Showing posts with the label Mark Pagel

Modern Language and Caveman Language Share Similarities

Many of us believe the caveman was so very different from ourselves. Certainly their societies were simpler and their language matched that simplicity. However, the very beginning of our modern language is based in the impressions and experiences of the past.   Some words have made it into the modern world suggesting that even though we have more complex lives our history cannot be detached from those that came before us. Professor Pagel from the University of Reading has recently published in the PNAS journal some interesting findings as to where our modern language started.  It may be surprising to learn but languages come from root associations based in our understandings and impressions of the world. The images in our heads are represented by words that we use to share those images with other people. At the root of our language are 23 words that existed 15,000 years ago in much the same way as they do today.  According to Discovery the 23 words are as follows (201

Book Review: Wired for Culture by Mark Pagel

Wired for Culture by Mark Pagel moves deeply into the undiscovered nature of human biology and how this influences societal development. Rooted in our biology is the deep desire for all human beings to work within social groups. This biology manifests itself into altruistic actions that further the survival needs of that group. Without the use of social mirroring and individuals showing their societal worth through altruistic actions society would eventually dissipate into chaos.  To him culture is a domestication tool that helps individuals find a place that furthers their self-attainment and the overall development of society. Through this specialization of effort the entire economic chain is developed that contributes to each other by providing specific products and services that benefits the group of most. This benefit comes to individuals in the form of wages and financial security. It keeps the chain bound together. Religion is seen as a cultural enhancer that help