Lenneberg (1967) 227
Lenneberg (1967) Chapter 6-8
What are the pages your group is responsible for? 227-254? You typed only till 245? 248?
撰寫人：9580012 謝侑倫 The pages：243 ~ 245
撰寫人：9580047 王思婷 The pages：243 ~ 245 correct?
Organize the text you typed into outlines according to the text context.
If you want to keep the typed English original intact, could you add a hyperlink to at the end of the English text of each section and point the hyperlink to the Chinese summary? For example, Chinese summary 1 Chinese summary 2 The purpose for now it to make sure that you understand the essential meaning of the part that you are going to translation so that you won’t make big mistakes, when you translate later. When you translate, then arrange the text to contrast the English with the Chinese paragraph by paragraph.
CHARTER SIX Language in the light of evolution and genetics
I. LIMITATIONS ON INFERENCES FROM ANIMAL COMPARISON
We tell our children that the cow says “moo,” the lamb says “bah,” and the rooster says “cock-a-doodle-doo.” Most animals around us seem to “say” something, and there is a temptation to assume that they are “communicating”; but how, what. And to whom these animals “speak” are questions to which there are but vague answers. Most vertebrate species emit some kind of acoustics signal, and the sensory receptors of each species are sensitive to the broadcasts of their own kind. The ubiquity of this phenomenon suggests that some biological functions are the same for all species—in fact. There is good evidence against this. An acoustic broadcast may serve to warn territorial intruders, to call the young, to transfer information; it may function to strengthen social cohesion in large groups or to prevent the breaking up of single couples only; it may have the effect of arousing or of lulling; it may be directed at members of other species, at members of the same species, at only certain individuals, or only to the self, as in echo-navigation.
Animal communication does not merely fascinate us as a zoological phenomenon; it also encourages us to believe that appropriate comparative studies will reveal the origin of human communication. The rationale here is approximately this: since
(1) Continuity Theory A: Straight Line Evolution of Language With Only Quantitative Changes
This type of theory rests on the belief that there is no essential difference between man’s language and the communication of lower forms. Man’s noises just sound different, and his repertoire of messages is merely much large than that of animals, presumably due to a quantitative increase in nonspecific intelligence. Theorists of this persuasion might picture the development of communication systems in the animal world as a straight road towards language such as shown in Fig. 6.1, with various animal communication systems as early way-stations. Human language is thought to be much more advanced, perhaps by virtue of some kind of proliferation of elements (more memory units; or more classification devices; or more computing elements).
It can be only this kind of implicit belief that encourages investigators to count the number of words in the language of gibbons, to look for phonemes in the vocalizations of monkeys or songs of birds, or to collect the morphemes in the communication systems of bees and ants. In many other instances no such explicit endeavors are stated, but the under-lying faith appears to be the same since much time and effort is spent teaching parrots, dolphins, or chimpanzee infants to speak English. The rather wide-spread belief that many animals have a language of a very primitive and limited kind ( or that the animal pupils of English instruction can enter the first stage of language acquisition) is easily refuted by a comparison with man’s beginnings in language, discussed in Chapter Seven.
At the root of the idea that human language is merely quantitatively different from animal “language” is the idea that all animals have something that might be called “nonspecific intelligence,” but that man has much more of this endowment and that intellectual potential happens to be useful in the elaboration of a universal
biological need for communication. Animals are thought to be unable to learn to understand English because of an insufficiency of this intellectual capacity. There are grave difficulties with this reasoning.
Intelligence or intellectual capacity are difficult to define in the context of general zoology. Insofar as intelligence is a measurable property within our own species (and there are those who have their doubts about this), we have seen (Chapter Four and Seven) that it correlates poorly with language capacity. Within certain IO ranges there is virtually no correlation whatever; and in the extreme low range, where there is an apparent correlation, it is rare to find individuals who have not even the capacity to understand simple spoken language. Most idiots and even imbeciles may be given verbal commands and many also acquire, spontaneously, the use of some words or even simple phrases. When the concept of intelligence must be applied to disparate species, the problem of scaling and measurement is enhanced greatly.
Clearly, intelligence is not a physical property that can be measured objectively. It is always tied to specific tasks and to the frame of reference of a given species. When we test different species by requiring animals to solve a certain problem, the similarity in task is seen by requiring animals to solve a certain problem, the similarity in task is seen by us, the human experimenter, but different species are likely to “interpret” an apparently similar task in their own, species-specific manner. Comparing the intelligence of different species is comparable to making relative measurements in different universes and comparable the results in absolute terms. When we say that a cat is more intelligent than a mouse, and a dog more intelligent than a cat, we do not mean that the one can catch the other by superior cunning but that one solves human tasks with greater ability than the other. The animal’s way of “interpreting” a problem situation becomes more and more similar to that of humans as the experimental animal is phylogenetically closer to man. But from this we cannot infer that language acquisition is just another problem-solving experiment and that phylogenetic proximity to man increases the capacity for language.
“Preting” a problem situation becomes more and more similar to that of humans as the experimental animal is phylogenetically closer to man. But from this we cannot infer that language acquisition is just another problem-solving experiment and that phylogenetic proximity to man increases the capacity for language.
In man, the ability to acquire language appears to be relatively independent of his own ability to “solve problems,” that is, of his type of “nonspecific intelligence.” Why should we, therefore, expect that an animal’s ability to solve human problems is relevant to his ability to acquire verbal behavior? In most animals the “cognitive strategy” for solving a given problem is quite different from that used by man(Uexkull,1921).
It may seem as if the cross-species comparisons of cognitive function and behavior by Harlow (1949 and 1958), Schrier et al.(1965), David D. Smith (1965), and by Rensch (1959,1964) and their students were contradictions to our assertions. Actually these findings are not contrary evidence, but they are not relevant to language acquisition, however. Let us picture the various skills that are relevant to communication as overlapping maps such as those shown in Fig6.4. There are some common skills as well as specializations. Let us assume that man’s language is closely tied to his cognitive structure. We might diagram the cognitive structures of other animals also as overlapping but not coterminous maps so that each has its own peculiar deviation. Suppose that language is in that part of man’s cognitive realm which most diverges from the “common region.” We see that it may take more that overlap to be capable of learning to speak.
(2)Continuity Theory B: Straight-Line Evolution of Complexity by Stepwise Accretion(with Missing Links)
Proponents of theories of this type admit of qualitative differences between human and animal communication, but they also believe that the extant communication behavior of animals has a discernible and continuous history. Language is seen as a complex of more or less independent features, each with its own history. In the course of evolution, more and more features developed and were added to the structure of communication behavior but, because of the various fates of individual species and phylogenetic off-shoots, there are a number of “missing links” or empty cells, So to speak, as diagrammed in Fig. 6.2.
