Comparison of Biological and Social Macro-Evolution

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* Article / Chapter: Biological and Social Phases of Big History: Similarities and Differences of Evolutionary Principles and Mechanisms. By Leonid E. Grinin, Andrey V. Korotayev, and Alexander V. Markov. Chapter 10 of: Evolution: A Big History Perspective 2011 158–198


See: Big History Perspective on Evolution

Contextual Quote

"As is known, not only systems evolve, but mechanisms of evolution evolve too. This concept also appears rather fruitful as regards the development of Big History itself. Let us consider some of the parameters and examples that we might consider. Each sequential phase of Big History is accompanied by the emergence of new evolutionary mechanisms; therefore, certain prerequisites and pre-adaptations can be detected within the previous phase. So, development of new mechanisms of evolution does not imply invalidation of evolutionary mechanisms that were active during previous phases. As a result, one can observe the emergence of a complex system of interaction of forces and mechanisms determining the evolution of new forms. Biological organisms operate in the framework of certain physical, chemical and geological laws. Likewise, the behaviors of social systems and people have certain biological limitations."

- Leonid Grinin et al. [1]


"Comparison of biological and social macro-evolution is a very important issue, but it has been studied insufficiently. Yet, analysis suggests new promising possibilities to deepen our understanding of the course, trends, mechanisms and peculiarities of the biological and social phases of Big History. This article analyzes similarities and differences between two phases of Big History at various levels and in various aspects. It compares biological and social organisms, mechanisms of evolutionary selection, transitions to qualitatively new states, processes of key information transmission, and fixation of acquired characteristics. It also considers a number of pre-adaptations that contributed to the transformation of Big History's biological phase into its social phase and analyzes some lines of such a transformation."

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