AMERICAN HERITAGE AND PRINCIPLES (The disbanding of principles that Americans once understood as virtuous.) Donald R. Fox


(The disbanding of principles that Americans once understood as virtuous.)
Donald R. Fox

It seems to me that our basic American Heritage and principles are falling away as leaves quickly falling to the ground in the fall of the year. Since I am a retired military person I have been keeping up with the drive to allow women in combat roles and homosexuals in the military, etc. Looking at Fox News, 10 February 2012, 7:00 PM CST, three women, the host, a liberal Democrat and a conservative Republican all praised the lifting of the long-standing rule/ban of not allowing women in combat roles. These well-educated women likened this decision as the equal to “women’s right to vote” in the early 1900’s. Such like views are now common and so-called “good people” are accepting these trends as normal and wholesome.

I am shocked and appalled at how fast we Americans are disregarding and rejecting our traditional standards of right/wrong. Same-sex marriage, gays serving in the military and now women fighting along side men. Filthy movies/TV with vulgar speech are common or maybe even normal. Too many Americans accept abortion as a health issue to be controlled and supported by government health programs. I strongly affirm that wholesale abortion can be compared to the Nazi’s final solution. Please see: http://essaysbyfox.org/html/essays/ELIMINATION.doc and http://essaysbyfox.org/html/essays/IT'S%20THE%20LAW.doc

We are now fully reaping the propaganda and mind-set that started in the 1960’s. How or what can we do to wake folks up? I fear that the on-going liberal propaganda and brainwashing tools will or has crept into the Body of Christ, the church. Concerning propaganda see: http://essaysbyfox.org/html/essays/PROPAGANDA.doc

SIDED NOTE: On the Fox News program as noted, 10 February 2012, the host interviewed a female Episcopalian clergy person. This segment dealt with abortion as a health issue. The clergy person affirmed in a very strong way that abortion should be freely given and supported by governmental health coverage. I find such opinions mind-boggling from a person that considers himself or herself as a Christian. I use Christian in a very broad sense that is understood by the masses. This also is another issue on how far some religions have decayed. How very sad and incredibly extreme from what the Word of God, the Bible teaches. Friends, is this not an example of a man-made creed superseding and overruling the Bible? “We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29 ASV). When men follow the Word of God, the Bible, they will understand and obey true standards/principles and not the dictates of mere men. Mark that down!

Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ASV)

“My moral judgment is not the last court of appeal since it is always possible that I have been taught that which is wrong.” (Page 75, Hearing For Eternity, Vol. II, by Fred A. Amick)

"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader."-Samuel Adams.

THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM: "The existence of the combat restrictions clearly indicates the basis for Congress' decision to exempt women from registration. The purpose of registration was to prepare for a draft of combat troops. Since women are excluded from combat, Congress concluded that they would not be needed in the event of a draft, and therefore decided not to register them.” Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Service_System (Go to Exemption of women) At present, there seems to be great contradictions on our present laws concerning women in the Armed Services. Concerning such, are you as confused as I am?

NOTE: For further study on this subject see essays titled “WOMEN IN COMBAT”, Part 1 and 2

