Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CrossFit ATL 0323 Bobbing Up And Down Like This

Workout of the Day

Clean 3-3-3-3-3-3-3 reps

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Noam Chomsky's theory of universal grammar takes a hit.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Matthew Queen
    Reply

    The Noam Chomsky article is interesting and not without supporters. I was just reading another psychologist whose findings supported the idea that language is not an innate part of human nature. Instead, babies progress rapidly through a series of steps that mirrors human evolution. First they start with various hand signals, then rudimentary speech patterns, and over time they learn to develop language by simply being exposed to it.
    There’s probably some truth to the idea that language has an instinctual basis, but the evidence seems to indicate something far more profound: language is a tool. If language is not instinctual, then it is something humans developed to make life easier. In that regard, language may be homo sapien’s oldest tool, possibly predating fire.
    If language is a tool there are several profound effects on how we regard developmentally disabled people. In other words, speech therapy could be modified to reflect the fact that there is nothing innately wrong with children who have speech impediments, but they just haven’t mastered the tool of speech yet. The neurological pathways for tool use are remarkably different from instinct, so it could greatly improve therapy.

  • Bethanie
    Reply

    Hi again,
    Reminder that there will be no 7pm class tomorrow night because of our FUNdraiser at Urban pl8. Bring family and friends…see you there!

  • Dave Hodges
    Reply

    Matt, I think you make some interesting points, but I don’t see why identifying language as a tool negates its instinctual character in humans. It is true that babies go through a series of progressive steps toward speech, but that is because the muscular patterns required to talk have not been mastered, not because the babies don’t understand speech.
    As a matter of fact, within just four days of being born, babies can recognise a foreign language as being not their own:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-407/Babies-know-language-womb.html
    No, they can’t speak any languages, but that’s not because they lack the mental ability to recognise language, but rather because they lack the motor skills to reproduce it, which is not the same thing.
    That said, I think that language could very well be a tool. But I also think that it’s instinctual as well.

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