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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

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Comments

Vijayachandra Ramachandra

Robin Dunbar, in his book "Gromming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language" makes a very stong case against gestures being a precusor to language evolution. His argument is two fold. First, gestures cannot serve the function of communicating anything abstract and it has to be about the here and now only (very similar to what Mr. Edmund Bolles says on this blog). Second, it's just impractical to communicate using gestures, given its space constraints. The speaker and his/her communicative partner/s had to always be in close proximity in order to communicate (assuming that the forests were filled with darkness). Gestures, are indeed a very inefficient means of communication and as Mr. Bolles rightly point out humans haven't metamorphosed their use of gestures and are still stuck with the same stereotypical ones.
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BLOGGER: Although I am dubious about the gesture origins of language, the sign languages of the deaf show that despite certain inefficiencies, gesture can be used to create a real language.

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