Whales & Aliens –“The Structure of an Extraterrestrial Language May Be Unknowable”


“If an alien landed from outer space and spoke a language that violated universal grammar, we simply would not be able to learn that language the way that we learn a human language like English or Swahili … We’re designed by nature for English, Chinese, and every other possible human language. But we’re not designed to learn perfectly usable languages that violate universal grammar.”


Today’s ‘Galaxy’ Stream: “Alien Contact Two” –‘The Great Language Barrier’ from the Arthur C. Clarke Center for the Human Imagination

Seeing time in a non-linear way. Does language shape thought and perception of reality…This engaging podcast continues the conversation about alien contact by focusing on language barriers: barriers between humans and aliens, humans and animals, and, in what some consider the most alien encounter of all, between scientists and artists. With acclaimed science fiction writer Ted Chiang, dolphin researcher Christine Johnson, and visual artist Lisa Korpos.



"The Galaxy" in Your Inbox, Free, Daily