Evolution, evolutionary communication, culture, meme, cultural transmission, cultural development
Whether gathering around bonfires, watching TV, or sitting in front of computer screens, the pressures of Darwinian natural selection have forced individuals into tight patterns of interdependency, welded together by communication links. Can the information-sharing behavior of our species ever be brought into broader perspective and eventually foster greater harmony for all humankind? The authors argue that the answer to this question is «yes». Culture provides the necessary space for social negotiation and change. Advanced communication ability is the means by which this necessary cultural work is perpetually accomplished. A non-deterministic understanding of culture must be acknowledged from the outset. Cultural life differs greatly from biological conditions. Even under repressive conditions, culture is not determined the same way viral infections ravage biological bodies or computers. Technological advances in communication do not simply reinforce and intensify top-down, dominant cultural messages as theories of imperialism, memetic transmission, or social contagion contend. The pace of cultural development over the past 10,000 years has been particularly fast compared to any other time since hominids split from our common ancestor with chimpanzees millions of years ago. Our species’ unique skill as communicators in the dynamic technological and cultural environment of today offers real hope for retrieving the primordial affinities that unite us all.
Aunger, R. (2002). The Electric Meme. New York: Free Press.
Blackmore, S. (1999). The Meme Machine. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Christakis, N. & Fowler, J. (2009). Connected. New York: Little Brown and Company.
Darwin, C. (1859/1979). The Origin of Species. New York: Random House.
Darwin, C. (1871/1981). The Descent of Man. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Dawkins, R. (1989). The Selfish Gene. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dawkins, R. (2006a). The God Delusion. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Dawkins, R. (2006b). Afterword. Presented to London School of Economics and Political Science. March 16.
Dennett, D. (1995). Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. Evolution and the Meaning of Life. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Dennett, D. (2006). Breaking the Spell. New York: Penguin.
Dennett, D. (2009). Darwin and the Evolution of «Why». Address Given to Darwin Anniversary Festival, Cambridge, UK. July 8.
Distin, K. (2005). The Selfish Meme. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Geertz, C. (1973). The Interpretation of Cultures. New York: Basic Books.
Harpending, H. (2009). The 10,000 Year Explosion. New York: Basic Books.
Hull, D.L. (1988). Science as a Process. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Johanson, D. & Edgar, B. (2006). From Lucy to Language. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Liberty in Today’s Diverse World. New York: Oxford University Press.
Maynard Smith, J. & Szathmáry, E. (1995). The Major Transitions in Evolution. Oxford: W.H. Freeman/Spektrum.
Pinker, S. & Bloom, P. (1990). Natural Language and Natural Selection. Behavioral and Brain Science, 13; 707-784.
Pinker, S. (2009). My Genome, my Self. The New York Times Magazine, January 11; 26-30.
Richerson, P.J. & Boyd, R. (2005). Not by Genes Alone. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
United Nations Development Programme (2004). Human Development Report: Cultural
Wade, N. (2006). Before the Dawn. New York: Penguin.
This work has no financial support
Metrics of this article
Abstract readings: 17425
PDF downloads: 4384
Full metrics of Comunicar 36
Abstract readings: 427151
PDF downloads: 123431
Cites in Web of Science
Dafonte-Gomez, Alberto. The Key Elements of Viral Advertising. From Motivation to Emotion in the Most Shared Videos COMUNICAR, 2014.
Romero de Vara; Laura;. The i-memes as a means of citizen participation in diplomatic relations based on a case study: #FORGIVESPAIN CIC-CUADERNOS DE INFORMACION Y COMUNICACION , 2020.
Cites in Scopus
Dafonte-Gómez, A.. The key elements of viral advertising. From motivation to emotion in the most shared videos), Comunicar, .
Cites in Google Scholar
Currently there are no citations to this document
How to cite
Lull, J., & Neiva, E. (2011). Communicating culture: An evolutionary explanation. [Hacia una nueva conceptualización evolutiva de la comunicación «cultural»]. Comunicar, 36, 25-34. https://doi.org/10.3916/C36-2011-02-02