Local News

Speaker explores the potential for peace

By March 4, 2011

Judith Hand, an evolutionary biologist, animal behaviorist and novelist will deliver a talk titled “The Human Potential for Peace” at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 20, in the Blanchard Room at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. Her talk, which is sponsored by the Davis Peace Coalition, will focus on the evolutionary roots of cooperation, altruism, empathy and morality.

Before she began writing fiction a little more than 10 years ago, Hand was a research associate and lecturer in the UCLA biology department. She is trained in animal behavior, primatology and ornithology. In her talk she will show how three decades of studies indicate that peacemaking, like aggression, is a natural aspect of primate social behavior. Recent studies show that young children display peacemaking behavior that is remarkably similar in form and timing to peacemaking observed in non-human primates and other animals.

Hand is the author of two nonfiction books. “Women, Power and the Biology of Peace” is an exploration, from her perspective as an evolutionary biologist, of the differences between men and women in the use of violence, most especially the violence of war. In “A Future Without War,” she explores, from a biological perspective, the root causes of war and explains why war is not an inescapable facet of human nature.

Drawing upon diverse fields from biology to anthropology to psychology, Hand outlines a coherent strategy to end war, setting such a campaign in its historical context and explaining why a great paradigm shift in conflict resolution, from economies based on war to economies based on ending war, could occur within a relatively short period of time.

She is also the author of five works of fiction.

For more information on her talk, which is free and open to the public, visit http://davispeace.org.

Enterprise staff

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