Evolution and Violence

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Keith F Otterbein

Napoleon Chagnon and Keith Otterbein shared the stage at the University of Wisconsin on Thursday evening, October 24, 2013. The occasion was to present their complementary views on evolution and violence in non-literate societies to the Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy (director Lester Hunt). The evening began with a dinner at a local restaurant where several anthropologists were in attendance: Nam Kim, Herb Lewis, John Hawks, in addition to faculty from the Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy. A large classroom was filled with students and faculty from the social sciences and philosophy. John Hawks introduced the subject and the speakers. I reviewed my research on warfare over the past 50 years with emphasis upon cultural group selection, while Chagnon focused upon individual-level selection. I discussed the Higi of northeast Nigeria (Kapsiki in the Cameron) while Chagnon reviewed his research on the Yanomamö. Given the ages of the two anthropologists, they did not attempt to demonstrate the Yanomamö chest pounding duel or club fight.

Ask the Editors

The editors of this column (Adam Howell Boyette and Siobán Mattison) would like to take this opportunity to announce a forthcoming periodic “Ask the Editors” series, in which we respond to questions posed by the membership. Questions might pertain to careers in evolutionary anthropology, teaching evolutionary anthropology, specific subjects that you believe would benefit from expert opinions, or any other relevant area of inquiry. Supporting students is one of the core goals of EAS, so we are particularly interested in hearing questions from student members. As long-time EAS members, we want to put our research and social network resources to the use of the Society. So ask away! Send questions to evanthsociety@gmail.com. All questions will be treated anonymously!

Comments on and contributions to this column are welcome. Please send to Siobhán Mattison or Adam Howell Boyette. Columns are archived at www.evanthsoc.org.

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