SHAMANISM IN HUMAN EVOLUTION AND THE SURVIVAL OF OUR SPECIES
Like YouTube and Democracy, Evolution is an emergent system, a paradigm that is becoming dominant yet does not function on logic or linear causality. A variety of factors exert influence on the random mutations in our DNA that occur rarely; yet all of the biological variety on the planet derives from those very mutations and the way that environmental factors either increased or decreased the likelihood that a given individual with that mutation survives enough to conceive or raise children to an age when they too multiply.
The concept of multi-level evolution has arisen to include how social and cultural patterns can also affect the likelihood of the survival of a group, and thus its members. Indeed, millions of repetitions over the approximately six million of years since our ancestors became distinct from the ancestors of chimpanzees and bonobos (with whom we share many sociological patterns) have even rendered somewhat constant percentages of certain genes within a population that favors the survival of the group. Likewise technological and cultural innovations have influenced which societies adapted successfully to environmental change and to these innovations themselves.