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October 27, 2003

g by any other name?

General Symbol Machines: The First Stage in the Evolution of Symbolic Communication over at Human Nature. This is a long and wordy paper (the philosophical preliminaries and review seemed to be interminably gas-baggish) which scales back (or at least qualifies) the "modular" conception of human cognition advocated by Pinker & co to some extent. I don't know much about cognitive science, but the article reminded me of some of those speculative papers on molecular genetics that were both review & wacked hypothesis in an area of study that had little data on the ground and many sprouting theories. That being said-that's how science works. I hope the researchers are a bit more succinct next time....

Posted by razib at 02:06 AM