Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Bonobo noise challenges human uniqueness?

arroba Email

Here’s a classic pop sci article that could have been written, as George Orwell predicted (1949), by a machine:

From ScienceDaily:

From an early age, human infants are able to produce vocalizations in a wide range of emotional states and situations — an ability felt to be one of the factors required for the development of language. Researchers have found that wild bonobos (our closest living relatives) are able to vocalize in a similar manner. Their findings challenge how we think about the evolution of communication and potentially move the dividing line between humans and other apes.

Author Zanna Clay said that the findings show that “more research needs to be done on our great ape relatives before we can make conclusions about human uniqueness. The more we look, the more continuity we find among animals and humans”

The type of functional flexibility they observed in bonobos could represent an important evolutionary transition from functionally fixed animal vocalisations towards flexible human vocalisations, which seems to have appeared some 6-10 million years ago in the shared common ancestor between humans and great apes. It appears that many of the core features of human language have deep roots in the primate lineage.

So then one of my distant descendants can phone up a bonobo and interview him, right?

Nope. Bet it never happens.

The fact that people don’t start openly mocking this nonsense shows how far pop science has diverged from common sense. And it doesn’t matter except for one thing: The nonsense always detracts from human civil liberties without helping animals.

Note from experience: Cats are also able to “produce vocalizations in a wide range of emotional states and situations — an ability felt to be one of the factors required for the development of language.” The difference is, no one funds studies on cat vocalizations. So what is the true motive for funding studies of bonobo vocalizations? Really. Honestly.

And is the taxpayer funding it? Does anyone else ever get sick of all this?

See also: Can we talk? Language as the business end of consciousness

Follow UD News at Twitter!

