In a previous essay I argued that animals display emotional and moral intelligence and a good deal of fairness. Cruelty, violence, and warlike behavior are incredibly rare. A recent essay by John Horgan summarizes much of what is known about warfare in great apes and other primates and tells it like it is. Horgan is especially concerned with what is called the "demonic male" theory that states "both male humans and chimpanzees, our closest genetic relatives, are 'natural warriors' with an innate predisposition toward 'coalitionary killing,' which dates back to our common ancestor." Horgan summarizes what is known as follows:
All told, since Jane Goodall began observing chimpanzees in Tanzania's Gombe National Park in 1960, researchers have directly observed 31 intergroup killings, of which 17 were infants.... researchers at a typical site directly observe one killing every seven years ... my criticism — and that of other critics I've cited — stems from science, not ideology. The evidence for the demonic-males theory, far from extraordinary, is flimsy.