RSB-interviewee Chris Knight, (University of East London anthropologist) spoke to scholars at the Cradle of Language conference underway in Stellenbosch, South Africa recently (via Babel's Dawn):

A hundred thousand years ago (± thirty thousand years) human primate society was replaced by a human speaking community, shifting priorities from Darwinian issues to those of a symbolic culture ... The human speaking community is radically different [from primate society], according to Knight. Members who are in need of assistance can expect it. Parents routinely feed and educate their children in the ways of the family and community. Infirm elderly typically receive some support from their children. Dominance is not won but granted by the community, typically based on what they contribute to the group. Often this contribution comes in the form of wisdom, verbal co-operation that benefits the community. The transition from primate gestures and vocalizations to speech was not driven by a new brain as it was by the evolution of new strategies for cooperation.

Readers Comments

Leave a Comment

If you have not posted a comment on RSB before, it will need to be approved by the Managing Editor. Once you have an approved comment, you are safe to post further comments. We have also introduced a captcha code to prevent spam.




Enter the code shown here:   [captcha]

Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above image, reload the page to generate a new one.