War – Why do the Nations rage?

War, easy to understand but difficult to prevent, dates back 550 million years.

Early complex life lived peacefully for most of earth’s history by harnessing the power of ocean chemicals and then sunlight.

550 million years ago the first proto animals acquired mobility – the Dickinsonia and others began to move around to seek food.  And then arrived bilateral symmetry – a head for intake at one end, a digestive system in the middle and an exit for waste at the other. The evidence of these early life forms can be seen in the fossils of the Ediacara hills in southern Australia.

Then teeth and claws arrived – the world’s very first weapons.  The evolutionary arms race had begun and humans eventually became the clear winners – they developed a complex brain and the ability to outsmart all other life forms on earth.

From the very first days man killed his own kind as well as other animals in the battle to survive and prosper. Most other animals do the same thing  – the hawk and the fox being obvious examples.

And so today from the parish council and the village garden society up to the level of nations we seek our own benefit and are willing to take extraordinary measures to subjugate the competition.

Old dears viciously competing in the village cake baking competition can be seen as the weak form of Genghis Khan or Pol Pot.  As a society we compete instead of co-operate. We take what we want from the weak; 20th century western exploitation of middle east oil being a good example.

All it took was modern science to give us the capability to destroy on a global and industrial scale. Zyklon B and the railways, the machine gun and the atomic bomb.

And the cure? Nothing less than changing our entire nature. Not so easy after 500 million years on the rampage.

Image: Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944. By Robert F. Sargent

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