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"Evolution of Weaponry"

By Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
Academic Press, 2000

Humans have proven themselves to be infinitely ingenious at creating and using devices to overcome their limitations. From one perspective human history can be seen as a series of ever-more-efficient devices to help humans communicate, travel, trade, work, and even to think. Similarly, the history of violence, peace, and conflict can be seen as the history, or the evolution, of a series of ever-more-efficient devices to enable humans to kill and dominate their fellow human beings.

The concept of an "evolution" of weaponry is very appropriate, since the battlefield is the ultimate realm of Darwinian natural selection. With few exceptions, any weapon or system that survives for any length of time does so because of its utility. Nothing survives for long on the battlefield simply because of superstition. Anything that is effective is copied and perpetuated, anything ineffective results in death, defeat, and extinction. There are fads and remnants (the military equivalent of the appendix), but over the long run, everything happens for a reason, and a valid theory of weapons evolution must make these reasons clear, explaining all extinctions and all survivals.

Weapons as Devices to Overcome Physical and Psychological Limitations

A Brief Survey of Weapons Evolution

The Role of Weapons Evolution in Domestic Violent Crime

Conclusion: The Future of Weapons Evolution

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© 1999 by Academic Press. All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.


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