Towards Emergent Social Complexity




Rouly, Ovi Chris

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Complexity science often uses generative models to study and explain the emergent behavior of humans, human culture, and human patterns of social organization. In spite of this, little is known about how the lowest levels of human social organization came into being. That is, little is known about how the earliest members of our hominini tribe transitioned from being presumably small-groups of ape-like polygamous/ promiscuous individuals (beginning perhaps as early as Ardipithecus or Australopithecus after the time of the Pan-Homo split in the late Pliocene to early Pleistocene eras) into family units having stable breeding-bonds, extended families, and clans. What were the causal mechanisms (biological, possibly cognitive, social, and environmental, etc.) that were responsible for the conversion? To confound the issue, it is also possible the conversion process itself was a complex system replete with input sensitivities and path dependencies, i.e., a nested complex system. These processes and their distinctive social arrangements may be referred to favorably (as one notable anthropologist has called them) as, “the deep structure of society.” This dissertation describes applied research that used discrete event computer modeling techniques in an attempt to model-then-understand a few of the underlying social, environmental, and biological systems present at the root of human sociality; at the root of social complexity.



Systems science, Social structure, Psychology, Agent-Based Model, Artificial Life, Co-evolution, Individual-Based Model, Small-group social behavior, Social Complexity