Bruce Bower has a really nice feature article in Science News about my work on hearing and recent selection:
It all points to the evolutionary sensitivity of at least one part of the human language system in the postStone Age world, Hawks reported in April in Columbus at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Language depends not just on a vocal tract capable of making certain speech sounds but on ears designed to hear particular sound frequencies, as well as on a variety of other brain and body features. Relatively recently in evolutionary history, genetic revisions within populations have upgraded ear structures needed for discerning what other people say, he proposes.
It takes a long time for a biologically complex system like language to evolve, Hawks says. Were still genetically adapting to language.
This is a really nice article, and I wasn’t expecting it to come out, so please go read it!