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Hi Susan

Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

You are right to engage your sceptical antennae, as should we all -- although the engagement of my own antennae are the reason it has taken me so long to finally publish this book! You ask if I have good support from language experts, and the answer is no -- or at least not yet. But to the extent that they mostly still buy into the Chomsky paradigm, one could hardly expect them to. My description of language as being essentially digital does however have the support of a number of linguistic scholars who describe it in those terms, even if they do not identify that as being the key factor in its emergence in our species. You might be interested in this review of my book which touches on that point: [medium.com]

On the meaning of 'digital' in this context, think of writing. According to some estimates, there are more than one million words in English, and yet they can all be written using just 26 letters -- and in fact, the computer code that is transmitting my words to you reduces that still further to just two 'letters': 0 and 1. In the same way, all the words of English can be spoken using combinations of 44 unit sounds -- the phonemes of English. We still use some 'analog' sounds which have a meaning as noises when we talk, like 'pssst' and 'tsk' (the difficulty of spelling them gives them away) but for the most part the 'digits' (letters or phonemes) of language have no meaning in themselves, only in combination as units.

As to my 'atheist' views, I think I would prefer to describe myself more as 'non-religious' or agnostic -- if only in the sense that we can never be sure that there is no ultimate animating force behind everything we are part of, something that we might call 'God'. If you want to know more about my views on this topic, I discuss the issue in some detail in Chapter 3 of my book, which is all about language and religion.

Hope that helps,

Simon



Susan Doris Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Simon Prentis
>
> As usual at the start of a new AoM, I have
> listened to* the whole of your interesting
> introductory article. Having just finished
> reading 'Origins: how the Earth made us' by Lewis
> Dartnell, I was particularly interested in what
> you were going to say. My sceptical antennae were
> paying attention and my first thought is that they
> were somewhat justified! But I wonderif you have
> already had good support from all kinds of
> language experts or not.
>
> I particularly liked your what sound to me like
> very much atheist views and hope you will comment
> further on this.
>
> I look forward to the month's comments and
> discussions.
>
> *I use assistive software, Dolphin SuperNova.
>
> Susan
> Edited to add: Could you please explain briefly -
> and very simply!! - what you mean when you use the
> word 'digital' when referring to letters and
> words?

