The end of war?


The apes. It always comes back to the apes. Discover Magazine has a story today, based on research involving primates, John Horgan explores this notion that we are somehow hardwired to engage in warfare.

He takes a look, oddly enough, at a group of baboons who fought their version of war from scraps at a garbage dump, until several of them died from tuberculosis.The remaining critters were far more sedate.

Conclusion? Once the cost of war reaches a certain level, it will no longer be waged. Conflict among monkeys eases, it says here, when they are assured of food and when they become interdependent.

Is this a concept that baboons get and humans don’t?

  • Jon Grabanski

    Humans in developed countries have been “assured of food” for centuries–yet have waged war throughout the world. Increases in global trade would seem to magnify our human interdependence–yet civil wars and regional disputes rage on. I would say that humans (especially men) wage war more for power, attention, females, and glory than for any notion of “interdependence”–after all, isn’t interdependence for sissies?!