Thus, we find zoologists who are concerned with what they consider to be the biological prerequisites for speech and language, to search for each of these prerequisites independently throughout the animal kingdom. For instance, O. Koehler(1951, 1952, 1954-a, and 1954-b) believes that there are at least nineteen biological prerequisites for language. Due to felicitous circumstances all of these nineteen prerequisites are present in man. Except for one or two, the prerequisites are common zoological characteristics which man has preserved owing to his animal nature. No lower animal is endowed even with all those prerequisites that are not specifically human. A given species may have just a few of them—not enough to learn to understand or to speak—whereas a few species have so many of the prerequisites that they are either able to reach lowest stage of human language-learning(parrots), or engage in behavior that is an excellent parallel of human language(such as v. Frisch’s honey bees).
Koehler proposes that one of the first prerequisites of language is the existence of concepts (unbenanntes Denken), that is, un-named thoughts. In a great number of experiments he has shown that many birds and mammals are capable of “counting” at least to three and many up to seven or even eight but none beyond. This suggests to Koehler that a number-concept is present and that this concept is practically universal among higher animals have unbenanntes Denken according to Koehler Man has a peculiar skill in attaching symbols or names to these concepts which Koehler considers to be the essence of language. But he feels that even in this skill man is not totally alone. Parrots can also name concepts, that is, are supposedly able to learn the meaning of a few words; and rudiments of the same skill are also seen by Koehler in aspects of the bees’ communication system.
Speech-motor skills are innate in man, but biologically they are no innovation because some animals can learn to say things. Also the ontogenetic development of vocalizations in man has parallels in birds; just as birds go through characteristic song-stages after hatching, human infants go through characteristic stages of vocalization. Koehler explains the onset of words by an essential law of effect. The infant notices the results or effects of his crying and babbling and thus begins to make use of these vocalizations in order to bring about certain consequences. The early history of vocalizations and the beginning of language, he thinks, are identical with developments in certain birds, and are thereby evidence for the biological nature of these phenomena. Man and his language differ from animals and their communication (1) by degree of certain universal skills, particularly a nonspecific learning ability, and (2) by accretion of new skills such as man’s ability to combine and permute the named concepts, that is, words. So much about Koehler’s views.
I share some of Koehler’s beliefs, but not all of them. However, what is important here is that his views necessarily imply that language is not a unique and integral behavioral development but a conglomeration of skills and abilities each of which has its own, independent phylogenetic history. Except for one aspect of language, verbal behavior is a continuation and amplification of ubiquitous zoological properties. There is a suggestion here of continuity with only a few recent innovations that lifted an earlier type of communication into the realm of human language. I reject this type of continuity theory on several counts.
(1) The prerequisite skills for language can only in a few cases be shown to have a fully documented phylogenetic history that reaches up to homo spien. Actually, this is the exception. Continuity theories are bolstered by citing examples from all over the animal kingdom in complete disregard for phylogenetic proximity to man. One parallel comes from birds; the next from insects; another from fishes; still another from aquatic mammals. Frequently, only one species within a given genus or family even possesses the trait, indicating clearly that we are dealing with species-specificities, probably all of comparatively recent date. The reason the examples are so disparate is that parallels are rare. This suggests accidental convergence(if, indeed, it is even that) rather than milestones within one continuous phylogeny.
Language in light of evolution and genetics
ontogenetic development of vocalizations in man has parallels in birds; just as birds go through characteristic song-stages after hatching, human infants go through characteristic stages of vocalization. Koehler explains the onset of words by an essential law of effect. The infant notices the results or effects of his crying and babbling and thus being to make use of these vocalizations in order to bring about certain consequences. The early history of vocalization and the beginning of language, he thinks are identical with developments in certain birds, and are thereby evidence for the biological nature of these phenomena. Man and his language differ from animals and their communication(1) by degree of certain universal skills, particularly a nonspecific learning ability, and(2) by accretion of new skills such as man's ability to combine and permute the named concepts, that is, words. So much about Koehler's views.
I share some of Koehle's beliefs, but not all of them. However, what is important here is that his views necessarily imply that language is not a unique and integral behavioral development but a conglomeration of skills and abilities each of which has its own ,independent phylogenetic history. Except for one aspect of language, verbal behavior is a communication and amplification of ubiqutious zoological properties. There is a suggestion here of continuity with only a few recent innovations that lifted an earlier type of communication into the realm of human language. I reject this type of continuity theory on several counts.
(1)The prerequisite skills for language can only in a few cases be shown to have a fully documented phylogenetic history that reaches up to Homo sapiens. Actually, this is the exception. Continuity theories are bolstered by citing examples from all over the animal kingdom in complete disregard for phylogenetic proximity to man. One parallel comes from birds; the next from insects; another from fishes; still another from aquatic mammals. Frequently, only one species within a given genus or family even possesses the trait, indicating clearly that we are dealing with species-specificities, probably all of comparatively recent date. The reason the examples are so disparate is that parallels are rare. This suggests accidental convergence (if, indeed, it is even that) rather than milestones within one continuous phylogeny.
(2)In addition to being unsatisfactory proof for a continuous history, the examples customarily cited might even serve as evidence of discontinuities of skills and behavior patterns because of the sporadic occurrence on the branches of the phylogenetic tree.
(3)Language is not a loose association relatively independent abilities. There is no evidence that language comes about by a gradual accretion of skills. If this were so, we should be able to see all but a few of such skills in our closest relatives should show a few less, and so on down the line of evolution. Nothing like this seems to be the case.
(4)What is thought to be the beginning of language in parrots, monkeys, or dolphins, is empirically totally different from the beginnings of language in the human infants. *At the most primitive stages of language acquisition, man does not imitate sounds, words, or sentences, but generates novel sound-sequence that are recognized as speech and language because the rules of generation bear certain formal similarities to those of the standard language. A healthy child does not ordinarily parrot (or at least no more often than at special occasions). The outstanding characteristics of language are the all-pervasive principles of productivity (see Chapter Eight). These principles are totally lacking from the examples of animal communication.
Another line of thought, different from O. Koehler's in approach but similar in theoretical structure, was contributed by Hockett (1960) and applied to animal communication by Altmann (1966) and other zoologists (see also Marler, 1961). Hockett also begins with an analysis of language in terms of what we shall call for the moment essential attributes, and then examines a great variety of animal communication systems with a view to discovering how many and which of the essential attributes of human language are discernible in the communication of other species. In contrast to Koehler, his attributes are almost entirely of a logical nature (that is. Not physiological or psychological). He calls them design features, a terminology that expresses well the intent of the investigation: it is a study of the efficiency and effect of the communication system, the result and outcome, so to speak, of behavior rather than the mechanism of the behavior itself.
