But what makes language interesting and useful is that it involves words as
symbols, that is meanings that are conventional as opposed to bilogically given
Does it make sense to suppose that symbolization evolved as a genetic change or
mutation? That seems unlikely to me.It is far more likely that symbols were
socially invented at some stage, so that the difference betweeen symbols would
suddeny make sense to a whole group. Presumably that required certain preceding
biological capacities, and also, once symbols were invented, their use might
have led to further biological changes. But it doesn't follow from that that it
makes sense to regard language as a genetic endowment. To use the term
phenotype to describe language, as if it were just like hair color or leg
length seems uncalled for and tendentious in the extreme.
"Josť F. Morales" wrote:
> Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear. This goes back to the discussion of a
> "progressive" view of biology's role in behavior. More specifically,
> how do we incorporate this emerging information (ie. Foxp2) into this
> viewpoint? As time passes, language is going to be an example of
> another complex phenotype...one that arises from multiple genes and
> multiple non-genic factors. There will be a genetic 'component' of
> the basis of language, how do we handle this.
> I had remembered seeing a report about this and I wanted to post this
> in response to what you had written Stuart. I thought that they are
> certainly zeroing in on language as another complex phenotype.