That nature bit before the nurture kicks in

Parents often describe young children as little monkeys, but now scientists have confirmed that toddlers are “just tiny apes” sharing 96 per cent of the same gestures.

Researchers at the University of St Andrews in Scotland have discovered that before children learn how to talk, they use a range of hand and body movements to communicate in the same way as chimpanzees and gorillas.

The study, published in Animal Cognition, found children aged one and two-years-old using 52 gestures including head shaking, poking, stomping, hitting themselves and throwing objects.

And they discovered that 50 of those movements are also shared with apes, suggesting they may have been used for millions of years in…

Well, guess so really. Partly it’s roughly the same body parts in roughly the same arrangements, communication by movement isn’t going to differ that much.

But we share more than 96% of our DNA, so that nature part should be quite similar, no?

13 comments on “That nature bit before the nurture kicks in

  1. We share up to 85% of our DNA with fish. I’m not aware of a single gesture in common though.

    So no, having DNA in common isn’t very important.

    It’s like saying two computer programs share 96% of the same code. They might produce very similar output, or totally different.

  2. two years old not two-years-old. Don’t these idiots have to scrape an English O level before being allowed to work?

  3. “But we share more than 96% of our DNA, so that nature part should be quite similar, no?”

    The danger with that sort of comparison is that there’s the oft-cited statistic that we also share 50% of it with bananas.

    Not that some of the people I work with are generally differentiable from bananas to begin with, so I suppose there’s that…

  4. PJH, I can believe that. There are some in the office I work with that spear to have more than their fair share of banana DNA. So much so that if they were any more stupid they would need watering twice a week.

  5. MC
    So what are the 2 gestures we use that chimps don’t?

    Giving the middle finger and a moving looped finger and thumb wanker gesture?

  6. “So what are the 2 gestures we use that chimps don’t?”

    Waving bye-bye and …. um, I don’t know.

    It can’t be “giving the middle finger” because our babies aren’t Americans.

  7. PJH said:
    “… the oft-cited statistic that we also share 50% of it with bananas”

    Wasn’t there an old joke about the LibDems being bananas?

  8. I get amused when the ignorant anti evolutionist declares, “I didn’t come from apes!”

    Sir, you ARE an ape.

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