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 1353 Graham Hancock 07-Sep-21 11:10
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 152 greengirl5 07-Sep-21 21:53
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 141 greengirl5 07-Sep-21 22:59
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 160 Simon Prentis 08-Sep-21 11:49
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 114 Glass Jigsaw 10-Sep-21 21:13
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 105 Simon Prentis 11-Sep-21 21:51
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 116 Simon Prentis 08-Sep-21 11:42
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 152 cjcalleman 07-Sep-21 22:47
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 163 Simon Prentis 08-Sep-21 12:13
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 192 Susan Doris 08-Sep-21 00:58
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 126 Simon Prentis 08-Sep-21 13:37
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 164 Susan Doris 08-Sep-21 17:59
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 99 Simon Prentis 08-Sep-21 20:37
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 87 Susan Doris 09-Sep-21 05:13
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 149 cjcalleman 08-Sep-21 16:48
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 129 Simon Prentis 08-Sep-21 21:03
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 123 cjcalleman 09-Sep-21 00:15
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 132 Simon Prentis 09-Sep-21 00:48
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 175 greengirl5 09-Sep-21 04:53
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 89 Simon Prentis 09-Sep-21 18:26
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 88 cjcalleman 09-Sep-21 16:09
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 101 Simon Prentis 09-Sep-21 20:45
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 98 cjcalleman 10-Sep-21 17:22
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 134 Simon Prentis 10-Sep-21 20:34
Chemicals reacting 117 greengirl5 10-Sep-21 22:47
Re: Chemicals reacting 120 Eddie Larry 11-Sep-21 13:32
Re: Chemicals reacting 110 greengirl5 11-Sep-21 21:31
Re: Chemicals reacting 122 Simon Prentis 12-Sep-21 01:25
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 104 Susan Doris 11-Sep-21 05:59
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 89 Susan Doris 11-Sep-21 05:51
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 96 Simon Prentis 12-Sep-21 10:08
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 100 Susan Doris 13-Sep-21 05:07
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 128 Edmond 09-Sep-21 10:39
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 160 Eddie Larry 09-Sep-21 12:57
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 116 Simon Prentis 09-Sep-21 18:09
One original language 117 greengirl5 09-Sep-21 21:32
Re: One original language 127 Simon Prentis 09-Sep-21 23:56
Re: One original language - I just finished your book! 106 greengirl5 10-Sep-21 01:56
Re: One original language - I just finished your book! 95 Simon Prentis 10-Sep-21 17:47
Re: One original language - I just finished your book! 162 greengirl5 10-Sep-21 22:15
Re: One original language 99 cjcalleman 12-Sep-21 19:52
Re: One original language 113 Simon Prentis 13-Sep-21 01:13
Re: One original language 95 cjcalleman 13-Sep-21 17:10
Re: One original language 110 Simon Prentis 13-Sep-21 21:33
Re: One original language 88 Susan Doris 14-Sep-21 10:06
Re: One original language 110 greengirl5 14-Sep-21 13:01
Re: One original language 91 Susan Doris 14-Sep-21 13:09
Re: One original language 102 cjcalleman 14-Sep-21 15:31
Re: One original language 86 Simon Prentis 14-Sep-21 18:01
Clever animals, clever us! 92 greengirl5 14-Sep-21 22:33
Re: One original language 112 cjcalleman 15-Sep-21 17:57
Re: One original language 93 Susan Doris 16-Sep-21 05:23
Re: One original language 84 Eddie Larry 16-Sep-21 15:27
Re: One original language 140 Susan Doris 16-Sep-21 16:27
Re: One original language 92 cjcalleman 16-Sep-21 17:32
Re: One original language 98 Susan Doris 17-Sep-21 05:22
The tortoise and the hare 141 Eddie Larry 17-Sep-21 16:28
Re: The tortoise and the hare 83 cjcalleman 18-Sep-21 17:02
Re: The tortoise and the hare 73 Eddie Larry 18-Sep-21 18:03
Re: The tortoise and the hare 131 cjcalleman 18-Sep-21 19:42
Re: The tortoise and the hare 96 Susan Doris 19-Sep-21 04:37
Re: The tortoise and the hare 127 Sirius7237 19-Sep-21 05:10
Re: The tortoise and the hare 120 Susan Doris 19-Sep-21 08:36
Re: The tortoise and the hare 94 Sirius7237 19-Sep-21 14:18
Re: The tortoise and the hare 125 cjcalleman 19-Sep-21 19:05
Re: The tortoise and the hare 123 Sirius7237 19-Sep-21 22:52
Re: The tortoise and the hare 141 Glass Jigsaw 20-Sep-21 03:18
Re: The tortoise and the hare 83 Susan Doris 20-Sep-21 05:17
Respect for Simon 116 drrayeye 20-Sep-21 07:17
Re: Respect for Simon 118 Susan Doris 20-Sep-21 08:36
Re: Respect for Simon 120 Sirius7237 20-Sep-21 18:24
You just gish galloped again 97 drrayeye 20-Sep-21 18:28
Re: Just one example, Ray???????? 175 Sirius7237 20-Sep-21 18:37
Re: Still waiting, Ray???????? 112 Sirius7237 20-Sep-21 18:52
Re: Ray???????? 119 Sirius7237 20-Sep-21 18:52
Re: Still waiting, Ray???????? 108 Glass Jigsaw 21-Sep-21 23:04
Re: Still waiting, Ray???????? 143 Sirius7237 22-Sep-21 00:30
Re: Still waiting, Ray???????? 103 Susan Doris 22-Sep-21 05:01
Re: Just one example, Ray???????? 87 Susan Doris 21-Sep-21 05:44
Re: Just one example, Ray???????? 85 Sirius7237 21-Sep-21 16:04
Re: Just one example, Ray???????? 79 Susan Doris 21-Sep-21 16:38
Re: Just one example, Ray???????? 75 Aine 27-Sep-21 00:37
Re: Just one example, Ray???????? 72 Susan Doris 27-Sep-21 05:25
Re: Just one example, Ray???????? 72 Eddie Larry 27-Sep-21 18:27
Re: Just one example, Ray???????? 76 Aine 27-Sep-21 21:04
Re: Just one example, Ray???????? 72 Eddie Larry 28-Sep-21 02:34
Re: Just one example, Ray???????? 80 Sirius7237 28-Sep-21 03:24
Re: Just one example, Ray???????? 71 Aine 28-Sep-21 16:20
Re: Respect for Simon 92 Susan Doris 21-Sep-21 05:41
Re: The tortoise and the hare 136 Sirius7237 20-Sep-21 18:17
Re: The tortoise and the hare 76 Susan Doris 21-Sep-21 05:55
Re: The tortoise and the hare 102 Susan Doris 20-Sep-21 05:36
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 111 Edmond 20-Sep-21 12:18
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 126 Simon Prentis 20-Sep-21 14:03
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 99 cjcalleman 20-Sep-21 17:40
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 112 Simon Prentis 20-Sep-21 21:32
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 76 Susan Doris 21-Sep-21 07:24
Origin of language 116 Simon Prentis 22-Sep-21 01:08
Re: Origin of language 77 Susan Doris 22-Sep-21 05:11
Re: Origin of language 80 Simon Prentis 22-Sep-21 12:35
Re: Origin of language 74 Susan Doris 22-Sep-21 13:02
Re: Origin of language 67 Aine 27-Sep-21 00:19
Re: Origin of language 65 Susan Doris 27-Sep-21 05:36
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 67 Aine 27-Sep-21 01:04
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 70 Susan Doris 27-Sep-21 05:58
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 60 Aine 27-Sep-21 15:59
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 74 Susan Doris 27-Sep-21 18:01
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 67 Aine 27-Sep-21 21:09
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 77 cjcalleman 28-Sep-21 18:09
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 76 cjcalleman 21-Sep-21 18:37
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 121 drrayeye 21-Sep-21 23:42
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 76 cjcalleman 22-Sep-21 15:02
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 100 Simon Prentis 22-Sep-21 17:39
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 70 Susan Doris 23-Sep-21 05:49
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 92 Simon Prentis 23-Sep-21 11:43
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 117 cjcalleman 24-Sep-21 15:46
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 105 Simon Prentis 24-Sep-21 22:02
The structure of scientific revolutions 113 drrayeye 25-Sep-21 02:21
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 82 Edmond 25-Sep-21 09:51
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 85 Simon Prentis 25-Sep-21 11:44
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 108 Susan Doris 25-Sep-21 15:45
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 77 Edmond 27-Sep-21 07:24
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 72 Susan Doris 27-Sep-21 10:37
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 64 drrayeye 27-Sep-21 16:07
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 68 Susan Doris 27-Sep-21 18:04
Gives Simon perspective on alternative POV's 70 drrayeye 27-Sep-21 18:58
Re: Gives Simon perspective on alternative POV's 105 Susan Doris 28-Sep-21 05:09
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 68 Eddie Larry 27-Sep-21 16:34
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 70 Aine 27-Sep-21 17:31
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 62 Eddie Larry 27-Sep-21 17:54
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 62 Aine 27-Sep-21 21:14
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 67 Edmond 28-Sep-21 08:51
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions Catch 33 71 Eddie Larry 28-Sep-21 23:47
Jung 71 drrayeye 29-Sep-21 19:56
Re: Jung 68 Eddie Larry 29-Sep-21 23:02
archertypes 71 drrayeye 28-Sep-21 23:24
Re: archertypes 81 Susan Doris 29-Sep-21 05:30
Simon's book 64 drrayeye 29-Sep-21 19:44
Re: Simon's book 60 Susan Doris 30-Sep-21 05:34
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions 75 Simon Prentis 25-Sep-21 09:56
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions 81 drrayeye 25-Sep-21 18:18
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions 102 Sirius7237 25-Sep-21 18:27
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions 88 drrayeye 25-Sep-21 18:41
Re: Show one example of me gish galloping, ray - one example??. 86 Sirius7237 25-Sep-21 23:34
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions 125 Susan Doris 26-Sep-21 04:34
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions 139 Simon Prentis 25-Sep-21 18:57
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions 85 drrayeye 26-Sep-21 14:26
Re: The structure of scientific revolutions 66 Aine 26-Sep-21 23:50
