Two Theoretical Perspectives to Explain Big History Fred Spier & Pedro Ortiz Cabanillas


Hans Contreras-Pulache


The central hypothesis of this research is that there are currently two theoretical proposals within the Big Story: the better
known proposal of Fred Spier (1952 - ) and the lesser known proposal of Pedro Ortiz Cabanillas (1933 – 2011) implicitly
contained in his Sociobiological Informational Theory. We will proceed to present and synthesize the two theories of Big History made by Spier and Ortiz, comparing them and identifying points of contact and differences. Spier’s theoretical proposal presents the becoming of the universe in three moments: cosmological, biological and social. The epistemological basis being a qualitative theory of complexity. Ortiz’s proposal (based on a qualitative theory of information) presents the evolution of the universe in six levels of complexity. In parallel, we would have: level 0 (Spier’s cosmological moment); level one, two, three and four (Spier’s biological level); and level 5 (Spier’s social moment). There are occasional differences between the two approaches, but more are the articulations and points of contact. The hypothesis of this research is correct: Spier (explicitly) and Ortiz (implicitly) have explanatory theories of Big History. Even if Spier and Ortiz never had contact (neither personally nor academically), their theories are articulated in the same explanatory scheme and are epistemologically nourished simultaneously. Big History is strengthened by what is presented here