Experiments have only confirmed that lovable chimpanzees and awesome apes were not designed to speak. Language seems to be a gift from God to humans only
Can you imagine life without letters, texts, emails or telephone chats? No books or newspapers? No radio or television?
Do we ever pause to consider what a wonderful thing language is?
Language is one of many things which set humans apart from animals. Although animals have their own unique ways of communicating, none of them use real speech, whereas people use on average 7-10,000 words a day.
Even agnostic Noam Chomsky, described as “the father of modern linguistics”, admitted: “Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without significant analogue [similarity] in the animal world.”1
Humans are also unique in their ability to write, using symbols to communicate and record information. Without written records we would be totally ignorant about human history.
Our ability to speak involves a number of processes and parts of our anatomy. The speech centres in our brain send signals to muscles in our throat, larynx, tongue and lips to enable us to form words, and also to our chest to control breathing.
Apes don’t have brain areas dedicated to processing and producing speech. Neither do they have the deep throat, or fine control of their lips and tongue, which are essential to the formation of words. According to Professor Stuart Burgess, the creationist who designed our medal-winning 2012 Olympic bicycles, “Humans have an amazing ability to learn and recall words. In contrast to humans, apes and monkeys have virtually no vocabulary whatsoever. They may have one type of grunt that acts as a warning signal and another type of grunt that indicates the presence of food… Many experiments have been carried out to try to teach chimpanzees to talk. However, these have only confirmed that chimpanzees were not designed to speak… there is an enormous gap between humans and apes”.2
Apes don’t have brain areas dedicated to processing and producing speech
If human language evolved from animal noises, or the primitive grunts of ‘ape-men’, then the oldest languages should be simpler than modern ones, but the opposite is true! Most ancient languages for which we have written texts, such as Sumerian and Sanskrit, often have far more intricate and grammatical forms than many modern languages.
Most ancient languages, such as Sumerian and Sanskrit, have far more intricate and grammatical forms than many modern languages
In Sanskrit — still spoken in parts of India — each verb has about 500 parts. There are no ‘primitive’ languages, and they actually degenerate over time.
There are no ‘primitive’ languages, and they actually degenerate over time
The origin of languages remains a mystery to secular scientists. Since there is no natural explanation for their origin, why not consider the supernatural explanation? The Bible records that the first humans, Adam and Eve, could speak, and that they talked with God as well as with each other, so language was given by God. Although some language groups can be traced to a common origin, there is no evidence that these groups evolved from an original “primitive” language. Genesis 11:1–9 records the building of the Tower of Babel, and how God confused the languages so that people would spread throughout the earth and populate it, rather than congregating in one place and becoming too powerful.
Language is a great blessing, enabling us to communicate with one another, but also with God, who has spoken to us through his Son, Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 1: 2).
- ‘Language and Mind ‘(1972), p67
- ‘The Origin of Man’, Day One Publications, 2004, p69