How our linguistic ability may have turned evolution on its head!
Imagine coming up with an idea and not being able to express it. Record it. Share it. Build on it. Would be extremely limiting!
So Archimedes realizes that the tub is overflowing, and instead of Eureka, mumbles some incoherent gobbledygook. Does not make the cut! What use would Graham Bells’ telephone have been without the ability to speak?
It is true that no one can really say- “this is the point when homo sapiens decided that speech was good for self esteem?”
Tough! Modern theory says, and this blog endorses that homo sapiens were not the first species capable of communication or sound.
There are several arguments within cognitive science that suggest that the human sense of self is largely an outgrowth of our linguistic abilities- we would not have been the glorious inventors and technology friendly species we are if not for our language.
We humans are animals and the product of evolution. But now, we seem quite capable of moulding the environment to us, than moulding ourselves to the environment. (classical evolution)
Our evolution has been marked by a progressive increase in brain size, distinguishing us from other animals in several ways.
1. Humans are able to make and use tools effectively—a capability that, more than any other factor, has been responsible for our dominant position in the animal kingdom.
2. Although not the only animal capable of conceptual thought, we have refined and extended this ability until it has become the hallmark of our species.
3. We use symbolic language and can with words shape concepts out of experience. Our language capability has allowed the accumulation of experience, which can be transmitted from one generation to another.
Today, we have what no other animal has ever had: extensive cultural evolution. Through culture, we have found ways to change and mold our environment, rather than changing evolutionarily in response to the demands of the environment. We control our biological future in a way never before possible—an exciting potential and frightening responsibility.
We wanted this power. Somewhere along the evolutionary curve, as our brains developed, we wanted this power and made it a reality. Thoughts that emerged in a particular species, have become reality today.
Time to delve deeper!