Discuss the immense controversy surrounding how and whether the Middle East should become modern (as spelled out in the chapters, 8-10).
In particularly, I am looking for:
The arguments over what it means to be “modern.”
What European philosophies influenced this debate
What was the traditionalist versus secularist controversy
How constitutions were felt to make the countries “modern.”
Using this approach then, the question arises, and it is one that has puzzled scholars from all disciplines for thousands of years: How did these signals evolve into spoken language? If we adhere to the logic of the argument presented by Burling, based upon comprehension and ritualisation, it can be put down to the process of evolution, namely natural selection. However, as Burling argues, there is a fundamental difference between the inheritance of basic animal signals, such as those described above, and the development of the spoken word. Natural selection may well have favoured those with the ability to comprehend visible or audible signs, but spoken language could never have been passed on genetically; it would have had to be learnt by the members of each successive generation. This is one of the most vital differences between us and our simian relatives. What distinguishes us from apes, more than anything else, is the ability to communicate via spoken language, as opposed to signals, or ‘visible language’ (p.122). Acknowledging all the while how difficult his task is, Burling attempts to answer the question of how audio signals developed from visual ones, going on to explore various theories including the beginnings of verbal communication as a development of vocal accompaniment to music, and “motherese”, the cooing vocalisation of mothers toward their children. Burling makes a significant distinction between human language and ‘human screams, sighs, sobs, and laughter’ (p.16). Our own ‘audible cries, howls, giggles and snorts, along with our visible scowls, smiles, and stares’, he argues, are directly descended from the ‘primate calls’ of the apes, and indeed bear far more relation to the latter than to spoken language. To Burling, our own ‘primate calls’ are, being solely based on instinct and governed directly and purely by emotion, inherent and genetically passed on from generation to generation (indeed, from our simian ancestors to us). Oral Language can only be learned anew. In Language in the Light of Evolution: Volume 1, The Origins of Meaning, James Hurford explores further the difference between learned and unlearned signals, but he takes a different tack to Burling when it comes to the significance of primate communication in the origin of spoken language. Whilst agreeing with the principle of the separateness of learned and inherent communication, Hurford does not draw quite such a radical division between primate calls and spoken language. He sees language as having evolved from a mixture of what is innate and what is learned: “…I see enough common ground between primate calls and human utterances not to give up the idea that the evolution of human language built upon the pre-existing use of arbitrary signals by animals to do things to each other” (p.119) Indeed, Hurford sees the unlearned ‘primate calls’ themselves as a direct ancestor of spoken language. He uses the analogy of the modern wonders of nanotechnology having developed only as a result of the evolution of basic Stone Age tools. There would be no computers or spacecraft had it not been for those rudimentary early tools, however primitive they may have been. Hurford goes on to>