Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin.
Violence has important health effects. The results of exposure to physical violence include, but may not be limited to, death from suicide and homicide. The connection between the experience of assault and risk of death from causes other than homicide and suicide has rarely been examined.
Terrorism may create fear and stress reactions not only in the direct victims, but also in the general population.
As practicing pediatricians who have lost patients to gun violence, we join our colleagues in mourning the 20 children and their teachers who were killed in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012. Our sadness is deepened by our knowledge that the deaths, terror, and post-traumatic stress of the relatives and friends left behind could have been prevented. Prevention is the core of pediatric work. We aim to protect children from all things that can harm them. Injuries are the biggest threat to U.S. children over 1 year of age. In 2010, gun-related injuries accounted for 6570 deaths of children and . . .
Many high-profile societal problems involve an individual or group repeatedly attacking another - from child-parent disputes, sexual violence against women, civil unrest, violent conflicts and acts of terror, to current cyber-attacks on national infrastructure and ultrafast cyber-trades attacking stockholders. There is an urgent need to quantify the likely severity and timing of such future acts, shed light on likely perpetrators, and identify intervention strategies. Here we present a combined analysis of multiple datasets across all these domains which account for >100,000 events, and show that a simple mathematical law can benchmark them all. We derive this benchmark and interpret it, using a minimal mechanistic model grounded by state-of-the-art fieldwork. Our findings provide quantitative predictions concerning future attacks; a tool to help detect common perpetrators and abnormal behaviors; insight into the trajectory of a ‘lone wolf’; identification of a critical threshold for spreading a message or idea among perpetrators; an intervention strategy to erode the most lethal clusters; and more broadly, a quantitative starting point for cross-disciplinary theorizing about human aggression at the individual and group level, in both real and online worlds.
We identify robust statistical patterns in the frequency and severity of violent attacks by terrorist organizations as they grow and age. Using group-level static and dynamic analyses of terrorist events worldwide from 1968-2008 and a simulation model of organizational dynamics, we show that the production of violent events tends to accelerate with increasing size and experience. This coupling of frequency, experience and size arises from a fundamental positive feedback loop in which attacks lead to growth which leads to increased production of new attacks. In contrast, event severity is independent of both size and experience. Thus larger, more experienced organizations are more deadly because they attack more frequently, not because their attacks are more deadly, and large events are equally likely to come from large and small organizations. These results hold across political ideologies and time, suggesting that the frequency and severity of terrorism may be constrained by fundamental processes.
“We can meet after my lecture, at a table, over a drink,” Carl Ogereau told me - that’s “the French way to fight terrorism,” he explained: refusing to be intimidated. So on Friday evening, one week after the Paris terrorist attack that left 130 dead and hundreds injured, Ogereau arrived on his motorbike at Café Clochette across the street from the Hôpital Saint Louis. Nearby, we saw candles and flowers outside Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge, the restaurants where more than a dozen young people had been killed and many more severely injured the previous week. The restaurants are . . .
In the wreckage of destroyed lives, broken families, and a traumatized community left behind by a gunman’s rampage on June 12, Americans seemed to be asking what kind of crime this was. Another senseless mass shooting in a long line from Virginia Tech to Aurora to Newtown? A terrorist attack inspired by ISIL or other extremist groups? A hate crime against the LGBT community? Do the distinctions among these unspeakable horrors matter? Central Floridians didn’t wait for an answer; they poured into the streets and lined up at blood-donation centers ready and willing to give part of themselves in hopes . . .
This paper presents an analysis of the Provisional Irish Republican Army’s (PIRA) brigade level behavior during the Northern Ireland Conflict (1970-1998) and identifies the organizational factors that impact a brigade’s lethality as measured via terrorist attacks. Key independent variables include levels of technical expertise, cadre age, counter-terrorism policies experienced, brigade size, and IED components and delivery methods. We find that technical expertise within a brigade allows for careful IED usage, which significantly minimizes civilian casualties (a specific strategic goal of PIRA) while increasing the ability to kill more high value targets with IEDs. Lethal counter-terrorism events also significantly affect a brigade’s likelihood of killing both civilians and high-value targets but in different ways. Killing PIRA members significantly decreases IED fatalities but also significantly decreases the possibility of zero civilian IED-related deaths in a given year. Killing innocent Catholics in a Brigade’s county significantly increases total and civilian IED fatalities. Together the results suggest the necessity to analyze dynamic situational variables that impact terrorist group behavior at the sub-unit level.
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Published almost 9 years ago
Recent studies concerning the possible relationship between climate trends and the risks of violent conflict have yielded contradictory results, partly because of choices of conflict measures and modeling design. In this study, we examine climate-conflict relationships using a geographically disaggregated approach. We consider the effects of climate change to be both local and national in character, and we use a conflict database that contains 16,359 individual geolocated violent events for East Africa from 1990 to 2009. Unlike previous studies that relied exclusively on political and economic controls, we analyze the many geographical factors that have been shown to be important in understanding the distribution and causes of violence while also considering yearly and country fixed effects. For our main climate indicators at gridded 1° resolution (∼100 km), wetter deviations from the precipitation norms decrease the risk of violence, whereas drier and normal periods show no effects. The relationship between temperature and conflict shows that much warmer than normal temperatures raise the risk of violence, whereas average and cooler temperatures have no effect. These precipitation and temperature effects are statistically significant but have modest influence in terms of predictive power in a model with political, economic, and physical geographic predictors. Large variations in the climate-conflict relationships are evident between the nine countries of the study region and across time periods.