I believe this approach is an innovation in biological investigations and it is apt to focus attention on many interesting aspects of communication, including the underscoring of parallel but different developments and phenotypic convergences by very different means. For instance, some of the design features that characterize language (Hockett distinguishes thirteen) are also characteristic of the so-called language of the honey bee (broadcast, rapid fading, total feedback, and perhaps specialization and discreteness), but the physical means used for the incorporation of these design features into “bee-language” are quite different from those of human language.
*It is true that human ontogeny need not be a recapitulation of the evolutionary events that led up to the formation of language capacity. On the other other hand. The first stages of language acquisition in the child are the only types of language that we may confidently label as primitive beginnings. We have no other empirical data which we could infer language-primitivity in a phylogonetic sense.
This is an important point. A study of design features may give us insight into some of the biases that enter into the process of natural selection, into the biological usefulness of certain features of animal communication but it is not relevant to the reconstruction of phylogenetic history. For the latter we are only interested in the relation of types of anatomical structure (including motor coordination and sensory acuity), but we disregard the usefulness or efficiency of these features to the contemporary form. Thus whatever similarities exist on the surface between dolphins and fishes, shrews and rodents, bats and birds, pandas and bears must be ignored in our attempts to reconstruct the respective phylogenies and, in fact, the more abstract and pragmatic our criteria for comparison are, the less relevant will they be to a reconstruction of phylogenetic history. For instance, among the most abstract pragmatic criteria is successful adaptation to the environment; this may be accomplished by an apparent infinity of means. If we could rank-order adaptation in terms of success, it might tell us something about life in general, but it would tell us little about phyletic descent.
The converse of this argument is also true. Suppose we are interested in locomotion. Although it may be quite revealing to study such logical design features as (1)range of speed, (2)the radius of an individual's movements, (3)endurance, etc ... it will be immediately obvious that commonality in any of these criteria does not define phyletic relatedness. Thus we must guard against the application of Hockett's design features? interesting as they are for certain purposes? to say argument concerning the evolution of language.
(3)Justification for a Discontinuity Theory of Language Evolution
(a)The Search for True Antecedents. A discontinuity theory is not the sames as a special creation theory. No biological phenomenon is without antecedents. The question is, “How obvious are the antecedents of the human propensity for language?” It is my opinion that are not in the least obvious. The fact that most vertebrates vocalize is not very informative. There is every indication that different species have adapted this common feature to very different functions, that they have carved out specializations from a common potential. No living animal represents a direct primitive ancestor of our own kind and, therefore, there is no reason to believe that any one of their traits is a primitive form of any one of our traits. The noise-making aspect of language. at least today, is only one incidental feature of our form of communication (the deaf have language without noise-receiving or making). Clearly, there are other processes involved in language and the history of these is no less important than that of vocalization.
It is, for instance, entirely possible that certain specific principles of categorization and recombination which we encounter again and again in the perception of speech as well as in its production, in phonology, in syntax, and in semantics, are modifications of physiological principles evident in motor coordination. The ability to name may be related to perceptual and modified neurophysiological processes. Certain innate
neurophysiological rhythmic activities might have been adapted to subserve speech in a highly specialized way (see Chapter Three). These remarks are speculative and merely serve to point out that the range of possible antecedents is vast and that in addition to the abstract and logical aspects of language (most often discussed now in the literature), there are also physiological prerequisites for speech and language.
(a) Phylogenetic Change. If our time-perspective is deep enough. All species are in a continuous state of change with respect to structure and function. But there is great variation in rates of change. Some species have not changed their structure appreciably for many millions of years while others have undergone relatively rapid change preceded or followed by periods of relative constancy. Also individual aspects of species may have different rates of evolution. For instance. Skeletal structure may very well be less susceptible to modifying influences than behavioral adaptations. But change, that is evolution, is a continuous, ever-present phenomenon in all respects of life.
Evolutionary change is attributed to two general types of principles. First, the relative instability of genetic, replicative processes within cells. This provides the raw materials for potential change: and second. selective biases that operate to allow some variations to remain while others are eliminated. The variations due to imperfections in the replication process need not have any direction though ideal, and perfect randomness is also very unlikely because the molecular structure of the genic material probably always favors some variations over others (cf. the principle of “canalization” discussed below). However, it is nowadays assumed by most students of the genetic basis of evolution that the variations due to imperfection of replication would be rich enough to have a self-cancelling effect, counteracting one another in such a way that the end-result of evolution would be erosion of all species-specificities and general leveling of all characteristics (death of species, in other words) were it not for the biases of natural selection which tends to preserve some variations but not others.
The source material for reconstruction of the history of changes is primarily fossilization; most aspects including “soft” anatomy, physiological functions, and behavioral traits do not fossilize, and so we have a very imperfect record of evolutionary changes of species in their actual integrated, whole form and function.
The continuity of evolutionary change is not identical with the phenomenon of creation of new species or branching. The latter may be viewed as a possible but not necessary by-product of the former. If the replicative process is sufficiently unstable and selection pressures sufficiently high and specific, the species may undergo rapid alterations, but this does not result in branching out into a radiation of new species unless certain conditions affecting population mechanics are present. The latter are variables which are quite independent of variables controlling mutations or the nature of selection pressures (for details see Mayr, 1963). Branching is merely a phase in the total history of changes and probably in many instances a relatively short-lived one.
If evolutionary change proceeded at a constant rate, then the gaps between extant species would be directly proportional to the age of the branching that separated any two species. Since branching occurs at irregular times, we would expect a great variation in the size of gaps between any two species and the existence of discontinuities should not surprise us in the least. In fact, the rate of evolution varies quite considerably and this enhances the spread in size of discontinuities even further. The phylogenies of taxonomic groups may be reconstructed by ordering the size of the discontinuities. This principle, together with the fossil history, yields a hypothetical history of man such as shown in Fig. 6.3 from which it is apparent that we must expect considerable gaps between many aspects of Homo and the other Hominoidea.
According to Dobzhansky (1962) and most primatologists, the present properties of our species are the result of so-called phyletic evolution, that is changes without branching. A look at Fig. 6.3 shows that there was enough time for such changes to occur.
Although it is quite conceivable that behavioral propensities yield more readily to selection pressures and are, perhaps, also more easily affected by genetically conditioned variations, thus changing at a more rapid rate than skeletal structure, for instance, we must still remember that all evolutionary changes affect animals as a whole. Entire patterns of life, so to speak, are altered but at each time-slice there is, necessarily, full integration and mutually adaptive interaction of all of the animal’s features; it is the condition for viability and successful continuation of the species. This consideration has an important consequence for reasonable expectations of the phylogenetic history of one specific trait, such as human language. Individual traits of an extant species can never have a continuous history because they do not evolve independently from the rest of the animal. Thus we see that there is every reason to believe that animal communication is a discontinuous affair and that logical commonalities among communication systems are not necessarily indicators of a common biological origin.
