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Thread: Humans as Non-Animal: Can any inferences be drawn?

  1. Top | #81
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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Chomsky proposes that a single gene mutation caused a "rewiring" of the brain. A gene that controlled a lot of other genes changed and caused cells to arrange themselves very differently.

    He proposes that this rewiring did not initially create a language. It initially ordered thoughts and allowed the animal with the mutation to think better.

    Because this gene caused the animal to think better the animals with it eventually dominated.

    The rewiring, he calls it the language capacity, is what allows a person to learn a language at an age they can't learn much else.

    Chomsky also claims that since there are only individual and not group differences in language acquisition abilities the language capacity has not evolved since it appeared.
    With, of course, no actual evidence to support his hypothesis. Why does Evo Psych attract all the armchair speculators?
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  3. Top | #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Chomsky proposes that a single gene mutation caused a "rewiring" of the brain. A gene that controlled a lot of other genes changed and caused cells to arrange themselves very differently.

    He proposes that this rewiring did not initially create a language. It initially ordered thoughts and allowed the animal with the mutation to think better.

    Because this gene caused the animal to think better the animals with it eventually dominated.

    The rewiring, he calls it the language capacity, is what allows a person to learn a language at an age they can't learn much else.

    Chomsky also claims that since there are only individual and not group differences in language acquisition abilities the language capacity has not evolved since it appeared.
    With, of course, no actual evidence to support his hypothesis. Why does Evo Psych attract all the armchair speculators?
    There is no evidence about how the language ability arose.

    It is all speculation.

    Chomsky is far from an armchair spectator.

    He has his reasons. No living human understands language better than Chomsky.

  4. Top | #84
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Chomsky proposes that a single gene mutation caused a "rewiring" of the brain. A gene that controlled a lot of other genes changed and caused cells to arrange themselves very differently.

    He proposes that this rewiring did not initially create a language. It initially ordered thoughts and allowed the animal with the mutation to think better.

    Because this gene caused the animal to think better the animals with it eventually dominated.

    The rewiring, he calls it the language capacity, is what allows a person to learn a language at an age they can't learn much else.

    Chomsky also claims that since there are only individual and not group differences in language acquisition abilities the language capacity has not evolved since it appeared.
    With, of course, no actual evidence to support his hypothesis. Why does Evo Psych attract all the armchair speculators?
    There is no evidence about how the language ability arose.

    It is all speculation.

    Chomsky is far from an armchair spectator.

    He has his reasons. No living human understands language better than Chomsky.
    I'm certain Chomsky himself would make no such claim. Don't deify men, it leads to navel-gazing.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post

    There is no evidence about how the language ability arose.

    It is all speculation.

    Chomsky is far from an armchair spectator.

    He has his reasons. No living human understands language better than Chomsky.
    I'm certain Chomsky himself would make no such claim. Don't deify men, it leads to navel-gazing.
    Chomsky turned linguistics into a science.

    As a science it has moved out in many directions.

    There is a lot more to linguistics besides Chomsky now because people are free to explore what they want to explore.

    But here is a video of Chomsky addressing a group of modern highly intelligent scientists and telling them they are not doing anything productive in terms of understanding language acquisition. He's about 84 years old in this video. I don't think he could do this today. He has slowed somewhat in his 90's.



    If you don't know Chomsky well you don't understand language as well as you could. He is not everything but he is crucial.

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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Chomsky turned linguistics into a science.
    Linguistics has been a science since William Jones et al. discovered the Indo-European language family in the late 1700s.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    I have enormous respect for Noam Chomsky, and it is certainly true that his work on structural linguistics and that of his disciples has greatly influenced the past 60 years of research in that field. But he is a scientist, not a demigod, and though tenacious (even dogged) like any scientist he cheerfully invites critique and commentary on his hypotheses. Science when functional is a community of shared discovery, not an autocracy. I had the opportunity to attend a public address of his some years ago (a very enjoyable evening) and can testify that he most certainly did not make any attempt to supplant or replace his linguist forebears as you have done. Genetics, in particular, and paleobiology, are not fields in which Dr. Chomsky has any advanced training nor has contributed any work, so I am less inclined to take his opinions on those matters as authoritative.

  8. Top | #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Chomsky turned linguistics into a science.
    Linguistics has been a science since William Jones et al. discovered the Indo-European language family in the late 1700s.
    Nope.

  9. Top | #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I have enormous respect for Noam Chomsky, and it is certainly true that his work on structural linguistics and that of his disciples has greatly influenced the past 60 years of research in that field. But he is a scientist, not a demigod, and though tenacious (even dogged) like any scientist he cheerfully invites critique and commentary on his hypotheses. Science when functional is a community of shared discovery, not an autocracy. I had the opportunity to attend a public address of his some years ago (a very enjoyable evening) and can testify that he most certainly did not make any attempt to supplant or replace his linguist forebears as you have done. Genetics, in particular, and paleobiology, are not fields in which Dr. Chomsky has any advanced training nor has contributed any work, so I am less inclined to take his opinions on those matters as authoritative.
    I never said Chomsky doesn't welcome criticism.

    I never came close to making any exaggeration in terms of his importance.

    This is pure non sequitur.

  10. Top | #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Chomsky turned linguistics into a science.
    Linguistics has been a science since William Jones et al. discovered the Indo-European language family in the late 1700s.
    Nope.
    Good argument.

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