Killer ape theory  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The killer ape theory or killer ape hypothesis is the theory that war and interpersonal aggression was the driving force behind human evolution. It was originated by Raymond Dart in the 1950s; it was later notably developed by Robert Ardrey in his book African Genesis (1961).

According to the killer ape theory, the ancestors of humans were distinguished from other primate species by their greater aggressiveness. Furthermore, according to the theory, this aggression remains within humanity, which retains many murderous instincts.

The theory gained notoriety for suggesting that the urge to do violence was a fundamental part of human psychology, but is not widely accepted among anthropologists today.

Movies like Planet of the Apes (1968) show that this issue affected common people, too. In fact, it’s based on Pierre Boulle’s novel of the same title, but the content is almost similar to the topic.

This theory can be seen in the opening sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and also appears in the television show Sliders, which made extensive use of the killer ape theory in arcs involving the Kro-Maggs.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Killer ape theory" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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