Steven Pinker on why violence is declining

There was a time when life for the majority, was nasty, brutish and short. But these days, it is pacified, prolonged and even pensioned. Fully 15-percent of all prehistoric humans died a violent death. These days despite it all, fewer than 3-percent of people do. Author Stephen Pinker has gone back ... way back to crunch the numbers. He says we inhabit an increasingly less violent world. He explains The Better Angels of Our Nature.

Part Three of The Current

Steven Pinker on why violence is declining

We've all been struck speechless by the violence and atrocity of the past decades. Places like Rwanda, Iraq, Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal and the World Trade Centre are synonymous with murder and cruelty. Hourly newscasts and the warnings of politicians seem to confirm perceptions that we live in dangerous times.

Our next guest argues those perceptions are wrong ... and they blind us to the fact that human society has never been so peaceful. Montreal native Steven Pinker is one of the world's most influential students of human nature. He's an award-winning author and the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. His new book is The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Steven Pinker joined us in our Toronto studio.

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Last Word - The Voice on Crime

We've been talking today about the decline of violent crime in Canada. The Voice has seen the latest statistics -- and he's horrified. We gave him the Last Word.

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