The History of Analogies Between Biological Evolution and Cultural

From the early days of Darwinism analogies have been drawn between biological evolution and the evolution of culture. Darwin's contemporary Herbert Spencer studied the evolution of civilizations, which he viewed as progressing towards an ideal something like that of Victorian English society. Lewis Morgan's evolutionary theory of society included the three stages of savagery, barbarism, and civilization. The historian Arnold Toynbee used evolutionary ideas in identifying over thirty distinct civilizations some of which were derived from others and some of which went extinct, and even Karl Marx used evolutionary analogies in his analysis of society. Fifty years after Darwin, the American psychologist James Baldwin said that natural selection was not merely a law of biology but applied to all the sciences of life and mind, an early version of Universal Darwinism (Baldwin 1909), and he coined the term 'social heredity' to describe the way individuals learn from society by imitation and instruction (Baldwin 1896).


A brief summary of the history of various intellectuals investigating and hypothesizing on the evolution of societies.

Folksonomies: memetics cultural evolution

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Natural selection (0.950467): dbpedia | freebase
Charles Darwin (0.922816): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Evolution (0.902184): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Social Darwinism (0.624471): dbpedia | freebase | yago
On the Origin of Species (0.623401): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Biology (0.618665): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Evolutionary biology (0.549310): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Alfred Russel Wallace (0.514746): dbpedia | freebase | yago

 The Meme Machine (Popular Science)
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Blackmore , Susan (2000-05-16), The Meme Machine (Popular Science), Oxford University Press, USA, Retrieved on 2011-01-09
Folksonomies: memetics