Taking The Lord’s Supper On Sunday Night By Allen Webster


Taking The Lord’s Supper
On Sunday Night

By Allen Webster

Most, if not all, congregations give those who are “providentially hindered” on Sunday mornings an opportunity to partake of the communion and give of their means at the evening service.  “Providentially hindered” refers to:
  • Those who were unable to attend the morning service because of sickness (but felt better by Sunday night)
  • Those who had to work (but got off)
  • Those who needed to sit with someone who was sick (but were relieved by someone)
  • Those who had “ought” against brethren, “left the gift at the altar” and went to correct it (Matthew 5:24) [and did]
The practice has an Old Testament precedent.  Eating the Lord’s Supper is the New Testament equivalent of eating the Passover in the Old Testament.  Israel was commanded to eat the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, but God made arrangements for them to “make it up” on the fourteenth day of the second month under certain circumstances.  He commanded, “If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the Passover unto the Lord.  The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs . . .” (Numbers 9:10-11).  So under these special circumstances, God still wanted them to eat the Passover.  This is parallel to being unable to be at the morning service and then partaking of it on Sunday night (since the communion is a weekly occurrence rather than an annual feast). This practice places the proper emphasis on the importance of taking the communion.  In many modern churches the Lord’s Supper has not been emphasized as it was in the days of the apostles.  Some groups only take it once or twice a year.  In a recent conversation, one man explained that he had been a member of a large Protestant group in a mid-size town for three years and had never been in a communion service!  In the New Testament, the apostles gathered on the Lord’s Day to partake (Acts 20:7), implying that it was an every Sunday occurrence.  [For instance, Albert Barnes, considered by many to be the preeminent Protestant commentator, wrote:  “It is probable that the apostles and early Christians celebrated the Lord’s supper on every Lord’s day” (Barnes Notes, Vol. 10, Acts, Baker Book House, 1884, p. 288).  Adam Clarke, equally well-known, writes, “. . . intimating, by this, that they were accustomed to receive the holy sacrament on each Lord’s day” (Clarke’s Commentary, Vol. 5, Abingdon Press, p. 851). Neither of these men, by the way, were members of the churches of Christ.]  Paul even postponed his journey so he could be in Troas on Sunday for communion (Acts 20:6).
Since it is the memorial of the suffering and death of our Lord, why would anyone not want to remember it?  It is our lifeline back to the cross (1 Corinthians 11:24-25) and without partaking of it we become “weak and sickly” (11:30).  A few years ago the world watched as three gray whales, ice-bound off Point Barrow, Alaska, floated battered and bloody, gasping for breath at a hole in the ice.  Their only hope was to somehow be transported five miles past the ice pack to open sea.  Rescuers began cutting a string of breathing holes about twenty yards apart in six-inch thick ice.  For eight days they coaxed the whales from one hole to the next, mile after mile.  Along the way, one of the trio vanished and was presumed dead.  But finally, with the help of Russian icebreakers, the whales Putu and Siku swam to freedom [Adapted from Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Larson).]  In a way, the Lord’s Supper is a string of breathing holes the Lord provides his people.  Battered in a world frozen over with greed, selfishness and hatred, we rise for air each Sunday.  Not only does the communion provide us with strength, it is a living billboard announcing to unbelievers his death (1 Corinthians 11:26).  Offering the Lord’s Supper on Sunday night keeps Christians from missing such an important event.
The practice can be abused by negligence on Sunday mornings.  If we deliberately forsake the assembly and miss communion on Sunday mornings and then think we can just “catch it” on Sunday nights, we abuse this privilege.  In the passage referenced above, God went on to discuss someone who willfully skipped the Passover.  “But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the Passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the Lord in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin” (Numbers 9:13).  One who could have taken it but did not, sinned, and was to have fellowship withdrawn from him (“cut off from among his people”).  This is parallel to someone who wants to watch a sporting event or visit with guests who are spending the weekend at his home or any other circumstance where one could have been in the service but chose not to be.
Also, if one is traveling on vacation or business, he should not skip the morning service and just say, “I’ll be back in time tonight to take the Supper.”  Under the Old Law (in the above verses), it did make provisions for a “journey” but this was because the Passover feast took place in only one city – Jerusalem.  If you kept the Law, you had to eat it in “the place God appointed.”  Today, God’s church is not limited to one geographic location.  It meets in communities across the world on each Lord’s Day.  If we plan ahead [There are books (e.g., Where The Saints Meet) that list all the congregations in the world with address, times of services and phone numbers.], we can meet with the saints even when we are out-of-town.  It is wrong to drive by congregations, forsake the morning worship, and then get back in town and take the Lord’s Supper on Sunday night.
God is strict about forsaking his worship:
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:25-26).
In Old Testament times, one man was caught picking up sticks on Saturday – a violation of the command to, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).  They were not sure what to do with him.  After all, he had only violated one command one time.  He probably even pled, “I promise I’ll never do it again.”  But when they asked God what to do, he commanded them to stone him to death, which they did (Numbers 15:32-36).  God doesn’t want us to go into the stoning business, but he will judge each according to his deeds on the last day (2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15). We should make sure we partake of the communion each Sunday that it is physically and spiritually possible.  If we have willfully forsaken the assembly, then we should repent of it, confess it publicly (James 5:16) and resolve to do better in the future.

