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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Human Complex Systems


Foraging society organization:A simple model of a complex transition


The evolutionary development of the hominids that culminated in the appearance of Homo sapiens included the subdivision of the species into societies on the basis of culturally, instead of biologically, constructed differentiation. It is argued that this change must have occurred after the mental ability to formulate and culturally express conceptual structures of extended relationships had been biologically introduced, and that intergroup competition within a species provided the selective impetus for this more complex form of organization. The combination of conceptual structures for organization at a more extensive scale and the effects of intergroup competition would lead to a restructuring of the whole species into society like groups.

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