Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
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16-09-2012, 08:39 PM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
(15-09-2012 09:28 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Light.

I'm going to give you a friendly warning. You may do with it what you wish, but let it be known that I've warned you.

You have just wandered into a minefield and you don't yet realise it.

Welcome to the memetics controversy! There's doughnuts in the back and refills are free Drinking Beverage

The religious don't deny language evolution, scientists do.

What Dawkins is talking about is memetic evolution. Full disclosure, I'm a memeticist. Memetics is NOT universally accepted. Biologists, evolutionary biologists, geneticists, a potpourri of ists quite happily deny memetics.

Personally, I invite you to explore the world of memetics, Universal Darwinism, the replicator-centred view and gene-meme co-evolution. I think it's one of the most interesting and profound subjects there is to investigate. But be ready for controversy, brother. Lots of it.

In the end, religious people don't have to deny language evolution, because other scientists are doing it for them. Everything you just accused the religious of is, I imagine quite inadvertently, a condemnation of a large segment of the scientific community. Like I said, my friend, minefield.

If you have any questions about memetics or language evolution (the origins of language being a subject that is HIIIIIIIIIIIGHLY controversial) nothing would please me more than to be able to answer them for you. Straight up.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Lightninlives was pointing out an example from a scientist (Dawkins) who used the example of language evolution as an analogy. It's quite clear in the book that Dawkins accepts that language evolves, and do we. Who exactly are you claiming is a language-evolution-denying scientist?

If your claim isn't common knowledge, it should be cited. We'd love to see and hear this controversy that we haven't happened to stumble across -- not even on Dawkins' own website have I seen arguments over this idea in his book.

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16-09-2012, 08:58 PM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
(16-09-2012 03:48 PM)Thomas Wrote:  stop asking such silly questions and commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ. Big Grin

Let me get this straight:
you're telling us to worship the original genocidal killer and revere the inventor of sadism?
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16-09-2012, 09:03 PM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
(16-09-2012 08:58 PM)Janus Wrote:  
(16-09-2012 03:48 PM)Thomas Wrote:  stop asking such silly questions and commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ. Big Grin

Let me get this straight:
you're telling us to worship the original genocidal killer and revere the inventor of sadism?

*sarcasm*

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16-09-2012, 09:25 PM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
(15-09-2012 09:28 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Light.

I'm going to give you a friendly warning. You may do with it what you wish, but let it be known that I've warned you.

You have just wandered into a minefield and you don't yet realise it.

Welcome to the memetics controversy! There's doughnuts in the back and refills are free Drinking Beverage

The religious don't deny language evolution, scientists do.

What Dawkins is talking about is memetic evolution. Full disclosure, I'm a memeticist. Memetics is NOT universally accepted. Biologists, evolutionary biologists, geneticists, a potpourri of ists quite happily deny memetics.

Personally, I invite you to explore the world of memetics, Universal Darwinism, the replicator-centred view and gene-meme co-evolution. I think it's one of the most interesting and profound subjects there is to investigate. But be ready for controversy, brother. Lots of it.

In the end, religious people don't have to deny language evolution, because other scientists are doing it for them. Everything you just accused the religious of is, I imagine quite inadvertently, a condemnation of a large segment of the scientific community. Like I said, my friend, minefield.

If you have any questions about memetics or language evolution (the origins of language being a subject that is HIIIIIIIIIIIGHLY controversial) nothing would please me more than to be able to answer them for you. Straight up.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Sorry Matt, but you're just plain wrong. Dawkins is talking specifically about the evolution of language in humans, which is something that is well-documented and still occurs all of the time. Have you actually read the book or are you just making assumptions?

Moreover, I'm quite familiar with memetics (I work in marketing). It's a completely different topic. One that's quite interesting as you've noted.

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16-09-2012, 09:43 PM (This post was last modified: 16-09-2012 09:52 PM by Ghost.)
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
Hey, Chas.

