The Language of Life
How Communication Drives Human Evolution


James Lull and Eduardo Neiva



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, a great chain of communication drives the evolutionary process and is the indispensable component of human culture.

That is the central message of The Language of Life. In this unique perspective on both the biological evolution of life and the human development of culture, James Lull and Eduardo Neiva explore the totality of communication processes that create and sustain biological equilibrium and social stability. The authors, two international authorities on communication and culture, argue that this ubiquitous connectivity is the elemental unity of life.

Introducing a new subdiscipline—evolutionary communication—the authors analyze the core domains of life—sheer survival, sex, culture, morality, religion, and technological change—as communications phenomena. What emerges from their analysis is a brilliant interpretation of life interconnected through communication from the basic molecular level to the most sophisticated manifestations of culture.

Challenging the boundaries of conventional approaches to cultural analysis, The Language of Life presents an original and engaging view of evolution and an encouraging prognosis for our collective future.

James Lull (San Jose, CA) is an international authority and commentator on the impact of mass media, communications technology, and popular culture. He has published twelve books, as well as dozens of journal articles, chapters, and essays, and has lectured throughout the world on the interplay between communication and culture. He has also appeared as a commentator on CNN, CNN Headline News, the BBC, NPR, and other media outlets, and he has written essays for the Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. He is professor emeritus of Communication Studies at San Jose State University.

Eduardo Neiva (Birmingham, AL) is a leading authority on how visual images influence culture. He is the author of two books in English on communication, culture, and images, and many books in Portuguese. He was a Fulbright research scholar at Indiana University. He is professor of Communication Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

260 pages (illustrations) · ISBN 978-1-61614-XXX-X · Paperback: $19 (6” x 9”) · Ebook: $11.99

© James Lull