Human evolution; theory of hominin language (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, December 15, 2018, 11:59 (36 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTE: "There are at least three elements of language only present in hominins:
First, is a fine-control over our vocal tracts. Other apes are likely born with a more limited repertoire of vocalizations. The difference comes down to how our brains are wired: Humans have direct connections between the neurons controlling our voice box and the motor cortex, the region of our brain responsible for voluntary movements. Brain scans show these connections are lacking in other primates.
(David's bold)

DAVID: Note my bold. We are physically wired differently. This describes the basics, beyond this is pure unestablished sets of theories. We are different in kind.

dhw: I really don’t think there are many people who would say that we are exactly the same as our fellow primates, and I doubt if many people would say that elephants are the same “kind” as whales or ants or the duckbilled platypus. Yes, we are different, and our language is a million times more complicated than that of our fellow animals, and we are self-aware and very clever. But that still doesn’t mean that your God’s sole purpose from the very start was to create us, and that elephants, whales, ants and the duckbilled platypus were specially designed simply to provide food until he could specially design us.

DAVID: Ah, it seems you have forgotten that 'different in kind' refers to the other primates we left behind and also Adler's theory which supports our assent to the top pf the heap. All the animals you listed are obviously foodstuff, and not on the point of my comment, Another of your inventive neatly formed sidesteps.

I have no objections at all to your saying that we are a different species (= different in kind) from our fellow primates, just as our fellow primates are different in kind from elephants, whales and ants, and I could hardly have made it clearer that in terms of language, self-awareness and cleverness we are top of the heap. All life, including ourselves, is ultimately foodstuff. I simply object to your assumption that this means we were your God’s goal from the very beginning, and he specially designed everything else over 3+ billion years for the sole purpose of providing food until he could specially design us. This is the logical gap which you prefer to sidestep rather than bridge.

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