Institutional Affiliation: University of Toronto
|Does Scientific Progress Affect Culture? A Digital Text Analysis|
with , : w25429
We focus on a unique episode in the history of science, the elaboration of the theory of evolution by Charles Darwin, to study the interplay between scientific progress and cultural change. We perform text analysis on a corpus of hundreds of thousands of books, with the use of techniques from machine learning. We examine, in particular, the diffusion of certain key ideas of the theory of evolution in the broader cultural discourse and imaginary. We find that some concepts in Darwin’s theory, such as Evolution, Survival, Natural Selection and Competition, diffused in the cultural discourse immediately after the publication of On the Origins of Species. Other concepts such as Selection and Adaptation were already present in the cultural dialogue. Moreover, we document semantic changes for mo...