Jane Goodall observed chimpanzees engaged in what she termed the “Four Years War,” in which one group of chimps systematically wiped out another group.
Is this evidence for the inherent nature of violence in chimps and their closest living relatives, humans?
Is war necessarily the fate for the “killer ape” human?
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Book: Introduction to Physical Anthropology (Jurmain, Kilgore, Trevathan, Ciochon)
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It seems as though war may be a natural state for chimps and humans, but humans have the gift of overriding emotion and focusing on the welfare of its people collectively, deciding whether war is beneficial or not. Chimps do not have this intellectual ability to “deliberate,” as Goodall pointed out (Smithsonian.com).
Goodall explained, “Well, the part that always shocked me was the inter-community violence among the chimps: the patrols and the vicious attacks on strangers that lead to death. It’s an unfortunate parallel to human behavior—they have a dark side just as we do. We have less excuse, because we can deliberate, so I believe only we are capable of true calculated evil.”...
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