Charles Donahue, Jr., Biology and the Origins of the English Jury, 17 Law & Hist. Rev. 591 (1999).
Abstract: The history of institutions is plagued by the biological analogy. We speak so frequently of the life and death, the birth, growth, maturity, and decline, of institutions that we forget that these words are being used metaphorically. Of course, the human beings who create and use the institutions have a birth and a death, but human institutions have only a start and a stop (frequently a far less precise one than those words might imply), and there is no reason why the periods between the start and stop need parallel those of living organisms.