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Christopher Robert Middleton




Ware, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom


Simon Balle School, Hertford

University of Cambridge, England



Civil Service

Research Collaborations


Dry humour, hotel lobbies, garden centres, old trains, fine teas, efficient postal services, constant debate.


Americanisms, cold toast, slow walkers, poor grammar, salesmen, air fresheners, hot tubs, Elvis impersonators.

Fellow of Burlington House
Fellow at the Royal Anthropological Institute

Associate of the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford

I am a biological anthropologist with a specialisation in complex human culture and economic sciences. My job is to explain the dynamical complexities of human civilisation in a format that is simpler to understand and manage, which is useful and important work during the period of growing emergency associated with the Anthropocene epoch. I take the interdependency-centric view that human life and human behaviour can be explained in relation to its ecological and economic demands, thereby implying it can also be predicted and managed as such.


My philosophical position is largely influenced by the early work of prominent intellectuals like Francis Bacon, John Stuart Mill, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, Herbert Spencer, Bertrand Russell, Julian Huxley and Ronald Fisher; alongside contemporary thinkers such as Maynard Smith, Hamilton, Gould, Dunbar and Dawkins primarily. Where my position on human life differs to those of my predecessors is where I conclude that humans gain no exception to the laws of nature which apply uniformly to all else, and that civilisation itself is a temporal maladaptation causing our species to deviate from optimal ecology and fitness. I asseverate that humankind has not evolved towards a ‘perfected state’ and that the notion of a perfected state itself is a fallacy designed to suit economic and political demands which are ultimately superfluous and superficial in evolutionary terms.


Civilisation has enabled an observation of the whole human picture, yet we have contorted that picture to favour civilisation despite the obvious bias in that observation. Our civilisational capability to gain new knowledge should not be confused as something greater in value than the knowledge gained itself, because what we learn about civilisation invalidates the argument supporting its existence.


Conventional thinking on this topic is problematic because there is a prevailing misinterpretation of economic systems and human domesticity as being a natural vector toward ‘better’ and ‘higher forms of living’, but this repeats an old error biologists have made historically with orthogenesis and theoretical ties to determinism, due to an inherent civilisation bias affecting observation and interpretation. It is my position that we must consider the civilisational world as nothing more than a momentary and fleeting bubble in human evolution over the long term, and therefore our anthropological view should remain objectively macroscopic instead of subjectively relative to the current phase of complexity present in this stage of time. 


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