"THE BOOK OF ACTS" Walking In The Fear Of The Lord (9:31) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                 Walking In The Fear Of The Lord (9:31)


1. In writing about the early church, Luke recorded:

   "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee
   and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the
   Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied."
                                                       - Ac 9:31

2. In writing to the church at Philippi, Paul told them:

   "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in
   my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out
   your own salvation with fear and trembling;" - Php 2:12

3. The concept of "fear and trembling" in connection with God is not
   a popular concept today...
   a. People prefer to hear about God's love, longsuffering and mercy
   b. When we point out God's righteous indignation, holiness, and
      justice, some say "My God is not like that!"
   c. The emphasis on God's love and mercy today is probably a reaction
      to the "hell, fire, and brimstone" preaching of another generation

4. But could it be that we have gone to other extreme...?
   a. Where there is no concept of fear and trembling as it relates to the Christian?
   b. Could this be why many Christians are apathetic in their service?
   c. Have we forgotten Whom we should fear if we are negligent in our 
      service? - cf. Mt 10:28

5. In this lesson, I hope to accomplish three things...
   a. Define the fear of the Lord
   b. Point out why the fear of the Lord is important to the Christian
   c. Suggest how we can develop a healthy fear of the Lord without going
      to either extreme

[Let's begin by...]


   A. THE WORD "FEAR"...
      1. The Hebrew word is yir'ah and is used in the Old Testament to describe:
         a. Fear, terror
         b. Awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear)
         c. Fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety
      2. The Greek word is phobos, and it is used to describe:
         a. Fear, dread, terror
         b. that which strikes terror

      1. Which is fine as far as it goes...
      2. But I wonder if this definition truly goes far enough...
      3. For though the terms reverence and awe imply a place for
         "trembling", do most make the connection?

      1. Even as Paul indicated by combining "fear and trembling" - Php 2:12
      2. The Greek word for "trembling" is tromos (a trembling or quaking with fear)
      3. Just as one would likely tremble in the presence of one who
         could take our life, so Jesus taught us to fear the Lord - Mt 10:28

      1. "reverence and awe..."
      2. "being afraid to offend God in any way" - Hendriksen
      3. A trembling and quaking if one knows they have offended God and
         have not obtained forgiveness! - cf. He 10:26-27,30-31; 12:28-29

[The value of such an attitude is seen as we continue and now notice...]


      1. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge - Pr 1:7
      2. The fear of the Lord will cause one to hate evil - Pr 8:13
      3. The fear of the Lord will prolong life - Pr 10:27
      4. The fear of the Lord provides strong confidence and is a
         fountain of life - Pr 14:26-27
      5. The fear of the Lord prompts one to depart from evil - Pr 16:6
      6. The fear of the Lord leads to a satisfying life, and spares one
         from much evil - Pr 19:23
      7. The fear of the Lord is the way to riches, honor, and life!- Pr 22:4

      1. We close ourselves to the treasures of God's wisdom and knowledge!
      2. We will flirt with evil and be corrupted by it
      3. Our lives are likely to be shortened by our refusal to heed 
         God's word (e.g., suffering STDs because we did not heed His 
         Word on sexual relationships)
      4. We will not come to know the love of God that gives us
         assurance and confidence of our salvation
      5. When fallen into sin, we will not be motivated to repent and turn to God!
      6. We will not be motivated to truly "work out our own salvation"!

[Without the fear of the Lord, we cannot please God (cf. Isa 66:1-2).
Only the person who "trembles at His Word" has God's promise to receive
His tender mercy! (cf. Ps 103:17-18).  But how does one develop the
proper fear of the Lord without going to the extreme of earlier generations...?]


