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Re: OT: Doubting Thomas: was "Introducing Myself"

From:Doug Dee <amateurlinguist@...>
Date:Friday, February 18, 2005, 23:47
In a message dated 2/17/2005 10:33:51 PM Eastern Standard Time,
scaves@FRONTIERNET.NET writes:

>Not really--for me that is; through inbreeding, we might have in the Piraha >a small society of people who exhibit some kind of mental retardation when >it comes to calculation and abstraction, but whose lifestyle did not require >natural selection to redress this genetic disorder.
Everett says "Pirahã women occasionally have children with Brazilian traders passing through, children raised as Pirahãs. These children don't show any difference I can see from other Pirahãs on these cognitive skills or language facts. I don't think genes, retardation, or other such suggestions are useful or appropriate here." That's quoted on Language Log: The fact that half-Pirahã do not seem mentally different from full-Pirahã would seem to argue against the "genetic disorder" hypothesis. Doug