I’m a little confused by parts of this article. Humans are not direct descendants of Neanderthals – why compare our respective physiologies as a proxy for domestication? And Neanderthal society was quite similar to our own- how exactly were they “less domesticated?” And to say that our author is trying to “wrest” human breeding/ selection debates from the hands of racists – how exactly? This whole book sounds like racism catnip! Tying in-species physical features to behaviors. That Russian fox study is a fave of eugenecists.
Science is not neutral, pop science lit less so. I’m sure this book is a fun read, I’m sure it will be influential. But it also seems like an attempt to bring theories of human breeding to back to the forefront of popular discussion. What good will that do? The topic is so explosive, so delicate, that any normal-length book is bound to leave room for people who believe all sorts of s**t to take away from it what they will. Why give it extra press? Seems irresponsible.
I think our exceptional capacity for violence and the strong psychological impact that violence has on us individually, frequently blinds us to our equally exceptional capacity for cooperation. I think that it was our capacity for cooperation that allowed us to survive in early millennia of our development, not our capacity for violence. Cooperation doesn’t send off the same alarm bells as violence, but it probably characterizes the vast majority of our interactions with other humans and is a survival trait unmatched in the animal world.
Louise please look at http://www.humancondition.com for the real explanation for how we humans became differentiated from our primate relatives.The reasons for our violent (angry) behaviour has a psychological source unlike the behaviour of the rest of the animal kingdom which is instinctively based.
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