      1. Just as "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" - cf. Ro 10:17
      2. The children of Israel were told to gather every seven years to
         read and hear the Word - Deut 31:10-13
      3. The purpose?  "...that they may learn to fear the Lord"! - cf. Deut 31:13
      4. As one reads the Word of God, they should gain a healthy degree
         of the fear of the Lord
         a. Consider the words of Paul in Ro 2:4-11
         b. And the words of Peter in 2Pe 3:7-14

      1. To avoid extremes, we must read all of God's Word
         a. Some read only portions that reveal God's love and mercy, and
            have no fear of the Lord
         b. Others focus on the fire, hell and brimstone passages, and 
            know nothing of God's everlasting loving kindness
         c. The one develops an attitude of permissiveness that belittles
            God's holiness and justice
         d. The other develops a psychosis of terror that forgets God's grace and compassion
      2. Even in passages noted above, the context of each speaks much of
         God's grace and forgiveness for those who will repent!
      3. So we must be careful how we use the Word of God, but use it we must!


1. The Psalmist wrote...

   "God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, 
   And to be held in reverence by all those around Him." - Ps 89:7

2. Why do we need to fear the Lord?  So we will be sure to work out our 
   salvation with fear and trembling! - Ac 9:31; Php 2:12

3. The warning is necessary, for as it is written in Hebrews...

   "Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us
   fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed
   the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word
   which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith
   in those who heard it." - He 4:1-2

   And again...

   "Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone
   fall according to the same example of disobedience." - He 4:11

4. With the proper fear of the Lord, we will "work out our salvation", we
   will "be diligent to enter into that [heavenly] rest"...!

"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves
from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the
fear of God." - 2Co 7:1

Are we perfecting holiness in the fear of God...?
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2012

"THE BOOK OF ACTS" Paul's Early Years As A Christian (9:19-30) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

              Paul's Early Years As A Christian (9:19-30)


1. When people think of the life of Paul (Saul), they are likely mindful of...
   a. His persecution of the church prior to his conversion
   b. His vision of the Lord on the road to Damascus
   c. His three missionary journeys recorded in the book of Acts
2. What may not be as well-known are the years immediately following his conversion... 
   a. His conversion likely took place around 35-36 A.D.
   b. His first missionary journey began 45 A.D.
[What was Paul doing during his early years as a Christian?  Knowing the
zeal of Paul, it was not likely an idle time of his life.  This period began with...]


      1. Immediately after his conversion, Paul began preaching - Ac 9:19-20
      2. To the amazement of those who heard him - Ac 9:21-22

      1. Paul did not stay in Damascus long after his conversion - Ga 1:15-17
      2. He went to Arabia, the desert area east and south of Damascus
      3. How long he stayed is uncertain, though it is thought to have
         been the greater part of three years - Ga 1:18
      4. What he did is unknown, though some think it was a time of
         personal reflection, and of revelations from the Lord - Ga 1:11-12
      1. He returned from Arabia to Damascus - Ga 1:17
      2. Some time later an attempt was made to kill him, which he escaped - Ac 9:23-25
      3. Years later he recounted his narrow escape - 2Co 11:32-33

[Damascus was the first place Paul preached (Ac 26:19-20), and the first
place he experienced persecution.  It would not be the last place for
either experience!  Leaving Damascus, Paul made his...]


      1. At first, the church was afraid to receive him - Ac 9:26
      2. Barnabas (cf. Ac 4:36-37) introduced him to the apostles - Ac 9:27
      3. He saw Peter, and stayed with him fifteen days - Ga 1:18
      4. He also saw James the Lord's brother - Ga 1:19
      1. He was given free access to the church - Ac 9:28
      2. He proclaimed boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus - Ac 9:29
      3. He disputed with the Hellenists (Grecian Jews) - Ac 9:29
      1. The Hellenists attempted to kill him - Ac 9:29
      2. Paul was warned by the Lord in a vision - Ac 22:17-21
      3. The brethren send him to Tarsus by way of Caesarea - Ac 9:30

[Paul had now become a dangerous enemy to his former friends.  His
testimony concerning the Lord and his own conversion was difficult to
answer, and the opposition was willing to do anything to silence him! At
this point Paul returned home (Tarsus) and spent...]


      1. The place of his birth - Ac 22:3
      2. It became the center of preaching in the surrounding regions of
         Syria and Cilicia - Ga 1:21
      3. Churches in Judea heard of his preaching - Ga 1:22-24
      4. Little else is known of this period of Paul's life, though it
         may have been a time when:
         a. Churches in the area were established - Ac 15:23,41
         b. Paul suffered persecution not recorded in Acts - 2Co 11:24-26 
         c. He had the vision of Paradise - 2Co 12:1-4
      1. Occasioned by the arrival of Barnabas - Ac 11:25
         a. Who introduced him to the Jerusalem church earlier - Ac 9:26-27
         b. Who traveled with him on his first missionary journey later- Ac 13:1-4
      2. Who had come from Antioch of Syria, the site of a new and
         growing church - Ac 11:19-24


1. "Paul's Early Years As A Christian" was a time of...
   a. Relative obscurity, out of the limelight in comparison with later years
   b. Service and experience which prepared him for the work to come later 

2. In our zeal to be of great service to the Lord...
   a. Don't discount the need for time spent in preparation, and
      preliminary acts of service
   b. How we serve in small things will determine our usefulness in greater things

As Jesus told His other apostles in their time of training...

   He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and
   he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. - Lk 16:10

As we have ability and opportunity, even if it be seemingly
insignificant, let us be faithful so that Lord might one day find us
useful for greater service...

The Quran and Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


The Quran and Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

One very significant clash between the Quran and the Bible, intimately aligned with the person and deity of Jesus, is His redemptive role. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are showcased in the New Testament as the central platform of Christianity (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Acts 2:22-36; 3:13-18; 4:2,10,25-28; 5:30-31; 17:31; et al.). The primary reason Jesus came into the world was to carry out the absolutely essential plan of salvation—the means of atonement that makes it possible for God to forgive sin (Isaiah 53:10-11; Mark 10:45; Luke 19:10; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Philippians 2:5-8; 1 Timothy 2:5-6). It is only through Christ that forgiveness of sin can occur (Acts 4:12; 13:38; Ephesians 2:18). And it is only through Christ’s shed blood that this remission could be achieved (Hebrews 9:11-10:4,19; 2:14; Colossians 1:14,20; 1 Peter 1:18-21; Revelation 1:5). Christ’s crucifixion (necessarily followed by His resurrection) is unequivocally the supreme feature of the Christian religion. Without that unique and singular event, propitiation would be impossible (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2). Atonement for sin is a mandatory, indispensable necessity—intimately linked with the very nature of deity. God cannot remain just, while simply overlooking or dismissing human sin (Romans 3:25).
But the Quran, in conspicuous contradistinction, shows abject ignorance of the notion of atonement. It, in fact, denies the historicity of the crucifixion of Christ. In a passage that recounts the frequent disobedience of the Jews, the point is made:
And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger—They slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain, but Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise (Surah 4:157-158, emp. added).
Since Jesus (allegedly) was not actually crucified, it follows that He likewise was not resurrected from the dead:
(And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing thee of those who disbelieve and am setting those who follow thee above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then unto Me ye will (all) return, and I shall judge between you as to that wherein ye used to differ (Surah 3:55, emp. added).
In sharp contrast, the New Testament places the resurrection as the platform on which the rest of the Christian system rests. If Jesus was not crucified and subsequently resurrected from the dead, then Christianity is a sham and completely indefensible. As Paul declared:
Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable (1 Corinthians 15:12-19, emp. added).
The author of the Quran appears oblivious to this deficiency. He endorses Christianity (as long as Christians will acknowledge God as singular), but denies the resurrection. Yet the Christian religion itself admits that if the resurrection did not take place, it is a false religion. In fact, the very name “Christian” would be a blasphemous term if Christ is not to be worshipped as God and Savior. To identify oneself, or others, as “Christians” in an approving manner should be as unacceptable and repugnant to Islam as the identification of Muslims as “Mohammedans.” Yet the Quran frequently lends dignity to the term “Christian” in an approving manner (Surah 2:62,111,113,120; 5:51,69,82; 22:17)—all the while denying its most central tenet.

