From an Evolutionary Perspective, What Are the Ultimate Explanations for Murder? How Do These Make Sense of the Proximate Triggers for Murder?

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Why humans murder other humans is a question of insightful concern and practical importance, one that needs a successful scientific explanation. Evolutionary theory has explanations of why murder occurs, the circumstances in which it occurs, and the psychological mechanisms dedicated to murder. Murder is unlawful killing of another human being. As William Blackstone stated the common law definition of murder is ‘when a person, of sound memory and discretion, unlawfully killeth any reasonable creature in being and under the king 's peace, with malice aforethought, either express or implied’. A person kills for a number of reasons. Gang members kill rival gang members for a higher status among their community, more respect in their gang resulting in them getting more sexual partners. Thieves kill their victim incase that person cause them trouble in the future. Husbands kill their wives for having an affair or been expected of having an affair. They kill their wives incase their wife reproduces children with a rival male. Children are abused by people that have too much anger or people that may have been abused in there own childhood; they do this to make themselves feel inferior. Children may also be abused and murdered by step-parents more often than biological parents, as in evolutionary psychology these children are no good to their step-parents as they do not carry their step-parents genetic traits, therefore are useless to them. Men in barrooms with the influence of alcohol, things can get out of control resulting in the men fighting to be the better male. Ancestors would fight to the death to prove they are the stronger male. People kill other people in every culture in the world. In evolutionary psychology, the belief is humans are just like animals, we have evolved to be as we are. As humans murder for wealth/possessions, sex, and status/respect in the community, animals do too. Adult chimps fight to the death to claim their reproductive partner, show they


References: • Hawley, T., Little, P., Rodkin.D. (2008). Aggression and adaptation: The bright side to bad behaviour. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates • Laland, K. (2002). The sense and nonsense. Evolutionary perspectives on human behaviour. Oxford university press • Harris, G.T., Hilton, N.Z., Rice, M.E. & Eke, A.W. (2007). Children killed by genetic parents versus stepparents. Evolution and Human Behavior, • Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, M. (2005). Homicide by men in Japan and its relationship to age, resources and risk taking. . Evolution and Human Behavior, • Kelly, R.C. (2005). The evolution of lethal intergroup violence. • Daly & Wilson: http://psych.mcmaster.ca/dalywilson/pubs.html • David Buss, Buss Lab homepage: http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/Group/BussLAB/

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