MORE MONKEY BUSINESS, OR IS IT?
My this week has passed by so quickly, I thought last weeks blog was just written this past Monday, ha ha! So I am a bit behind. But all is gong well here at my home, no terrible major events have happened. But one great event has happened! If you haven’t already done so, please take a look at my new book, available now on Amazon in print and soon it will be available in ebook form. That is the big, major news in our house hold, yeah! It was quite a feat putting the book together because I wanted it as accurate as possible and at the same time as excitingly entertaining. Much research went into its development.
Speaking of research, the research on monkeys, I thought, was fascinating. Here are a few other things I learned about monkey speech…
Tecumseh Fitch, lead author of the research on monkey vocals, and his colleges “…used computer simulations to synthesize how a monkey’s voice would sound if it could imitate phrases like ‘Happy holidays’ and ‘Will you marry me?’ The words were quite understandable. So, given that they have the necessary sound-producing anatomy, why don’t monkeys imitate human language? After all, parrots have a go at it and get lots of attention for their trouble.”1 Good question. And an even better question is though the parrots can imitate the sounds quite accurately, do they know what they are saying? “…among God’s earthly creations only human beings can use language to develop, encode, and communicate abstract thoughts. A monkey might, however, need to communicate something concrete and practical, like ‘Danger, danger!’”2
Actually, it is not ‘might’, some monkeys do let their troops
know danger is approaching by the calls they make. They even can direct the calls differently to share information about the direction and degree of that danger. This shouldn’t surprise us, after all it has been demonstrated over and over that God has equipped animals with DNA that can allow creatures to adapt to their environment including avoiding predators. “God has apparently provided them (monkeys) with the ability to refine and adapt their instinctive alarm calls to fit the varying situations in which they find themselves…For some time now scientists have been observing two populations of Campbell’s monkeys (Cercopithecus campbelli) located in Sierra Leone’s Tiwai Island and Ivory Coast’s Tai Forest. They have learned, as New York University professor Philippe Schlenker explains, ‘that Campbell’s monkeys have a distinction between roots and suffixes, and that their combination allows the monkeys to describe both the nature of a threat and its degree of danger.’ By analyzing the recorded monkey alarm calls triggered by leopards and eagles (whether real or imitation), Schlenker and colleagues determined that krak and hok are alarm sounds. They learned that tacking -oo on the end of an alarm call lessens the intensity of the alarm. Hok denotes the aerial threat of
eagles. And boom boom at the beginning of a call sequence means, ‘The coast is clear.’ Even nearby Diana’s monkeys (Cercopithecus diana) calm down when they hear a Campbell’s monkey’s boom boom.”3
|Campbell monkey commons|
|Campbell monkey range, commons|
We must understand, though, that human brain size and complexity are vastly different than those of monkeys or even great apes. Including the connections of muscles and neurons that allow for the human spoken language, which are not at all the same as primates. “We know that God created human language on Day Six of Creation Week, for He spoke with Adam—warning him not to eat of the one forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:16-17) and assigning him the task of naming animals (Genesis 2:19-20). And Adam named the animals and communicated with his wife that first day of his existence. God likewise created the roots of the nearly 7,000 languages we have today almost 1,700 years later when He dispersed the rebellious descendants of Noah’s family
congregating at the Tower of Babel. In fact the extraordinary differences between the language families that linguists describe (fewer than 150) are consistent with the radical divergence of people groups from Babel around 4,000 years ago, an actual historical event described in the Bible.”4
|Campbell monkey, commons|
Every time there is a question about our origins, true scientists, those without an agenda, find the answers in scripture. I think it is reasonable to call the Bible a reliable, accurate source in which the unaltered truth was recorded.
Until next time, take care and God bless,