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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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John Roth

In the quote, Fitch seems to make a number of claims, not just one. I think the word "normal" is significant, and so are the words "household" and "community." For example, what are the actual differences between "normal" and not normal? What is the difference between being raised in a community and a feral child (which is thankfully rare, but does seem to have happened occasionally)?

My own feeling, from well outside the language research community, is that I would discard any approach that doesn't at least consider brain structure.

Giorgio Marchetti

Very good your observation, Blair, concerning the biasing use of “Acquire” by Fitch. Unfortunately this very often happens to all of us when doing research: maybe unwillingly, we already put in the question that we are asking the solution we are looking for. So it should be a very nice methodological principle to “clean” as much as possible the questions from all these kinds of biases, reducing them to one variable at time (or alternatively: to explicitly state them, as a research hypothesis). We are the main "builders" of our world. KR, Giorgio


Adding to the above, accurately judging something as “quickly” requires both an external standard of measurement as well as something else that can serve as a comparison. Both are lacking in this case. Effortlessly” I don't think fares any better.

Observation gives us two social species that exhibit a characteristic communication system; and that, when immersed in the normal social environment of the other species, do/don't exhibit the communicative behaviors characteristic of that species. Humans seem to, apes don't.

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