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Does Language Bring Us Together Or Pull Us Apart?

By NPR/TED Staff | NPR
Thursday, January 2, 2014

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Spoken And Unspoken.

About Mark Pagel's TEDTalk

Biologist Mark Pagel says our complex language system is a piece of "social technology" that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation.

About Mark Pagel

Mark Pagel is the head of the Evolution Laboratory in the biology department at the University of Reading. Pagel builds statistical models to examine how evolutionary processes imprint in human behavior, from genomics to the emergence of complex systems to culture. His latest work examines the parallels between linguistic and biological evolution. Pagel argues language is a culturally transmitted replicator with many of the same properties we find in genes.

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