Blank Slate and the juggling apes

I have often wondered why are we preprogramed to be able to learn such complex skills as juggling? Does it relate to our ability to learn languages, or music? I very much subscribe to the Chomskian point of view that language is preprogramed in the mind, it would seem to me that the ability to learn complex skills, weather it is juggling, playing the Sarangi, or baton twirling is in its broader sense already in the mind…so assuming this is true, why?

Steven Pinker says if the ability to learn language was not preprogramed then lots of dogs would learn to talk. Likewise regretfully I have never seen any of my friends’cats and dogs spontaneously learn to juggle. Although there is the paranoid theory that they only do it when we are not watching! This all also leads to the controversial idea that perhaps some humans are more genetically suited to a given skill then others? Much to ponder about.

Steven Pinker’s marvellous lecture on the Blank Slate

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