The Language Instinct - Chapter 11: The Big Bang Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 11: The Big Bang

This chapter begins with discussing the various skills possessed by elephants and the evolution of its trunk. This leads into Darwin's theory of evolution.

"As we shall see in this chapter, Chomsky and some of his fiercest opponents agree on one thing: that a uniquely human language instinct seems to be incompatible with the modern Darwinian theory of evolution, in which complex biological systems arise by the gradual accumulation over generations of random genetic mutations that enhance reproductive success." Chap. 11, p. 333

Therefore, if there is no language instinct, then language must have evolved by other means. Pinker says that the reader does not have to choose between him and Darwin.

Pinker goes into great detail to explain the differences between nonhuman and human communication systems, referring to various species including highly intelligent chimpanzees.

Chomsky raised...

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