For Anti-War Activists
© 1999 Philip Hyde, PO Box 622, Cambridge MA 02140 USA
OK, we know there haven't been any since the 1970s, but Canada had a Peace Research Foundation & maybe it's still going.
"Researchers probing the biological roots of war...say that war is 'a form of intrasexual male competition among groups, occasionally to obtain mates but more often to acquire the resources necessary to attract and retain mates'..\..
"This evolutionary perspective explains conflicts from ancient times to today's hot spots.... [It] challenges the classic belief that old men start wars and send young men to die in battle.... However, it may be true at times...that wars have been a means for older leaders to deal with a surplus of young men vying with them for a society's resources.... The theory applies to offensive, not defensive, wars. Thus the young US soldiers cut down during the Normandy invasion in 1944 were not driven by the same biological imperatives as the Nazi youth who helped carry Hitler into power..\..
"The hypothesis is the work of Christian G. Mesquida, a graduate student, and Neil I. Wiener, a professor in the psychology department at York University in Toronto.... Napoleon Chagnon, a prominent anthropologist at the Universiy of California in Santa Barbara, said the Canadian researchers' theory is a new twist on what he's long believed.... Chagnon said various societies...have tried to defuse the danger by creating backbreaking chores for young men [e.g., sports] or - in the case of medieval society - by sending them off on the Crusades [or later, the Peace Corps, or now, just locking them up by the millions].
"While saying their work is not yet sufficiently developed to make firm predictions, Mesquida said one country where conditions may be brewing trouble is China, in part because a preference for male children is creating a growing imbalance. Soon after the turn of the century there is expected to be a million more young men than young women."
Clips from article by Richard Saltus, Boston Globe, 9/21/98, p. C1.
"I'm tellin' ya, folks - I didn't realize Timesizing had so many applications over the last 24 years when I was synthesizing its design, piece by piece - it's awesome!" says Phil.