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The Language Fossils Buried in Every Cell of Your Body - Comments

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 1 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 17:55:42 UTC | #882513

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 2 by Agrajag

I expect Comment 1 was something about the Tower of Babel. :-/

Genetics discoveries such as this are endlessly fascinating. What's more, they seem to me to more firmly cement the relationship of us humans to the natural world. Now I wonder if that burning bush also had the FOXP2 gene. ;-)
Steve

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 18:51:54 UTC | #882529

JoxerTheMighty's Avatar Comment 3 by JoxerTheMighty

What makes me wonder is how natural selection worked on this. Maybe males with better linguistic skills were able to woo chicks better? :P

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 19:33:43 UTC | #882540

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 4 by Agrajag

Comment 3 by JoxerTheMighty

What makes me wonder is how natural selection worked on this. Maybe males with better linguistic skills were able to woo chicks better? :P

Yes, the ladies do like a cunning linguist. ;-)
Steve

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 22:25:39 UTC | #882675

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 5 by HappyPrimate

I once heard it suggested that females were the first to use expressive language in order to teach their children lessons in surviving within the tribe and also found it useful for gossip. Males simply picked it up from their mothers. Obviously there is not a shread of evidence for this but I found it mildly reasonable and amusing.

Fri, 21 Oct 2011 00:36:19 UTC | #882713

Functional Atheist's Avatar Comment 6 by Functional Atheist

I had heard of FOX2P, and the family with the mutated version of the gene, but learned a good deal from this article. I had no idea, for example, that the gene is so ancient, and is related to motor control in other animals.

This is a very important field of research. While I know many believe that language might be relatively modern--arising within the past couple hundred thousand years--my hunch has long been that it goes back, in a rudimentary fashion, to homo erectus. It would definitely be valuable to know that answer with some certainty, even if my hunch is proven to be bogus baloney.

Sat, 22 Oct 2011 05:49:26 UTC | #883086

Pammiepi's Avatar Comment 7 by Pammiepi

Very interesting article. I happen to come from a family where there are obvious linguistic "malfunctions", and it can be traced backwards, & forwards. My particular issue is that I can not speak...well, I can physically, but there is a 'road block' sort of speak.. I am very much the social dummy, and while I may have something valuable to say, I am either inhibited to "spit it out", or don't know when to "butt in". Result? I say nothing. Curiously, if I were to write everything I wanted to say on a piece of paper & hand it to the person I wanted to speak with, there would be no issue. But making these words come out of my mouth instead is a totally different thing. This leads me to believe there is a motor component there somewhere...the brain to mouth component being broke in my particular circumstance. Additionally, I see a family trend of this. Relatives with "autistic" kids, and my own children the majority of whom are labelled as "shy" (but they themselves don't see it as such), yet write up a blue streak! Lack of linguistics is definitely a crippling thing for humans. I just thank God that computers came along...funny thing there too...I ambraced the first PCs back in the early 80s, recognizing them as a tool for my inability to orally produce my thoughts! (The primitive chat rooms). Happily, even though I suck at speech, I was able to grasp the concept of investing, and invested in this new tool. :)

I would like to see an article on speaking vs. writing, since in my particular case, while I am not the orator, can certainly write my way out of a paper bag...

Why is it that some people can speak, but not write, & vise versa? Seems the "language" either finds a route to the fingers or the mouth (& sometimes both).

Sun, 23 Oct 2011 08:04:13 UTC | #883334

SheilaC's Avatar Comment 8 by SheilaC

Comment 3 by JoxerTheMighty :

What makes me wonder is how natural selection worked on this. Maybe males with better linguistic skills were able to woo chicks better? :P

Chatting up the ladies probably helped pass on genes, but I think there's also survival value in understanding, "Don't mess with a female mammoth if she's got young with her," or "Watch out for snakes in the long grass down by the river." Not to mention an advantage for your genes in other members of the tribe if you can yell out, "Tiger!" half a second before it becomes visible to everyone else.

Sun, 23 Oct 2011 19:17:47 UTC | #883461