Re: Paper on chimp culture

Mark M. Mills (
Thu, 17 Jun 1999 09:23:03 -0400

Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 09:23:03 -0400
From: "Mark M. Mills" <>
Subject: Re: Paper on chimp culture
In-Reply-To: <>

At 11:15 AM 6/17/99 +0200, you wrote:
>The only difference between man and animal is symbolic language. Again
this is so
>self evident that I expect that someone will discover this within a few
years and that
>he/she will make it to the cover page of Nature: "Hey, the difference
>is that we can talk! Incredible finding, isn't it?".

I respectfully disagree with you on this point. While the point remains
controversial, there is a large body of work supporting assertions that
chimps are quite competent with symbolic language.

Please be careful with the 'this is self-evident' argument.

I'd like to hear what other arguments you might have on the inability of
chimps to use symbolic language.


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