FIG. 6.3. Schema of the evolution of the Hominoidea.
(c) The Sharing of Traits. These assertions are not contradicted by the wealth of evidence that some sort of symbolic behavior can be demonstrated in a wide variety of animals, that the communication of affect is very common, or that territoriality, protection of the young, or maternal behavior is frequently accompanied by vocalizations. It is true that animals share certain traits; it follows directly from the tree-like relationship between species. Notice, however, that the phylogenetic relationship between species cannot, in most cases, be represented by a single, unique tree-diagram that accounts for absolutely all of the commonalities and all of the specific differences. A tree that characterizes the relationship of skeletal structures of certain species fairly well, may differ in some (usually small) respect from a tree that characterizes the relationship between given protein structures (Goodman, 1963).
FIG. 6.4. Tree diagrams or descent may be represented as Euler-Venn diagrams.
(a) is a representation of Fig. 6.3 (Chapter Six). Individual traits of behavior are
often distributed over species in such a complex way that tree diagrams cannot
be used at all, and set diagrams can only be used at the risk of oversimplification.
(b) is a hypothetical representation of vertebrate communication systems that
could not be shown by a single tree.
This is due to a number of circumstances; for example, certain aspects of life do not allow of as many (or any) variations as others; or there may be only one or very few possible biochemical solutions to a given problem posed by the environment so that a similar condition comes about more than once throughout the animal kingdom; or certain features are lost or added by individual species.
Tree-diagrams may be converted to Euler-Venn diagrams such as shown in Fig. 6.4 where (a) is a representation of the tree in Fig. 6.3 and (b) is a hypothetical diagram that might show some of the relationships of individual traits, some of them pertinent to human language.Each of the rings may be labelled; the labels tend to become more abstract as we move from center to periphery. The inner circles represent phenomena that can be directly observed on present-day animals. Each
encompassing ring is a postulation lf a more general form of the contemporary phenomenon. If an outer ring be vocalizations, this will not be a homogeneous set of behaviors but a collection of types of behavior each of which is today a highly specialized biological function. Thus we see once more that the sharing of traits does not necessarily reveal the history or nature of any specific development.
Ⅱ. ARE BIOLOGICAL THEORIES OF LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
COMPATIBLE WITH CONCEPTS OF GENETICS?
Before we proceed with further speculations about the biological origins of language, we must pause to ask whether present-day concepts of genetics and development are compatible with the facts known about language.
(1) Genes and Ontogenetic Development
The first problem is posed by what is known about the specific action of genes. DNA molecules, the biochemical correlates of genes. Probably do no more than control the protein synthesis within the cell. The undifferentiated cells of higher animals have, however, a very large repertoire of different “instructions” for different types of synthesis, and these come into play at various stages of development (Beermann, 1963). The puzzle now is: if the inherited genetic information concerns essentially nothing but intracellular events, how could something like the capacity for language have a genetic foundation? The phenomenon is, after all, entirely supracellular or even more general, namely an
interrelation of activities of complex assemblies of cells.
This puzzle is, of course, not peculiar to the problems of the genetic basis of language but to the relationship between genic action and the inheritance of traits in general. Although we can only speculate on this point, our speculations with regard to language are no more daring than with regard to most other structural or functional features.
Animals develop as an integrated whole including structure, function and behavioral capacities; the latter two are not secondary installations after embryogenesis. Therefore, it may not be too far-fetched if we say a word about development in general, the assumed role of genes in ontogenetic and phylogenetic development, and how these concepts apply to the development of language.
It is common knowledge that the first cells formed during mammalian ontogenesis have embryological equipotentiality. Up to the stage called gastrulation, the cell aggregate may be divided artificially in two, and each remaining half will develop into a well-shaped individual. But soon some of the cells in the gastrula become specialized, a division of labor has set in among the cells which soon deprives them of the capacity to change their own structure and function back to the original state. A certain spot in the gastrula begins to act on surrounding cells, thus inducing fast cell division, local expansion, folding, invagination, tubular structures, inclusions, etc. We speak of an organizer that has developed and which has caused some differentiation in its neighborhood. Organizer after organizer develops. At later stages entire tissues or organs serve as organizers or inducers for other tissues and organs.
The multiple unfolding that takes place is entirely dependent upon temporo-spatial overlapping, a continuous meeting in time and space, a sequence of events that must be precisely synchronized so that one phenomenon may act on another at the right time at the right place. The entire ontogenetic process must be seen as a precision schedule that determines the evolvement of a temporo-spatial pattern of interactions between cells and tissues.
Some geneticists believe that induction comes about through the biochemical alteration of regional, cellular environments (Bonner, 1952). These alterations have the effect of activating specific genes that had been present earlier but had been in some state of dormancy. Gene activation induces a new type of protein-synthesis within the cell, a molecular reconstitution, resulting in cell and tissue differentiation (Markert, 1963). Different internal environments activate different genes. Thus cells are acted upon by their environment which, however, is itself made up of cells and their metabolic products; a very complex chain of events ensues, until a relatively steady state, called maturity, is reached.
As cells become differentiated, various kinds of enzymes are produced by them that serve as catalysts for the biochemical reactions involved in development as well as in general metabolic function of the whole organism. The synthesis and biochemical structure of the enzymes are directly controlled by the molecular structure of genes, and small alterations in the latter (due to mutation) may easily affect the catalyzing efficiency of the enzymes and thereby change the temporal proportions of many far reaching reactions. The untoward temporal irregularities may affect growth rates by failing to initiate or inhibit growth activities, and this may result in irregularities of spatial contiguities and relations, thereby altering the entire spatial-temporal pattern. We see now how genes may be responsible for the inheritance of certain structural characteristics such as the famous Hapsburg lip, or a shortening of the chin, or excessively long legs. In these instances, growth is allowed to continue unhampered for a slightly longer time than is common, or it may be inhibited at a slightly earlier period.
But, as is well known, genes do not merely control the size and shape of structure but skills and capacities as well (Bernstein, 1925; Haecker and Ziehen, 1922, McClearn, 1964). These too may very well be due to spatio-temporal alterations in the ontogenetic schedules. For instance, the differential growth of internal or peripheral organs may clearly be accompanied by differences in capacities; enlarged heart and lung may improve the ability to run; an enlarged liver the endurance for prolonged intake of alcoholic beverages; a thinning of the fingers, the capacity for assembling electronic equipment. Some skills may beimproved through structural alterations that have the effect of lowering sensory thresholds, whereas the ability to dive may be enhanced by a heightening of tolerance for CO concentration in the blood.
