Re: Origins of human thought - needinfo

H. M. Hubey (
13 Oct 1995 00:18:42 -0400

I've been thinking about this well-thought out post for a couple
of days. There are a couple of comments I'd like to make. I've
only included the parts which I'd like to comment on.

Philip Deitiker <> writes:

>frequently results in language loss. To the degree that skulls have been
>found these skulls predict the infrastructure has been present for much

Is this word very appropriate. First off, the brain seems to be
reasonably plastic. Late trauma naturally destroys memory but
early damage can be compensated so the areas of the brain seem
to be interchangeable. It seems to me that the outer shape
of the brain is probably determined more by the container shape
(i.e. skull) than anything else. I might have overdone my case,
but it doesn't seem as important to look at brain shapes as it
is to consider shapes/forms of bones. Even bones can be bent.

And yes, I realize that you posted about the redundancy later.

>some of these pathways is at issue. Apriori I would use the 150-250 kY
>date, but the language experts that I know are dubious.

I think guesses of language go back as far as 2 million years.
It depends on what we mean by language. It didn't have to have
exactly the form it has now.

> I would support older date because it seems likely that brain size and
>these important pathways evolved simulataneously with the evolution of
>langauge, because of the mitochondrial and y chomosome dates and the

AGreed here. I think Deacon (see Evolution of Language, edited by
Hawkins and Gell-man from Santa Fe Institute) also says more or
less the same thing.


Regards, Mark