Skip to comments.Math Explains History: Simulation Accurately Captures the Evolution of Ancient Complex Societies
Posted on 09/28/2013 10:44:33 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
The question of how human societies evolve from small groups to the huge, anonymous and complex societies of today has been answered mathematically, accurately matching the historical record on the emergence of complex states in the ancient world.
Intense warfare is the evolutionary driver of large complex societies, according to new research from a trans-disciplinary team at the University of Connecticut, the University of Exeter in England, and the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)...
The study's cultural evolutionary model predicts where and when the largest-scale complex societies arose in human history.
Simulated within a realistic landscape of the Afro-Eurasian landmass during 1,500 BCE to 1,500 CE, the mathematical model was tested against the historical record. During the time period, horse-related military innovations, such as chariots and cavalry, dominated warfare within Afro-Eurasia. Geography also mattered, as nomads living in the Eurasian Steppe influenced nearby agrarian societies, thereby spreading intense forms of offensive warfare out from the steppe belt.
The study focuses on the interaction of ecology and geography as well as the spread of military innovations and predicts that selection for ultra-social institutions that allow for cooperation in huge groups of genetically unrelated individuals and large-scale complex states, is greater where warfare is more intense.
While existing theories on why there is so much variation in the ability of different human populations to construct viable states are usually formulated verbally, by contrast, the authors' work leads to sharply defined quantitative predictions, which can be tested empirically.
The model-predicted spread of large-scale societies was very similar to the observed one; the model was able to explain two-thirds of the variation in determining the rise of large-scale societies...
Citation: Turchin P, Currie T, Turner E, Gavrilets S. 2013. War, space, and the evolution of Old World complex societies. PNAS.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencenewsline.com ...
Mongol horsemen. Intense warfare is the evolutionary driver of large complex societies, according to a new mathematical model whose findings accurately match those of the historical record in the ancient world. (Image courtesy National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis)
GIGO, like this:
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Why Humans and Their Fur Parted Ways
Extinct humans left louse legacy(Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens)
In Lice, Clues to Human Origin and Attire
UF study of lice DNA shows humans first wore clothes 170,000 years ago
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OK, now who wins the “Big One” and what is left?
On the two maps, the data and simulation are different for Great Britain and for Northern Europe.
Anybody know how to get inside this model, and learn the answer about those differences?
Did Hari Seldon help with the mathematics on this?
Comparing the simulation to the data, I’d call results as hitting the side of the barn as opposed to accurate.
Might be bad news for anyone hoping to find advanced but benign civilizations out there among the stars.
"No model is correct. Some are useful." - George E.P. Box
So there's that.
Wars cause a concentration of wealth and power for those who wage the wars and provide the weapons etc to fight them.
Not new, Asimov and others wrote about this in SciFi decades ago.
Wars drive the cutting edge of technology. The wealth comes from the commercialization of the new technology. This message courtesy of the commercial version of ARPANET.
Math explains history??
Math is pure logic - by itself it’s an empty vessel. Its use in a model restricts the results to logical consequences. But the crucial aspect of a model are its assumptions about, in this case, human behavior under various conditions and the conditions themselves
Given the unpredictability of human behavior and conditions I don’t see these models getting very far.
I see the resemblance in the third, eighth and second beads of the first, fourth and seventh rows!
I was thinking more of the 1st bead in the sixth row ... but ... my eyes aren't as good as they used to be ... you're probably right.
Makes sense. Command and control ICS/NIMS - span of command - separation of functions into operations, planning, logistics, financing all those top down basic organizational models that fit the military and emergency response are the foundational blocks for effectively mobilizing a society to accomplish something together.
>>Wars drive the cutting edge of technology. The wealth comes from the commercialization of the new technology. This message courtesy of the commercial version of ARPANET.
But what is war other than a high emergency factor situation? Seen in that light, ANY high emergency situation can become a technology driver. My candidate for the mother of all high emergency situations is that chunk of rock out there with planet Earth in its cross hairs. If humans were smart, they’d put their eyes to the little end of many telescopes and stop the eternal bickering over table scraps. One of those chunks of rock wiped out North America only 10,000 years ago. Google Richard Firestone and the Younger Dryas Event. Smart people abstract principle from repetitive phenomena. Crediting war as the engine of progress is a fascist’s wet dream, but does not describe the principle of progress driving, only it’s chronic and largely destructive iteration. We need to wage war on comets and meteors, not each other.