The Walls Came Tumbling Down by Garry K. Brantley, M.A., M.Div.


The Walls Came Tumbling Down

by  Garry K. Brantley, M.A., M.Div.

Jericho’s inhabitants watched the army of Israel circle their city each day for six days. On the seventh day, the Israelites marched around the city seven times. When the Israelites shouted and the priests blew their trumpets, those strong walls in which the Jerichoites placed such confidence crumbled like sand. Just as Egypt’s so-called gods were powerless against Yahweh, Jericho’s stately walls bowed before Him. Such is the biblical scenario of Jericho’s fate during the time of Joshua.
In the preliminary report of her extensive excavations at Jericho, archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon adduced a purely naturalistic explanation of the biblical story. She conjectured that, at the precise moment of Israel’s trumpet blasts and shouts, an earthquake fortuitously crumbled Jericho’s walls. In their religious naivete, the Israelites regarded this natural event as divine intervention on their behalf (Kenyon, 1957, p. 262).
Kenyon’s analyses demonstrate the status to which archaeology has been elevated in some circles. To many scholars, archaeology has become such a sophisticated scientific endeavor that they attach greater importance to archaeological interpretations than to biblical information. Accordingly, if archaeology cannot prove it, we are asked to suspend judgment on the integrity of a given biblical text.
Yet, archaeology can do only so much. Though it provides some valuable information regarding culture in biblical times, and has illuminated the biblical text in many unexpected ways, archaeology is woefully inadequate to address questions of theology. It is true that archaeological investigations often have confirmed biblical historicity. Bryant G. Wood, for example, has extensively analyzed the evidence from Jericho and concluded that the data are consistent with biblical information regarding Jericho’s destruction (see Wood, 1987; 1990). Such evidence does confirm the historical reliability of the Bible—something we would expect from a divinely inspired document. Archaeology, however, cannot determine Who caused Jericho’s walls to fall. It is by faith that we acknowledge divine causes in human history. And it is by such faith that we know that at God’s command, the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.


Kenyon, Kathleen (1957), Digging Up Jericho: The Results of the Jericho Excavations 1952-1956 (New York: Praeger).
Wood, Bryant G. (1987), “Uncovering the Truth at Jericho,” Archaeology and Biblical Research, Premiere Issue, pp. 6-16, Autumn.
Wood, Bryant G. (1990), “Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho?: A New Look at the Archaeological Evidence,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 16[2]:44-58, March/April.

The Origin of Language and Communication by Dave Miller, Ph.D. Bert Thompson, Ph.D. Brad Harrub, Ph.D.


