If heterochrony is the study of the rates and timing of maturation, with testosterone levels impacting rate and estrogen levels controlling timing, then those environmental or social structure adjustments that influence levels of testosterone and estrogen determine the speed, timing, features and direction of evolution.

Central to the dynamic that winds its way throughout this work, and what I am now calling the Orchestral Theory of Evolution, is the idea that biological evolution and social evolution are the same.  The present paradigm behaves like there has been so profound an effect upon society and consciousness by self awareness and language that culture now seems separated from biology.  This work seeks to integrate biology and culture.  This integration is made possible by an understanding of how evolution proliferates variation outside of natural selection.  This is an old idea, one that emerged in the nineteenth century.  Stephen J. Gould, in his 1977 Ontogeny and Phylogeny, sought to codify this idea.  He focused on the principle of heterochrony, a word coined by Ernst Haeckel.  Heterochrony is a process that describes the dynamic of progeny variation, a process that is not random.

The natural selection paradigm hypothesizes that the progeny produced by a parent or parents exhibit features that are random, uninfluenced by the parents’ life or the environment, and that the specific characteristics of an individual that will enhance its ability to survive to procreate will be traits that will be featured by descendants.

I don’t think so.  Darwin’s theory of natural selection is partly right.  Yes, an evolutionary guillotine exists that prevents the passing on of self-destructive tendencies and enhances the ability to procreate of those with useful gifts.  But, natural selection is only the basic premise, the foundation that other selective processes are built upon.

A foundation may make possible, but not suggest, the cathedral-like beauty and complexity of evolutionary processes that we visit to experience understanding.

Heterochronic theory, or my version of heterochronic theory, which I sometimes refer to as “The Orchestral Theory of Evolution,” pays particularly close attention to how the variation of traits featured by an individual emerges.  The process is the same in biology and society.  This is because in both biology and society testosterone and estrogen compel specific evolutionary trajectories.  I hypothesize that testosterone controls the rate of change.  Estrogen manages the timing.  Each hormone features a host of characteristics that additionally influence biology and society, characteristics that compel individuals and societies to exhibit specific features and behaviors.

Society has structure based upon how those that create or share societal ideas relate to and are driven by the dynamics of testosterone and estrogen.  This societal structure dynamic, this testosterone-and-estrogen frame of reference, operates in an identical fashion as biological social structure.  For moderns, it’s been particularly difficult to parse out this commonality between biology and society because we’ve been so unaware of the relativity of social structure, because patrifocal social structure has been so ubiquitous in our lives.  Nevertheless, social structure informs culture and biology at the most basic level, the level at which progeny variation is decided.
I come back to this many times over the course of this website.  I describe the specific endocrinological dynamics, the connection of those dynamics to social structure and brain structure, their relationship with that which makes humans unique (split consciousness) and how all that relates to how specifically species and societies evolve.

The following sentence sums it up.

The orchestral theory of evolution is the study of the rates and timing of maturation with testosterone levels impacting rate and estrogen levels controlling timing, with those environmental or social structure adjustments that influence levels of testosterone and estrogen determining the speed, timing, features and direction of evolution.

It’s not only about survival, but about maturation.


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