On Human Evolution in History: The Case of France

By David Baker.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A history of France from the fall of the Roman Empire to the French Revolution employed population theories of secular cycles, cultural evolution, and collective learning. It is a Big History project supervised by the founder of the discipline, David Christian, and it is written in collaboration with several theorists from the natural sciences. It uses population-thinking to search for broad trends that might explain historical events, the rise and fall of empires, and technological progress. It maps a trajectory of historical processes from the birth of France to the modern age, and takes the controversial step of attempting to predict where that trajectory may be going in the future. This may be of direct use to those who will face population pressure and environmental crises in the later twenty-first century. It challenges many prejudices the historical discipline currently holds against collaboration between the human and natural sciences, and encourages specialists to place their work in a wider context. The history itself is chronological, and follows the periods of rise and decline in France, and explains various phenomena in human development for which there is currently no clear explanation.

Keywords: Population Dynamics, Big History, Cliodynamics, France, Interdisciplinary, Cultural Evolution, Memetics, Collective Learning, Human Development, Agriculture, Industry, Darwin, Universal Darwinism, Secular Cycles, Laws of History, The Two Cultures, C.P. Snow, Ecology, Le Roy Ladurie, David Christian, Robert Boyd, Peter Richerson, Peter Turchin, Richard Dawkins, Memes, Culture, Technology, Evolution, Humanity, Demographics, Instability, Politics, Medieval, Early Modern, Malthus

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 7, pp.51-62. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 758.123KB).

David Baker

PhD Candidate, Department of Modern History, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

David Baker is currently a PhD candidate at Macquarie University, studying under the founder of ‘Big History’, David Christian. He is currently researching and writing a history of France that employs the population theories of Peter Turchin, Peter Richerson, Robert Boyd and David Christian himself. He specialises in medieval and early modern French history and wrote his MA thesis at the University of Calgary under two supervisors who specialised in either period. He has attended numerous cross-disciplinary seminars and is a staunch advocate of close collaboration between the human and natural sciences.

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