Tuesday, October 6, 2015

HistMedia: The Deep Roots of Communication Study- DARWIN cont'd (W7-P1) Fa15

The previous video clip introduced us to the life of Darwin and some of some of his key evolutionary concepts (e.g., natural selection and artificial selection).

As a means of summarizing the process of evolution. Carl Sagan's explanation of it.

One of the best explanations of biological evolution and the mechanism that drives evolution is found in Carl Sagan's Cosmos video series which was based on the book Cosmos. In the following video Sagan describes the process of artificial selection.  As you are watching this clip from Cosmos, be sure to identify and be able to explain the mechanism that drives evolution. Does this mechanism explain technological evolution?  Do technologies evolve?

Let's start first in Japan some time ago and the story of a drowned boy-emperor, a small crab and the idea of artificial selection.

In this short clip the process is explained in a different way. Slow the process down and catch each step. It starts with organisms vary.

Now, that we have a grasp of Darwin's life and his concept of evolution, let's ask ourselves: so what?  What that have to do with communication study?  Where does Darwin fit in?

According to Rogers (p. 64), Darwin had four key contributions (direct and indirect) to communication study .

1. Influenced Karl Marx and his formulation of dialectical materialism.
2. Shaped Herbert Spencer's concept of social Darwinism [vid].  This, in turn, influenced to some degree the work of early sociologists Charles Horton Cooley and Robert E. Park.  These two sociologist had strong influence on early communication scholars.
3. With the publication of his book, The Expression of the Emotions in Men and Animals, in 1873, Darwin helped start the study of nonverbal communication.

For our purposes here, we'll drop Rogers' original 4th contribution and add our own.  Based on our earlier coverage of Freud, we can add a 4th (indirect) contribution of Darwin.
4. Influence on Freud and the animalistic nature of the id.

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