Evolution's Direction

Tue, 1 Feb 1994 10:28:37 CST

I agree with H. Young-Leslie that complexity is a messy enough concept
with respect to biological evolution; I try to avoid it with respect to
cultural evolution, where it is I believe even less defensible. I
hasten to repeat that directional trends are clear in the mean size of
life forms and, even more dramatically, in the mean size of human
societies. The growth of human societal size has fundamentally
transformed our socially acquired ways of life; but it is not clear at
all that"increase in complexity" is a helpful way to characterize this
transformation. --Bob Graber