11-29-02, 12:52 PM
I have just started taking sociology in school lately and have just started learning about the different theoretical persectives that a sociologist might have. When we came along the persepctive known as Symbolic Interactionism my prof. noted that without symbols in our society we, as a human race, would not be able to survive. She based this on the fact that almost everything around us are symbols. I found that language being one of these symbols would probably hurt the human race the most if we didn't have it.
Now my question is this: Is there any animals that would be able to survive without some kind of communication within their species?
11-29-02, 02:46 PM
Other than breeding? Yeah.
Many types of fish do fine never seeing another fish. Just about all non colonial insects perfer to be alone, killing each other on sight. Many types of reptiles shun contact with others of their kind.
A few vertibrates never need to see each other to mate. Fish can release eggs and sperm during spawning without being near each other. There is also one type of hermaphroditic lizard that lays eggs without ever having sex.
Its quite possible, just not too profitable in the evolutionary sense.
goofy headed punk
11-30-02, 09:24 PM
Why would it not be possible for humans to survive without communication? I can see that without we wouldn't be very happy (in fact we'd probably be miserable) but I don't see why we couldn't propigate ourselves as a species. Did your sociology professor, TESTIFY, mean that our culture could not exsist without communication?
12-04-02, 03:44 AM
No, she didn't say that our culture wouldn't exist, but she did say that without symbols we would not be able to survive (according to the base theories of Symbolic Interactionism). Since most, if not all of our communication is based on symbols, it would be pretty hard for us to exist.
What would be the chances of us reproducing if we didn't so much as make a gesture to the opposite sex that "we should go have sex now"? Even the slightest little gesture is a symbol (a nod, a shaking of the head, a thumbs up...all symbols). I am sure we would fall prey to other animals, diseases, or even age before humans even had the chance to procreate without some sort of communication.
Clockwood gave some good examples of species that could mate without ever communicating with another one of that species, but of the millions of animals out there, they are small in comparison.