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Re: Is this National Neandertal Month, or what?

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  • Richard Parker
    Anne - thanks for the re-intro to Greg Laden. Last I heard he was digging up spuds on the savannah. From Greg Laden s weblog:
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 13, 2007
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      Anne - thanks for the re-intro to Greg Laden. Last I heard he was
      digging up spuds on the savannah.

      From Greg Laden's weblog:
      http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2007/11/the_language_gene_foxp2.php
      -------------------------------------
      The news that Neanderthals have the same FOXP2 gene as modern
      humans, indicating that they may, therefore, have had modern human
      speech and language, has been misinterpreted in my view. I'd like to
      make the following points:

      1) It is not true that this evidence can be used to draw this
      conclusion.

      2) The FOXP2 gene is not a gene for speech and language.

      3) Science reporting has always used framing, this is an example of
      framing, and this is an example of framing that sucks. This may not
      mean that all framing sucks, but it does demonstrate how framing can
      suck
      -------------------------------------
      The following are phrases from such sources, not attributed here
      because I don't want to embarrass anybody.

      Modern speech gene found in Neanderthals

      Neanderthals had same version of FOXP2 "language gene" as modern
      humans

      It's the only gene known so far that plays a key role in language.
      When mutated, the gene primarily affects language without affecting
      other abilities.

      Neandertals, humans share key changes to 'language gene'

      Let's see, that's one blog, two major news outlets, and the journal
      Nature. I'll let you guess which source uttered which phrase.
      -------------------------------------

      and a great perception which I will certainly claim was my own when
      I plagiarise it:

      One of the great findings of the Language Research Boom of the
      latter half of the 20th century was this, now pretty much
      undisputed:

      Language operates independently of modality. Speech is no more
      language than getting to work is my car.
      -------------------------------------
      Nothing on the meat of his argument, because I'm too dense to
      understand it.

      But he's obviously a bright lad

      -------------------------------------


      regards

      Richard


      --- In palanthsci@yahoogroups.com, "Anne Gilbert" <shanidar9@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > All:
      >
      > Now that I've got you "hooked" with this catchy title, let me
      direct
      > you to Greg Laden's blog entry for today. He has some interesting
      > things to say about the recent discovery, in Neandertals, of
      > the "modern-type" FOXP2 gene. Some of them are worth
      considering:
      > one of them being the tendency of a lot of science journalists
      > to "simplify" things(he calls it "framing"), and another point
      being
      > that the FOXP2 gene is probably part of a complex of a lot of
      things
      > that make human language possible.
      >
      > The article is rather long, but well worth reading in its
      entirety.
      > I would say that, on the whole, he's erred too much in the
      direction
      > of caution regarding Neandertal capabilities, but, as I say, his
      > points are worth considering.
      >
      > You can read the entire article here:
      >
      > http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/
      >
      > Incidentally, there is a link in the blog, to the original
      research
      > paper. Unfortunately, it's not, as he claims, "free access". And
      I,
      > for one, am not going to pay $30 for it. If I could figure out a
      way
      > to get "institutional access" somewhere, that would be a different
      > story. If anyone does have "institutional access" and can get the
      > article, feel free to upload it to the files, if you haven't done
      so
      > already.
      > Anne G
      >
    • Anne Gilbert
      Richard: Greg Laden does all sorts of interesting things. I don t always agree with what he says, but he knows what he s doing. Anne G ... From: Richard
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 13, 2007
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        Richard:
         
        Greg Laden does all sorts of interesting things.  I don't always agree with what he says, but he knows what he's doing.
        Anne G
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 3:15 AM
        Subject: [palanthsci] Re: Is this National Neandertal Month, or what?

        Anne - thanks for the re-intro to Greg Laden. Last I heard he was
        digging up spuds on the savannah.

        From Greg Laden's weblog:
        http://scienceblogs .com/gregladen/ 2007/11/the_ language_ gene_foxp2. php
        ------------ --------- --------- -------
        The news that Neanderthals have the same FOXP2 gene as modern
        humans, indicating that they may, therefore, have had modern human
        speech and language, has been misinterpreted in my view. I'd like to
        make the following points:

        1) It is not true that this evidence can be used to draw this
        conclusion.

        2) The FOXP2 gene is not a gene for speech and language.

        3) Science reporting has always used framing, this is an example of
        framing, and this is an example of framing that sucks. This may not
        mean that all framing sucks, but it does demonstrate how framing can
        suck
        ------------ --------- --------- -------
        The following are phrases from such sources, not attributed here
        because I don't want to embarrass anybody.

        Modern speech gene found in Neanderthals

        Neanderthals had same version of FOXP2 "language gene" as modern
        humans

        It's the only gene known so far that plays a key role in language.
        When mutated, the gene primarily affects language without affecting
        other abilities.

        Neandertals, humans share key changes to 'language gene'

        Let's see, that's one blog, two major news outlets, and the journal
        Nature. I'll let you guess which source uttered which phrase.
        ------------ --------- --------- -------

        and a great perception which I will certainly claim was my own when
        I plagiarise it:

        One of the great findings of the Language Research Boom of the
        latter half of the 20th century was this, now pretty much
        undisputed:

        Language operates independently of modality. Speech is no more
        language than getting to work is my car.
        ------------ --------- --------- -------
        Nothing on the meat of his argument, because I'm too dense to
        understand it.

        But he's obviously a bright lad

        ------------ --------- --------- -------

        regards

        Richard

        --- In palanthsci@yahoogro ups.com, "Anne Gilbert" <shanidar9@. ..>
        wrote:
        >
        > All:
        >
        > Now that I've got you "hooked" with this catchy title, let me
        direct
        > you to Greg Laden's blog entry for today. He has some interesting
        > things to say about the recent discovery, in Neandertals, of
        > the "modern-type" FOXP2 gene. Some of them are worth
        considering:
        > one of them being the tendency of a lot of science journalists
        > to "simplify" things(he calls it "framing"), and another point
        being
        > that the FOXP2 gene is probably part of a complex of a lot of
        things
        > that make human language possible.
        >
        > The article is rather long, but well worth reading in its
        entirety.
        > I would say that, on the whole, he's erred too much in the
        direction
        > of caution regarding Neandertal capabilities, but, as I say, his
        > points are worth considering.
        >
        > You can read the entire article here:
        >
        > http://scienceblogs .com/gregladen/
        >
        > Incidentally, there is a link in the blog, to the original
        research
        > paper. Unfortunately, it's not, as he claims, "free access". And
        I,
        > for one, am not going to pay $30 for it. If I could figure out a
        way
        > to get "institutional access" somewhere, that would be a different
        > story. If anyone does have "institutional access" and can get the
        > article, feel free to upload it to the files, if you haven't done
        so
        > already.
        > Anne G
        >


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