Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Discover Review

Discover magazine, "War: What is it Good For?" by John Horgan, April 2008, pp.24-27.

Any reader of science magazines is bound to be familiar with Discover. Combining all disciplines of science into one fascinating package, I've long been a reader of Discover. To be honest, though, I've always had a problem with their worldview; just as "Evolutionary" as the next, with all the accessory bits of liberal propaganda, humanism, feminism, and the like. Still, to access their common paleontology articles and things of that sort I continued reading, and even subscribed this year. It's things like this that make me remember why I begrudgingly handed out my money in the first place.

Along with other article teasers on the front cover are the words, "Could Iraq Be Our Last War?" Expecting the usual anti-war, pacifist, U.N., greenpeace, global citizen propaganda, I nonetheless checked the article out. Next I read it for myself. (I like to keep up on what those on the "other side" think and say.) What I found was worse than that.

The title page shows an uncredited Vietnam-esque photo with the giant words "WAR" in red and beige below it, and below that "WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?" in black. To the exact right of these words, we see the words "ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Given adequate food, fuel and the equality of the sexes, studies say, war may disappear."

So here we haven't even started to read this piece of work yet and we're already getting pounded with feminist propaganda. (On another note, this "equality of the sexes," did feminism bring that? Does the modern culture of lasciviousness, pornography and prostitution somehow elevate the female "race" above the protected, valued "ladies" that they were under the American ideals of Christian chivalry?)

Turn the page, and we get an even better treat. At the very top, above a photo of bonoboes (a chimpanzee-like ape considered to be mankind's closest "relative"), "Bonobos have no deadly warfare, little hunting, no male dominance, and enormous amounts of sex." The words "little hunting, no male dominance" are highlighted in red. That's right. Red. (We will later read that these words come from the mouth of "primate researcher" Franz de Waal.) So those terrible male creatures and their brutal Bambi-hunting habits are causing the good citizens of the world to make war with each other? The female "race," led by some as of yet unseen feminist monarchy, must just be waiting for their chance to prove themselves and overthrow their inept and evil overlords and bring about a true utopia. Is that it?

And remember, we haven't even begun to actually read the article yet. Let's do so now, and see what's in store next, what do you say?

Basing these conclusions on studies of primates, author Horgan sets up the story on the first page, and then we begin to see punchlines. After de Waal's comment that is also placed on the top of the page, we read "Their promiscuity, he speculates, reduces violence both within and between bonobo troops, just as intermarriage does between human tribes. What may start out as a confrontation between two bonobo communities can turn into socializing, with sex between members, grooming, and play." Aw, how cute! Let's go play table tennis with terrorists, what do you say?

Soon we see that, due to observing primates, "de Waal sees promise in alliances, such as the European Union, that promote trade and travel, and hence interdependence." Uh-oh. There we go, that whole global economy/government/world thing again.

Can anyone guess what is coming next? What other thing that is just waiting to burst upon a waiting world may help usher in a period of beautiful peace and prosperity? Nothing other than women in the workforce! Of course, how silly could chauvinists like me be? We men have been cruelly keeping our women from realizing their true potential (outside of the home, mind you), remember?

Anthropologist Douglas Fry is our next scientist of interest. "Fry has sought to determine what distinguishes peaceful societies from more violent ones. One clue comes from his fieldwork among the Zapotec, peasant farmers descended from an ancient, warring civilization in Oaxaca, Mexico. There, Fry studied two Zapotec coommunities, which he labeled with the pseudonyms San Andreas and La Paz. San Andreas's rate of male-on-male violenece, spousal abuse, and child abuse are five times higher than in La Paz. The reason, Fry suspects, is that women in La Paz have long contributed to the income of their families by making and selling pottery, thus earning the respect of the males."

Eureka! It's all finally solved! If the chauvinists pigs (me logically being one of them) would just pull back and let women realize their life's worth in the corporate halls of the world, everything would be better for everyone! And the freeing cure of feminism will also quell "spousal abuse", is that right? So again it must have been us men and our chivalric doctrines of "Women and children first!" who caused all this in the first place, right?

But that's not all. Next we see that "Fry believes that empowering females may reduce the rate of violence committed within and by a nation..."'there are good reasons for having a balance of the more caring sex in government.'" Oh, we can call them the more caring sex, but not the weaker one, is that it?

