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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CB402:

Evolution does not explain the evolution of language ability.


Yahya, Harun, 2004. Errors concerning human intelligence on the BBC's Horizon programme.
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, pp. 174-175.


  1. We do not know the definitive explanation for how language ability arose, but there are plausible hypotheses. Intermediate stages may be reached by gradual changes. For example:
  2. Language is obviously useful, so it is not hard to see how it could have provided selective advantages. In fact, the bigger problem is explaining why chimpanzees did not evolve language. Language was probably primarily an adaptation to a social structure that was (and is) far more complex than that of other primates.


  1. Baldwin, J. M., 1896. A new factor in evolution. American Naturalist 30: 441-451,536-553.

Further Reading:

Deacon, Terence W., 1998. The Symbolic Species: The co-evolution of language and the brain. New York: W.W. Norton.

Johansson, Sverker, 2002. The evolution of human language capacity. Master's Thesis, University of Lund. (esp. pp. 65ff)

Pinker, S., 1994. The Language Instinct. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Tattersall, Ian, 2001. How we came to be human. Scientific American 285(6) (Dec.): 56-63. Excerpted from The Monkey in the Mirror, Harcourt, 2002.
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created 2003-8-6, modified 2003-9-6