Allott, Robin (1998) TOWARD THE ANTHEAP, THE DRUGGED SOCIETY OR? [Book Chapter]

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Though evolution has no purpose, it may be legitimate to speculate about the direction and plausible consequences of technological and other developments and trends in social organization. Human societies are in implicit competition with each other; each society aims to survive, to prosper, to achieve stability and order for the members of the national group. Each society does this in the environment created by the existence of other similar societies. Because human individuals are conscious not only of their own selves but also of the selves of others, because the shared communication through language of members of the group makes possible the moulding of each individual's behaviour and attitudes and the transmission of structures of ideas about the society of which they form part, what is rejected as implausible for thoughtless and language-less creatures has to be considered for human communities: the reality of a process of group selection. Due to technological progress, radical changes affecting the most basic evolutionary forces are taking place: the continual refinement of contraceptive techniques, the use of chemicals to manipulate brains and behaviour, the ability directly to manipulate genetic structures. In the case of other species, particularly the social insects, evolution has produced very specific group structures depending on specialised systems of communication (biochemical and behavioural) and on changes in the genetic organisation of the group. Where may the new developments in human society lead? Which new or changed societal structures will achieve fitness both at the group level and in terms of the relative fitness of the succession of individuals composing the group? We need a sociobiology of human societies to complement the sociobiology of the human individual.

Item Type:Book Chapter
Keywords:sociobiology of societies,ant society, group formation, population genetics, group selection, language
Subjects:Biology > Sociobiology
Biology > Evolution
Biology > Behavioral Biology
ID Code:3133
Deposited By: Allott, R M
Deposited On:04 Sep 2003
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

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