More directly related to temporal events during ontogeny may be the prolongation of certain primitive undifferentiated stages. By postponing differentiation, either specific tissues or perhaps the entire developing individual, may become more susceptible to environmental influences (either the internal or external environment) and this may result in the creation of various types of critical periods such as have been briefly discussed in Chapter Four. These considerations make it clear that it is not strictly correct to speak of genes for long ears, for auditory acuity, or for the capacity for language. Genes can only affect ontogenesis through varying the cells’ repertoire of differentiation, but this, in turn, may have secondary effects upon structure, function, and capacities.
(2) Relative Growth
Certain aspects of growth can be quantified and treated mathematically. Let us merely refer to one instance, namely the phenomenon of allometric growth. Different portions of the body and limbs grow at different rates, and, therefore, an animal’s proportions are altered throughout development (Fig. 6.5). This is partly due to the existence of growth gradients (J. Huxley, 1932) along various axes of trunk and limbs. It has been found empirically (Reeve and Huxley, 1945) that the relation between the size and weight of two parts of the body (y and x) is that of an exponential function of the form
y = ax,
where a and b are constants. It is convenient to write this formula in its logarithmic form
log y = log a + b log x
and to plot measurements on double logarithmic paper so that all exponential functions appear as straight lines. If, for instance, we plot the weight of cats’ brains against the weight of the same animals’ body weights and take measurements at various stages of development, we find that the simple relationship, expressed by the allometric formula holds fairly well throughout ontogenetic development. The curves indicate differences in growth rate in various parts of the body and show that the proportion between such rates remains constant. The curves do not reflect the actual time it takes the animal to attain any of the values.
There is a wealth of data to which the allometric formula has been successfully applied, including measurements of length, volume, weight, and chemical proportions (
It is interesting to note that the allometric formula also describes a number of quantitative relationships between species. Instead of taking pairs of measurements on growing individuals within the same species, pairs of measurements are made on adult individuals of different species. By this method it can be shown that certain relations of magnitudes obey a simple law that is related to the fundamental phenomena of general growth. Thus, the relationship of cerebro-cortical surface in rodents to the weight of their body (Bok, 1959), or the volume of the neocortex to the volume of the brain in all primates (v. Bonin, 1950) can be expressed by simple mathematical formulae. The existence of regularities of this kind should warn us not to attach too great importance to certain structural differences found between species, because they may not necessarily be signs of specific adaptations to a unique condition but simply result from changes in over-all size of the animal. As an example we may cite the extent of folding of man’s cerebral cortex or the size of his corpus callosum or certain transcortical fiber connections, or the size and extent of association cortex, which may be the consequence of growth laws expressed by formulae such as the allometric one instead of being a unique specialization for intelligence or language (see also Sholl, 1948). One of these interpretations does not automatically exclude the other but together they point to the complexity of evolutionary events.
The purpose of these excursions was to show that physiological processes are ultimately dependent upon certain structural features of the organism, even though these features may not be obvious upon superficial inspection. This is particularly so in cases where the dependence is upon internal organs or upon the molecular constitution of component tissues and cells. The peculiarities of structure, on the other hand, are entirely a function of developmental growth；and growth is to be described by temporal and directional (spatial) parameters. The great regularity of developmental histories within species indicates that time and direction of growth must be controlled by factors that may be traced back to intracellular activities which are under the control of genes and their influence upon the elaboration of certain enzymes at certain times. The route through which genes affect the over-all patterns of structure and function is their action upon and direction of ontogenesis, especially the prolonging and shortening of growth and differentiation periods; genetic variations between species should, therefore, find their immediate and most dramatic expressions in embryological and postnatal developmental histories. Such an idea is not new. It was proposed (sometimes together with far-reaching and even unwarranted by Goldschmidt (1938) and (1952).
Consideration of this type show that it is possible to talk about language in connection with genetics without having to make shaky assumptions about “genes for language.” It is true that we do not know what the direct relationships are between man’s complement of genes and his mode of communication; we merely wish to outline the theoretical possibilities for relation the two. It is in this vein that the observations on twins and pedigrees, cited below, are to be interpreted (cf. Georgacopoulos, 1954; Grothkopp, 1934; Howie et al., 1961). There is in fact, one line of evidence that makes the general line of argument used here even more plausible. If gene-variations are the raw materials for speciation (played upon by selection ) and this is reflected in inter-species differences in ontogenetic history, then a highly species-specific feature such as the capacity for language might well be involved in some fashion in species-specific developmental peculiarities. Marked inter-specific differences in maturational histories are well-documented and reported upon by Altman and Dittmer (1962), and the material on primates is beautifully reviewed by Schultz(1956).
In Chapter Four we have pointed out that man’s history si markedly different from that of other primates. The human neonate is considerably more immature at birth than our closest of kin, with a concomitant prolongation of differentiation periods and increased susceptibility for various factors to impinge upon the direction of further development. The acquisition of language plays a definite part in this developmental history, its emergence occupying a fixed position within the array of developmental milestones, and there are definite indications that its development is contingent upon a certain aspect of what might be called
(3) Transformations of Form and Function
Closely related to Huxley’s method of studying allometric growth is D’Arcy Thompson’s (1917) famous method of transformations in which he compares related forms such as shown in Fig. 6.6 by the superimposition of Cartesian coordinates. A rectangular system is drawn over a two-dimensional representation of one form so that the distortions of the coordinates may be studied that result from drawing lines through the homologous points on the second form. This method is purely descriptive and difficult to quantify. But it illustrates the topological relationships between certain forms and how certain differences in structure may be accounted for by a single principle, usually changes in growth gradients during ontogeny. In cases where specific dimensions can be compared allometrically, we would find different values for the parameters a and b (compare
However, there mat be intracellular genetic alterations such that ontogenetic histories are altered resulting in two different mature forms. The situation is diagrammed in Fig. 6.7. There are two molecular structures, Σ1 and Σ2, that are at the basis of two developmental histories H1 and H2. Σ1 and Σ2 are related to one another by the specification of a molecular transformation called Tm. The developmental histories H1 and H2, result in mature structures S1 and S2. In the case described by D’Arcy Thompson, an apparent transformation relation, Tα, persists that is characterized through the distorted coordinate systems. Notice, however, that the biological connection rests entirely in the molecular and “invisible” transformation Tm and that the apparent transformation Tα is more or less incidental—certainly not essential—for it is obvious that some or even most molecular transformations will alter the developmental histories in such a way that the corresponding two mature structure either lose their isomorphism (as in the isolated case of two-headed monsters or other deformities) or remain the same to the eyes of the unaided observer as in the case of certain inherited diseases such as hemophilia. Thus, D’Arcy Thompson transformations are probably special cases of a much more universal phenomenon.
FIG. 6.6 Morphological relations between selected species shown here as geometric transformations. (a) Argyropelecus olfersi and Sternoptyx diaphana; middle: Scarus sp. and Pomacanthus; (b) Diodon and Orthagoriscus. (From Thompson, 1917.)