Bonobo vocal cords are a limiting factor. And their thumbs will have issues carving stone tablets let alone holding a quill. I really think a future shared bonobo language is not realistic. I would put my money on Prairie Dogs. American Prairie Dogs. Sorry Canada:( http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/technology/prairie-dogs-language-decoded-by-scientists-1.1322230 ppolish
No problem with apes vocalizing. All creatures do that. Our language is based on our intelligence and not tongueing out sounds. In fact apes could talk but are too dumb. Dumber then babies. babies already are thinking better then adult apes. Its just about sounds and our memory and our soul wanting to say something. Do these apes vocalize like parrots?? Either way its unrelated to intelligent thought. Robert Byers
Imagine if a bonobo said "I love you mama" like this mutt. Nat Geo cover story. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eNxrxPcolJo ppolish
"So what is the true motive for funding studies of bonobo vocalizations? Really. Honestly." It's the "We are Chimp" gang, plain and simple, right News? Compared to the many many complex animal "languages", Bonobo is quite average. Maybe below average. "But it peeps as a baby!". Oh please stop. ppolish
Seeing Eye Dogs are amazing. Can you imagine a Seeing Eye Bonobo. I'd be afraid it would rip my face off yikes. ppolish
19 is vague BS and a dodge. bornagain77
I agree that Dogs should be on this "Most Intelligent List". My pooch understands quite a few human words, and I can understand a few woofs. I'm trying to teach my dog to say "walk", but to be honest it still sounds like "woof" http://news.discovery.com/animals/top-10-most-intelligent-animals-150325.htm "Dogs are so loyal to humans that they often don't get credit for their own intelligence. "From a purely cognitive vantage point, dogs have learned up to a thousand different words," Lieff said. He added that "service dogs demonstrate creativity and high intelligence" in saving others. Canines can also accurately read human emotions." Dogs Understand Human Smiles, Scowls ppolish
I have no idea either. But if bonobo & human ever do communicate, the human will do the heavy lifting in the translation process. Translating language is a uniquely human skill.
Yeah, good point. The very basic communication that happens between bonobos and humans has to be greatly facilitated by humans. For example, the keyboards with symbols, sign language and whatnot. daveS
To the Hand: I'm simply not that interested in discussing religion. I come here mostly for the math/science discussion, and don't pay that much attention to the religious aspects. I've stated before that I'm an atheist, so I do doubt that God created my brain, but I'm not certain about that. I just don't have much to say about the subject. daveS
Cats are also able to “produce vocalizations in a wide range of emotional states and situations — an ability felt to be one of the factors required for the development of language.”
So can birds and chipmunks and prairie dogs. Rattlesnakes communicate by vibrating their tail.
The difference is, no one funds studies on cat vocalizations. So what is the true motive for funding studies of bonobo vocalizations? Really. Honestly.
Exactly. We know why. Sometimes it's funny. Sometimes it's irritating. Sometimes it's just boring. But it's always stupid - as in this case. Silver Asiatic
I have no idea either. But if bonobo & human ever do communicate, the human will do the heavy lifting in the translation process. Translating language is a uniquely human skill. ppolish
"It seems we agree on the bonobos, which is a good thing." no we don't, but not for the reasons you think. "My views on religion are of no consequence to this question." Pure BS, and a monumental dodge of the primary question at hand. You sit on this site day in and day out denying that God exists, never really being specific as to the cause for your disbelief other than some vague personal preference, but when put on the spot to specifically answer the 'simple' question of “did God create your brain or is it the result of unguided material processes?” you all of the sudden decline to comment. Why the sudden shyness in the face of the overwhelming complexity of the brain? I'll tell you why, because you would look completely insane to clearly say, for all to hear, that unguided material processes created your 'beyond belief' brain and to deny that God created it. i.e. You are not concerned with the truth that God created your brain, but you are concerned with scoring rhetorical debating points for your preferred atheistic position. To call your tactics disingenuous would be a understatement. Since it is clear that you have no intention of ever being truly honest towards the main issues at hand, we will return to out regularly scheduled programming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O-QqC9yM28 bornagain77
“There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today. However, about 2,000 of those languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers. The most popular language in the world is Mandarin Chinese. There are 1,213,000,000 people in the world that speak that language.” Which language would you guess future bonobo language will be most similiar to?
I have no idea. daveS
I’m not the one denying God created all the diversity of life on earth daveS, you are. As well, I’m not the one lacking evidence for my position, you are! So daveS, please try to, for once, honestly answer the question I asked you, “did God create your brain or is it the result of unguided material processes?”
It seems we agree on the bonobos, which is a good thing. My views on religion are of no consequence to this question. I think we should leave it there. daveS
