To:    Guardian CiF
Re:   The importance of history for personal and group identity

Date: Friday  20 July   07


In response to Open Thread, "Consigned to history", on the decline of history in British schools

Link to article and thread at The Guardian.

The problem with human history is that it is disconnected, in the minds of most academics, from human evolution, with the consequence that even professional historians have only a superficial, and not particularly useful, understanding of their subject.

How can we understand the development of society and its history, without an understanding of human nature and behaviour? And how can we understand these without understanding something of the conditions and circumstances under which human nature and behaviour evolved, over millions of years, and to which it is thus adapted? Conditions and circumstances very different indeed to those of the artificial, "socio-economic environment" we live in today, and where we continue, greatly facilitated by the development of free-market capitalism, our Darwinian, dump-animal struggle for survival and advantage.

We don't teach this profoundly important aspect of history to our children, because we haven't yet recognized it ourselves.

2nd Post