Symposium "Does History Evolve?"


On June 9th 2007 a one-day Symposium will be held in the Great Auditorium of Naturalis, the Natural History Museum of Leiden. Everybody is welcome, entrance fee is 20,-, 10,- for students.

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So if evolution is the theory of the development of life and human history is a collection of arguments, data and constructs, then what on earth would the two have in common? Seemingly, the point of this comparison is just to find out exactly whether or not these ideas fit. Both in their respect are an analysis of space and time, based on empericism and logic.

Besides, Steven and I (Jonathan) were so fascinated by the theory-of-history and global history colleges given by Peer Vries and the "Wolrd-Historical Turn" Seminars given by John E. Wills, we decided to organise a conference on Energy and World-History last year. This turned out to be such a succes, that we decided to organise another conference, partly inspired by works of Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs and Steel) and Robert Wright (The Logic of Human Destiny), who seek ways to incorporate laws and patters found in biology into cultural and social studies. Most of these biological schemes may be summarised as Evolution Theory. In this symposium we would like to present to the public different perspectives (anthropological, world-historical, cultural, biological, etc.) on how human history might fit clockwork evolutionary laws and mutations. And off course, we would like to offer the public the thrill of interdisciplinary and intellectual debate, mostly left out by the regular - not so global and interdisciplinary - curriculum.

Jonathan Even-Zohar and Steven Stegers