The conclusions of a new study(1) of wars over 600 years of human history are disturbing.
- The number of war casualties tends to follow a power law over the whole data series for the period considered, with no evidence of periodicity.
- In modern times, wars have tended to become less frequent but more destructive.
Human conflicts are a critical phenomenon, meaning that humans worldwide tend to form societies existing in a self-organised critical(2) condition. In these conditions, war is simply one of the methods that the system has to dissipate entropy at the fastest possible speed.
In practice, these results confirm that there is little evidence supporting the idea popularised by Steven Pinker that humankind is progressing toward a more peaceful world.