Re: teleology and language

From: Wade Smith (
Date: Tue Apr 30 2002 - 20:13:46 BST

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    Subject: Re: teleology and language
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    On Tuesday, April 30, 2002, at 02:37 , Bill Spight wrote:

    > Are languages replicated? Yes. Do they vary over time? Yes.
    > Are they, or their components, selected? Yes.

    Are languages replicated? No. They are artifacts of
    developmental processes and cultural environments. They are the
    product of repetitive and cognitive processes, not replicated
    ones. Languages are not birthed. They mutate in loco.

    Do they vary over time? Perhaps, depending upon one's definition
    of variance. But they are adaptations with fixed genetic
    determinants and are produced with a set of bodily mechanisms,
    such as the larynx and the tongue, that have arguably not
    changed in over 60,000 years in our species.

    Are they, or their components, selected? No. There is no attempt
    to choose languages- they are environmentally contained and
    offer no selected advantage to the organisms. Any human placed
    into any languaged environment will learn the language of that
    environment, without fail, for a normally developing individual.

    And culture is likewise seen in both these evolving and
    artifactual natures.

    Point of view.

    IMHO, both are valid, and neither proved.

    - Wade

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