Could Neanderthals speak? Implications of FOXP2

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Interesting article. It is interesting how the tide has swung on this. The story on air sacs in apes is really interesting too.

I’ve always focused more on the hyoid and the spine with the speech question. Out of all the hominids Neanderthals are the only ones I feel comfortable saying speech is a real possibility. Their anatomy supports it.

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I always thought the original evidence for selection at FOXP2 was kind of inconsistent. The amino acid changes in the gene had to be old since they are present in all modern humans, but the signal of recent selection that was reported was one that should only persist for a few tens of thousands of years (especially the anomalous value for Fay and Wu’s H statistic).

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More background here:

Sapiens --Did Neanderthals speak?

It would seem that the physical evidence for defining a “true human” as only homo sapiens sapiens is a bit of a line in the (shifting) sand, with little substantiation for dogma, and thus RTB’s “bestiality” diagnosis may be off. Or not.
@AJRoberts or @swamidass , do you know why I should be compelled to think otherwise?
At the heart of this argument is the import of the Hebrew phrase behind “and He created them in God’s image” in Genesis 1:27 as either referring to “a definite discontiguous act in time,” or “the final outcome of a longstanding process initiated by God” --which latter is, truthfully, all the Hebrew can be insisted upon as conveying, since no implied duration of action may legitimately be read back into the Hebrew verb. Comments, @jack.collins, @deuteroKJ , @KenKeathley ?
If Walton finds a sequential reading orthodox and convincing, and WLC is citing him approvingly, can the recognition that Adam doesn’t have to be the very first “imago Dei” human being ever still be very slow in coming? That is, as a viable interpretive option, it holds up least as well (better, really) as any “ancient Adam” model. @Agauger ?

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Realize that over time each species of humans evolved refined hearing apparatus to be tuned to the refined speech apparatus. We are very good at discriminating the voices of those we know.

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