Biologist Mark Pagel shares an intriguing theory about why humans evolved our complex system of language. He suggests that language is a piece of “social technology” that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2011, July 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Duration: 20:11.)
Watch Mark Pagel’s talk on TED.com, where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 1,000+ TEDTalks.