The analogy from language to biology is flawed anyway. Biology runs on the many life or death rules of biochemistry; language doesn’t operate under such severe constraints.
“Others within the academy who must deal with Darwinism may find themselves in the same position but less willing to say so openly.”
The reviewer doesn’t convey a sense that the author grapples with the origin of the mental capacity for learning many languages, beyond identifying prompts whose value depends on an undiscovered country.
“That is the suggestion of a study which found chimps link sounds and levels of brightness, … “
If chimp handwaving is the origin of language, why didn’t hand-waving baby chimps go on to learn one? Why do human infants learn a language even if they are born without hands?
And didn’t star Ronald Reagan opposite a chimp. On July 8, a documentary on the fate of Nim opens in U.S. theatres (trailer). In “Project Nim: A chimp raised like a human” (New Scientist 4 July 2011), Rowan Hooper tackles the question of why: What on earth were they thinking of? Nim was put in […]
Here’s a project to test that:
In the University of Houston alumni mag Parameters (Spring 2011) , vision researcher Haluk Ogmen says: Computers beat the brain in many tasks, like large number multiplication and database searches,” he said. “But there are other tasks that no computer even comes close to what we can do. In the area of navigation, the most […]
In “Chimp, Bonobo Study Sheds Light on the Social Brain”, ScienceDaily reports (Apr. 5, 2011) It’s been a puzzle why our two closest living primate relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, have widely different social traits, despite belonging to the same genus. Now, a comparative analysis of their brains shows neuroanatomical differences that may be responsible for […]