Do You Have the War Gene?

In the United States, July is summer and Independence Day—a day born of a war. Was the war necessary? U.S. history classes say it was. But is war inevitable? Is it part of human nature or is it genetic? If it’s genetic, does everyone have it? Do you have the war gene? Humans have the capacity for aggression, for violence. But why? Is it inborn? Then, why would any of us want or seek peace? Is there a peace gene, too? If war isn’t genetic, when did war become a thing to do? The First War “The first war in recorded history took place in Mesopotamia in 2700 BCE between Sumer and Elam.” (https://www.ancient.eu/war/) But it was not the first war. There are pictographs of armies at war dated to about 3500 BCE. Archeologists have found evidence of war in cemeteries and evidence of conflict and multiple violent deaths dating as early as 12,000 B.C. War definitely existed far back in human history. War Defined According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, war is “a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations.” So if it’s between states and nations, does that mean it couldn’t be genetic?  The Warrior Gene There isn’t […]

Do You Know These Facts About the Fourth?

Fourth of July is a holiday celebrating the independence of the United States of America. Do you know these facts about the Fourth? The Cost An estimated 6,800 Americans were killed in the Revolutionary War. Another 8,000-12,000 died of disease while prisoners of war. Why it’s Important  For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. Nelson Mandela The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear. Aung San Suu Kyi You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make a good use of it. John Adams (Founding Fathers) Okay, those aren’t facts, but you should still know them. And now you do. What’s in a Name? It could have been called Resolution Day instead. The Declaration of Independence was first called the Lee Resolution, after Richard Henry Lee. Original Document Two hundred copies of the Declaration of Independence were made and distributed in 1776. Twenty-six have survived. An archivist discovered the twenty-sixth copy in 2009. 1776 Laptop Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on a mahogany […]

Listen & Learn: Science and History Podcasts

Science and History podcasts are a fun, easy-to-digest way of learning. I’ve mentioned before that I love podcasts. Lately, I’ve listened to fewer because I no longer have a commute. But I try to listen to at least one of the science and history podcasts. They are always fascinating. I always learn some new detail. Often, I find a bit of inspiration for future stories. Science Friday This podcast, hosted by Ira Flatow, covers everything science. From the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies. Every year they host Cephalopod Week (beginning June 21). You’ll learn fun and cool stuff about cephalopods.  The Science Friday Initiative, a non-profit organization, dedicated to increasing the public’s access to science and scientific information, produces this podcast. Science Friday videos are available on Youtube. The podcast is available on Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, Sound Cloud, Podbay, Tune in, and the website.  You Are Not So Smart Host David McRaney says the You Are Not So Smart podcast is “a celebration of self-delusion that explores topics related to cognitive biases, heuristics, and logical fallacies.” It’s always fascinating. McRaney interviews scientists about their research into how the mind works. At […]