(p. 15) Sapolsky proposes 10 strategies for reducing violence, all reasonable but none that justify the notion that science is the basis for societal advances toward less violence and higher morality.
. . .
In this section Sapolsky becomes a partisan critic, including presenting a skeptical view about the supposed long-term decline of human violence claimed by Steven Pinker in “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.” Sapolsky asserts that Pinker’s calculations include elementary errors, and that low rates of violence among contemporary hunter-gatherers mean that warfare did not predate agriculture. His arguments here are unbalanced. He fails to note that data on hunter-gatherer violence is relevant only where they are neighbored by other hunter-gatherers, rather than by militarily superior farmers.
For the full review, see:
RICHARD WRANGHAM. “Brain Teasers.” The New York Times Book Review (Sunday, JULY 9, 2017): 15.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the review has the date JULY 5, 2017, and has the title “Insights Into the Brain, in a Book You’ll Wish You Had in College.”)
The book under review, is:
Sapolsky, Robert M. Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst. New York: Penguin Press 2017.