Evolution: a different view (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 09, 2015, 21:29 (1925 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

Tony: What strikes me is this bit: "if we found a Homo erectus fossil in superb enough shape to determine the position of its larynx" which means that they have not found one.

So:

A) The lowering of the larynx was not necessary for basic speach, and is thus decoupled from the development of rudimentary language.
B) We have no evidence that the human larynx was every higher than it is now, and an absence of evidence is not proof of this claim.
C) This claim ONLY works if we assume that we are descended from chimps despite the gross number of morphological differences, even in the relatively simple aparatus that comprises our vocal tract.

Sorry, this is a story told to justify another story, all without evidence. Great for science fiction, crap for science.

As you understand I agree with you about A and B, but not C, and I would comment that all the anatomic changes between us and apes is not simple: a more arched palate, different tongue muscles, a different uvula, a different epiglottis in position and shape, different vocal cords and a speech area in the brain to handle the development of our complex language, with then differing areas for reading/writing and also speech.

In my McCrone book reference he discusses how H. habilis and H. erectus probably had a rudimentary form of speech. That is an obvious point to be covered, but the type of clipped bursts of air required for our style of speech arrived with H. sapiens under current theory. With the lack of fossil larynxes it is not known how well Neanderthals spoke but undoubtedly closer to our ability.


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