Thursday, June 4, 2009

Some Links

The Exploratorium (in San Francisco) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have a nice site up called "Exploratiorium Evidence: How Do We Know What We Know?"

"Science is an active process of observation and investigation. Evidence: How Do We Know What We Know? examines that process, revealing the ways in which ideas and information become knowledge and understanding.
In this case study in human origins, we explore how scientific evidence is being used to shape our current understanding of ourselves: What makes us human—and how did we get this way?"
Hat-tip: Afarensis

Sandy G of The Mouse Trap also has a nice post up called "What is it like to be a zombie?"

Also, Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science reports on research which found that Chimps use Swiss army toolkit to rob beehives
I find the possible implications of the fact that chimpanzees use several multi-functional tools for honey-extraction quite fascinating.
As I've written before (see also this post), linguists like Dieter Wunderlich argue that the ability to change an existing structure and then further work on the qualitatively changed output in a hierarchical, recursive, and compositional manner - as for example exemplified by crafting hand axes - is a precursor to or even the same process athis the compositionality found in language. If chimpanzees are able ts io work with and modify tooln a compositional manner this would provide another insight into the possible cognitive platform from which language evolved.

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