I'm thinking...what am I supposed to do? Demonstrate that that's false? There have been people who have tried to make such arguments. They really believe that. "It's really hard to get people to learn to chop an enemy down in the heat of battle." I don't really think so. I'm pretty sure that this was something people were always pretty good at doing, and if they weren't good they learned about as soon as there was a guy in front of them with a weapon. (Interviewer: You'd think if they did any hunting, that would...) We have cultural problems in understanding the past. Most people who are highly educated in this country - even more so, those who go into the social sciences - never hunted anything in their life, never hung out with anybody who did; it feels strange to them. Now, intellectually they probably know that a lot of people did do this - one hopes - but they don't sound like they really believe it. Real people couldn't have shot a deer, gutted it, drained its blood, cooked it and eaten it. That's just not possible...It's hard for people to believe that anyone wasn't exactly like them.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Greg Cochran, commenting off-the-cuff on why anthropologists are reluctant to believe that technology, DNA, and languages were spread by conquest and conflict, rather than contact and cooperation, despite the abundant evidence dating back decades. He quotes a prominent anthropologist saying "It's really hard for people to learn how to kill other people."
Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at 4:22 PM