Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Depth of Children

So, this morning while getting ready for school, my 12 year old son asked,
"Why do people have syntax in speaking when no other animal does."

Wow, the other day we were talking about what is unique about humans and the main thing I told him was that we have syntax in language, and no other animal does.
So then he looked it up on Wikipedia yesterday, "syntax", and then asked the question.
So this morning we discussed evolution and how every trait is either useful or vestigial.
Syntax is useful because of very precise communication and survival.
Tail bones in humans are vestigial.

Then got onto the anthropic principle and how the world is the way it is because if it wasn't we wouldn't be here to ask why it is the way it is. Syntax is much like that.  If we didn't have syntax we wouldn't be able to think about thinking and ask such a question.

Never underestimate the intelligence and depth of children!


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