"There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today. However, about 2,000 of those languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers. The most popular language in the world is Mandarin Chinese. There are 1,213,000,000 people in the world that speak that language." Which language would you guess future bonobo language will be most similiar to? ppolish
I'm not the one denying God created all the diversity of life on earth daveS, you are. As well, I'm not the one lacking evidence for my position, you are! So daveS, please try to, for once, honestly answer the question I asked you, "did God create your brain or is it the result of unguided material processes?" bornagain77
daveS as to: “On what basis does one conclude that it’s impossible? How do you know it’s not part of God’s plan?”
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Yes, so if He wants bonobos to be speaking with humans or sending rockets to the moon, it will happen. Agreed? daveS
daveS as to: "On what basis does one conclude that it’s impossible? How do you know it’s not part of God’s plan?"
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
But alas, I'm not the one denying that God created humans, as well as all the other wondrous diversity of life, according to their kind. That would be atheists, such as yourself, and Dawkins etc.., denying God had any role in our creation. I don't blame you, supposedly an atheist, asking me, a Christian Theist, "How do you know it’s not part of God’s plan?", because the plain fact of the matter is that it is no longer even a question of if unguided material processes can create functional complexity and/or information. The observational evidence is in and the answer to that particular question is a resounding, "No, unguided material processes cannot create functional complexity and/or information!"
Michael Behe - Observed Limits of Evolution - video - Lecture delivered in April 2015 at Colorado School of Mines 25:56 minute quote - "This is not an argument anymore that Darwinism cannot make complex functional systems; it is an observation that it does not." 27:50 minute mark: no known, or unknown, evolutionary process helped. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9svV8wNUqvA
Rather the real question to be asked is this, "why do atheists like Dawkins, and such as yourself, so badly not want the living God, creator of heaven and earth and all that is in them, to be a part of your lives?"
“The real question here is not whether the arguments ID makes are correct or whether they’re supported by the science when you look at it objectively. This resistance to ID is solely a sociological phenomenon. That the folks in science — at least the ones who have the microphones — don’t like it, don’t like it one bit. And they will do whatever they can, fair or foul, to suppress it.” podcast – Michael Behe: Vindication for ‘The Edge of Evolution,’ Pt. 2 @ ~12:20 minute mark http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2014-08-06T15_26_19-07_00 "Instead of presenting scientific evidence that shows atheism to be true (or probable), the neo-atheists moralize about how much better the world would be if only atheism were true. Far from demonstrating that God does not exist, the neo-atheists merely demonstrate how earnestly they desire that God not exist.8 The God of Christianity is, in their view, the worst thing that could befall reality. According to Richard Dawkins, for instance, the Judeo-Christian God “is arguably the most unpleasant character in all of fiction. Jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic-cleanser; a misogynistic homophobic racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”9 Dawkins’s obsession with the Christian God borders on the pathological. Yet, he underscores what has always been the main reason people reject God: they cannot believe that God is good. Eve, in the Garden of Eden, rejected God because she thought he had denied her some benefit that she should have, namely, the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. 10 Clearly, a God who denies creatures benefits that they think they deserve cannot be good. Indeed, a mark of our fallenness is that we fail to see the irony in thus faulting God. Should we not rather trust that the things God denies us are denied precisely for our benefit? Likewise, the neo-atheists find lots of faults with God, their list of denied benefits being much longer than Eve’s—no surprise here since they’ve had a lot longer to compile such a list!" William Dembski - pg. 10-11 - Finding a Good God in an evil World http://designinference.com/documents/2009.05.end_of_xty.pdf
Question for you daveS, do you think God, or unguided material processes, created your brain?
Component placement optimization in the brain – 1994 As he comments [106], “To current limits of accuracy … the actual placement appears to be the best of all possible layouts; this constitutes strong evidence of perfect optimization.,, among about 40,000,000 alternative layout orderings, the actual ganglion placement in fact requires the least total connection length. http://www.jneurosci.org/content/14/4/2418.abstract Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth - November 2010 Excerpt: They found that the brain's complexity is beyond anything they'd imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: ...One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor--with both memory-storage and information-processing elements--than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth. http://news.cnet.com/8301-27083_3-20023112-247.html The Half-Truths of Materialist Evolution - DONALD DeMARCO - 02/06/2015 Excerpt: but I would like to direct attention to the unsupportable notion that the human brain, to focus on a single phenomenon, could possibly have evolved by sheer chance. One of the great stumbling blocks for Darwin and other chance evolutionists is explaining how a multitude of factors simultaneously