The evolution of life on earth has not been a purely gradual process. Instead, our present world is the outcome of eight revolutionary leaps or 'major transitions', ranging from the origin of the DNA code to the emergence of language in our own species. When is the next revolution due?
Kit Opie researches the evolution of social behaviour in human and non-human primates at UCL. This talk expains some of his work on primate mating patterns and explores some of the possible implications of John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry's Major Transitions in Evolution (1995).
Further reading Kit recommends:
John Maynard Smith & Eörs Szathmáry 1999. The origins of life: from the birth of life to the origin of language.
James Scott 2017. Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States: Yale University Press.
Paul Mason 2016. Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future: Macmillan.