Latest in Science

Image credit:

Theory of cliodynamics uses science to predict history, sees violence erupt in cycles

24 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Ever get the feeling that you've seen it all before? University of Connecticut researcher Peter Turchin has, and he (along with Russian partners Sergey Nefedov and Andrey Korotayev) has even crafted an entire scientific theory around the idea. Cliodynamics, as it's called, works on the view that broad trends of history occur in predictable patterns based on common factors like government strength, population size and social inequality. The surprise to Turchin is that violence outside of wars, at least in the US, triggers roughly every 50 years like clockwork: people rebel against a social crisis, but their children stay out of the fray and lead to the conditions that ultimately trigger another outbreak, like the 1970s civil rights and peace movements. Don't set your watch to cliodynamics just yet. Many historians are still skeptical, and even supporters note that one-off events or major wars fall through the cracks. If the theory pans out, however, science could be used to help governments do the right thing before they're made to do it at gunpoint.

[Image credit: Steve Wilson, Flickr]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
24 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2019 Back-to-School Guide

View
Watch and listen to THX's new Deep Note trailer with spatial 3D audio

Watch and listen to THX's new Deep Note trailer with spatial 3D audio

View
Facebook loses Oculus executive who led its mobile VR efforts

Facebook loses Oculus executive who led its mobile VR efforts

View
YouTube is removing its direct messaging feature in September

YouTube is removing its direct messaging feature in September

View
Walmart sues Tesla after solar panels catch fire at stores

Walmart sues Tesla after solar panels catch fire at stores

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr