【TED】是一个会议的名称,它是英文technology,entertainment, design三个单词的首字母缩写。它是社会各界精英交流的盛会,这里有当代最杰出的思想家,这里有当代最优秀的科学家,这里有迸发着最闪耀的思想火花,这里孕育着最光辉的梦想。

Mark Pagel
Using biological evolution as a template, Mark Pagel wonders how languages evolve.



visual theft
And language is the result. Language evolved to solve the crisis of visual theft. Language is a piece of social technology for enhancing the benefits of cooperation, for reaching agreements, for striking deals and for coordinating our activities. And you can see that, in a developing society that was beginning to acquire language, not having language would be a like a bird without wings. Just as wings open up this sphere of air for birds to exploit, language opened up the sphere of cooperation for humans to exploit. And we take this utterly for granted, because we're a species that is so at home with language, but you have to realize that even the simplest acts of exchange that we engage in are utterly dependent upon language. And to see why, consider two scenarios from early in our evolution.