What does science have to say about man’s tendency to violence? That is the subject of the latest episode of PBS’s NOVA program. Surprisingly, someone has found a way to quantify episodes of violence throughout history by statistical analysis of writings and make a very convincing case that, despite two world wars, violence is actually on the wane. Needless to say, however, one of several individuals through technology now has the power to end human life as we know it. All the more important, I submit, that we strive to consider this knowledge in crafting political checks and balances.
Given the fraught times we live in, I am finding this fascinating. Stephen Pinker, the Harvard psychologist and intellectual, is prominently featured. I commend this program to all my readers who, like myself, continue to puzzle over the meaning of life and human motivations.