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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

« A Second Gene Supports Language | Main | Blog Update »


Dolphy Dolphin

Yeah; we've been chattin' it up for years.....


Mind in the Waters: A book to celebrate the consciousness of whales and dolphins


click click whistle click click click whistle click whistle click click


No but on a serious note, have you factored in thoughts on the possibility that language was an evolution of synesthetic nature? Not sure if that would make a difference. Haven't really thought it out myself.

You crazy humans and your 5 senses.
BLOGGER: Synesthesia is a combining of sensual qualities. For example, a person might hear a sound and not only hear the sounds but see some kind of color patterns as well. I'm not sure what "synesthetic nature" might be unless it merely refers to the way nature can trigger many senses at once.

It is true, by the way that language can be synesthesic if you mean that a sentence can draw attention to more than one sense at a time: e.g., "That flute sound is very bright, while the accompanying cello is much darker."

It is probably also true that a single sensation by itself is meaningless, e.g., upon entering a house a person might sniff something, but only know what he is sniffing because the smell evokes an image of spaghetti. Language may short circuit this process, so that instead of evoking the image the smell evokes a word and we know the name of what we smell.

In short, Flipper's comments may seem flippant but there is much to ponder here if you care to riff on it.

James Winters

Slightly related is Ramachandran's synesthetic bootstrapping theory of language origins:

I'm not convinced by Ramachandran's account, but there might be some merit in expanding upon cross-domain remapping -- especially in accounting for language. Just thought I'd put this out there for curious minds.


The have made an error in understanding sonar use in hunting. The whistles are obviously communication , the clicks a simply hunting sounds, what people forget is unlike sight, when it comes to sonar all members of the hunting pack can 'see' each others focus on targets as well as each others position relative to the targets, in this case sonar gives them 3d vision of themselves and their environment. So discussion before to set tactics then switch into shared hunt mode.


just cause you can't understand them doesn't mean that all animals don't communicate with eachother - even if it's non verbal.

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