Human evolution; our complex speech mechanism (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 23, 2019, 19:18 (34 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: mcCrone's description of their speaking ability is based on his knowledge of their anatomy and their presumed ability to produce bursts of air to be formed into intelligible sounds by tongue, lips and a lower larynx. Nothing mysterious. I cannot reproduce all the intelligence in the book for you, but as he presents it, it is very believable. Obviously they did have a simple language, not the sophisticated one like ours from 50,000 years ago. In an example of early language think of the evidence from the Old Testament etc.

dhw: I keep saying that language evolves! Once the anatomy was in place, then it evolved from the simple pre-sapiens through to the complex language we know today. What’s the problem?

The problem is getting you to realize each pre-human had stepwise advances from ape throat and larynx anatomy to finally our human anatomy which allowed rapid speech, which then led us to learn to use it and develop our modern language ability , over recent history. Anatomy first, use second.


dhw: Also by some mysterious means he happens to know that they started gabbling away 50,000 years ago. If this is true, there must have been a leap forward in the requirements for an expanded range of vocabulary.

DAVID: Not mysterious, but based on current linguist estimates. What you fail to notice (or to stubbornly) accept is they were given the physical ability to gabble 250,000 years prior to the gabble. Form before function is the simple historical claim.

dhw: That is the nature of evolution! One generation builds on the achievements of its predecessors. What is all this meant to prove? My proposal is that pre-sapiens needed a wider range of communication, and the effort to produce new sounds resulted in anatomical changes. Once the changes had taken place, the range of sounds increased in response to ever growing needs. Exactly the same process as yours, except that you think your God performed various operations on pre-sapiens to enable him to make the sounds.

The nuances of language phonemes required the anatomy appeared first. I'll never agree that your pre-humans efforts to communicate caused the complex anatomic and brain changes required.


DAVID: Same silly mantra: what is so hard in understanding God chose to evolve His creations? He may have 'human traits', but are unknown to us. Why guess at humanizing Him? Just follow His works!

And later: You want me to return to accepting the Genesis version for some really strange reasoning, which cannot be followed.

dhw: I have no problem with your God choosing to evolve his creations. The problem is that you have him specially designing EVERY creation in order to specially design us. I don’t want you to return to Genesis; I want you to explain why he specially designed the slingshot spider if his only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens. And what is the point of telling us how purposeful he is if you are not prepared to discuss his possible purposes?

I've discussed his possible purposes over and over. The discussions are all just logical guesswork, proving nothing. And again, if God controls evolution, then He produced everything


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