Thursday, 4 August 2011


Dr. Sanjeev Jain told us something interesting about autism and communication. There is a theory that says that Autistic people have not been able to adapt to the evolution of communication and increasing complexity of language. Which led me to THIS interesting TED talk on a biologist's theory of the history of language.

Mark Pagel talks about social learning being 'visual theft', when we steal ideas from others by watching them. To solve this problem of visual theft, humans had to develop a system of communication and use language as a 'social technology' to compromise and negotiate. Language was formed as a means of overcoming visual theft but over the years it has evolved into a complexity of many different languages, slowing down or even stopping the flow of ideas, technologies and genes shared between people.

Visual theft problem solved right?
Well, according to some theories Autistic people can't communicate as effectively as neurotypicals due to the evolution of language that dissuades communication in some sense to protect the community from social theft.

The video ends with the theory that we are leaning towards a future of 'One world, one language'. 

Watch it.


  1. Hey you need to relink it. The link takes you to a Page Not Found page. :P