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Authors:

David R. Samson

Brief Bio: Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology

Lived: 1989?-

For further info: davidrsamson.com

Quotes:

“The encoding of the Tribe Drive in our DNA”

As we explore the natural history of tribalism, we will see that some three hundred thousand years ago humans chanced upon a revolutionary adaptation that led to the encoding of the Tribe Drive in our DNA. This was the evolution of nested groups, each with their own particular symbols – and enshrined shared myths and values – that bound participants together in trusting relationships.

From the book Our Tribal Future: How to Channel our Foundational Human Instincts Into a Force for Good

— 2023

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“Paradoxes rationally serve as tribal loyalty tests”

Anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss made the argument that the purpose of mythology is to create paradoxes (for example, the Holy Ghost is a paradoxical trinity where God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one and the same). It is a mystery that must be believed nevertheless. Paradoxes rationally serve as tribal loyalty tests because the more logic-defying the premise, the stronger the tribal signal.

From the book Our Tribal Future: How to Channel our Foundational Human Instincts Into a Force for Good

— 2023

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“Sacred values”

Sacred values differ from material or instrumental values in that they incorporate moral beliefs, such as the welfare of family, commitment to country, or identification with a particular religion that is thought to be absolute and inviolable. Sharing of these stories demonstrates honest reliable signals that an individual values the group and its goals. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the sharing of these sacred values is essential to the formation and maintenance of group identity.

— 2023

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“The systematic weaponization of the human Tribe Drive”

There is growing evidence that tribalism is the systematic weaponization of the human Tribe Drive and will be one of the twenty-first century’s greatest military tools in global competition. It may be the greatest threat humanity faces.

From the book Our Tribal Future: How to Channel our Foundational Human Instincts Into a Force for Good

— 2023

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“The Tribe Drive”

The “Tribe Drive” is an ancient adaptation that has been a prerequisite for survival for 99.9 percent of our species’ evolutionary history. It is a critical piece of cognitive machinery – honed by millions of years of evolution – that gave us the ability to navigate, both cooperatively and competitively, increasingly complex social landscapes.

From the book Our Tribal Future: How to Channel our Foundational Human Instincts Into a Force for Good

— 2023

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“A tribe is a creed”

A tribe is not a race, or even a population… a tribe is a creed; it is a team that has agreed upon a set of symbols – including sacred values – that identify membership. A creed is a mechanism that glues together disparate small camps and bands of cohabitating humans into a singular identity and shared purpose. Those who know the codes have in their possession a social passport.

From the book Our Tribal Future: How to Channel our Foundational Human Instincts Into a Force for Good

— 2023

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