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How language transformed humanity

Biologist Mark Pagel shares an intriguing theory about why humans evolved our complex system of language.


Recent comments on this video
Comment icon #1 Posted by Bildr on 8 August, 2011, 12:31
The problem with language is; Interpretation. So who knows if past civilizations tried to tell us somethings with old texts but that we are completely into the abyss about it. Like the Catholic bible; it has been so much translated and interpreted over time... who knows now what the first guys to wrote the old testament 2000 and more years ago tried to tell us? Now it's just Roman Catholics mumbo Jombos
Comment icon #2 Posted by Taut on 8 August, 2011, 16:41
Pagel seems more a philologist than a biologist. Fascinating stuff. Excellent speaker. Neanderthals have been shown archeologically to live in cooperative "societies", even burying their dead with flowers and decorations. How would this cooperation of ideas take place without some form of language? How would one convey complex hunting techniques without language? Telepathy? I suppose pack hunters use only visual cues and instinct, so maybe. Gorillas can be taught sign language and understand the meanings. One would think a neanderthal would have a higher capacity than that. ... [More]

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