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Selected Books by Edmund Blair Bolles

  • Galileo's Commandment: 2500 Years of Great Science Writing
  • The Ice Finders: How a Poet, a Professor, and a Politician Discovered the Ice Age
  • Einstein Defiant: Genius vs Genius in the Quantum Revolution

« I, meaning me, say there. | Main | Is Language Really a Computation? »



Looks interesting. I would make the case that these domain-general modules are networked in a domain-specific manner . Here, natural selection favoured networks conducive for language processing, through the selection of fibre tracts or pathways, such as the arcuate fasciculus, rather than specific mental modules dedicated to certain types of linguistic processing (see: http://
BLOGGER: Thanks for your smart comment

Thanks for drawing my attention to such an interesting paper. One thing you may have missed is that in the abstract of Cecilia's own paper “Grist and Mills: on the cultural origins of cultural learning” she observes that “I find that recent empirical work in comparative psychology, developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience provides surprisingly little evidence of genetic adaptation, and ample evidence of cultural adaptation.” This could suggest that she thinks that there is very little difference between biological mechanisms in the ape and human brains – despite having written in the main paper that “The genetically inherited cognitive-developmental mechanisms use computational processes that are also present in other animals, but they are uniquely powerful in their range, capacity and flexibility.” I must try and get a copy of the Grist paper – which is hidden behind a pay wall.

As a result of reading the main paper I have already published a detailed critique on my blog which points out that one of the general failings in the work reviewed is that if you are talking about evolution you need a clear view of both the starting point and the end point. What I see is that little is said about the biological information processing mechanisms at the animal starting point – and this apparent ignorance of the starting point has resulted in exaggerated claims for the supposedly far more powerful mechanisms at the human end point.

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