We live in a techno-immersed, materially oriented society that seems somewhat bewildered by where rational, empirical science might be taking us. This may be why the mystical, escapist explanations of a galactic endpoint, replete with precise mathematical, historical, and cosmic underpinnings (masquerading as science), have such wide appeal. In an age of anxiety we reach [...]
An estimated 7,000 languages are being spoken around the world. But that number is expected to shrink rapidly in the coming decades. What is lost when a language dies?
Aside: Mouri? Nice fact-checking there BBC.
Rasmus Nielsen in today’s issue of Evolution discusses what’s happened to the concept of adaptationism in the 30 years since Gould and Lewontin published one of the most infamous critiques in evolutionary biology:
In 1979, Stephen Jay Gould and Richard C. Lewontin (Gould and Lewontin 1979), published their highly influential paper on adaptionism [...]
The kiwi “fush and chups” came seven places ahead of Australia’s “sex and Seedney” – and nine ahead of the American accent in terms of attractiveness.
Scottish and Irish accents topped [...]
Out in the latest issue of Trends in Cognitive Sciences is a paper entitled “Building social cognitive models of language change” (preprint) by Daniel Hruschka and colleagues:
Studies of language change have begun to contribute to answering several pressing questions in cognitive sciences, including the origins of human language capacity, the social construction [...]
A still more glorious dawn awaits.. not a sunrise.. but a galaxy rise…
There is a strong consensus that modern humans originated in Africa and moved out to colonize the world approximately 50 000 years ago. During the process of expansion, variability was lost, creating a linear gradient of decreasing diversity with [...]