Evolution and crime
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Evolution and Crime. Evolution. Evolution has not been linear At least 15 species of hominids have been identified Upright creatures at least 3 million years ago Lucy Footprints. Evolution. A recent discovery indicates that the first bipedal may have occurred 5 million years ago

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Evolution and Crime

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Evolution and Crime


Evolution

  • Evolution has not been linear

  • At least 15 species of hominids have been identified

  • Upright creatures at least 3 million years ago

  • Lucy

  • Footprints


Evolution

  • A recent discovery indicates that the first bipedal may have occurred 5 million years ago

  • Tool construction 2 million years ago (homo habilis)

  • Homo sapiens (our immediate ancestors) appeared about 100,000 years ago


Evolution

  • Neanderthals, another hominid species, coexisted during the same time period

  • Homo sapiens sapiens appeared about 45,000 years ago

  • Notable differences: arts, improved tool construction, probably language, more complex social hierarchies


Evolution

  • With the advent of homo sapiens sapiens, Neanderthals became extinct in the next 10,000-15,000 years

  • Did we wage war on them? Assimilate?

  • No evidence

  • Most likely we edged them out


Evolution

  • Most striking aspect of our species is its adaptability

  • Appears to have spread out of Africa, to Eurasia, to the Americas and ultimately to the South Pacific, to every part of the world except Antarctica


Evolution

  • For most of our history, hunter/scavenger-gathers

  • Traditional: extended families, n possessions, nomadic

  • !Kung of the sub-Saharan Africa

  • Small groups, 30-150 people, extended face to face contact


Evolution

  • Agriculture appeared around 10,000 years ago

  • Major change, took place gradually

  • In some places it never occurred (!kung, rain forests) because conditions were not conducive to its development

  • In some places, “partial” agriculture


Evolution

  • Requires: plants that can be more easily domesticated

  • Assisted by available animals that can be easily domesticated

  • No coincidence that the earliest “civilizations” were in the Middle East and then Eurasia


Evolution

  • Advantages of agriculture

  • Larger numbers of people could be fed to support a growing population

  • Some freed to pursue other interests (arts, soldiers to protect)

  • Being able to stay in one place rather than migrate to new food sources


Evolution

  • Disadvantages

  • Dependence on a limited number of foods; if crops fail, the group is in jeopardy

  • Development of possessions enhanced and exaggerated status differences

  • Creation of “haves” and “have nots” (Marx)


Evolution

  • For at least 35,000 of our 45,000 years we were hunter-gatherers

  • For some groups, almost all of our existence

  • We have gone through very rapid changes for which we are ill-prepared

  • Evolutionary biologists argue that we tend to lose sight of our origins (ex. dating, eating)


Hunter-gather

Extended family

Group oriented

Close knit

Informal sanctions

Little formal training

Preliterate

Technology

Nuclear family

Individual oriented

Spread apart

Formal sanctions

Sanctions

Literate

Traditional vs. Modern Societies


Cooperative

Consensus

Sharing resources

Competitive

Little consensus

Acquiring resources, hoarding

Traditional vs. modern


Nature of man

  • Good v. evil

  • Aggression (chimpanzees)

  • Cooperative nature of humans

  • Development of complex interactions (partially a function of languages)

  • We cooperate, constantly on the alert for violations


Nature of man

  • Controls placed by long-term face to face contacts

  • Prisoner Dilemma games

  • Are we good or evil?

  • Tendencies for both

  • Emergent properties, result of civilization

  • Stealing, aggression


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