Evolutionary Processes in Living Systems

Lane Tracy


Living systems encompass both biological and social systems. The genius of living systems theory lies in finding common structures and processes at work at such diverse levels as cells, organs, organisms, groups, organizations, communities, societies, and supranational systems. Living systems theory postulates that the commonalities result from a process by which each level evolves--”frays out”--from a lower level.

Evolutionary processes in biological systems are well known and thoroughly documented. In this paper I propose to examine whether the same processes operate in social systems. Evidence of evolution will be examined at the level of groups, organizations, communities, and societies. Particular attention will be paid to the means by which evolutionary changes are preserved and transmitted to future generations.


living systems, evolution

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