Thoughts on the Theory of Learning
Many linguists subscribe to Noam Chomsky's school of thought about language learning: they believe that there is a special language learning process for which we are "hard-wired." They say the evidence for this is that we can't program a computer to learn language, that they don't fully understand how children learn to speak, and that it's too complex. I say that this is evidence for intelligent design.
According to Timothy Mason, a British sociologist and language teacher,
"Noam Chomsky is perhaps the best known and the most influential linguist of the second half of the Twentieth Century. He has made a number of strong claims about language : in particular, he suggests that language is an innate faculty - that is to say that we are born with a set of rules about language in our heads which he refers to as the 'Universal Grammar'. The universal grammar is the basis upon which all human languages build. If a Martian linguist were to visit Earth, he would deduce from the evidence that there was only one language, with a number of local variants. Chomsky gives a number of reasons why this should be so. Among the most important of these reasons is the ease with which children acquire their mother tongue. He claims that it would be little short of a miracle if children learnt their language in the same way that they learn mathematics or how to ride a bicycle. This, he says, is because :
1. Children are exposed to very little correctly formed language. When people speak, they constantly interrupt themselves, change their minds, make slips of the tongue and so on. Yet children manage to learn their language all the same.
2. Children do not simply copy the language that they hear around them. They deduce rules from it, which they can then use to produce sentences that they have never heard before. They do not learn a repertoire of phrases and sayings, as the behaviourists believe, but a grammar that generates an infinity of new sentences."
God designed us with the ability to learn, especially when we are young. Music and sports, like language, are best learned when young. The best musicians and gymnasts all started young. Likewise, the only students of a foreign language who don't have at least a little bit of an accent are those who studied a 2nd language while they were young.
The book "Godel, Esher, Bach: The Eternal Golden Braid" by Douglas Hofstadter explores the relationship between the mathematics of Godel, the art of Esher, and the music of Bach. They are all based on patterns.
God made the world of an orderly pattern, and we learn in orderly patterns.
Liz has played the trumpet for 15 years. She started young, then did not play for 12 years, then began playing again. She reads music, but mainly plays by the sound and feel of the notes, seeing the music as an instinctive pattern rather than as a series of notes or numbers on a scale. A visiting musician talked about the numbers of the notes on a scale that are most prevalent. Liz had to think through the patterns of notes and translate them to numbers on the scale before she could agree with him.
She also learned German as a series of patterns. Jeff and Liz were speaking German (poorly) to our neighbors when we lived in Germany. Jeff used the word alle when he should have used jede. Jede and alle do not have direct English equivalents. Liz instinctively knew which one to use with which words, but had to think through the pattern within several German phrases and translate them into English before she could explain the difference between the two and explain to Jeff when to use each word.
Mathematics, language, music, art, and many other facets of our universe are best understood through their orderly patterns.
God has designed us wisely, able to discern the patterns of the orderly universe he designed. Read God's word about patterns below:
|God's Word about patterns|