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Ch. 4 - How to make us human 
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Post Ch. 4 - How to make us human
Ch. 4 - How to make us human



Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:53 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 4 - How to make us human
In the beginning of Ch. 4, the authors say, "A child abandoned alone on a desert island...would not develop into a human person: a human mind cannot develop in isolation."

It would be interesting to read about the evidence on this -- I'm sure there are some documented cases that are at least close to isolation. Sort of a morbid curiosity.



Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:58 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 4 - How to make us human
Dexter wrote:
In the beginning of Ch. 4, the authors say, "A child abandoned alone on a desert island...would not develop into a human person: a human mind cannot develop in isolation."

It would be interesting to read about the evidence on this -- I'm sure there are some documented cases that are at least close to isolation. Sort of a morbid curiosity.


"The Social Construction of Reality" hypothesizes this.

It was a slow but interesting read.


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Post Re: Ch. 4 - How to make us human
Dexter wrote:
In the beginning of Ch. 4, the authors say, "A child abandoned alone on a desert island...would not develop into a human person: a human mind cannot develop in isolation."

It would be interesting to read about the evidence on this -- I'm sure there are some documented cases that are at least close to isolation. Sort of a morbid curiosity.


Jared Diamond has theorized that two evolutionary developments allowed the modern human to outcompete other species of early hominids: longevity (so we could pass down more information to our young) and the ability to pronounce complex phonetics that would lead to the cultural development of language. Our very concept of reality is based on language. We use categories to define the parameters of our existence and categories are expressed linguistically as words. In this sense, language is reality. Without language we could not comprehend abstract ideas. We would be as primitive as our simian cousins.

There's the very interesting story of the Wild Boy of Aveyron, although this is obviously not evidence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_of_Aveyron


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Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:27 am
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Post Re: Ch. 4 - How to make us human
This is a very interesting subject. The name given to children who have not had any human contact from a very young age is feral children. Apparently, there have been over one hundred reported cases.
At the site below you will find a brief description of 10 interesting cases.

listverse.com/2008/03/07/10-modern-cases-of-feral-children/

After reading these accounts of young children being raised totally or partially by animals, it's easy enough to see how closely related we are to other species. Without that added layer of culture passed on to us from our parents and society, the behavioral gap narrows considerably.



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Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:02 am
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Post Re: Ch. 4 - How to make us human
I started to watch this documentary of "Genie," who was isolated for most of her childhood




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Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:54 am
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Post Re: Ch. 4 - How to make us human
Great vid, Dexter. I was able to see the first 2 parts. Extremely fascinating


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Post Re: Ch. 4 - How to make us human
There's an interesting story of a chimp adopted by a human family to prove or disprove the chimp's language capability. Linguist Noam Chomsky had said that chimpanzees are fundamentally incapable of language and with this rather unorthodox and unscientific study seems to have proven him right.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nim_Chimpsky

Humans are not only wired for language, we are much more capable of empathy. And we are much more prone to mimicry than chimps which is we so readily absorb whatever language and other customs from our culture.


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Post Re: Ch. 4 - How to make us human
Again very sorry for my enforced absence, Net and electric been very poor, Was quite shocked by his statement in this chapter that 'it is clearly no coincidence that nine months is frequently the point at which parents start commenting on how their baby is developing a personallity' He quotes no sources for this, and personally I believe babies have personalities of their own at the time of birth. My daughter who recently had twins says she knew which was the calm one and which the restless one even before they were born,


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Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:51 am
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Post Re: Ch. 4 - How to make us human
I agree with you that babies will show aspects of their personality from the first few days after birth (if not sooner as you suggest). A friend of mine had twins four months ago and even though I have only seen them on video clips so far, it is clear that each has a distinct personality and that that personality is different from the other.
Although the authors use the word ‘personality’ in that sentence, I think they may be referring to a higher level of human connection. This sentence in the same paragraph is talking about something more than personality: “What parents are picking up on here is their infant’s increased responsiveness to them and its ability to connect with them through shared attention”.

Most of my knowledge of early childhood development begins from the development of language in the child, so I had a few gaps filled with their descriptions of ‘the nine month revolution’, ‘joint attention, and ‘shared joint attention’.



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Post Re: Ch. 4 - How to make us human
Dexter - the video looked fascinating but much too long for me to watch via the site. Do you think you could just post the youtube address and then I can download it quickly through the downloader?


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Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:06 am
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Post Re: Ch. 4 - How to make us human
heledd wrote:
Dexter - the video looked fascinating but much too long for me to watch via the site. Do you think you could just post the youtube address and then I can download it quickly through the downloader?


You should be able to click on the title of the video to take you to YouTube, here's the link for part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEnkY2iaKis



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Post Re: Ch. 4 - How to make us human
I agree with the author that babies 'actually know quite a bit about the world as soon as they arrived in it'... I was also reading ages ago about the differences in the brains of new born males and females, with girls being more observant of faces, while boys tended to concentrate more on mechanical objects. I can't remember the name of the book, but there is a similar article on
http://www.squidoo.com/malefemalebrain


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