Re: Sensory and sensibility and a big question

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Fri Jan 18 2002 - 22:43:38 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T. Smith: "Re: Sensory and sensibility and a big question"

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    Subject: Re: Sensory and sensibility and a big question
    Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 17:43:38 -0500
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    From: "Wade T. Smith" <>
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    Hi Francesca S. Alcorn -

    >But it has occurred naturally.

    Well, again, I never offered that it didn't, or might not, but that, if
    conducted experimentally, with knowledge, (as an ultimate experiment in
    memetics) it would be horrific....

    Anyway, although inconclusive as regards memetics, I think we can say
    that memes, if acquired at all in the human, are developmental, and tied
    to language-

    "Feral children: conclusions

    Candland points out that "genetic" should not be considered to be the
    opposite of "experience" and that the elimination of one does not imply
    the presence or importance of another. It is impossible to say that our
    development consists of x% innate ability and y% that is learned, and we
    should not imply a reciprocal relationship between the two, when it does
    not exist. For Candland, a more important issue is what can be learned at
    what age? Perhaps certain mental aspects can be learned at one age under
    certain circumstances, but at later ages or under inappropriate
    conditions learning is impossible, or greatly impaired. The lack of early
    education of the feral children could mean that they could never learn.
    It is difficult to draw conclusions from studies on feral children; each
    case was very different - the background of the feral child, the goals of
    the experimenter and the method of teaching all have to be taken into
    account. Of the five children, Kaspar Hauser appeared to be the most
    successful in learning how to talk, but Kaspar had not been raised in the
    wild. The early experiences of children greatly influenced their capacity
    to learn at a later date.

    In any case, if feral children had difficulty in learning to talk, it is
    not surprising that experiments on teaching chimps to acquire language
    were not entirely successful either."

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