Author Bio

February 24, 2010 |

My passion is evolutionary theory. I concentrate on patterns or convergences and connections between evolution, societal transformation, ontogeny, politics and personal change. Central to the thesis is neoteny. Closely related to neoteny is autism. The relationship between neoteny, autism and evolution is often a focus of this website.

Neoteny is the evolutionary biological principle that the infant features of a species can evidence themselves in the adults of their descendants. Our chimp-like evolutionary precursor had infants with features very much like contemporary adults (small jaws, big eyes, large head, playful disposition, upright posture, etc). Neoteny is integral to how humans evolved. I hypothesize that social structure and environmental effects are integral to how neoteny influences our evolution.

I am a political activist working at the local, state and national level. I run a web development firm serving 400 commercial clients, and I design applications specializing in Left/Progressive grassroots coalition and network building.

I worked for Moveon as a volunteer national coordinator in 2005 and learned much from that ground-breaking organization. My wife and I serve a number of peace, justice and environmental organizations at the national, regional or local level. I am the founder and co-director of The Peace, Justice and Environment Project (PJEP), a national network of 40 networks of more than 1,400 organizations serving 50 states. We designed PJEP’s organizational structure and communications web/email interface to be bottom-up, grassroots and horizontally packed with features to empower activists seeking political and social change.

I produced a comic strip concentrating on social issues that appeared in more than 200 publications. I ran a sales firm for 19 years. I am on my ninth profession. I am 56. Justin, Elia, Katie and Gwyn are my kids and stepkids. Marcia Bernsten is my wife.

I often write about the connection between human biological evolution and social change, composing essays for The Public Record, The People’s Voice, Counterpunch and BuzzFlash.com. In addition to what appears here I blog at both pjep.com (on politics and social change) and ShiftJournal.com (on autism and neurodiversity).

Integral to the paradigm promoted on this website is my hypothesis that in the study of the rates and timing of maturation, with testosterone levels impacting rate and estrogen levels controlling timing, those environmental or social structure adjustments that influence levels of testosterone and estrogen determine the speed, timing, features and direction of evolution. I argue that understanding neoteny is integral to grasping current societal transformations. Understanding autism as a social condition reflecting changes in the rate and timing of maturation at both the personal and societal scales is central to this thesis.

Biological evolution, social transformation, ontogeny and personal experience reveal on different scales an identical process. This website is about how they are all connected.

Creative Commons offers an opportunity for creators to share their art with no copyright encumbrances. This creates an opportunity for the art to transform and evolve. What better way to share a work on evolution. All words that I’ve composed on this blog are freely available for whatever use visitors would like to make of them. Find ways to make things make sense, cut and paste the concepts, adjust and delete, add on what feels right. Integrate this stuff with what you’ve made yourself or discovered on other sites. I’ll link to what you’ve created.

Marcia and I conduct workshops and speak about our experiences as organizers and activists. Email us for more information. My “Orchestral Theory of Evolution” discussed on these pages is unorthodox and unique. Contact me if you would like to know more or would like me to speak to your group in person.

Thank you.

Andrew Lehman
11/15/09