When Did We Become Human?

Three words: Koko the gorilla.


Language arriving via a single macromutation? What a laugh. Why not just call it “magic”?

Maybe take the time to actually read and understand what you are responding to before attempting to write a witty retort.


At the very least, he might read the entire sentence from which he’s quoting.

I believe you will find that @vjtorley is a well-spoken advocate of ID. No one here is a “Darwinist” because evolution theory has advance far beyond Darwin’s key idea that “selection is natural”.


Because that’s your “explanation”. Actual magic.

Yes, crude communication is not particularly hard, nor is teaching more advanced communication to a sufficiently highly intelligent animal (but that assumes that the teacher already possesses it).

The potential sticking point is coming up with a credible scenario whereby even a highly intelligent species would have an incentive to develop for themselves an increasingly sophisticated language (without any a priori knowledge of the benefits that might eventually accrue from the endeavor).

I don’t really see how that is a sticking point. It seems just as obvious as the idea that we would develop some initially crude and simple tools which become more complex and work better over the course of tens of thousands of years. That doesn’t require that the first guy to make a spear foresaw the existence of ICBM’s.

You’re assuming that language development was intentional, (uni-)directional and incentive-based, when there’s no need for it to be any of those things.

I was trying to avoid giving the implication that it was intentional (hence “without any a priori knowledge of the benefits that might eventually accrue from the endeavor”), what I meant was a selective “incentive” for the next step in the development (not to reach whatever ultimate destination), and I’m not sure that my thought process needs a unidirectional movement towards greater sophistication, just a stochastic random-walk that tends that way over time.

If I’m not explaining this well, or my thinking is fuzzy on the topic (this is more me trying to grope towards an idea at an intuitive level, than anything firmer), then I apologise.

Oh, ok. Better communication, especially in regards to predators or food sources, improves chances of survival and leads to greater relative reproductive success.

There exists a wide range of eg predator warning signals among animals, from simple warning calls → stratum/threat/direction calls → multi-aspect warning → interspecies communications. They show the possible routes that initial language development may have taken.

I agree, and these sort of things are why I raised the idea in the first place.

My “potential sticking point” comment was just me being cautious about any potential ‘devil in the detail’ issues that such a broad and intuitive evaluation as mine could not identify, let alone rule out.

For me it first depends on what do they mean? Do they mean when did us as Homo sapiens come about or do they mean when did the genus homo, or even Australopithecus or some proto form. For me it’s not a issue of theology but science. When did we become a species that Yahweh entered into covenants with and gave us a choice to submit to him or not. That’s very different but sometime people mean that. At the moment science does not seem to have a exact date since taxonomy is a bit funky and does not really work to do that.

As others seemed to have mentioned as I was skimming it’s like asking whose the first person to speak English. There was no first person. Just a gradual development of the language and in the same way it’s like that for us as humans. Through evolution there was a gradual change and at this moment we are here. We can see various morphological and genetic similarities back quite a bit. I’m no longer of how many years ago it was.

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