Thursday, 28 July 2016

Speaking Orangutan Is a Darwinian Illusion

This ape cannot speak.

Joel Kontinen

A captive orangutan has learnt to utter something that sounds a bit like hoo or huu, and this has inspired Darwinists to speculate about the evolution of language.

New Scientist gives us a summary of what occurred:

“An orangutan has shown an ability to emulate human speech for the first time — a feat that gets us closer to understanding how human speech first evolved from the communications of ancestral great apes.”

This account is heavily biased towards Darwinism. The ape did not utter a single human word, but only a few sounds – or perhaps ‘grunts’ is a more befitting description.

Evolutionists were nonetheless impressed, as they tend to be when something like this happens:

‘Rocky’ the ginger ape has astonished experts by producing sounds similar to words in a ‘conversational context’.”

Then the storytelling attempts to reach the stratosphere:

‘This opens up the potential for us to learn more about the vocal capacities of early hominids that lived before the split between the orangutan and human lineages to see how the vocal system evolved towards full-blown speech in humans,’ says lead researcher Adriano Lameria, from the University of Durham, UK.

His team conducted a game in which the ape mimicked the pitch and tone of human sounds and made vowel-like calls.”

The orangutan’s calls are a far cry from language. Parrots and some other birds can do a lot better, yet evolutionists don’t get carried away by their prowess.

When it comes to speech, apes and monkeys just don’t have the necessary organs. No amount of wishful thinking can be of any help.

For Darwinists, the origin and evolution of language is an enigma. Some refer to it as Darwin’s problem (but it’s not his only one). It cannot be solved by storytelling.

However, they have tried a variety of approaches, for instance apes gesticulating with their arms, taming ourselves, gorilla song, ape laughter, and marmoset communication featuring listening.

But none of them are convincing. Apes differ too much from us.

Whereas some would say that the monkeys’ loss of voice control kept them from evolving language, a more plausible view is that only humans are programmed to learn language.

And that sets us apart from all other creatures. Only humans were created in the image of God.


New Scientist staff and Press Association. 2016. Orangutan learns to mimic human conversation for the first time. (27 July).