Monday, October 1, 2012

Another day, another example of evolutionary junk science...

Darwinists now assert that human speech evolved from monkey facial expressions:

Scientists have searched for the origins of human speech in the hoots, grunts, and other vocalizations made by primates. It would seem to make sense, after all, that such sounds may be related to the more varied and articulated sounds we humans make. But there are significant differences.
For example, human speech is learned, made using controlled and rapid movements of the tongue, lips, and jaw. Primate vocalizations, on the other hand, are not learned but innate. 
So some researchers are now considering the hypothesis that human speech evolved not from primate sounds but more from monkey facial gestures.
Specifically, scientists are interested in how monkeys smack their lips to communicate. Using x ray movies, researchers at Princeton and the University of Vienna have found that primate lip smacking is much more complex than it appears. Like human speech, lip smacking requires quick, controlled movements of the lips, tongue, jaw, and hyoid bone, which supports the larynx and tongue.
For example, if you’ve been to a zoo you’ve probably seen chimps making loud lip smacks and buzzing sounds, like blowing a raspberry...

So maybe it wasn't spit after all. 

Monkeys just got some random mutant 'lip-smackin' genes, survivors survived, and we got human language-- "blowing a raspberry", Homer, Vergil, Shakespeare, Tolstoy.

You can't parody this crap. As a taxpayer, though, you pay for it. 


  1. Michael,

    'You can't parody this crap'. Yes you can. You just have. I take it you have a better hypothesis? That God waved His Magic Wand over Adam in the Garden of Eden and implanted language. Before presenting him with all the species, one by one, and having him give them names, also one by one.

    I doubt that human speech arose from facial expressions, important though they are for non-auditory visual communication. I don't think that primate vocalisations are innate, as the article claims, because we know from experiments, which ethics committees would not allow to be repeated today, that human babies (most horribly in Rumanian orphanages) and monkey babies, if reared mechanically without adult input, never develop normally, socially or vocally.

    Primate babies go through a phase of meaningless babbling, the approximately meaningful sounds being reinforced by the parent, the mother usually. If this doesn't happen the eventual vocalisation is absent or grossly abnormal.

    The 'lip-smacking gene' has a name. It's the FOXP2 gene, mutations of which result in absent speech due to a facial dyspraxia. It's identical in Neanderthals, differs in one amino acid in chimps and two amino acids in mice.

    Speech possibly performed the same function in proto-humans as grooming in chimps; as a means of reducing tension in social groups. All supposition of course, but plausible. If you don't like this hypothesis, what is your plausible explanation?

  2. Taxpayers paid for this research? Are you sure, or are you just pulling that out of your arse?


    1. KW,

      Yeah, right, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Vienna.

      Evidently, I hadn't realized that the American taxpayer funded private American universities and Austrian universities.

      But then again, Michael wouldn't be making things up, again?

    2. No. He wouldn't.

      "The paper 'Monkey Lipsmacking Develops Like the Human Speech Rhythm' was published online April 18 in Developmental Science. The article 'Cineradiography of Monkey Lipsmacking Reveals Putative Precursors of Speech Dynamics' was published online May 31 in Current Biology. Both studies were funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation." [emphasis added]

      Bachfiend, you dont know much about how science works, do you?

    3. There's a lot he doesn't know much about, George Boggs.

      The Torch

    4. George,

      After commenting, I wondered if the reseaearchers might have got some federal funding. They did, but it was part funded.

      Anyway, I do know that scientists do research to answer questions to which they don't know the answers. They start off with a plausible hypothesis, and see if they can test it, discover evidence for and against.

      It might be reasonable research. Or it might win next years Ig-Nobel Prize. It certainly didn't deserve Michael's typical snide anti-science comments.

  3. Bachfiend,

    Nearly every private university in the United States receives federal funds. I don't think they should, but they do.


    1. I have a great idea for a grant proposal. Here's the tentative title: "Simianesque Faculty Lipsmacking and Federal Funding for Dubious Politically Motivated Social Science: A Correlational Investigation of the 'Monkey See Monkey Do' Hypothesis".

      Whaddaya think?

    2. George,

      To get a research grant you need more than a title. You need to review the science of your topic, define the question you want to answer and devise a research plan, including methods. If you're working with experimental animals, even mice, you'll need your study to be approved by an ethics committee.

    3. Johann,


  4. "As a taxpayer, though, you pay for it. "

    The brutal punchline in the joke that is modern academia.

  5. "'You can't parody this crap'. Yes you can. You just have. I take it you have a better hypothesis? That God waved His Magic Wand over Adam in the Garden of Eden and implanted language. Before presenting him with all the species, one by one, and having him give them names, also one by one."

    I'm still waiting for egnor to answer this. You guys sit back all smug and chuckle about science and evolution, but at the end of the day, that paragraph right here sums up your "hypothesis."