Monday, 27 April 2015

New Darwinian Story Fails to Explain Language Evolution

A new Darwinian attempt at explaining the origin of language features marmosets. Image courtesy of Carmem A. Busko, Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

For Darwinists committed to explaining everything with natural /materialistic processes, the origin of an immaterial skill, such as language, is an enigma.

Hypotheses attempting to account for how speaking originated have without exception turned out to be failures. Since the days of Darwin, the very idea has been a “horrid doubt.”

Many researchers have admitted that they don’t have a clue as to how language could have evolved. It remains a mystery. Some have even suggested that humans may be programmed to learn language.

However, from time to time, Darwinian stories raise their heads. A recent example features marmoset communication. A brief ScienceShot article says:

Even though the marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) don’t have language, they do exchange calls. And the discovery that a young marmoset (as in the photo above) learns to wait for another marmoset to finish its call before uttering its own sound may help us better understand the origins of human language, say scientists online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. No primate, other than humans, is a vocal learner, with the ability to hear a sound and imitate it—a talent considered essential to speech. But the marmoset researchers say that primates still exchange calls in a manner reminiscent of having a conversation because they wait for another to finish calling before vocalizing—and that this ability is often overlooked in discussions about the evolution of language.”

Could this shed light on how the first humans learned to communicate through the spoken word? No. Language is an immaterial phenomenon. It cannot be explained by storytelling that relies solely on material processes.


Morell, Virginia. 2015. Marmoset 'conversations' may give clues to evolution of human language. ScienceShot (21 April).