coalesce to form a unified, functioning system. The human brain could not have evolved as a result of the addition of one factor at a time. Its unity and phantasmagorical complexity defies any explanation that relies on pure chance. It would be an underestimation of the first magnitude to say that today’s neurophysiologists know more about the structure and workings of the brain than did Darwin and his associates. Scientists in the field of brain research now inform us that a single human brain contains more molecular-scale switches than all the computers, routers and Internet connections on the entire planet! According to Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the brain’s complexity is staggering, beyond anything his team of researchers had ever imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief. In the cerebral cortex alone, each neuron has between 1,000 to 10,000 synapses that result, roughly, in a total of 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies! A single synapse may contain 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A synapse, simply stated, is the place where a nerve impulse passes from one nerve cell to another. Phantasmagorical as this level of unified complexity is, it places us merely at the doorway of the brain’s even deeper mind-boggling organization. Glial cells in the brain assist in neuron speed. These cells outnumber neurons 10 times over, with 860 billion cells. All of this activity is monitored by microglia cells that not only clean up damaged cells but also prune dendrites, forming part of the learning process. The cortex alone contains 100,000 miles of myelin-covered, insulated nerve fibers. The process of mapping the brain would indeed be time-consuming. It would entail identifying every synaptic neuron. If it took a mere second to identify each neuron, it would require four billion years to complete the project. http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/the-half-truths-of-materialist-evolution/ "Complexity Brake" Defies Evolution - August 8, 2012 Excerpt: Consider a neuronal synapse -- the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse -- about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years..., even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/08/complexity_brak062961.html The Puzzling Role Of Biophotons In The Brain - Dec. 17, 2010 Excerpt: In recent years, a growing body of evidence shows that photons play an important role in the basic functioning of cells. Most of this evidence comes from turning the lights off and counting the number of photons that cells produce. It turns out, much to many people’s surprise, that many cells, perhaps even most, emit light as they work. In fact, it looks very much as if many cells use light to communicate. There’s certainly evidence that bacteria, plants and even kidney cells communicate in this way. Various groups have even shown that rats brains are literally alight thanks to the photons produced by neurons as they work.,,, ,,, earlier this year, one group showed that spinal neurons in rats can actually conduct light. ,, Rahnama and co point out that neurons contain many light sensitive molecules, such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores and aromatic amino acids. In particular, mitochondria, the machines inside cells which produce energy, contain several prominent chromophores. The presence of light sensitive molecules makes it hard to imagine how they might not be not influenced by biophotons.,,, They go on to suggest that the light channelled by microtubules can help to co-ordinate activities in different parts of the brain. It’s certainly true that electrical activity in the brain is synchronised over distances that cannot be easily explained. Electrical signals travel too slowly to do this job, so something else must be at work.,,, (So) It’s a big jump to assume that photons do this job. http://www.technologyreview.com/view/422069/the-puzzling-role-of-biophotons-in-the-brain/ ,,, zero time lag neuronal synchrony despite long conduction delays - 2008 Excerpt: Multielectrode recordings have revealed zero time lag synchronization among remote cerebral cortical areas. However, the axonal conduction delays among such distant regions can amount to several tens of milliseconds. It is still unclear which mechanism is giving rise to isochronous discharge of widely distributed neurons, despite such latencies,,, Remarkably, synchrony of neuronal activity is not limited to short-range interactions within a cortical patch. Interareal synchronization across cortical regions including interhemispheric areas has been observed in several tasks (7, 9, 11–14).,,, Beyond its functional relevance, the zero time lag synchrony among such distant neuronal ensembles must be established by mechanisms that are able to compensate for the delays involved in the neuronal communication. Latencies in conducting nerve impulses down axonal processes can amount to delays of several tens of milliseconds between the generation of a spike in a presynaptic cell and the elicitation of a postsynaptic potential (16). The question is how, despite such temporal delays, the reciprocal interactions between two brain regions can lead to the associated neural populations to fire in unison (i.e. zero time lag).,,, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2575223/
"Sure, that could be. But that doesn’t mean descendants of humans and bonobos couldn’t communicate at a high level, does it?" Evo tells us they will diverge further. I think your best hope is Robot Monkey. ppolish
DaveS, modern humans would be unable to communicate with far future humans. Modern English will sound like gibberish to those telepathic dudes.
Sure, that could be. But that doesn't mean descendants of humans and bonobos couldn't communicate at a high level, does it? daveS
