Saturday, 10 December 2016

Monkey Brains Were Not Built for Talking

A macaque can’t speak. Image courtesy of Shantanu Kuveskar, Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Joel Kontinen

Parrots and some other birds can utter sounds that resemble words, but monkeys and apes cannot.

This is a big enigma for evolutionists who assume that chimps and other great apes are virtually our cousins, as they think our ancestors parted ways some “7 or 8 million years” ago.

A paper recently published in the journal Science Advances reported on how a macaque named Emiliano uttered a variety of sounds in a laboratory at Princeton University.

The researchers found that while Emiliano could at least in theory produce some vowel sounds, the monkey’s brain is not wired for speech.

This probably also applies to other monkeys and apes. Thus, a speaking orangutan would be an illusion.

Charles Darwin speculated that apes did not have a brain for language. It seems that he was right.

Humans are unique. Apes and monkeys were not made in the image of God, but we are.


Price, Michael. 2016. Why monkeys can’t talk—and what they would sound like if they could. Science (9 December).