20 February 2009

The Evolution of Language and The BBC

Quentin Cooper's Material World is one of the two popular science radio programs which don't drive me crazy with an overabundance of vacuous questions. This weeks show was particularly good; He had an interesting piece on the significance of historical climate data in modern climate modeling, but the best part was the last segment on the Evolution of Language. I have to say that I'm in love with linguistics, especially biolinguistics, as it solves so many interesting intellectual problems. Mark Pagel and Nick Chater were the guests on Material World and had quite interesting things to say about the coevolution of language biologically and sociologically: really, quite remarkable. I recommend a listen. They, Mark and Nick, casually mention another smart Linguist by the name of Steven Pinker, and if you haven't check him out on TED then you should watch him now. They of course talked about a hero of mine, Noam Chomsky: I say of course because he invented modern linguistics but he unfortunately doesn't do TED talks; you can, however, check him out on Google Video very easily as most of his talks are publicly posted.