Illustration social protocell

New theory on how the first human society was formed

A new theory on how human early societies arose has attracted much attention in its research field since published. The concept of the "social protocell" draws inspiration from how the first signs of life are considered to have originated and developed on earth. 
– The theory we use explains how evolution under the right conditions can suddenly move from a micro to a macro level. A so-called Evolutionary Transition in Individuality, which is a nearly universal explanation of explosive increases in complexity and diversity of the kind we see when the human being entered the stage, says Claes Andersson, at the Chalmers division of Physical Resource Theory.

– The theory explains in a conceptually simple way how human societies could emerge evolutionarily as organized and functional entities at the community level - even though its individual members didn't understand, or even could understand, how societies work. The model we use is also considered to describe life's origin in primitive cells, so-called protocells, over four billion years ago., says Claes.

The article is published in Biological Theory by Claes and Petter Törnberg, previous PhD Student at Chalmers, currently at the ​Universiteit van Amsterdam​. 

Published: Tue 05 Feb 2019.