To explore this the greatest of all subjects we need to review modern theories of evolution to see what they have to say about the dynamics of life, and then to interpret the progressively accumulating great waves of biological change by employing an endogenous model. The validity of this approach rests on two great foundation stones-that the dynamic paths of evolution and human society have much in common, and that evolution is an economic rather than a ‘physical’ problem. While no attempt is made to provide any new evidence concerning biological evolution, that evidence is presented and discussed from a different perspective. An attempt has been made, therefore, to apply economic thinking to an issue that has been dominated by scientific thinking. This novel perspective helps both to sort out conflicting views amongst natural scientists and, more importantly, to demonstrate the great continuity in the dynamics of life both before and since the emergence

of mankind, and to show that the driving force in life comes from within rather than without. In the process, a more general explanation of the dynamics of life is outlined. This explanation is assisted by employing, at times, the rhetorical device of endowing non-human species with objectives and rational responses to changing circumstances. It is meant to imply no more than the fact that individuals, owing to their genetic inheritance, act as if this were true.