Report: Humans evolved to be peaceful

Feb 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

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