A discussion of these transformations has some unsuspected relevance to the biological study of language, particularly the comparison of human language with animal forms of communication. We have said before that what is true of ontogeny and transformations of molecular structures is also relevant to the biological foundations of behavior because of the dependence of the latter upon the former. Thus, the emergence of a species-specific form of behavior has, essentially, a molecular transformational history. Just as in the case of mature structure, mature forms of behavior are the result of species-specific developmental histories H1 and H2, and the biological connections between any two forms of behavior must be sought for on the level of the molecular transformations Tm. What we have said of the apparent transformation Tα, holds a fortiori for the comparison of behavior.
Correspondences on this surface level will be special cases: in many more instances, all isomorphism will be lost to our eyes. We would expect mature behavior forms (that is, the homologues to S1 and S2) to vary with much greater freedom and into many more directions than gross structure, because the selection biases upon skeletal form are likely to be much more restraining than on behavioral modality, and it is also possible that epigenetic canalization (Waddington, 1956 and 1957) allows of fewer directional alternatives in the case of structural alterations than behavioral ones. Although these are speculations, it is a fact that there is greater variety in behavior among animals than in their types of Bauplan or structural pattern. In the light of this, the present thesis on the biological origins of language becomes very clear.
FIG. 6.7. Species are related to each other by transformations in molecular structure of genic material. These transformations affect the developmental histories of the animals in the course of which the original relationship may become obscured: the resulting mature structure may or may not bear resemblance to one another.
We assume that our potential for language has a biological history that is written in terms and on the level of molecular transformations Tm; but this belief commits us in no way to expect the occurrence of apparent transformations Tα. If human language be S2, we cannot even be sure, in fact, what may be token of S1. Similarly, if a superficial resemblance is pointed out to us between language and some behavioral aspect of another species, we cannot be certain how close or distant the underlying relationship Tm actually is, or for that matter, if there is any such relationship whatever. Because modifications of behavior may be freer and go into many more directions than modifications of structures, molecular transformations Tm may leave in many fewer cases apparent transformations Tα than is the case for skeletal structure and thus there is the danger of being misled by similarities that are in fact not objective but that are entirely due to anthropomorphic interpretation of animal’s activities. (Examples of this are not restricted to animal “language” but may be found in statements about animal “play”, or animal “families”, or animal “pleasures.”)
The transformational picture leads us to expect that molecular alterations indirectly caused changes in the temporal and spatial dimensions of the species’ developmental history and that the resulting alterations in structure and function brought with them prolonged and changed periods during which one function could be influenced by others, thus creating critical periods of special sensitivities and opening up new potentials and capacities. This is just the framework within which we would like to see our thoughts move; it is too vague to be a theory. Let us look at it as the direction for possible explanations that are yet to come.
Ⅲ. EVIDENCE FOR INHERITANCE OF LANGUAGE POTENTIAL
The inheritance of behavioral traits in man can never be definitively demonstrated because of our inability to do breeding experiments. Also, absolute control of the environment is difficult to achieve. If we are staunch believers in the sole determination of behavior by the social environment was held constant. It is always possible to argue that there might have been subtle differences in human relations so that even two individuals who are raised in the same home might have experienced different treatment, invisible to the observer, and that all differences in behavior might be due to these variations. Similar but converse arguments are also possible in the case of identical behavior in apparently different environments.
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-254 G1 Chinese summary
Lenneberg (1967) Chapter 6-8
The pages：227 ~ 230
物 種 演 化：人 類 v.s. 其 他 物 種 達爾文的「物競天擇」、「適者生存」，雖只有簡單的兩句話，卻道盡了生物界演化的基本規則。而人類的演化，之所以可以演化史上佔一席之地，乃源於人類的演化速度比其他生物快的多，否則今日我們可能還過著茹毛飲血的生活。 人類的演化，科學家認為靈長類源自十分原始的哺乳動物－－食蟲類。由食蟲類再演化為原猴類、猴類、猿類及人類。雖然人類在奔跑、攀緣及游泳等方面的能力，遠不如很多其他種類的脊椎動物，但是人類卻具有發達的腦及直立的姿態，這兩大特徵導致人類學會使用工具，創造出今日的文明。但若由生物語言學的觀點看來，是因為人類擁有語言能力的關係，所以優於其他物種。的確，此種特殊的能力是很難在別的生物中找到相同的，正因為人類有了語言的能力，人類知識才可以跨越時空的阻隔。我們透過語言，擴大了認知活動空間，將知識綿延不斷的傳遞下去，這也是其他物種所無法做到的。 因此人類之所以異於其他物種，最為明顯的特徵是人類擁有一套完美的溝通系統―語言。而語言學家為了解其他物種之特性，通常專注於動物溝通系統的研究。許多自然界的動物，其實都各自有其傳訊的方式，而研究的例子裡包含蜜蜂的舞動、鳥的鳴叫、黑猩猩（Washoe、Sarah、Lana、Nim Chimpsky、Sherman、Austin和Matata）、馬及海豚（Buzz和Doris）等等的溝通系統，及類人類動物（黑猩猩）學習人類語言的過程紀錄。大致上而言，其他物種的傳訊系統多少都具有「語言」的特性，但其精密度仍不及人類的語言系統。就正如語言學家Noam Chomsky 認為語言是人類的一種天賦，而且為人類所獨有，即使人猿再聰明也學不會人類語言。
Reference / tool：http://www.ling.fju.edu.tw/biolinguistic/data/index.htm#intro
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另外書上亦有提到腦容積，原來它是指我們可以透過腦容積(cranial capacity) 知道在生物界裡，心智的發展是個什麼樣的情形？亦即同樣是靈長類腦容積的比較，也可當成觀察心智的一個指標。有些精通多國語言的人，他的語言處理中樞（language center）通常會比較膨脹，腦皮脂（cortex）皺褶比較多。所謂皺褶多就是指表面比較大，和裡面的神經細胞（neuron）彼此間的連結會比較多一點，也是某種程度的神經可塑性(neuro plasticity)。
The pages：230 ~ 232
An Introduction to Language
Reference / tool：Powerword(翻譯軟體)
How my tool helped me to solve problems?
The pages：232 ~ 234
In biology, phylogenetics (Greek: phyle = tribe, race and genetikos = relative to birth, from genesis = birth) is the study of evolutionary relatedness among various groups of organisms (e.g., species, populations). Also known as phylogenetic systematics or cladistics, phylogenetics treats a species as a group of lineage-connected individuals over time. Taxonomy, the classification of organisms according to similarity, has been richly informed by phylogenetics but remains methodologically and logically distinct.
