Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
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Theme issue ‘Human socio-cultural evolution in light of evolutionary transitions’ compiled and edited by Yohay Carmel, Ayelet Shavit, Ehud Lamm and Eörs Szathmáry

With elaborate division of labour, multiple hierarchies, and intricate communication networks, human societies are immensely complex. Some scholars proposed that human society may be, or may become, a new hierarchical level that may dominate the individual humans within it, similar to the relations between an organism and its cells, or an ant colony and its members. The possibility of this evolutionary transition in individuality raises interesting and controversial questions that are explored here from diverse perspectives: the general theory of evolutionary transitions, cultural evolution, human history, and specific routes of a possible human evolutionary transition. Altogether, this issue provides a broad and rich application of the notion of evolutionary transitions to human past, present and perhaps also future evolution.

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Human socio-cultural evolution in light of evolutionary transitions: introduction to the theme issue
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210397


Research articles
Can sociality facilitate learning of complex tasks? Lessons from bees and flowers
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210402

Opinion piece
Scaffolding individuality: coordination, cooperation, collaboration and community
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210398

Research articles
Steps to individuality in biology and culture
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210407

Research articles
Conditions that favour cumulative cultural evolution
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210400

Research articles
Cultural specialization as a double-edged sword: division into specialized guilds might promote cultural complexity at the cost of higher susceptibility to cultural loss
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210418

Opinion piece
Communication for collaborative computation: two major transitions in human evolution
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210404

Research articles
The interplay of social identity and norm psychology in the evolution of human groups
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210412

Research articles
Evolutionary ecology of language origins through confrontational scavenging
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210411

Research articles
Human major transitions from the perspective of distributed adaptations
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210401

Research articles
Human cooperation and evolutionary transitions in individuality
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210414

Research articles
Can models of evolutionary transition clarify the debates over the Neolithic Revolution?
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210413

Opinion piece
The economic superorganism in the complexity of evolution
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210417

Research articles
Evolution of the Okvik/Old Bering Sea culture of the Bering Strait as a major transition
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210415

Opinion piece
Human societal development: is it an evolutionary transition in individuality?
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210409

Research articles
The transition from animal to human culture—simulating the social protocell hypothesis
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210416

Opinion piece
Major evolutionary transitions in individuality between humans and AI
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210408

Research articles
Four reasons for scepticism about a human major transition in social individuality
Published:23 January 2023Article ID:20210403