Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Unilinear Evolution and Lineal Time: A Critique

  • Andrés G. Laguens
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1017


Nineteenth century evolutionism brought about the crystallization of a set of ideas in various fields of the natural and social sciences. That was a time of many conceptual changes that not only placed humans in a higher position in the Universe – defying the preeminent Christian order and history – but also gave an explanation of this new order. Evolution became a principle used to understand the origins and changes through time of many realms of life, from the Universe to the history of Humankind, in steady and lineal processes of transformation from the simplest to the most complex. This established the idea of progress as improvement and as a general goal of existence on Earth, as well. Its impact is so evident that even today, original concepts of those times, such as “progress,” “development,” “change,” or even “primitive,” are commonly used. Several evolutionary concepts are still commonly integrated in the way many people understand and explain the world such as...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Museo de Antropología, Facultad de Filosofía y HumanidadesUniversidad Nacional de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina