Comic 9 - The Mystery of Language Evolution

29th May 2014, 11:22 PM
The Mystery of Language Evolution
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remivt 29th May 2014, 11:22 PM edit delete
In 2011, Dr Marc Hauser - one of the big stars in our field - was found responsible for 8 instances of scientific misconduct in his lab, including falsifying data.

He now recently published an article with a number of high-profile co-authors in which he reviews the current state-of-the-art of evolutionary linguistics. The basic conclusion is: everything we've done so far is irrelevant for answering the question of the origins of language. The kind of thing that Chomsky would say (oh wait, he's also one of the co-authors).

I think everyone deserves a second chance, certainly an intelligent person as Marc Hauser. But instead of redeeming himself with solid experiments and empirical data, he chooses to criticize an entire field based on a complete misunderstanding of the research he and his co-authors attack (see for example this excellent review on Replicated Typo).