This essay discusses Universal Darwinism: the idea that Darwinian mechanisms can explain interesting evolutionary change in many different domains, in both the Humanities and the Natural Sciences. The idea should appeal to big historians because it links research into evolutionary change at many different scales. But the detailed workings of Universal Darwinism vary as it drives different vehicles, just as internal combustion engines differ in chain-saws, motor cycles and airplane engines. To extend Darwin's ideas beyond the biological realm, we must disentangle the biological version of the Darwinian mechanism from several other forms. I will focus particularly on Universal Darwinism as a form of learning, a way of accumulating information. This will make it easier to make the adjustments needed to explore Darwinian mechanisms in human history.
|Title of host publication||Globalistics and globalization studies|
|Subtitle of host publication||big history and global history|
|Editors||Leonid E. Grinin, Ilya V. Ilyin, Peter Hermann, Andrey V. Korotayev|
|Place of Publication||Volgograd|
|Publisher||Uchitel Publishing House|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
Bibliographical noteFirst published in 2014 in 'Teaching and researching big history: exploring a new scholarly field'. Grinin, L., Baker, D., Quaedackers, E. & Korotayev, A. (eds.). Volgograd, Russia: Uchitel Publishing House, p. 19-40.
- Universal Darwinism
- collective learning
- Big History