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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
"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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