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Is terrorism a natural expression of the human genome?
If so, what can be done about it?
If not, why not?

Terrorism does arise from the human genome--an architecture designed by natural variation and selection of species most fit to survive the environmental niche within which they live. Nature took her time. Her genomic experiments culminating in humanity were gradual over a period of several hundred million years. Some instinctive behaviors we share with insects as well as animals in the great phylum of vertebrates to which we belong! Over at least the last seven million years since we split from the gorillas, evolution preserved our aggressive, cooperative, nurturing, parenting and altruistic traits with some of these arising tens to hundreds of millions of years before that. Nature is nothing if not Consilient.

It seems now that aggressiveness and cooperation combine to express obedience as a trait that contributes mightily to modern terrorism. Theodor Adorno et al and Stanley Milgram first identified the dangers inherent in overly obedient behavior. Jerry Burger recently confirmed this central tenet. Philip Zimbardo showed that even the typical North American college students easily fall into the roles of oppressor and oppressed, and devastatingly, predicted the excesses of Abu Ghraib in much too accurate detail. So exquisite was his experiment's prediction, that the average U.S. citizen has trouble facing this provable and scientific fact. We naturally shrink from anything that threatens our self esteem. "Surely we are not like that" our ego re-assures us. The problem remains: We are; really, at least some 65-85% of us are so obedient we will turn on out fellows with only slight encouragement! The barrier between our violent and peaceful selves is thin indeed in too many of us. (Adorno et al, Milgram, Zimbardo, and Burger). To not face up to this fact, relegates our heads to the closet while the world of nature moves on through mushroom clouds and worse.

It is true that one can lead a horse to water, but one cannot make him drink. But if humanity refuses to see the background and any Avenues Toward Peace when led to the trough of terrorism, then it will deserve what it gets.

It need not be that way. See Peace via Nature's Way - series.


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