Report: Humans evolved to be peaceful

February 19, 2006
human evolution

Humans evolved to be peaceful, cooperative and social animals, not the predators modern mythology would have us believe, says an U.S. anthropologist.

Robert W. Sussman, of Washington University in St. Louis, goes against the prevailing view and argues that primates, including early humans, evolved not as hunters but as prey of many predators, including wild dogs and cats, hyenas, eagles and crocodiles.

"Our intelligence, cooperation and many other features we have as modern humans developed from our attempts to out-smart the predator," says Sussman, the author of, "Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators and Human Evolution."

The idea of "Man the Hunter" is the generally accepted paradigm of human evolution, says Sussman.

"It developed from a basic Judeo-Christian ideology of man being inherently evil, aggressive and a natural killer," Sussman told the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in St. Louis. "In fact, when you really examine the fossil and living non-human primate evidence, that is just not the case."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Evolution and neuroscience suggest ways to design more human-centric buildings and cities

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Innovations from the wild world of optics and photonics

August 2, 2015

Traditional computers manipulate electrons to turn our keystrokes and Google searches into meaningful actions. But as components of the computer processor shrink to only a few atoms across, those same electrons become unpredictable ...

Shedding light on millipede evolution

August 2, 2015

As an National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded entomologist, Virginia Tech's Paul Marek has to spend much of his time in the field, hunting for rare and scientifically significant species. He's provided NSF with an inside ...

Better together: graphene-nanotube hybrid switches

August 2, 2015

Graphene has been called a wonder material, capable of performing great and unusual material acrobatics. Boron nitride nanotubes are no slackers in the materials realm either, and can be engineered for physical and biological ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.