Humans Evolved to Fight

[adsense float=’left’]A few weeks ago, I was talking with a friend of mine that teaches strategy at one of the U.S. Army’s war colleges. The purpose of his class is to go over the reasons why people fight wars. One of the books he suggested I read was “War in Human Civilization” by Azar Gat. The book is an account of what humans were like before we became “civilized.” The gist of the book is that humans are civilized until the natural resources of an area become insufficient. And then we fight with the neighboring clan to take their resources (and their women).

My friend said to refer to the opening scene of the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, where one ape kills another ape with a bone. His point is, we’ve been fighting each other that long.

So if we’ve been killing each other for that long, shouldn’t there be some evidence that we’ve evolved characteristics that help us fight and survive wars?

As I was putting together my book: “Selling By Personality Type,” I talked about this very thing. Unfortunately, I forgot to include other proof that the human body has adapted for sticks-and-stones warfare.

The people leading this research are from the University of Utah.

We’ve shown some of their research before about the way the human hand is structured, and how the delicate bones of the fingers are protected when a fist is made.

The hypothesized that if a fist was made for offensive warfare, then shouldn’t there be some defensive mechanism too? After all, if you hit someone in the face, shouldn’t the face eventually evolve to protect the bones of the face?

face_punchAccording to their research, the answer is yes. The bones in the face have changed over time, and compared to those of apes. They have become stronger and better able to absorb blows.

Source: Human Face Evolved to be Punched and Researchers Claim Human Face Evolved To Be Hit.

The other two pieces of evidence are both related to the legs. David Carrier, the lead researcher, hypothesizes that evolving from walking on all-fours to becoming bipedal may be a result of fighting. He notes that there is a significant penalty for walking on two legs compared to four: speed and agility being the most important. But the advantage is that it frees the arms for fighting. He points out that all sorts of animals stand up and use their front legs to fight, including lions, wolves, bears, horses, rabbits, and primates.

Source: Two Legs Good, Four Legs Bad – For Beating the Crap Out of Each Other.

Finally, once we became bipedal,  why did our legs elongate? Carrier’s other hypothesis is that longer legs give a height advantage for the fighter. A taller fighter can direct more downward force on their opponent. He also noted that the change to having longer legs only occurred when humans learned to make weapons and fight with them.

Source: Ancient Man Built for Fighting

Throwing objects with great speed and accuracy is another trait that evolved around the same time period. Chimpanzees, our closest ape-like relative are incredibly strong, but not very good at throwing. At best, they can throw objects (like feces) at around 20 mph, where boys in Little League can throw over 60 mph.

To be able to throw hard, three traits had to evolve: “tall and mobile waists that permit torso rotation; the way the elbow and the bone in the upper arm, the humerus, join together and rotate; and the placement of the shoulders. Each trait has “a major role in storing and releasing elastic energy during throwing.” Humans have these traits, while chimpanzees don’t.

Source: Humans’ Unique Throwing Ability Dawned 2 Million Years Ago.

It should be noted that two other traits are needed for basic throwing: standing upright, and having opposable thumbs.

What Does This Have To Do With Selling?

The reason this is important, is that it offers additional evidence that humanity’s purpose is to fight and survive wars. If the human body can evolve physically, then the question about the mind evolving too is not such a big leap.

Once you see that people behave like they have a purpose in the human army, you can change your approach on how to sell to them. You sell to their values, which are congruent with their place in the human army.

Additional References:

The human hand has evolved to hold and throw.

The human hand has evolved to hold and throw.

Evolution of the human hand: the role of throwing and clubbing:

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