Author Topic: Koko the Gorilla Couldn't Actually Speak Sign  (Read 252 times)

Koko the Gorilla Couldn't Actually Speak Sign
« on: September 22, 2021, 09:28:27 PM »


I feel like I've been lied to. Well, I was. Everyone who believed in Koko, or another other ape, using sign language as a form of meaningful language was basically lied to. I was taught about these incredible, talking animals, who were proof that humans were not unique when it came to their use of language. Once you peel back the curtain, even a little bit, the whole charade falls apart pretty quickly. Turns out, these apes were taught American Sign Language from people who didn't know or understand ASL, outside of the few words they picked to teach the apes. They approached teaching ASL the same way a person would teach spoken language, which of course is not the same. The apes pretty much used the signs the same way a dog would ring a bell to request to go outside. They learned associations between words and things, but they never showed an actual understanding of language. They didn't display any understanding of syntax, and basically only used the signs when prompted, usually to get food or something they wanted, not to express complex thoughts.

As the icing on the cake, these apes were also abused, both before and after funding for their research was pulled.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Offline SGOS

Re: Koko the Gorilla Couldn't Actually Speak Sign
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2021, 08:06:44 AM »
I was never that impressed by Koko's abilities.  She was cute as Hell, but I thought people made a bigger issue out of her communication skills than was warranted.  But now that you've rained on the parade, I guess I can say that without being shunned.

Re: Koko the Gorilla Couldn't Actually Speak Sign
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2021, 09:56:57 AM »
Pretty sure I saw Koko sign "trump-lips-Koko's-ass".

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: Koko the Gorilla Couldn't Actually Speak Sign
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2021, 04:14:45 AM »
I only remember the gorilla in the movie Congo.
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Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: Koko the Gorilla Couldn't Actually Speak Sign
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2021, 02:21:10 AM »
Well that fucking sucks.
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Offline SGOS

Re: Koko the Gorilla Couldn't Actually Speak Sign
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2021, 07:41:46 AM »
Well that fucking sucks.
Yeah, it's too bad because here come the creationists saying, "See?  See?  We didn't come from monkeys," and we have to go over all of this shit one more time.