Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


UB’s notes on autocatalytic reaction sets vs languages and symbol systems

UB writes: UB, only way thread, 164: >>My apologies to Origenes, he had asked for my comment, but I was away . . . . I am no expert of course, but thank you for asking me to comment. Frankly you didn’t need my opinion anyway. When you ask “What is the error in supposing something?” you likely already know there is no there there. And someone seriously asking you (like some odd prosecution of your logic) to enumerate what exactly is the biological error or the chemical error in the proposition of something that has never before been seen or recorded in either biology or chemistry — well whatever. Deacon begins by asking the question, what is necessary and Read More ›

At Eurekalert: Connectivity of language areas unique in the human brain

"Neuroscientists have gained new insight into how our brain evolved into a language-ready brain. Compared to chimpanzee brains, the pattern of connections of language areas in our brain has expanded more than previously thought. " Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Can AI help us talk to whales? Maybe. But then what?

In the real world, if we succeed in communicating with whales, it will be much like communicating successfully with dogs, cats, and horses. None of them are furry people. Whales are not blubbery people either. They won’t bring us closer to understanding what sets humans apart than dogs will. Read More ›

Homo erectus had language, says cognitive scientist

Everett certainly has a point. It is hard to imagine organizing the construction, launch, and navigation of such craft without language. How would an erectus get co-operation without explaining the idea? Read More ›

Why are statements about “evolution” so often just filler?

Laszlo Bencze: "If you say, "Most people prefer vanilla ice cream," you've just made a trivial claim of no great significance. But if you say, "People have evolved to prefer vanilla ice cream," well now you've made an insightful and fascinating statement backed by years of scientific research, no doubt about it." Well, if they can’t have the cattle, they are going to insist on the Big Hat, right? Read More ›

Darwinism as useless padding for news media prose

Bencze: the "evolutionary hack" is ... "the task of safely raising the next generation." That is certainly an odd way of referring to parenting but, by alluding to evolution, the tone of the review rises to a more exalted scientific level thus confirming that reviewer Emily is no mere mommy but sort of a scientist herself. Read More ›

From Hugh Ross: Language involves biological fine-tuning for human exceptionalism

Ross: The human body is optimally designed for speech communication involving just a few people in a quiet setting. It also is optimally designed for what researchers call "cocktail party listening." Cocktail party listening refers to humans gathered in a crowded situation where many people are talking simultaneously in an environment where music and other background sounds interfere with speech recognition. Read More ›

Researchers: Neanderthals could speak like other humans

Researchers: “Most previous studies of Neandertal speech capacities focused on their ability to produce the main vowels in English spoken language. However, we feel this emphasis is misplaced, since the use of consonants is a way to include more information in the vocal signal and it also separates human speech and language from the communication patterns in nearly all other primates." Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: A reader asks: Is it true that there is no self?

Michael Egnor replies, “The assertion that self is an illusion is not even wrong — it’s self-refuting, like saying “I don’t exist” or “Misery is green” Read More ›