Evolution is regarded as a branching process, whereby populations are altered over time and may speciate into separate branches, hybridize together again, or terminate by extinction. This may be visualized as a multidimensional character-space that a population moves through over time. The problem posed by phylogenetics is that genetic data is only available for the present, and fossil records (osteometric data) are sporadic and less reliable. Our knowledge of how evolution operates is used to reconstruct the full tree.
Cladistics provides a simplified method of understanding phylogenetic trees. There are some terms that describe the nature of a grouping. For instance, all birds and reptiles are believed to have descended from a single common ancestor, so this taxonomic grouping (yellow in the diagram) is called monophyletic. "Modern reptile" (cyan in the diagram) is a grouping that contains a common ancestor, but does not contain all descendents of that ancestor (birds are excluded). This is an example of a paraphyletic group. A grouping such as warm-blooded animals would include only mammals and birds (red/orange in the diagram) and is called polyphyletic because the members of this grouping do not include the most recent common ancestor. Although warm-blooded animals are all descended from a cold-blooded ancestor, warm-bloodedness evolved independently in both mammals and birds.
The most commonly used methods to infer phylogenies include parsimony, maximum likelihood, and MCMC-based Bayesian inference. Distance-based methods construct trees based on overall similarity which is often assumed to approximate phylogenetic relationships. All methods depend upon an implicit or explicit mathematical model describing the evolution of characters observed in the species included, and are usually used for molecular phylogeny where the characters are aligned nucleotide or amino acid sequences.
Reference / tool： 維基百科http://www.wikipedia.org/
How my tool helped me to solve problems?
The pages：234 ~ 236
也就是說，我認為歷史、考古與人類學者應注意遺傳學者和語言學者關於「南島各族群起源」、「中國各族群或民族起源」，或更廣泛的人類起源、遷徙與分化之研究成果，並在我們的研究中與之對話。此種「科學與人文」的對話，可以有許多途徑。其中一種主要的途徑是解答遺傳學者或語言學者意不在此的一些問題——由「過去」到「現在」之間的延續與變遷，以及相關的一些「為何」與「如何」；也就是對「形成過程」（the process of becoming）及其成因的探索。譬如，遺傳學者和語言學者可能告訴我們一些「當前」漢族、羌族、彝族，或居住在這些民族地區之人口，在語言和體質基因上的異同現象，及在理論上「過去」可能的人口流動方向。然而「形成過程」卻需考古、歷史與人類學者來加入共同探討。考古與歷史學所見過去相關地區的人口流動、族群分類及其變遷，與相關人類經濟生態背景；在人群資源競爭、分配體系及其變遷中，各種「歷史記憶」與「文化」如何被保存、創造、假借、運用及失憶，以造成族群邊緣變遷等等，都是其中重要的子題。社會人類學者也可以透過田野研究（包括歷史民族誌的田野），探討在各種社會認同與區分下人類各群體的婚姻禁忌與偏好，個人與群體間的歧視與暴力，相關的語言與文化創造、演示、模仿與誇耀（反模仿），以及歷史記憶的建構等等。在這些研究中「身體」不只是一些有外顯特徵或無外顯特徵的基因集結，它更是被社會文化塑造、被個體展示與觀察認知的象徵體系；「語言」是溝通也是掩蔽（concealment）的工具，因此它可以被主觀認知、建構、純化，以凝聚人群或區隔人群。相關研究不只涉及客觀的人類體質和語言因素如何起源、傳播、分化，以造成它們在地表上人群間的客觀分布，更涉及這些有客觀異同的體質與語言因素，如何在歷史過程中被人群主觀的分類、理解與展演，以造成族群認同與區分。這些研究的成果不一定是支持或補充遺傳學和語言學的建構，也有可能在學術邏輯上不支持後者的建構——如此產生的異例（anomaly）與差距（discrepancy）對於人文社會科學與自然科學都是很珍貴的；各學科之學者可以因此再思考自己的與彼此的方法與邏輯。或者，遺傳學者、語言學者與歷史或人類學者可以共同設計一研究田野與主題，以解決他們知識間的「異例」。
參考書目︰ Anderson, Benedict. 1991. Imagined Communities. Rev. edition.
語言學進化的變化歸因於兩類一般的原則，遺傳學，有關的不穩定在細胞內處理，這為潛在的變化提供原料 。其次是。 操作允許一些變化保持的選擇的偏見，當其它被消除時，在複製過程方面的由於殘次品的變化, 也不太可能支持那些分子架構的基因材料的一些變化越過其它人。原則在限制適合生存能力和成功的繼續。
Reference / tool：道氏醫學大辭典
How my tool helped me to solve problems?
The pages：237 ~ 240
分子生物學與遺傳學： 遺傳學在孟德爾定律以DNA雙螺旋鏈解說染色體的形成與運作規則後，利用分子生物學的研究方法與工具，使傳統遺傳學的問題有了重大進展。現代分子遺傳學對遺傳信息傳遞由DNA到RNA到蛋白質的中心法則的發現，揭示了遺傳、發育和演化的內在聯繫。真核基因體的結構及其表達調控機制得到機械性細節的闡明。 多細胞高等生物體中分化細胞的細胞核內仍含有全套遺傳訊息，各組織之細胞分化只是部分基因選擇表達的結果。故，遺傳控制發育的過程可以分子生物學的慨念歸結為：基因如何按照一定的時間與空間次序選擇地表達，從而控制特定蛋白質的生成與分佈，達成細胞的分化與個體發育。對發育來說，最重要的不是個別基因的表達過程而是這些過程彼此之間在時空上精密的聯繫與配合，此亦即是發育的遺傳程序。此種遺傳程序是演化過程中，編碼在基因體DNA序列上並在配子(卵子與精子)發生過程中儲存於配子的結構中。將來的探討問題將是演化形成中遺傳程序是以何種方式編碼在基因體中，這種編碼在DNA的一次元序列如何控制生物體的三次元形態發育。
來源 : http://cell.lifescience.ntu.edu.tw/old_version/academic/
Reference / tool： 香港新浪網-字典 http://dictionary.sina.com.hk/p/word/tract
How my tool helped me to solve problems?
The pages：240 ~ 243
生物技術和基因工程的差別： 一、 生物技術 1.廣義 『生物技術』可說是無所不包，人類日常生活上的食衣住行，幾乎全部離不開生物技術的影響；通常可把『生物技術』的意義定義如下：利用生物 (動物、植物或微生物) 或其產物，來生產對人類醫學或農業有用的物質或生物。 2.例子： 用生物技術的方法來生產啤酒或其他酒類，我們所吃的醬油、泡菜、豆腐乳、紅糟肉、養樂多、味精等，也都是利用微生物幫我們加工過的食品。 3.範疇： 主要有 基因操作、細胞培養、單株抗體、酵素工技 等四大領域 以及其他生命科學相關的科技。 二、基因工程 簡單的說，基因工程是現代生物技術的基礎、內容，是達成現代生物技術所需的技術之一。例如：從動植物改良、人類疫苗及醫藥開發，到人類基因體研究計畫，都可看見基因工程技術的影子。可利用基因工程技術進而生產對人類醫學或農業有用的物質或生物。
(2)相對的發展 發展的某些方面可能被確定數量並且以數學的方式測量。 讓我們僅僅提及一個實例，即異速生長的現象。身體和四肢的不同部份以不同的速度生長,動物比例在整個發展期間中會改變。
Reference / tool： 國立編譯館-學術名詞資訊網http://terms.nict.gov.tw/
How my tool helped me to solve problems?
