Monday, July 27, 2015

The Acquisition of Language

From 'Strange Behavior, Tales of Evolutionary Neurology', Harold Klawans, M.D:

"...While improved hunting implements could assure a better supply of food, and therefore a decrease in infant mortality (the key to true Darwinian biological superiority), it is difficult to ascribe to such a technological advance any changes other than a mere increase in numbers. Certainly not man's cultural explosion, nor the development of language.

So if it wasn't "man the hunter" who was responsible for the explosive biological advantage of modern humans, what was?

Our advantages over other species are most probably due to the development of a complex language. And women are far more likely to have played the more significant role in this than men. Women were the ones who did the tough job: raising the juvenilized children in caves or any other environment and teaching those children what they needed to know to survive in the world while they were still dependent, weak and slow.

Teaching survival to the juvenilized infant depended on language. Language gave the human the distinct advantage for survival. And over a million years or two, the result was the evolution of brains selected for acquisition of language and other skills during the period of prolonged juvenilization."

Page 35

1 comment:

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