The Impasse of Language Evolution

In recounting the myth of the evolution of mankind's history, evolutionists encounter a number of serious problems. One is how human consciousness emerged in the first place. Another concerns the origin of speech—one characteristic that distinguishes human beings from all other living creatures.

When we speak, we are able to shape our thoughts thanks to language, and to express them in such a way that another party can understand them. Although this requires highly specialized muscular movements of the lips, throat and tongue, we are hardly aware of this. We merely "want" to speak. Sounds, syllables and words emerge through the harmonious contraction and relaxation of some 100 different muscles, and sentences comprehensible to others are formed by the appropriate sequences of such grammatical elements as subject, object and pronoun. The fact that we do nothing more than "wish" to use such an ability, based on such complex stages, clearly shows that speech is not merely an ability that arises from essential biological structures.

There are many races in the world speaking many languages, and every language is highly complex. Evolutionists cannot even imagine how such complexity might have come about gradually.

The human capacity for speech is an exceedingly complex phenomenon that cannot be explained in terms of the imaginary requirements or mechanisms of an evolutionary process. Despite lengthy research, evolutionists have been unable to produce any evidence that an exceedingly complex ability like speech evolved from simple animal-like sounds. David Premack from Pennsylvania University made this failure abundantly clear when he said, "Human language is an embarrassment for evolutionary theory . . ." 68

The well-known linguist Derek Bickerton summarizes the reasons for this "embarrassment:"

Could language have come directly out of some prehuman trait? No. Does it resemble forms of animal communication? No . . . no ape, despite intensive training, has yet acquired even the rudiments of syntax . . . how words emerged, how syntax emerged. But these problems lie at the heart of language evolution. 69

All languages on Earth are complex, and not even evolutionists are able to imagine how such complexity could have been acquired gradually. According to the evolutionist biologist Richard Dawkins, all languages—even the tribal ones regarded as most primitive—are highly complex:

My clear example is language. Nobody knows how it began . . . Equally obscure is the origin of semantics; of words and their meaning . . . all the thousands of languages in the world are very complex. I am biased towards thinking it was gradual, but it is not quite obvious that it had to be. Some people think it began suddenly, more or less invented by a single genius in a particular place at a particular time. 70

Two evolutionist brain researchers, W.K. Williams and J. Wakefield of Arizona State University, say this on the subject:

Despite the lack of evidence for intermediate stages in linguistic evolution, the alternatives are hard to accept. If some species-specific characteristic did not evolve in piecemeal fashion, then there would seem to be only two ways to explain its appearance. Either it was put in place by some still-undiscovered force, perhaps through divine intervention, or it was the result of some relatively abrupt change in the development of the species, perhaps some sort of spontaneous and widespread mutation . . . but the fortuitous nature of such a happenstance mutation makes that explanation seem suspect. As has been pointed out (Pinker and Bloom, 1990), the chances against a mutation resulting in a system as complex and apparently so ideally suited to its task as is language are staggeringly high. 71

Professor of linguistics Noam Chomsky comments on the complexity of the ability to speak:

I've said nothing so far about the production of language. The reason is that there is little to say of any interest. Apart from peripheral aspects, it remains largely a mystery. 72

To anyone not trapped inside evolutionist preconceptions, the origin of the capacity for speech is perfectly clear. It is Almighty God Who bestows this ability on Man. God inspires speech in human beings and causes them to speak, as is revealed in a verse from the Qur'an:

. . . They will reply, "God gave us speech as He has given speech to everything. He created you in the first place and you will be returned to Him." (Qur'an, 41:21)

In the same way that evolutionists are unable to account for the complexity of the biological structures that enable speech, they are also unable to explain the origin of the consciousness that makes language possible. Human consciousness and the complexities of language show that language was created by a superior Intelligence that belongs to Almighty God, our Lord.

68. David Premack, "‘Gavagai!' or the Future History of the Animal Language Controversy," Cognition, 19, 1985, pp. 281-282.
69. Derek Bickerton, "Babel's Cornerstone," New Scientist, Issue 2102, 4 October 1997, p. 42.
70. Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow, Boston: Houghton-Miflin Co., 1998, p. 294.
71. Wendy K. Wilkins and Jennie Wakefield, "Brain Evolution and Neurolinguistic Preconditions," Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (1): 161-226.
72. Noam Chomsky, Powers and Prospects: Reflections on Human Nature and the Social Order, London: Pluto Press, 1996, p. 16.