DaveS, modern humans would be unable to communicate with far future humans. Modern English will sound like gibberish to those telepathic dudes. Or maybe future humans will invent a translator gizmo that enables them to communicate with animals. Have a debate with a squirrel. My nut. No my nut No...my nut No my nut ppolish
And do you have any actual scientific evidence, other than you personally not thinking it is impossible that Bonobos will some day be able to send space-ships to the moon, that it actually can ever happen?
No. I don't have the slightest idea whether the descendants of humans and bonobos in the distant future will ever be able to communicate with each other at the level humans do with each other today. But just saying "nope, bet it never happens" and mocking the scientists involved in this research (which doesn't look at all unreasonable to me) seems pointless and silly. On what basis does one conclude that it's impossible? How do you know it's not part of God's plan? Now you can do your "talk to the hand" routine. daveS
as to: "assuming they are able to survive into the distant future, how can you be so confident this won’t happen?" And do you have any actual scientific evidence, other than you personally not thinking it is impossible that Bonobos will some day be able to send space-ships to the moon, that it actually can ever happen?
Dawkins' argument: Darwinism Not Proved Impossible Therefore It Must Be True - Plantinga - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/10285716/
Before any neo-Darwinist, or any other ill-defined anti-Theist, pretends that unguided material processes can easily create a creature that can readily understand and communicate information, would it not be reasonable, i.e. be 'scientific', for them to at least first prove that it is possible for unguided material processes to create coded functional information in the first place? Or is that too much to ask of such a supposedly well established scientific theory such as Darwinism?
The Origin of Information: How to Solve It - Perry Marshall (Shannon Channel Capacity) Where did the information in DNA come from? This is one of the most important and valuable questions in the history of science. Cosmic Fingerprints has issued a challenge to the scientific community: “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.” “Information” is defined as digital communication between an encoder and a decoder, using agreed upon symbols. To date, no one has shown an example of a naturally occurring encoding / decoding system, i.e. one that has demonstrably come into existence without a designer. A private equity investment group is offering a technology prize for this discovery. We will financially reward and publicize the first person who can solve this;,,, To solve this problem is far more than an object of abstract religious or philosophical discussion. It would demonstrate a mechanism for producing coding systems, thus opening up new channels of scientific discovery. Such a find would have sweeping implications for Artificial Intelligence research. http://cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/ "Information is information, not matter or energy. No materialism which does not admit this can survive at the present day." Norbert Weiner - MIT Mathematician -(Cybernetics, 2nd edition, p.132) Norbert Wiener created the modern field of control and communication systems, utilizing concepts like negative feedback. His seminal 1948 book Cybernetics both defined and named the new field. Programming of Life - October 2010 Excerpt: "Evolutionary biologists have failed to realize that they work with two more or less incommensurable domains: that of information and that of matter... These two domains will never be brought together in any kind of the sense usually implied by the term ‘reductionism.'... Information doesn't have mass or charge or length in millimeters. Likewise, matter doesn't have bytes... This dearth of shared descriptors makes matter and information two separate domains of existence, which have to be discussed separately, in their own terms." George Williams - Evolutionary Biologist “One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin? And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce. In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires. Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.” -Dr. Stephen C. Meyer earned his Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of science from Cambridge University for a dissertation on the history of origin-of-life biology and the methodology of the historical sciences. Intelligent design: Why can't biological information originate through a materialistic process? - Stephen Meyer - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqiXNxyoof8 John Lennox – Is There Evidence of Something Beyond Nature? (Semiotic Information) – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6rd4HEdffw UprightBiped explains why semiotic information is not chemistry to a Darwinist https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/trying-hard-to-be-charitable/#comment-516755 Book Review - Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell. New York: HarperCollins, 2009. Excerpt: As early as the 1960s, those who approached the problem of the origin of life from the standpoint of information theory and combinatorics observed that something was terribly amiss. Even if you grant the most generous assumptions: that every elementary particle in the observable universe is a chemical laboratory randomly splicing amino acids into proteins every Planck time for the entire history of the universe, there is a vanishingly small probability that even a single functionally folded protein of 150 amino acids would have been created. Now of course, elementary particles aren't chemical laboratories, nor does peptide synthesis take place where most of the