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 100 Susan Doris 25-Sep-21 05:10
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 109 Susan Doris 22-Sep-21 05:21
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 75 Sirius7237 21-Sep-21 15:48
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 101 Sirius7237 20-Sep-21 18:33
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 116 Simon Prentis 20-Sep-21 21:49
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 74 Eddie Larry 20-Sep-21 23:16
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 73 Simon Prentis 20-Sep-21 23:45
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 72 Sirius7237 21-Sep-21 00:06
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 99 Simon Prentis 21-Sep-21 01:05
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 75 Susan Doris 21-Sep-21 05:40
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 86 Sirius7237 21-Sep-21 15:40
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 95 Susan Doris 20-Sep-21 14:19
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 78 Sirius7237 20-Sep-21 19:08
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 123 Eddie Larry 20-Sep-21 20:10
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 123 Sirius7237 20-Sep-21 21:04
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 119 Eddie Larry 20-Sep-21 21:24
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 114 Sirius7237 21-Sep-21 00:18
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 116 Eddie Larry 21-Sep-21 19:02
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 99 Eddie Larry 20-Sep-21 15:49
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 91 Edmond 21-Sep-21 07:39
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 89 Simon Prentis 21-Sep-21 10:36
some perspective 91 drrayeye 21-Sep-21 17:42
Is it just me... 122 Simon Prentis 22-Sep-21 00:44
Re: Is it just me... 88 Sirius7237 22-Sep-21 00:56
Re: Is it just me... 124 Simon Prentis 22-Sep-21 01:38
Re: Is it just me... 117 Sirius7237 22-Sep-21 04:04
Re: Is it just me... 126 Simon Prentis 22-Sep-21 11:44
Re: Is it just me... 75 Sirius7237 22-Sep-21 22:39
Re: Is it just me... 110 Simon Prentis 23-Sep-21 14:01
Re: Is it just me... 76 Susan Doris 23-Sep-21 15:05
Re: Is it just me... 92 Susan Doris 22-Sep-21 06:09
Terrific! 74 drrayeye 22-Sep-21 01:36
Re: Is it just me... 88 Susan Doris 22-Sep-21 06:00
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 98 Edmond 22-Sep-21 09:09
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 128 Susan Doris 22-Sep-21 13:21
Re: The tortoise and the hare, evolutionary paradigm problems 104 Eddie Larry 21-Sep-21 17:47
Re: The tortoise and the hare 81 Aine 27-Sep-21 01:16
Re: The tortoise and the hare 75 Sirius7237 28-Sep-21 03:21
Re: The tortoise and the hare 67 Aine 28-Sep-21 16:23
Re: The tortoise and the hare with oxygen 83 Edmond 28-Sep-21 08:59
Re: The tortoise and the hare with oxygen 60 Sirius7237 29-Sep-21 02:31
Re: The tortoise and the hare with oxygen and time 101 Edmond 30-Sep-21 08:36
Re: The tortoise and the snowshoe hare 128 Sirius7237 01-Oct-21 18:10
Re: The tortoise and the hare 71 cjcalleman 28-Sep-21 18:01
Re: The tortoise and the hare 80 Susan Doris 19-Sep-21 04:50
Re: One original language 84 Susan Doris 14-Sep-21 10:16
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 135 drrayeye 09-Sep-21 19:22
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 104 Simon Prentis 09-Sep-21 21:08
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Do Re Mi 135 Edmond 10-Sep-21 09:37
Re: Do Re Mi 106 Simon Prentis 10-Sep-21 14:09
Re: Do Re Mi 111 Susan Doris 10-Sep-21 15:38
Re: Do Re Mi 103 Simon Prentis 10-Sep-21 18:08
Re: Do Re Mi 79 greengirl5 10-Sep-21 23:07
Re: Do Re Mi 92 Susan Doris 11-Sep-21 07:03
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 100 Christine 10-Sep-21 10:33
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 90 Simon Prentis 10-Sep-21 14:27
Re: Strange similarity? 118 Sirius7237 10-Sep-21 16:37
Re: Strange similarity? 126 Simon Prentis 10-Sep-21 21:01
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 109 Edmond 10-Sep-21 17:04
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 118 greengirl5 10-Sep-21 23:18
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 146 Sirius7237 11-Sep-21 15:57
Re: Scripts also use archetypal structure 128 Edmond 12-Sep-21 09:23
Re: Scripts also use archetypal structure 90 Susan Doris 12-Sep-21 09:56
Re: Indus and Harappan script as emblems 70 Edmond 28-Sep-21 09:34
The word became flesh 137 Edmond 11-Sep-21 08:26
Re: The word became flesh 103 Simon Prentis 12-Sep-21 11:59
Archetype is also in language 93 Edmond 14-Sep-21 10:23
Re: Archetype is also in language 129 Susan Doris 14-Sep-21 13:02
Thanks, Edmond 128 drrayeye 14-Sep-21 20:09
Re: Archetype is also in language 107 Simon Prentis 15-Sep-21 00:52
Archetype is also in language 86 Edmond 15-Sep-21 09:33
Re: Archetype is also in language 109 Susan Doris 15-Sep-21 15:05
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 90 Susan Doris 15-Sep-21 09:36
Swear words. 158 greengirl5 15-Sep-21 13:20
Re: Swear words. 76 Simon Prentis 24-Sep-21 10:04
Re: Welcome to Simon Prentis Author of the Month for September 2021 74 Susan Doris 30-Sep-21 05:49


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