Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lip-Smacking Proof of Evolution?

On April 8th of this year the science journal, Current Biology, published a study conducted by Dr. Thore Bergman of the University of Michigan. The study concluded that gelada monkeys make lip-smacking vocalizations that are surprisingly similar to human speech. Dr. Bergman was quoted, “Our finding provides support for the lip-smacking origins of speech because it shows that this evolutionary pathway is at least plausible.” He further stated, “It demonstrates that nonhuman primates can vocalize while lip-smacking to produce speech-like sounds.” Other researchers quickly echoed through news outlets that "these findings show that lip-smacking could have been an important step in the evolution of human speech." What do you think?
Many nonhuman primates smack their lips. What is unusual about the gelada is that when it does so, it makes sounds known as “wobbles” that sound a little like a human hum. And, Bergman analyzed recordings of the gelada’s wobbles and found that the rhythm of their wobbles resembled that of a human hum. Accordingly, the scientific community is apparently convinced that this is further proof supporting evolution of humans from nonhuman primates. Are you convinced?
I read the study’s summary and its conclusions. In addition, I also watched videos of the gelada wobbles and paid careful attention to the sounds. And, characterizing this study as evidence for the stated claims is an insult to even a child’s intelligence. First of all, the wobbles sound similar to only one human sound. But, humans make hundreds of speech sounds. And, humming is not "speech" since it is a closed-mouth sound. Further, if we have found the origin of one human sound from one nonhuman primate, where in primates can we find more of the other hundreds of predecessors to human sounds? Is this the only human-like sound we can find in nonhuman primates? Did the other primates capable of other human sounds all die off to extinction? If so, since they were not strong enough to survive, how did they survive long enough to perpetuate the evolution of humans? Are we to believe that none of them could survive such that we have only one primate surviving that makes only one human sound? Isn’t it more logical that this is just a mere coincidence rather than evidence of a loose-knit theory for which all other evidence unknowingly disappeared?
Second, while these wobbles resemble only one human sound, there are many animals in the rest of the animal kingdom that make many more human sounds that are ignored in this discussion since they are not claimed to be ancestors to humans. I have heard certain dogs routinely make open-mouthed sounds much more closely resembling humans. Extending Bergman's logic, does that mean dogs are also our ancestors? In addition, there are several bird species, including parrots, that can actually speak exactly like humans and mimic whole sentences of human speech. So, parrots are also human ancestors? And, we are supposed to ignore all of that and accept a gelada’s closed-mouth humming sound as more relevant and convincing?
Third, what the study and news outlets failed to address is that the gelada monkey is found only in one small part of the world. They are exclusively found in a small mountain range in central Ethiopia at thousands of feet above sea level. They don’t exist anywhere else in the world. So, how does that even fit the narrative of human ancestry when their existence is concentrated in a small mountain range at elevations where “early humans” are not even claimed to have lived? Maybe that is why the gelada has never been depicted in any human ancestral diagrams.
Despite all of the obvious evidence to the contrary, Bergman’s study is heralded in the journals and news networks as breakthrough science. In a world that lacks so much evidence, evolutionists are apparently reduced to heralding as breakthrough something that is about as novel as someone tomorrow claiming the discovery of peanut butter. This is desperate, ridiculous and fraudulent deception. You have to do a whole lot better than “lip-smacking” and a “hum” to confirm ancestry or claim this to be consistent with ancestry. This is a display of amazingly foolish faith!
What is truly ironic is that through this, the researchers and news outlets have personally displayed something presently in common with gelada monkeys … senseless lip-smacking.