Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Charles Darwin!

Today is the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin – hit upon the event through the Google icon only! But while chain-browsing the links on the greatest face of science, something interesting caught my attention…..the concept of natural selection in the theory of evolution, as explained by Darwin himself, in his Origin of Species

Darwin, during his studies, wanted to determine the ‘specific mechanism’ that permitted animals and plants to change over time. Eventually he realized that the mechanism underlying the process of evolution was that of ‘natural selection

………… individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others, would have the best chance of surviving and of Procreating their kind? On the other hand, we may feel sure that any variation in the least degree injurious would be rigidly destroyed. This preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection. Variations neither useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in the species called polymorphic.

How is this relevant to this forum where we mostly talk of the Ps? Precisely, that is the whole point. There are still lessons learnt from this text written almost 150 years ago, on the way forward in Marketing. When we talk of Consumer behavior, what is it that we are studying? Isn’t it nothing but a combination of elements from psychology, sociology, social psychology, anthropology and economics? Where do sociology and anthropology get it roots from? Maybe, Natural Selection and the theory of evolution aren’t directly related to the Ps of Marketing, but when you map anthropological roots to the symptoms mentioned above, does it ring any bells? Could the entire concept of domestication, natural selection, procreation and evolution help us in not only determining the rationale behind certain behavioral patterns but also identifying variables that help us form a predictive model for the same?

Let me evolve this study a bit more – worth exploring for sure – nothing that has not been explored so far- am sure there are thousands of theories on this already, but a different practical version from a learner is worth exploring, isn't it? Ah! Do I need a Beagle now? ;-)

[Source: Darwin Day, Wikipedia]

1 comment:

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