The Language of Life: How Communication Drives Evolution

Author(s): James Lull

Social Sciences

This title offers a fascinating and revolutionary new interpretation of the role of communication as the driving force behind evolution. Communication in its most basic form - the sending of signals and exchange of messages within and between organisms - is the heart of evolution. From the earliest life forms to Homo sapiens, the great chain of communication drives the evolutionary process and is the indispensible component of human culture. The "Language of Life" is a fascinating volume that presents a unique perspective on both the biological evolution of life and the human development of culture. Introducing a new subdiscipline - evolutionary communication - the authors analyse the core domains of life (survival, sex, culture, morality, religion, and technical change) as communications phenomena. What emerges is a brilliant interpretation of life interconnected through communication from the basic molecular level to the most sophisticated manifestations of culture.


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"Charles Darwin lives on in James Lull and Eduardo Neiva's lively book. . . . Their clear, direct, and personable narratives explain how transmissions surrounding senders and receivers become signs and symbols as humans evolve through the 'great chain of communication.' . . . A fascinating, wide-ranging tour de force."-Kevin G. Barnhurst, PhD, professor, Department of Communication, University of Illinois-Chicago "In this profoundly original work, Lull and Neiva introduce a new way of seeing both communication and evolution. . . . Their innovative exploration of how communication contributes to the evolutionary progress of organisms and culture provides a rallying cry for all who build on the brilliant tradition of nineteenth-century evolutionists in realizing the power of the past and the promise of the future."-Michael Real, professor, School of Communication and Culture, Royal Roads University, Victoria, British Columbia "Lull and Neiva have written a book of grand theory, in the best sense of that term. The Language of Life ranges effortlessly across a wide and varied disciplinary terrain. The authors make bold conceptual leaps, and they chart new paths for future scholarship. They argue their case with impressive intellectual agility in lucid and elegant prose."-Paul Messaris, Lev Kuleshov Professor of Communication, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania "The authors combine vivid descriptions of contemporary phenomena . . . with time-tested evolutionary principles to fashion a most powerful argument. One of the most original, compelling, and entertaining books I've read in years." -Toshie Takahashi, PhD, associate professor, School of Culture, Media and Society, Waseda University, Japan "The Language of Life demonstrates . . . [a] vast knowledge of human culture from biology to philos-ophy. The authors unify these separate perspectives into a unique understanding of life--one that articulates

James Lull is an international authority on the impact of mass media, communications technology, and pop culture. Eduardo Neiva is an authority on how visual images influence culture. He is professor of Communication Studies at the University of Alabama.

General Fields

  • : 9781616145798
  • : Prometheus Books
  • : Prometheus Books
  • : May 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : James Lull
  • : Paperback
  • : 260