Page Nav


Classic Header




The evolutionary mechanism of human society

  Evolution is the way and the means by which living systems adapt to their environment. Society as a living system  is able to adapt to it...

 Evolution is the way and the means by which living systems adapt to their environment. Society as a living system is able to adapt to its environment, and consequently human society is subject to evolutionary mechanisms of adaptation.

The evolutionary mechanism of biological systems is based on a complex network of chemical reactions between organic molecules. As a living system, the building blocks of human society are human beings, and the functioning of society is based on cooperation between human beings. The evolution of human society is driven by a system of cooperation between human beings, and therefore evolution necessarily employs mechanisms and has its own specific characteristics that are different from those of biological systems.

Evolution, the natural adaptation to the environment, is the result of three functions working together. These functions are mutation, reproduction, and selection. The mechanisms of evolution in biological systems are well known. How are the mechanisms of evolution working in a cooperative human system of society?

During the process of evolution, as an individual reproduces, changes occur in the characteristics of its offspring, which modify the reproductive fitness of the new individual in the environment. The adaptive capacity of evolution requires that the evolutionary system must employ a template in the process of reproduction. The evolutionary process using the template necessarily leads to an increase in complexity, i.e. to progress.

There is an evolutionary adaptation process in the functioning and development of society, so the functions of mutation (creating diversity), reproduction and selection are also operating in human society using template-based mechanisms.

The general principles of how evolution works may manifest themselves through different mechanisms of operation, depending on the specific features of the evolutionary system. Evolution in biology is governed by the rules of law and the random chance of chemical reactions. How does evolution work in human society? What are the unique features of social evolution? What processes influence its effectiveness?

The environment of society, to which the evolutionary adaptation process is taking place, is not only the physical environment of society, but society itself functions as an environment. The evolution of human society is not only an adaptation to the physical environment, but also an adaptation to society itself as an abstract environment.

Society uses a meme-like template as a medium for inheritance, a system of social customs that exist in society only in abstract form, based on the shared memory of society. 

Mutation, selection and reproduction do not apply to the whole of society, and not primarily to its individual members, but to the part of society, a subset of society that carries the meme. The evolutionary unit of human society is the subgroup carrying a given meme.

It is a unique feature of the evolutionary functioning of human society that the individuals building society can carry several memes at once, belonging to several subgroups at the same time. Hence, human society can be composed of an evolutionarily unlimited number of memes and an unlimited number of units, which results in an extraordinary degree of diversity, and because of that, a unique capacity for adaptation.

The meme-gene connection of diversity
The physical carriers of memes in society are individuals. In human society, the person is also the carrier of biologically based genetic diversity. Potentially, any genetically unique person can carry any meme that exists in society; in practice, genetic determination also influences the meme set. Consequently, the society that is able to adapt more effectively to a changing environment and evolve more successfully is the one that carries more genetic diversity, or perhaps more accurately, can tolerate more diversity in genetic differences. The level of social tolerance for both memes and genetic differences is a crucial parameter of the effectiveness of evolutionary adaptation in a society.

If the meme produces beneficial traits, the social subgroup carrying the meme may grow and reproduce, or if the meme produces a trait that is not beneficial in relation to the physical or social environment, the subgroup or groups carrying the meme may become extinct. An important specific feature is that the extinction of a subgroup is only in extreme cases associated with the end of the physical existence of the individuals forming the subgroup itself.

In the case of human society, species are larger groups that share similar memes. In the case of human society, the separation of 'races' is manifested in easily and flexibly traversable boundaries and in variation free from physical constraints.

Speed of evolution 
The evolutionary flexibility of human society - i.e. the efficiency of adaptation to the physical and self-created environment - is determined by a process of meme diversity in cooperation with selection. Human society can adapt efficiently to the external and self-made environment if the functional operation of the memes is not limited and the diversity of memes is large, i.e. if the processes that generate the operation and the diversity are ensured.

Effective evolution
How can human society adapt effectively to its environment? Under what conditions can the evolution of society work efficiently? If and when the meme can prevail without restriction within a given subgroup, and if the meme can be modified without restriction (in this case, creating a new subgroup of hosts).

Parameters of effective evolution
From the above, compliance with the law and freedom of opinion are determinants of efficiency, which can be deduced theoretically from the mechanisms of evolution in human society. The key operator of this process is the element that fundamentally determines the functioning of memes, knowledge, and the functions that produce knowledge, in particular the quality and technology of education, and freedom of access to information.

The criterion of diversity in evolution is realized by freedom of opinion, and the validity of rules - i.e. the observance of laws - is the proper condition for the growth and reproduction of the units carrying memes. The evolutionary process that ensures the exponential growth of the complexity of human society is based on freedom of information, and the slope of the rate of development is determined primarily by the freedom and quality of education.

A society can function and operate more successfully, is able to adapt more effectively, in which the specific evolutionary mechanisms of human society operate efficiently, and the laws of social cooperation are more effectively enforced and adhered to.

The specific mechanisms of evolution of human society are ultimately capable of bringing society to a state of directed evolutionary development and, in its final stage, to a state of intelligent design.

The capabilities of intelligent consciousness of the individuals that form society, through the specific evolutionary mechanisms of society as a living organism, create the potential for the birth of an existent god.

No comments