Paper #: 95-07-066
The theory of Complex Adaptive Systems, developed within the last decade, is applied to the evolution of the ancient Hawaiian polities. A Complex Adaptive System (CAS) consists of numerous independent parts or “agents” undergoing constant nonlinear interactions. The complexity of a CAS emerges heterarchically from the interactions of agents following simple local rules. The evolution of a socio-cultural CAS such as a Hawaiian polity is generated by the interaction of hierarchy and heterarchy; nonlinear change and ordered stability; and self-organization, adaptation, and chance.