RE: Genesis Flood--talking apes

Sweitzer, Dennis (
Mon, 06 May 96 11:17:00 EST

Dick wrote:
>classified as apes, and apes don't talk. If you can't see any flaws in
>a theory that calls for talking apes then I think we've reached an impasse.
>I'm speechless. I think the Australopithicines were too since they are
>classified as apes, and apes don't talk. If you can't see any flaws in
>a theory that calls for talking apes then I think we've reached an impasse.

Glenn Responded>>>>>>>>>>
Australopithecus is NOT classified as ape. It is classified in the family
Hominidae, the same as you. It is the suborder Hominoidea which includes
apes, australopithecus and homo. Thus you are classified with the apes in
the suborder. And I guess this makes you a talking ape. :-)

I would like to point out that if evolution is true, which I believe it
is, then you and I as primates, are talking apes. I firmly believe that
God intervened at one point with mankind or australopithecus. But since I
have no problem with you and I talking, then I have no problem with an ape
Good that you don't. What's y'alls perspective on Koko, and Washoe (and who
knows how many others), the apes/chimps that have been taught sign language?

I haven't followed them closely, they have learned sign language, some have
even taught it to other apes, and seem to be able to innovate in regards to
sequences of signs that they have not been exposed to. They also express
emotion. Apparently they can communicate at the level of a pre-schooler
(human), using sign language.

Of course, their vocal apparatus precludes them from any kind of speech.
Other experiments have been done using computerized panels of icons that
they touch, with apparently similar results.

Skeptics have accused the researchers of subtly coaching the apes (i.e., the
'clever Hans effect', named for the clever circus horse that seemingly could
do arithmetic--but was actually responding to subtle clues from the
audience). But I think that the balence of evidence is in favor of real
(though limited) communication. (Although some people have such a strong
"anti-anthropomorism" prejudice that they will reject any kind of higher
thinking skills--or even emotions-- in animals).

Is Broca's area mainly functional for verbal speech? Or does it reflect a
higher level of speech & thought integration? Prehaps it is involved in
symbolic and abstract conceptualization that does seem to distinguish humans
from animals.

In the standard evolutionary scenario, there is no problem with apes/chimps
having such communications skills--they are merely the juxtaposition of
visual skills, manual dexterity, and mental thinking skills (including the
ability to implicity 'label' an object and think about it internally). But
lacking an efficient external channel (i.e., speech, or the human given sign
language), such a skill is accidental, not useful.

The human innovation then would be expanded vocalization abilities, allowing
symbolic communication to become truly usefull. Once having become useful,
natural selection would favor those with high communcation skills.

I presume that under a theistic evolution scenario, God seeded our
voiceboxes & directed our evolution there after. Does this imply that the
degree of communication abilities is the distinction between human and

Well, I've said enough already for my knowledge level.

Grace & peace,

Dennis Sweitzer