Next up at the plate is anthropologist Richard Wrangham, who apparently wrote a book in 1996 called Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence. I haven't read the book, but I'd guess it's all about the now seemingly demonic males who caused all human violence, starting from the first hormone-pumped male primate pounding his chest. "'Natural selection has favored combative, power-hungry males,' he contends..." (Now wait just a second, I thought "natural selection" was supposed to be a good thing?)

And here's another whopper right out of the feminism handbook. "[Wrangham] points out that as female education and economic oppurtunities rise, birthrates tend to fall. A stabilized population lessens demands on governmental and medical services and on natural resources; hence, the likelihood of social unrest also decreases." Gone are the days when children were viewed as blessings from a womb touched by the hand of God. Now, even they are unwitting causes of the world's many wars.

"Ideally, Wrangham says, these trends will propel more women into government. 'My little dream,' he confesses, 'is that all nations give equal decision-making power to two entities, 'a House of Men and a House of Women.'" We need that positive feminist influence to straighten out male corruptness, don't we now?

Moving forward, also note that although Wrangham and an archeologist by the name of Steven LeBlanc disagree with how far Fry carries his bonobo-born theories, they both still believe in this "peace"...propaganda. We've seen Wrangham, and LeBlanc, "when asked point-blank if humans can stop fighting wars, LeBlanc replies, 'Yes, I think it's completely possible." So the readers of Discover are cheated out of any opposing academic viewpoints, and, instead, are fed this.

LeBlanc "notes that many warlike societies--notably Nazi Germany and imperial Japan...have embraced peace." Yet you forget what a major validation point of their brutal campaigns of extermination was: Darwinism. And on the other hand, they didn't "embrace" peace either; it was forced on them by American and Allied bayonets. It was an accomplishment made by war, by the men (Yes, men! The horror!) who fought for their country and convictions. The history being touted by LeBlanc and Discover wasn't what I learned. Isn't this called re-writing history?

Oh, and another thing. "Two keys to peace, [LeBlanc] believes, are controlling population growth and finding cheap alternatives to fossil fuels." Wait just a minute, back the bonobo truck up here. Did he just say controlling population growth? Yes, he did. What, more Terri Schaivos, more persecuted people forced to have abortions such as the Chinese Christians?

And here's another kicker. A "major obstacle" to this peaceful utopian society is "religious fundamentalism". I completely agree, as long as we are talking about terrorists and Islamofascism. But as nice as it would be to believe that is what is being inferred, I don't buy it. They never say a word about Islamic terrorism. Instead, we get the catch phrase, "religious fundamentalism". And what other group is often placed under that label? Christians. That's right. Us. And I can see, that's where this is going.

So now we're a "major obstacle" to world peace? We're one of the causes of this planet's wars? Huh, if all this comes to pass (population control, attacks on "religious fundamentalism", and everything else they tout) they might just get what they're asking for.

Bioligist Edward O. Wilson says, "'Once we face the problems underlying the origins of...religious extremism...then we'll find a solution to terms of an informed international negotiation system.'" I'm thinking that along with this nice little "informed international negotiation system" might come some Gestapo-like security force. Over my dead body.

So, in conclusion, all that mankind needs to do is return to the ways of the apes, our Evolutionary ancestors; engage in wild sex and everything promiscuous; control the population (Doesn't sex caus population growth?), end religious fundamentalism, destroy the power of the oppressive male race and elevate females.

How silly we have been! How ignorant! For all of our history as walking, talking, non-hunched-over humans, all we had to do to solve the world's problems is look to the apes! They had it right all along; we need to return to the ways of the great ape. We need to go back.

Hey, wait a minute. I thought Evolution was a force that was supposed to go forward?



olde.fashioned said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! I love it when you write posts like this. I think you should publish it in a Christian magazine. *hee*

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Thou flattereth me. ;-D

olde.fashioned said...

Thou dost not knoweth thy own potential!!!

Lady Neferankh said...

OK--hehe, I discovered this because I was browsing around.

You know--you could make an interesting point though--in that we could learn a lesson or two from the bonobos.

See, the bonobos tend to unfailingly do what God created them to--while we humans DON'T. As can be seen by some of the very ideas being promoted in that article.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

I think I see some of your logic (and likely agree if I'm understanding you right), but explain a little bit more for this dense old fellow, please. :-D