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Why There Will Never Be a World Without Stereotypes
Each week on TestTubePlus, we pick one topic and cover it from multiple angles. This week's subject is borders and boundaries. Why do we create them? How have they evolved over history? What, if any, good have they done? For the first episode, Trace is taking a look at why country borders are actually a good thing.
Animals are territorial. A 2010 study in on Chimpanzee in Current Biology found that chimps will wage war for to protect their territories. The things they risk gaining are land, improved security, access to extra food, more resources, better access to females to mate with. It's not just chimps, either: many animals recognize territory, or hunting grounds, keeping out competition and protecting their own offspring. According to Julius Caesar in his book Gallic Wars, 2000 years ago in ancient German, "there were no separate estates or private boundaries." Instead, Germans practiced: "shifting cultivation" where they farmed and then moved--this was a sort of halfway point between nomadic and agricultural periods.
400 years ago, in the book "West Virginia: A History for Beginners", John Alexander Williams said, "The Indians had no concept of "private property," as applied to the land... the idea of an individual having exclusive use of a particular piece of land was completely strange to Native Americans." Many of us have learned this in school, but is is historically accurate? Trace gets to the bottom of it.
As human civilization developed we moved from open land to agriculture. which requires tending a plot. Tending a plot requires protecting that plot from predators -- deer, rabbits, other humans. Farming the same land for generations, becomes a de facto border: this is my land. There are dozens of reasons as to why humans are territorial: Increase security and defense, reduce spread of disease. reinforcing dominant structures, even localizing waste disposal.
TestTube Plus is built for enthusiastic science fans seeking out comprehensive conversations on the geeky topics they love. Each week, host Trace Dominguez probes deep to unearth the details, latest developments, and opinions on big topics like stereotypes, fear, terrorism, alcohol, survival, black holes, dreams, space travel, and many more.
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Chimps Engage in 'War' for Turf (Discovery News)
"Chimpanzees kill their neighbors in order to acquire territory, new research shows. Chimps are our closest primate relatives, so the behavior could help to explain why humans sometimes conduct lethal raids."