Quote:Odd, I've never heard of any scientists denying language evolution. Do you mean denying memetics?

The two are inextricable. Especially when it comes to Dawkins.

Hey, Starcrash.

Quote:Lightninlives was pointing out an example from a scientist (Dawkins) who used the example of language evolution as an analogy. It's quite clear in the book that Dawkins accepts that language evolves, and do we.

As do you? Did you not see my explicit disclosure that I am in fact a memeticist? Have you not heard me a million times say that I'm a Darwinist? Of course Dawkins accepts that language evolves and of course I do too. How you could possibly think otherwise is beyond me.

Dawkins isn't merely drawing a nifty comparison, Dawkins INVENTED MEMETICS! He pioneered the replicator-centred view and was the first to suggest Universal Darwinism. Dawkins was discussing HIS OWN WORK!

Are you really suggesting that because A scientist, Dawkins, believes in cultural evolution that ALL scientists do? That's preposterous. I never said that ALL scientists deny language evolution, I said that MANY do.

I believe FIRMLY in Dawkins' work. What I have said here is that others do not. This is not a case that all scientists believe that language evolves, slam dunk, thank you, now let's talk about those idiot religious deniers. The religious have nothing to deny because there is NOT widespread agreement about memetics, language evolution or cultural evolution. The religious don't have anything to deny yet.

This is the minefield that Light walked into.

Quote:Who exactly are you claiming is a language-evolution-denying scientist?

I was actually pretty specific about it.

Quote:We'd love to see and hear this controversy that we haven't happened to stumble across -- not even on Dawkins' own website have I seen arguments over this idea in his book.

There's that "we" again. Don't I qualify?

The language evolution - biological evolution parallel that Dawkins is referring to in his book has to do with genes and memes. This is how DAWKINS understands the argument.

The controversy that you are not aware of is making a direct comparison between cultural evolution and biological evolution. That comparison is the comparison of genes and memes, the very thing that Dawkins pioneered and the very thing that people are denying.

For me to say that there is a swirling controversy around memetics and that many scientists deny the meme-gene comparison that Dawkins freely makes in the book Light referenced is leagues away from my saying that I agree with them. I FIRMLY believe in language evolution. I am a diehard champion of it. But I also know that it is not widely accepted and that there are many in the scientific community that deny that evolutionary processes are at work in the development of language. It is not as with genetics where the vast majority of scientists support the idea.

ON EDIT:

Hey, Light.

I read YOUR article. You made claims. I was telling you what you were walking into.

So explain how memetics is a completely different topic than making a direct comparison between cultural evolution and biological evolution, the same comparison that Dawkins has been making since 1976.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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17-09-2012, 04:55 AM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
(16-09-2012 09:43 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Starcrash.

Quote:Lightninlives was pointing out an example from a scientist (Dawkins) who used the example of language evolution as an analogy. It's quite clear in the book that Dawkins accepts that language evolves, and do we.

As do you? Did you not see my explicit disclosure that I am in fact a memeticist? Have you not heard me a million times say that I'm a Darwinist? Of course Dawkins accepts that language evolves and of course I do too. How you could possibly think otherwise is beyond me.

Dawkins isn't merely drawing a nifty comparison, Dawkins INVENTED MEMETICS! He pioneered the replicator-centred view and was the first to suggest Universal Darwinism. Dawkins was discussing HIS OWN WORK!

Are you really suggesting that because A scientist, Dawkins, believes in cultural evolution that ALL scientists do? That's preposterous. I never said that ALL scientists deny language evolution, I said that MANY do.

I believe FIRMLY in Dawkins' work. What I have said here is that others do not. This is not a case that all scientists believe that language evolves, slam dunk, thank you, now let's talk about those idiot religious deniers. The religious have nothing to deny because there is NOT widespread agreement about memetics, language evolution or cultural evolution. The religious don't have anything to deny yet.

This is the minefield that Light walked into.

