Whenever I read a science book I inevitably stumble across tidbits of information that are entirely new or fascinating to me. They may not be important to the authors general thesis, but they get my mind wandering nonetheless.Examples....Ch. 4 Pg. 62
Pinker here talks about how small children seem to be born with an inherent ability to differentiate between a persons actions and their intentions. I want to go find a toddler and experiment right now with this.
He says if an adult does something and indicates the action was a mistake by a "whoops" the baby will not try to imitate the action. But if the adult does an action and indicates that they intended the action, the baby will indeed imitate. How the hell do they know what "whoops"
means? Just the sound or tone must be a universal element of language, and humans must be born with an inherent ability to decipher a persons intentions from the sounds they utter.
Here is something I find interesting. Have you ever tried to point at something to show a small child where it is located? From my recollection they understand finger pointing very early in life - long before they can talk.
Try that with a dog. I have yet to see a dog figure out what the hell you are doing when you point at something off in the distance. Maybe you are trying to draw their attention to a ball or toy across the room. Finger pointing just doesn't work. The only hope of getting a dog to look in the direction of your finger is to trick them by pretending to throw something in that direction. Point slowly and they will stare at your hand, sniff it, and wag their tail. Point really fast and they'll think you just threw something, turn towards the place you were aiming, and see the target object.
Chris "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."