baryonic mass of the universe resides: in stars or interstellar and intergalactic clouds. If you look at the chemistry, it gets even worse—almost indescribably so: the precursor molecules of many of these macromolecular structures cannot form under the same prebiotic conditions—they must be catalysed by enzymes created only by preexisting living cells, and the reactions required to assemble them into the molecules of biology will only go when mediated by other enzymes, assembled in the cell by precisely specified information in the genome. So, it comes down to this: Where did that information come from? The simplest known free living organism (although you may quibble about this, given that it's a parasite) has a genome of 582,970 base pairs, or about one megabit (assuming two bits of information for each nucleotide, of which there are four possibilities). Now, if you go back to the universe of elementary particle Planck time chemical labs and work the numbers, you find that in the finite time our universe has existed, you could have produced about 500 bits of structured, functional information by random search. Yet here we have a minimal information string which is (if you understand combinatorics) so indescribably improbable to have originated by chance that adjectives fail. http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/reading_list/indices/book_726.html
So then one of my distant descendants can phone up a bonobo and interview him, right? Nope. Bet it never happens.
My money says they will be extinct before that happens. But, assuming they are able to survive into the distant future, how can you be so confident this won't happen? Some bonobos can communicate rudimentarily with humans using a keyboard, and can understand thousands of spoken words. daveS
Sick of it does not convey my contempt for these psudo-scientists, that tell stories and rake in millions. I find it very similar to the global warming debate - there should be no debate as the earth is going through a normal cycle, and in fact, in 1954 the "Ice Cap" and there is no such thing at the north pole, it is sea ice, almost completely disappeared, but now every year we hear of how the ice will certainly disappear, and then it comes roaring back - an it has everything to do with wind currents, not Global warming. Incredible BS to support a philosophical and political agenda. Makes my stomach turn, as I love science, especially Biology and Physics, but it is so partial to atheism and random factors that have nothing to do with Biology or Physics - I think in a large way it is the American public, who are easily duped as they are victims of educations systems that don't teach, and what they do teach is how to repeat the status quot, not learn how to think. And now, for an admitted .03 degree decline in temps by the year 2100, Obama and his henchmen are finally exposed for the fools, and sellouts to the UN and psychotic dreams of Global control. The cost to our economy will be in the trillions, and it is designed to destroy the middle class, the heart of our nation. Tom Robbins
Young Children Have Grammar and Chimpanzees Don't - Apr. 10, 2013 Excerpt: "When you compare what children should say if they follow grammar against what children do say, you find it to almost indistinguishable," Yang said. "If you simulate the expected diversity when a child is only repeating what adults say, it produces a diversity much lower than what children actually say." As a comparison, Yang applied the same predictive models to the set of Nim Chimpsky's signed phrases, the only data set of spontaneous animal language usage publicly available. He found further evidence for what many scientists, including Nim's own trainers, have contended about Nim: that the sequences of signs Nim put together did not follow from rules like those in human language. Nim's signs show significantly lower diversity than what is expected under a systematic grammar and were similar to the level expected with memorization. This suggests that true language learning is -- so far -- a uniquely human trait, and that it is present very early in development. "The idea that children are only imitating adults' language is very intuitive, so it's seen a revival over the last few years," Yang said. "But this is strong statistical evidence in favor of the idea that children actually know a lot about abstract grammar from an early age." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130410131327.htm New paper suggests speech developed in a now-familiar form - March 31, 2015 Excerpt: "The hierarchical complexity found in present-day language is likely to have been present in human language since its emergence," says Shigeru Miyagawa, Professor of Linguistics,,, "Since we can find syntax within words, there is no reason to consider them as 'linguistic fossils' of a prior, presyntax stage," Miyagawa adds.,,, Nobrega and Miyagawa write that a single word can be "internally complex, often as complex as an entire phrase," making it less likely that words we use today are descended from a presyntax mode of speech.,,, "Hierarchical structure is present not only in single words, but also in compounds, which, contrary to the claims of some, are not the structureless fossilized form of a prior stage," Miyagawa says. In their paper, Nobrega and Miyagawa hold that the same analysis applies to words in Romance languages that have been described elsewhere as remnants of formless proto-languages.,,, Miyagawa's integration hypothesis is connected intellectually to the work of other MIT scholars, such as Noam Chomsky, who have contended that human languages are universally connected and derive from our capacity for using syntax.,,, http://phys.org/news/2015-03-paper-speech-now-familiar.html Children Act Like Scientists - October 1, 2012 Excerpt: New theoretical ideas and empirical research show that