Human evolution; our complex speech mechanism (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, May 12, 2019, 09:01 (383 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Please tell me how McCrone knows when H. sapiens started to make the sounds needed for modern language. Did he happen to be around with his tape recorder?

DAVID: If you read his book you would be surprised how cogent his arguments are.

dhw: You have read it, so please tell us how he knows when H. sapiens started to make the sounds needed for modern language.

DAVID: No one knows. But it is apparent sapiens arrived with full complex language ability 300,000+ years ago and eventually learned how to use it.

No one knows. Thank you. Yes, we sapiens arrived with the mechanisms that enabled us to develop language, walk upright on the ground, give birth to our young through a different shaped birth canal, twiddle our thumbs, and do everything else that distinguishes us from our ancestors. The question is how, when and why all these changes took place. You say your God programmed the first cells with each and every one of them 3.8 billion years ago or they were the result of direct surgery (dabbling). I propose that each one was a response by the cellular communities to new requirements – either for survival or for improvement. Some people think it was all the result of random mutations. No one knows.

dhw: We know that brain and body make changes in response to new demands, and I keep repeating that I do NOT want cell communities to foresee the future. It is you who demand fortune-telling in the shape of your God’s plans and/or direct surgery. My proposal, once again, is that the cell communities RESPOND to needs, not that they anticipate them. What is McCrone’s proposal?

DAVID: McCrone does not discuss the genetic possibilities we discuss. He simply describes the anatomic changes that homo fossils tell us.

Then please stop using him as if he supported your hypothesis. The fossils tell us the changes that took place – not how, when or why.

DAVID: The dropped larynx allows for our ability to speak as we do. Chimps have a simple epiglottis and an oral pharyngeal anatomy that allows for breathing and swallowing at the same time. Human infants are born with the same arrangement, and as they develop, the larynx drops and the epiglottis develops fully. This article explains:
I interpret it as pre-planning. You don't. That is a gulf which will never shrink.

Yes, we know the changes, and it is interesting to see that infants repeat the same evolutionary process, and yes, once again you interpret this as evidence that your God provided the first living cells with a larynx-dropping, epiglottis-forming programme (along with programmes for every other change in the history of evolution), or stepped in to operate on our ancestors. You prefer to gloss over the unlikelihood of such a process with the term “pre-planning”.

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