Looking for a reason: Perspective and causality

We all have different perspectives. Sometimes our perspective is in conflict with or directly opposed to someone else’s. But sometimes what we perceive as conflict isn’t so much a difference in perspective as it is a difference in focus. When considered in proper relationship, perspectives which focus on different levels of scale can lead to […]

Language & complexity: Evolution inside out | Terrence Deacon

Drawing on biological anthropology and cognitive science, anthropologist Terrence Deacon explores the interplay of natural selection and adaptation among various environmental, genetic, cognitive, and social factors that could have contributed to the evolution of the human capacity for language.   Reference Language & complexity: Evolution inside out | Terrence Deacon

Morgan Kelly (Futurity) | Did human speech start with monkey lip smack?

Two recent studies by Princeton University researchers suggest that the oral-facial component of human speech mirrors the rhythm, development, and internal dynamics of lip smacking, a friendly back-and-forth gesture performed by primates such as chimpanzees, baboons, and macaques. Reference Morgan Kelly (Futurity) | Did human speech start with monkey lip smack?

A tale of two apes: Elaine Morgan and the aquatic ape hypothesis

Elaine Morgan was a tenacious proponent of a theory that is not widely accepted. The aquatic ape hypothesis lays out the idea that humans evolved from primate ancestors who dwelt in watery habitats. Hear her spirited defense of the idea — and her theory on why science doesn’t take it seriously Well, this is 2009. […]

Daniel Wolpert (TED) | The real reason for brains

Neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert starts from a surprising premise: the brain evolved, not to think or feel, but to control movement. In this entertaining, data-rich talk he gives us a glimpse into how the brain creates the grace and agility of human motion. “We have a brain for one reason and one reason only, and that’s […]