Did a butterfly effect change the history of the Pacific?
Stockholm Seminar with Steve Lansing, Thursday 31 May.
The seminar is free of charge and open to all interested.
In the last and most far-reaching prehistoric human migration, Austronesian genes and languages spread across the Pacific and Indian oceans, from Madagascar to Hawaii.
Recently, geneticists discovered a large genetic discontinuity - equivalent to the Himalayas or the Sahara - in the middle of a continuous chain of islands that form the southern arc of the Indonesian archipelago, near the geographic centre of the Austronesian world.
DNA also suggests that the Austronesian voyagers were originally a matrilineal society, but today there are only a few surviving matrilineal communities.
So what happened out there? Edward Lorenz' model of a "butterfly effect" famously maps a route to chaos. Did a butterfly effect change the destiny of the Austronesian voyagers?
About Steve Lansing
Steve Lansing is an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute; a professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, with a joint appointment in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and a senior fellow at Stockholm Resilience Centre.
His recent research has to do with the long-term dynamics of coupled social-ecological systems, focusing on two topics. The first has to do with emergent properties of Balinese water temple networks. Currently he is assisting the Government of Indonesia to create a new UNESCO World Heritage site to help preserve the temple networks.
The second project is a comparative study of social structure, ecology, kinship, language change and the evolution of disease resistance in 69 villages on 14 Indonesian islands.
His most recent book is "Perfect Order: Recognizing Complexity in Bali". The paperback will be published by Princeton mid 2012.
The seminar is open to all interested and free of charge. No registration needed.