Religious violence in France in the 1500s came from conflicting interpretations of the bible.

Both sides believed that God was infallible. The writer Montaigne agreed but pointed out that, unlike God, humans were fallible and might misunderstand God’s wishes.

Montaigne thought that, if the rival groups recognised their own fallibility, they would become more tolerant.

Today, it’s been suggested that recognising human fallibility could reduce tension between Christians and Moslems.

But intolerant, aggressive, people aren’t likely to listen to new ideas.

Fallibility won’t work unless it’s accepted -within the context of the religion – ¬†before conflict arises.



In biology, the longer the relationship between parasite and host, the smoother for both; because each has learned to cope with the other.

Perhaps the longer the relationship between the elite of a society and the people, the smoother the mechanisms to make people conform?¬†And the more people’s attitudes support compliance?

Are Western democracies stable because they combine well evolved mechanisms and co-evolved attitudes?

And does introducing democracy into other countries disrupt the co-evolution of their institutions and attitudes?