Social Evolution in Summary – Context and Terms

As part of writing an article about patriarchy and childrearing (From Obedience and Shame to Freedom and Belonging), I created a table that summarizes the social evolution of humans from matriarchal societies to the future. The table can be found here.

Here are the terms that I use in this table along with the context and sources I used:

The term “biology of love” comes from the work of Humberto Maturana, from the book The Origins of Humanness in the Biology of Love he coauthored with Gerda Verden-Zöller. It essentially refers to the biological baseline of humans which makes us what he calls “love-dependent” creatures for our entire life, not just in childhood as is the case for other mammals. Biological means physiology, anatomy, and, more than anything, what he calls “manner of living”. Their work also influenced the framing of the integration column and some of what’s in the origins column. Homo Sapiens-Amans (loving) and Homo Sapiens-Aggresans (aggressive) are two terms used within this framework to refer to the manner of living that has been our “biology of love” lineage and the dominance-submission that preceded it and to which we are now at risk of reverting.

The reference to “star of life” is to a body of work done by Arnina Kashtan about how human needs are separated into two triangle clusters of safety (along with belonging and being seen) and freedom (along with truth and presence). The possible integration, now only available to individuals as conscious healing, and projected to be available to generations of humans through adopting new childrearing practices that reinstate the biology of love, is called the star of life. Visually, it is formed by the two triangles being put together into a star of David.

The first column is based largely on reviews of the extensive documentation of matriarchal (egalitarian, mother-centered) societies, past and present, as done by pioneering researchers including Marija Gimbutas and others on matriarchal societies in Europe during the Neolithic times, Heide Goettner-Abendroth and others on present and near-present matriarchal societies, and Genvieve Vaughan on the relationship between mothering, gift economies, and language. Their work continues to be contested despite its rigor, and thus a critique of mainstream anthropology, history, and archeology are part and parcel of the body of work these brave women produce.