Man Killers of Man

September 29, 2016

s-l300Overcast, damp and gray this near-noon Thursday on California’s north coast, awaiting the weekend and some rain.
The NWS issued a ‘Hazardous Weather Outlook‘ this morning, which warns not just for the amount of precipitation (light-to-moderate), but also the season’s first real-rain fall — making ‘…the roads very slick.’

In the not-so-glib category, coupled with all the seemingly more-horrible shootings, bombs, and whatnot, we humans might have the basic instinct to kill one another, according to a new study revealed this week — nasty point from the research (ResearchGate):

Humans come from an evolutionary lineage that has a long history of higher-than-average levels of lethal violence towards each other, they find. They estimate that at the time of our origin, humans were killing each other six times more often than the average mammal.’

(Illustration: Salvador Dali’s lithographic illustration on violence, found here).

And in the very-texture of America is a propensity to violence. And apparently getting worse in a weird way — via the Washington Post also this week: ‘Murders in the United States jumped 11 percent last year, according to federal data released Monday, but nonviolent crimes declined, an unusual divergence that’s puzzling criminal justice experts.’

A couple of weeks ago, via Fortune:

For only 242 million adults living in the U.S., there are about 265 million guns, according to a recent Harvard and Northeastern University study obtained by the Guardian.
That comes out to be more than one gun for every adult.
Half of those guns belong to just 3 percent of the adult population.
These super-owners have anywhere between eight and 140 guns each, with the group average being 17, according to the study.

Meanwhile the number of Americans who own guns has decreased from 25 percent to 22 percent since 1994.
And the study also found that there has been a dramatic increase in gun theft, nearly doubling from 230,000 per year to 400,000 per year.

My underline for emphasis, that a tell-tale sign…
Meanwhile, some details about that study on mankind’s desire to kill ourselves — from the Guardian yesterday:

Humans are predisposed to murder each other, new research suggests, although it remains unclear if it’s down to genetics or other factors.
Researchers from Spain have found that a tendency to bump off members of the same species is particularly common among primates, and have estimated that around 2 percent of human deaths at the origin of our species were down to such lethal spats.
“What it is saying, in the broadest terms, is that humans have evolved strategies for solving problems with violence,” said Mark Pagel, professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Reading, who was not involved in the research.
But, the authors add, the impact of society can greatly modify how aggressive humans are, with the proportion of human deaths due to people fighting between themselves fluctuating over mankind’s history.
“Lethal violence is part of our evolutionary history but not carved in stone in ‘our genes’,” said José María Gómez, first author of the study from the Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas (EEZA) in Spain.
“At least to some extent, the way humans organise in societies influences our levels of lethal violence.”

In short form, Gómez observed in an intellectual, technical sense: ‘“We found that human lethal violence has an evolutionary origin but can be modulated by some ecological and cultural factors, like the type of sociopolitical organization.”

Also noted in the study (NPR): ‘…found the meerkat is the mammal most likely to be murdered by one of its own kind.’

Separated only by a Glock…

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