Please don't attack a straw man. I didn't suggest that you personally disbelieve either evolution or language evolution, nor did I argue that "ALL" scientists do. I was asking you to give us examples of scientists that do. You claim again that "MANY" do, and you still haven't given us an example. I'm doubtful of this claim, and I want evidence.

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17-09-2012, 06:50 AM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
(16-09-2012 09:43 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Chas.

Quote:Odd, I've never heard of any scientists denying language evolution. Do you mean denying memetics?

The two are inextricable. Especially when it comes to Dawkins.

Hey, Starcrash.

Quote:Lightninlives was pointing out an example from a scientist (Dawkins) who used the example of language evolution as an analogy. It's quite clear in the book that Dawkins accepts that language evolves, and do we.

As do you? Did you not see my explicit disclosure that I am in fact a memeticist? Have you not heard me a million times say that I'm a Darwinist? Of course Dawkins accepts that language evolves and of course I do too. How you could possibly think otherwise is beyond me.

Dawkins isn't merely drawing a nifty comparison, Dawkins INVENTED MEMETICS! He pioneered the replicator-centred view and was the first to suggest Universal Darwinism. Dawkins was discussing HIS OWN WORK!

Are you really suggesting that because A scientist, Dawkins, believes in cultural evolution that ALL scientists do? That's preposterous. I never said that ALL scientists deny language evolution, I said that MANY do.

I believe FIRMLY in Dawkins' work. What I have said here is that others do not. This is not a case that all scientists believe that language evolves, slam dunk, thank you, now let's talk about those idiot religious deniers. The religious have nothing to deny because there is NOT widespread agreement about memetics, language evolution or cultural evolution. The religious don't have anything to deny yet.

This is the minefield that Light walked into.

Quote:Who exactly are you claiming is a language-evolution-denying scientist?

I was actually pretty specific about it.

Quote:We'd love to see and hear this controversy that we haven't happened to stumble across -- not even on Dawkins' own website have I seen arguments over this idea in his book.

There's that "we" again. Don't I qualify?

The language evolution - biological evolution parallel that Dawkins is referring to in his book has to do with genes and memes. This is how DAWKINS understands the argument.

The controversy that you are not aware of is making a direct comparison between cultural evolution and biological evolution. That comparison is the comparison of genes and memes, the very thing that Dawkins pioneered and the very thing that people are denying.

For me to say that there is a swirling controversy around memetics and that many scientists deny the meme-gene comparison that Dawkins freely makes in the book Light referenced is leagues away from my saying that I agree with them. I FIRMLY believe in language evolution. I am a diehard champion of it. But I also know that it is not widely accepted and that there are many in the scientific community that deny that evolutionary processes are at work in the development of language. It is not as with genetics where the vast majority of scientists support the idea.

ON EDIT:

Hey, Light.

I read YOUR article. You made claims. I was telling you what you were walking into.

So explain how memetics is a completely different topic than making a direct comparison between cultural evolution and biological evolution, the same comparison that Dawkins has been making since 1976.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I'll ask you again, Matt, did or did you not read the book - and passages - that I referenced in my post? If not, then I suggest that you actually read that before jumping to misled conclusions.

As for your questions, it's quite simple. Memetics deals with any and all memes - from Rick-Rolling to Gangnam Style. Dawkins' passage dealt with some very specific, which is evolution of languages in Europe - with a special emphasis on the English language. This particular evolution - which is well-documented and continues now - is what I used as the basis for my parallel with biological evolution.

And while you may be dead set on somehow connecting this very specific thing with a much broader thing (likely because you do this much broader thing for a living and want to flex your expertise muscles for all of us to see) I'm not interested in the least.

Not because I don't dig memetics, but because that's not what the post or Dawkins' passage is about.

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17-09-2012, 07:11 AM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
https://www.google.com/webhp?source=sear...67&bih=456

I mean, duh. Tongue

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17-09-2012, 07:53 AM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
Hey, Starcrash.