very young children’s learning and thinking are strikingly similar to much learning and thinking in science. Preschoolers test hypotheses against data and make causal inferences; they learn from statistics and informal experimentation, and from watching and listening to others. The mathematical framework of probabilistic models and Bayesian inference can describe this learning in precise ways. http://crev.info/2012/10/children-act-like-scientists/ Language study offers new twist on mind-body connection - Feb. 2, 2014 Excerpt: The results show that speech perception automatically engages the articulatory motor system, but linguistic preferences persist even when the language motor system is disrupted. These findings suggest that, despite their intimate links, the language and motor systems are distinct. "Language is designed to optimize motor action, but its knowledge consists of principles that are disembodied and potentially abstract," the researchers concluded. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-02-language-mind-body.html "Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation." Alfred Russel Wallace - An interview by Harold Begbie printed on page four of The Daily Chronicle (London) issues of 3 November and 4 November 1910. "Either mathematics is too big for the human mind, or the human mind is more than a machine." Godel - As quoted in Topoi : The Categorial Analysis of Logic (1979) by Robert Goldblatt, p. 13 An Interview with David Berlinski - Jonathan Witt Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time …. Interviewer:… Come again(?) … Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects. http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2013/10/found-upon-web-and-reprinted-here.html
Verses and Music:
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men. Of note: The definition of 'Word' in Greek is Logos. Logos is the root word from which we get our modern word logic Casting Crowns - The Word Is Alive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9itgOBAxSc
a few related notes:
Newly Discovered Convergent Genetic Evolution Between Bird and Human Vocalization Poses a Severe Challenge to Common Ancestry - Casey Luskin - December 15, 2014 Excerpt: "We've known for many years that the singing behavior of birds is similar to speech in humans -- not identical, but similar -,,, "But we didn't know whether or not those features were the same because the genes were also the same." "Now scientists do know, and the answer is yes -- birds and humans use essentially the same genes to speak.",,, "there is a consistent set of just over 50 genes,,," "These changes were not found in the brains of birds that do not have vocal learning and of non-human primates that do not speak," So certain birds and humans use the same genes for vocalization -- but those genetic abilities are absent in non-human primates and birds without vocal learning? If not derived from a common ancestor, as they clearly were not, how did the genes get there? This kind of extreme convergent genetic evolution points strongly to intelligent design. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/12/newly_discovere092041.html On the lack of evidence that non-human animals possess anything remotely resembling a theory of mind’ - 2007 Excerpt: After decades of effort by some of our brightest human and non-human minds, there is still little consensus on whether or not non-human animals understand anything about the unobservable mental states of other animals or even what it would mean for a non-verbal animal to understand the concept of a 'mental state'.,,, (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 362, 731-744, doi:10.1098/rstb.2006.2023) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17264056 Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language - December 19, 2014 Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,, (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, "The mystery of language evolution," Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).) It's difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/12/leading_evoluti092141.html A scientist looks again at Project Nim - Trying to teach Chimps to talk fails Excerpt: "The language didn't materialize. A human baby starts out mostly imitating, then begins to string words together. Nim didn't learn. His three-sign combinations - such as 'eat me eat' or 'play me Nim' - were redundant. He imitated signs to get rewards. I published the negative results in 1979 in the journal Science, which had a chilling effect on the field." http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2011/07/19/a_scientist_looks_again_at_project_nim Origin of the Mind: Marc Hauser - Scientific American - April 2009 Excerpt: "Researchers have found some of the building blocks of human cognition in other species. But these building blocks make up only the cement footprint of the skyscraper that is the human mind",,, http://www.wjh.harvard.edu?/~mnkylab/publications/rec?ent/mindSciAm.pdf Darwin's mistake: explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds. - 2008 Excerpt: Over the last quarter century, the dominant tendency in comparative cognitive psychology has been to emphasize the similarities between human and nonhuman minds and to downplay the differences as "one of degree and not of kind" (Darwin 1871).,,, To wit, there is a significant discontinuity in the degree to which human and nonhuman animals are able to approximate the higher-order, systematic, relational capabilities of a physical symbol system (PSS) (Newell 1980). We show that this symbolic-relational discontinuity pervades nearly every domain of cognition and runs much deeper than even the spectacular scaffolding provided by language or culture alone can explain,,, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18479531

Leave a Reply