News Stories

The Reasons We Go to War

Why do humans continually go to war? Are wars always started for profit motives? Scientists are divided on question of whether humans are innately peace-loving or aggressive.

Heather Whipps writes in LiveScience.com that scientists are studying Australopithecus afarensis, an early ancestor who lived five million years ago. He was small and furry and not strong enough to do much fighting, so scientists assume he was definitely peace-loving. He was mostly a vegetarian although, like today's chimps, he dined on insects when he could get them. Researcher Robert Sussman says this doesn't fit in with the stereotypical image of the "cave man" as a spear wielding hunter.

However, Raymond C. Kelly disagrees and thinks that groups of humans have always had violent clashes, usually to defend their territory. He thinks the invention of weapons like a spear that could be thrown from a distance contributed to making war more common.

When humans began to eat meat and use weapons, around two million years ago, war was more likely, as humans defended their hunting grounds. But according to anthropologist Michael Bisson, our ancestors were mostly still shy scavengers. Early meat-eating evidence has to do more with small animals that were caught and torn apart by hand than with hunting, especially of large mammals like mammoths.

Fossil records can be confusing. An attack by a large animal, for instance, can be misconstrued as a weapon attack by another human. Australopithecus remains that were discovered in the 1920s, in what is now Botswana, contained a skull and what could have been either tools or weapons made of animal bones. Since the discovery was made while the world was still reeling from the first world war, the scientists identified the bones as weapons. In a more peaceful time, they might have identified them has tools for digging in termite holes.

Today some people seem to look for reasons to go to war, while others seek peace. One thing that brings us peace is an untroubled mind, and one thing that leads to a peaceful mind is knowledge of the truth?so you can gain the courage to face the future. You get that information here, at unknowncountry.com, but we can't do it alone. We need your help, so subscribe today.

Sometimes all we can do is pray. Don't miss part two of our Dreamland series on the power of prayer.

NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.


Subscribe to Unknowncountry sign up now