OK. For some reason when people say that "religious people" deny evolution, every one accepts it. But when I say scientists deny something, everyone wants names. Fine:
-Stephen Pinker
-Luis Benitez-Bribiesca
-Deacon and Kull
-Fracchia and Lewontin
-Paul Ehrlich
-Michael Ruse
-Bruce Edmonds
-Adam Kuper
-Tim Lewens

There may actually be one of two philosophers in there but I was going for the shotgun blast to show that criticism of the theory is widespread. Then there's the specific arguments.

There's the controversy of direct comparison.
There's the Lamarckian-Weismannian inheritance controversy.
There's the copying fidelity controversy.
There's the controversy over what the physical structure of the meme is.
There's the semiotics controversy.

And those really are just off the top of my head.

The biggest criticism of memetics is comparing cultural evolution directly to biological evolution. The origin of that comparison is almost entirely attributable to Dawkins and that is exactly what Dawkins is doing when he compares language evolution to biological evolution.

I get this bizarro world feeling like people think I'm against him doing that. I'm not. Not at all. I'm actually more rabid about making that comparison than most. I'm just stating a fact; there is a ton of controversy. Light made comments on that comparison and in doing so strolled, quite inadvertently, right into a minefield. It's not a bad thing that he did so, I'm just trying to point them out so he doesn't step on them, and for some strange reason, I'm being criticised for doing so.

Hey, Light.

No. I haven't read the book. I don't have to have read the book to make comments about what you said. I read your post.

What misled conclusions do you think I'm making? I'm saying something very simple. There's controversy and you done just walked into the middle of it. How is that a misled conclusion?

Rick rolling and Gangam style are examples of Internet memes and viral videos. Yes. Memetics all. But memetics goes way deeper than that. And again, one of the core ideas of memetics is Universal Darwinism, the notion that the mechanics of the evolutionary process that Darwin laid out don't just apply to genetics, but to any replicator anywhere in the universe, the meme being one such replicator. It makes a direct comparison between biological evolutionary processes and cultural evolutionary processes and that comparison has generated a significant amount of controversy.

I am NOT saying that you should not investigate that parallel or not comment on it. I'm saying that your comments placed you right in the middle of a minefield. You said you want to take the ideas for a spin. I salute you. Giv er! I'm just telling you that there are a number of hairpin turns that you have to be careful of especially if you're going to make direct comparisons between language evolution and biological evolution. If you prefer, you can march blindly into the fray, I respect your freedom. Just don't be shocked when some evolutionary biologist tells you that you're full of shit.

Specifically you made comments about why they aren't vocal about denying language evolution, you made comments about the teaching or lack thereof of language evolution, you commented about the counterintuitive nature of language evolution because it occurs over a shorter time span, you talked about the evolution of the English language being a slam dunk example, you spoke of the development of dialects (which, BTW, is a great example of memetic drift), you spoke about Latin and the Romance languages (good example of cladistics), and finally you said:
Quote:As for me, I’ve decided to take this new parallel between language and biology for a spin. I’ll use it as a new approach to illustrating the beauty and reality that is natural selection. It probably won’t work on most believers (especially the older ones) but hopefully it will be another solid weapon in the mind-opening arsenal.

I have ZERO problem with you talking about these things. I think it's great. But if you are going to take it for a spin and use it as an approach to illustrating the beauty and reality that is natural selection, I suggest you do it from a place of authority. To that end, I was trying to tell you that there are certain things you need to be mindful of so you don't inadvertently blow your own leg off. And when you say it probably won't work on certain people, I felt the need to point out that it won't work on many scientists either so beware!

So next time, if you're not interested in what people have to say about what you wrote, don't post what you wrote and ask for opinions. We've been down this road before you and I.
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17-09-2012, 09:13 AM
Talking past each other?
No educated person denies the evolution of language.

There is a great deal of controversy about memetics being the model/mechanism for the evolution of language, or anything else.

Are you all trying to misunderstand each other?

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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