The pages：243 ~ 245
＊ 胚胎學歷史發展中的一些問題 探討人類是如何而來的？以及胚胎學史上可分為三個階段，從古至今人類一直在討論這個話題。借助歷史觀點和先人們累積的智慧結晶，我們今天能鑒賞歷代巨人所做出的科學貢獻，並且還能瞭解人類知識的未知數。社會應該如何對待體外受精及貯存在冷凍箱內的胚胎，所引起的許多道德、法律和倫理方面的問題，也是我們必須探討的。 (http://www.islam.org.hk/smqs/ch11.asp)
＊ 遺傳學 由路光予副教授提共，畢業於德國Giessen大學博士學位，目前任教於東吳大學，網站中詳細介紹遺傳學的來龍去脈，遺傳學簡史、遺傳學的研究方法和人類遺傳性疾病，對疾病有詳細的病因、背景資料、發生機率……等，是一份非常值得參考的資料。(http://vschool.scu.edu.tw/biology/content/genetics.htm)
Reference / tool：
How my tool helped me to solve problems?
The pages：243 ~ 245
D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson：Sir D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson (May 2, 1860–June 21, 1948) was a biologist, mathematician, classics scholar and the author of the 1917 book, On Growth and Form, an influential work of striking originality. Nobel laureate Peter Medawar called On Growth and Form "the finest work of literature in all the annals of science that have been recorded in the English tongue". Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thompson was an early mathematical biologist, and a contemporary of Francis Galton and Ronald Fisher. He died in
D'Arcy Thompson's method of transformations Differences in body forms among organisms may be more simply explained by pattern transformations than by rearrangement of physical component parts. The form of the puffer fish (Diodon) can evolve into that of an ocean sunfish (Mola) by a transformation of the rectangular coordinate system in (A) (red dots) into a curvilinear system in (B) that "stretches" the posterior portion of the fish. [modified from Futuyma 1997, after Thompson 1917]
D'Arcy Thompson：In this 1917 classic, D'Arcy Thompson provides a mathematical analysis of biological processes, especially growth and form. D'Arcy believes that natural selection has a limited function in evolution: it removes the "unfit", but it does not account for significant progress. D'Arcy believes that new structures arise because of mathematical and physical properties of living matter, just like the shape of nonliving matter. Form is a mathematical problem, and growth is a physical problem. The form of an object is the resultant of forces. By simply observing the object, we can deduce the forces that have acted or are acting on it. This is easily proved of a gas or a liquid, whose shape is due to the forces that "contain it", but it is also true of solid objects like rocks and car bodies, whose shapes are due to forces that were applied to them. D'Arcy believes that living organisms also owe their form to a combination of internal forces of molecular cohesion, electrical or chemical interaction with adjacent matter, and global forces like gravity. The formative power of natural forces expresses itself in different ways depending on the "scale" of the organism. Mammals live in a world that is dominated by gravity. Bacteria live in a world where gravity is hardly visible but chemical and electrical properties are significant. D'Arcy investigates what physical forces would be responsible for the surface-tension that holds together and shapes the membrane of a cell, and then analogously for cell aggregates, i.e. tissues, and then skeletons. While his formulas have not stood up to experimental data, the underlying principle is still powerful: D'Arcy believes that genetic information alone does not fully specify form. Form is due to the action of the environment (natural forces) and to mathematical laws. D'Arcy was fascinated by the geometric shapes of shells and sponges and believed that their geometry could not be explained on the basis of genetics but would be explained in terms of mathematical relationships. (http://www.scaruffi.com/mind/thompson.html)
Cartesian Coordinates： Cartesian coordinates are rectilinear two-dimensional or three-dimensional coordinates (and therefore a special case of curvilinear coordinates) which are also called rectangular coordinates. The three axes of three-dimensional Cartesian coordinates, conventionally denoted the x-, y-, and z-axes (a notation due to Descartes) are chosen to be linear and mutually perpendicular. In three dimensions, the coordinates , , and may lie anywhere in the interval . In René Descartes' original treatise (1637), which introduced the use of coordinates for describing plane curves, the axes were omitted, and only positive values of the - and the -coordinates were considered, since they were defined as distances between points. For an ellipse this meant that, instead of the full picture which we would plot nowadays (left figure), Descartes drew only the upper half (right figure). The inversion of three-dimensional Cartesian coordinates is called 6-sphere coordinates. The scale factors of Cartesian coordinates are all unity, . The line element is given by and the volume element by The gradient has a particularly simple form, as does the Laplacian The vector Laplacian is = =The divergence is and the curl is = = The gradient of the divergence is = = (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/CartesianCoordinates.html)
細胞與組織結構方面的進展 有如D'Arcy Thompson1所觀察到的，細胞理論起步早而進步緩慢。其萌芽始於培根、Hooke、Grew、Malpighi（素描一已提過），以及墊基於萊布尼茲單子論（Monadology3）的一些思想家。細胞在植物（包括動物）生命上佔有很基本的任務。
D'Arcy Thompson對Huxley的allometric學習方法有密切的相關，這種方法完全描寫但難確定數量，在D’Arcy Thompson轉變的重要討論裡，Woodger指出這裡的現象必須按照遺傳學和胚胎學來理解，因為沒有一個成熟的形式能改變一個過程成為其他的。不過，可能有細胞內遺傳學的改變，因此個體發生的歷史被改變成兩個不同的成熟形式。
D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson從數學和物理學層面分析生命的進程，認為物種的演化可能是整個個體的主要改變，而不是各部位小改變的累積。將數學方法引入生物的形態問題，用微分方程構建理論模型或者用複雜的統計做邏輯實證論述。“關於大小”：其中心論點是面積／體積比隨生物體變大而下降。因此大動物和小動物生存在不同的作用力的領域。用兩種方式闡明復雜的形態事實上遵循了普遍的原理。 （1）即使沒有受到物理力的直接塑形，部分或者整體仍採用了理想幾何學的最優形態來解決形態學的問題。 （2）即使因為遺傳所賜，生物體必須接受複雜的原始型，但最起碼它們向相關形態的轉化仍然表現為整個系統的簡單物理變形—變換坐標理論。
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