Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2011) received a lot of praise, and it was also dismissed as "hallucinatory" by Robert Epstein in Scientific American.
People pay more attention to facts that match their beliefs than those that undermine them. Pinker wants peace, and he also believes in his hypothesis; it is no surprise that he focuses more on facts that support his views than on those that do not.So watch the talk below, given at UC Berkeley in February, but just posted on the UCTV Channel, and see if you agree with Epstein or with Pinker.
Published on Apr 29, 2014
Believe it or not, violence has been in decline for long stretches of time, and we may be living in the most peaceful era in our species existence. Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker presents the data supporting this surprising conclusion, and explains the trends by showing how changing historical circumstances have engaged different components of human nature. Recorded on 02/04/2014. Series: "UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures" [5/2014] - (Visit: http://www.uctv.tv/)