Saturday, February 13, 2021

Neanderthals Spoke

Creation vs. Evolution: The other day I saw an article on "pre-human" language capacity · Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere: Neanderthals Spoke · Φιλολoγικά/Philologica: Homo erectus already had language - says you, Daniel Everett!

When We First Talked
11th Feb. 2021 | PBS Eons

The video actually is not trying to tell how language arose from non-speech, but when (in Evolutionist / Uniformitarian chronologies) the anatomical equipment was in place.

"whales, elephants, crows"
How many combine:
  • double articulation
  • lexical concepts of curiosity rather than practical immediate use
  • designation of non-presents (negatives, elsewheres, pasts, futures, conditionals)
  • unlimited recursivity?

4:31 Noted : Australopithecus hyoids look more like chimp ones, Heidelbergian hyoids look more like that of today living human ones ...

Wonder how the Creationist community will take that information, since we usually do consider Australopithecus as non-human apes, and Heidelbergians as descending from Adam, as truly human ...

Thank you, much obliged!

8:31 - 8:53 Paranthropus robustus and Australopithecus africanus have shorter and wider external auditory canal than chimps, humanlike malleus, but more chimp like incus and stapes.

9:18 Homo erectus from Ngandong and even more so Heidelbergian from Sima de los Huesos, Neanderthals, have human like hearing abilities.

6:17 Ah, upper vocal tract proportions like those of ten year olds ... interesting.

If it had been a question of proportions from small child, not able to pronounce [a, i, u], it would arguably have meant that the Heidelbergians and Neanderthals spoke a language with not much importance attached to vowels.

7:09 Ah, Neanderthals as per La Ferrassie, did have similar proportions as the Heidelbergian ... and a hyoid bone indistinguishable from ours except incomplete, found in El Sidrón.

So, no need to actually think the Neanderthals needed a "vowel-less" dialect ...

7:19 Kebara 2, was not aware ... let's hear. "a lot like our hyoid bones"

7:49 As did the inside ... je suis comblé.

At the end, does the story need to be evolutionary?

Suppose the dates for Sima de los Huesos and Ngandong - neither is carbo dated, I think both could be K-Ar dated - are from the Flood, while Neanderthals mentioned are carbon dated to pre-Flood carbon dates - this would be indication, before the Flood, someone was trying to mix man and ape, and he got some a bit deaf ... this could be part of why God sent the Flood.

Some considerations not given in the video, and I am not citing CMI, though I could, bc some would refuse to click those links.

... and FOXP2 has a role in fetal brain development, as well as in communication in other animals. In 2002, a study by Enard et al. found that this gene is highly conserved in primates, but two non-synonymous mutations seemed to be fixed in the small sample of humans tested. A likelihood-based analysis detected positive selection at this locus on the human lineage, and population genetic approaches (Tajima’s D) implied a recent selective sweep. This finding led to suggestions that the locus has a causal role in the evolution of human speech, although this hypothesis was questioned when the same mutations were found in Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes.

Furlong, R. FOXP2 tells a cautionary tale.
Nat Rev Genet 19, 592–593 (2018).

So, on top of anatomical equipment for speech and hearing speech, Neanderthals and Denisovans had human FOXP2 genes.

A contentious issue has been the identification of Broca's language region in early hominin endocasts. Australopithecines lack a human-like Broca's cap region, but specimen KNM-ER 1470 (H. Rudolfiensis) displays a more advanced morphology in this area (Holloway, 2017). Compared to other human fossils, Neanderthals and modern humans display an increased depth of the anterior fossa that corresponds to part of Broca's region and relatively wider frontal lobes (Bruner and Holloway, 2010).

A Brain for Speech. Evolutionary Continuity in Primate and Human Auditory-Vocal Processing
Francisco Aboitiz, Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencias, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

While Denisovan skeleta and crania have not been found, Neanderthals and Rudolfensians had Broca's area, and Australopithecus didn't.

May I be so bold as to add, mankind today shows a mainly Cro-Magnon genome, but some populations show admixture of Neanderthals and Denisovans, but as far as I have heard, none of Australopithecus?

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