👅 I learnt about tongues this week
Entry #66 on YouTube rabbit holes and drying up for new content
I really didn’t know what to send this week, felt a little bit anxious at the lack of ideas. Usually something brews in the fortnight between entries. Not this time.
But here we are. On we go. I’m going to share something new I learnt - and in sharing it, I will have to write and articulate the information, so the Friday Flow box gets ticked.
I watched a fascinating video from a Canadian professor, John Vervaeke, this week. This is the kind of thing I do when Shawn is not at home in the evening, I save up my bookmarked links and settle in for some MORE intellectual content exposure in my free time. Still haven’t cracked that ‘leisure’ thing. This video was about awakening from the meaning crisis, so you know, nothing too heavy or profound for a Wednesday evening 😆
As part of his preamble, Prof Vervaeke introduced and defined a term ’exaptation’, which was new for me. Oxford defines exaptation as:
“The process by which features acquire functions for which they were not originally adapted or selected.”
The example he gave was that tongues did not initially develop for speech, but the feature of oral language has been exapted in the course of evolution within the homo sapiens species. Tongues serve the universal purpose of being nerve-filled sensory muscles that can detect poisons and danger, clean bodies and move food around within the mouth cavity. Humans (for what reason, we will never know) made more of the mammalian tongue and its ability to block the back of the mouth, restricting airflow and creating a range of sounds.
He makes the point that if tongues had evolved for the purpose of oral language, all animals with tongues would talk.
Which is a terrifying thought, he says. It’s also quite a cool thing to imagine.
We could caption this snake… in fact, we do love to imagine animals can talk. There are a trillion talking animal characters in the Disney suite alone.
Photo by Pixabay.
So I enjoyed that little fact and a new word to ponder. The implications of exaptation are going to be explored a whole lot more in the 50+ hours of content this incredibly dedicated professor has created.
If you are keen to divert me away from YouTube and do not wish to hear any more breakthroughs on the meaning crisis, please leave a comment or reply via email with any topics you’d like me to cover.
Happy to answer any of your questions in the theme of ‘ask me anything’.
As always, I look forward to hearing what you heard, saw and felt when reading this.