How the violence inhibitor could have developed in humans in course of their bio

Started by Volunto, Feb 07, 2023, 06:48 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


The full article with all sources can be found on the main page:

To fully understand why the vast majority of people have a strong enough variant of the violence inhibitor that does not allow them to cause serious harm to other people or kill them, we need to understand what the evolutionary prerequisites were behind this.

On the one hand, the natural armament of a human is rather weak. Without additional tools, an ordinary person is not able to kill another person with a single punch or bite, and the victim can also escape with a pretty high probability. This means that violence is not dangerous for the human population, and the victims of attacks cannot give a strong enough rebuff to the aggressors, so they do not risk dying by committing attacks and most often pass on their genes further. Accordingly, weeding out the most aggressive individuals from the population and evolutionary pressure to strengthen the violence inhibitor should not appear.

On the other hand, humans have been using artificial weapons for a long time, including for the purpose of self-defense. Moreover, ancient people were used to living in small, isolated tribes, where violence was not the optimal strategy of behavior because if it would get out of control, it could easily lead to the death of the entire tribe. Later, as people faced a growing population density, that lead to an increase in social contacts, not excluding the violent ones, which also created certain risks. Finally, over time, violence became less and less acceptable at the level of culture and social order. As a result, even punishments for crimes were made more humane. A few centuries ago, it was the norm in many societies to carry out the death penalty for a minor insult or display of disagreement with a socially acceptable position. Now, some countries have completely abandoned even strict imprisonment. In Norway, for example, prisoners are only deprived of their liberty but not of many other goods and activities needed to live a fulfilling life.

Based on the concept of gene-culture coevolution, cultural changes affect the selection in the human population in favor of certain traits. A classic example is the development of lactose tolerance in humans because of the development of dairy farming. Overall, all the factors we have listed to some extent influenced the selection within the human population for thousands, and even tens and hundreds of thousands of years. The factor of the weak natural armament of a human does not play such a big role, but it cannot be ruled out either. Generally, it can be assumed that most people are characterized by having strong inhibitors of intraspecific aggression. However, in comparison with some species, they are far from the strongest, and some people are still able to initiate an act of violence without experiencing any resistance to this.

Perhaps, in view of the rapid social, as well as scientific and technological progress, humans did not have time to fully adapt to the new environmental conditions, in which it is extremely necessary to inhibit aggression. A similar idea was already expressed by Konrad Lorenz, who feared the consequences of humans becoming the most armed species on the planet. However, the average and healthy individual still has a strong inner resistance to killing, and it gives us cause to believe that there may just be hope for mankind after all.