[Sayma-Discuss] [Sayma-Announce] Fw: my latest newspaper column

JERE LICCIARDELLO licciardelloj at bellsouth.net
Fri Dec 30 05:22:32 PST 2011

you're welcome.  This is a very nice column Joe Parko wrote.

> From: Deanna Nipp-Kientz <aCertainGirl at charter.net>
>To: sayma-discuss at kitenet.net; SAYMA list <sayma-announce at kitenet.net> 
>Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2011 12:22 PM
>Subject: Re: [Sayma-Announce] Fw: my latest newspaper column
>Wow!  So well done.  Thank 
>Deanna Nipp-Kientz
>----- Original Message ----- 
>>From: Joe Parko 
>>To: SAYMA list 
>>Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2011 10:33  AM
>>Subject: [Sayma-Announce] Fw: my latest  newspaper column
>>my latest newspaper column
>>Joe Parko
>>Crossville Friends Meeting 
>>  December 27,  2011
>>WE THE PEOPLE: We are not made for  war
>>By Joe Parko Chronicle  contributor
>>CROSSVILLE — Many people think that  war is inevitable. They justify their belief by adding that war is "part of  human nature" or "in our genes." But is it really? 
The latest research shows there is nothing in the archaeological  record supporting the claim that our ancestors have been waging war against  each other for hundreds of thousands, let alone millions, of years. The first  clear-cut evidence of warfare appears just 14,000 years ago. The evidence  takes the form of rock art in Australia, Europe and elsewhere depicting  battles with spears, clubs and bows and arrows; and settlements clearly  fortified for protection against attacks.
War emerged very late in human history when humans shifted from a  nomadic existence to a settled one that was commonly tied to agriculture.  Archaeologist Brian Ferguson of Rutgers University says, "With a vested  interest in their lands, food stores and rich fishing sites, people could no  longer walk away
 from trouble. What's more, with settlement came the  production of surplus crops and the acquisition of valuable objects through  trade. All of a sudden, people had far more to lose, and to fight over, than  their hunter-gatherer forebears.”
So rather than being a product of  our genes, it looks like warfare emerged in response to a changing  environment. 
>>Archaeologist Steven LeBlanc of  Harvard University says that war is not a biological compulsion but, rather,  is a response to environmental conditions such as swelling populations and  dwindling food supplies. 
A surprising finding of the research is that there has been a  steady decline in the number of wars since ancient times. "Violence has been  in decline over long stretches of history," says Steven Pinker of Harvard  University. We mistakenly believe that war is more prevalent now than in the  past because, unlike in the past, we have instantaneous televised coverage of  wars around the globe.  The fact is that the number of wars has actually  been decreasing over the last few centuries. Pinker gives several reasons for  the decline of wars in general: First, the creation of stable nations with  effective legal systems and police forces. Second, the prospect of longer life  expectancies and a better quality of life that makes us less willing
 to risk  our lives through violence. Third, increasing globalization and improvements  in communications technology, which have increased our interdependence with,  and understanding towards, those outside of our immediate "tribes.” 
>>Understanding the environmental conditions that promote war also 
  suggests ways to limit it. LeBlanc points out that the modern focus of human 
  competition — and the warfare that can accompany it — has shifted away from 
  food to energy. One of the keys to peace, he suggests, is developing reliable 
  alternatives to fossil fuels. Another key to peace is education that promotes 
  tolerance and non-violent conflict resolution.
>>Any announcement of the 
  end of warfare would be premature. At the very least, though, we can 
  confidently reject the fatalistic belief that war is innate in human nature. 
  That assumes "we're some kind of robots where aggressive genes force us to 
  pick up knives and guns like zombies and attack each other without any 
  thoughts going through our heads," says Pinker.
>>War is not in our 
  genes. The research shows that we were not created for war. The fact that the 
  military has to put soldiers through months of intensive training in order to 
  get them to kill another human being is a further indication that we are not 
  born for war. And if warfare is not innate then, surely, neither is it 
  inevitable. The fact is that humanity’s ability to reason and to cooperate has 
  been, and will continue to be, our key to survival. Our genes do not cause 
  war. We have the power to avoid war by using our minds instead of our weapons. 
  A good place to start using our minds is to think about the future and to tell 
  Congress to cut our huge weapons budget and to use the money to develop 
  renewable energy sources instead of more weapons so that we won’t have to 
  fight more wars to keep the oil flowing from the Middle East. As we celebrate 
  this Christmas season, let Christians show that we truly follow the Prince of 
  Peace by actually working for peace. The war in Iraq is over and we need to 
  end the war in Afghanistan. Call Congress today and tell them to reduce our 
  massive weapons budget and to use the money to promote peace and prosperity 
  here instead of war and destruction over there. It’s time for America to stop 
  spending almost half its annual budget on war and weapons. It’s time to start 
  beating our swords into plowshares. 

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