The Origin of Language and Communication

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.
Bert Thompson, Ph.D.
Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first article by our newest staff member, Dr. Dave Miller, who joins us this month as the chairman of our recently established Department of New Testament Studies. Dave’s doctorate is in speech communications, which makes him especially qualified to write on the topic of the origin of language and communication. See my “Note from the Editor” for an introduction to this talented addition to our staff.]
In 1994, an article appeared in Time magazine titled “How Man Began.” Within that article was the following bold assertion: “No single, essential difference separates human beings from other animals” (Lemonick, 143[11]:81). Yet, in what is obviously a contradiction to such a statement, all evolutionists admit that communication via speech is uniquely human—so much so that it often is used as the singular, and most important, dividing line between humans and animals. In his book titled Eve Spoke, evolutionist Philip Lieberman admitted:
Speech is so essential to our concept of intelligence that its possession is virtually equated with being human. Animals who talk are human, because what sets us apart from other animals is the “gift” of speech (1998, p. 5, emp. in orig.).
In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution, editors Jones, Martin, and Pilbeam conceded that “[t]here are no non-human languages,” and then went on to observe that “language is an adaptation unique to humans, and yet the nature of its uniqueness and its biological basis are notoriously difficult to define” (1992, p. 128, emp. added). In his book, The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain, Terrance Deacon noted:
In this context, then, consider the case of human language. It is one of the most distinctive behavioral adaptations on the planet. Languages evolved in only one species, in only one way, without precedent, except in the most general sense. And the differences between languages and all other natural modes of communicating are vast (1997, p. 25).
What events transpired that have allowed humans to speak, while animals remain silent? If we are to believe the evolutionary teaching currently taking place in colleges and universities around the world, speech evolved as a natural process over time. Yet no one is quite sure how, and there are no known animals that are in a transition phase from non-speaking to speaking. In fact, in the Atlas of Languages, this remarkable admission can be found: “No languageless community has ever been found” (Matthews, et al., 1996, p. 7). This represents no small problem for evolution.
In fact, the origin of speech and language (along with the development of sex and reproduction) remains one of the most significant hurdles in evolutionary theory, even in the twenty-first century. In fact, many evolutionists simply have stopped discussing the matter completely. Jean Aitchison noted:
In 1866, a ban on the topic was incorporated into the founding statues of the Linguistic Society of Paris, perhaps the foremost academic linguistic institution of the time: “The Society does not accept papers on either the origin of language or the invention of a universal language” (2000, p. 5).
That is an amazing (albeit inadvertent) admission of defeat, especially coming from a group of such eminent scientists, researchers, and scholars.
The truth of the matter is, however, that the origin of human languages can be discerned—but not via the theory of evolution. We invite your attention to the discussion that follows, which demonstrates conclusively that humans were created by God with the unique ability to employ speech for communication.


Many animals are capable of using sounds to communicate. However, there is a colossal difference between the hoot of an owl or the grunt of a pig, and a human standing before an audience reciting Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” This enormous chasm between humans and animals has led to a multiplicity of theories on exactly how man came upon this unequaled capability. But there is a single, common theme that stands out amidst all the theories: “The world’s languages evolved spontaneously. They were not designed” (Deacon, p. 110, emp. added).
Design implies a Designer; thus, evolutionists have conjured up theories that consider language nothing more than a fortuitous chain of events. Most of these theories involve humans growing bigger brains, which then made it physiologically possible for people to develop speech and language. For instance, in the foreword of her book, The Seeds of Speech, Jean Aitchison hypothesized:
Physically, a deprived physical environment led to more meat-eating and, as a result, a bigger brain. The enlarged brain led to the premature birth of humans, and in consequence a protracted childhood, during which mothers cooed and crooned to their offspring. An upright stance altered the shape of the mouth and vocal tract, allowing a range of coherent sounds to be uttered (2000, p. x).
Thus, according to Aitchison, we can thank “a deprived physical environment” for our ability to talk and communicate. Another evolutionist, John McCrone, put it this way:
It all started with an ape that learned to speak. Man’s hominid ancestors were doing well enough, even though the world had slipped into the cold grip of the ice ages. They had solved a few key problems that had held back the other branches of the ape family, such as how to find enough food to feed their rather oversized brains. Then man’s ancestors happened on the trick of language. Suddenly, a whole new mental landscape opened up. Man became self-aware and self-possessed (1991, p. 9).
Question: How (and why) did that first ape learn to speak? It is easy to assert that “it all started with an ape that learned to speak.” But it is much more difficult to describe how this took place, especially in light of our failure to teach apes to speak today. In his book, From Hand to Mouth: The Origins of Language, Michael Corballis stated:
My own view is that language developed much more gradually, starting with the gestures of apes, then gathering momentum as the bipedal hominins evolved. The appearance of the larger-brained genus Homo some 2 million years ago may have signaled the emergence and later development of syntax, with vocalizations providing a mounting refrain. What may have distinguished Homo sapiens was the final switch from a mixture of gestural and vocal communication to an autonomous vocal language, embellished by gesture but not dependent on it (2002, p. 183).
The truth however, is that evolutionists can only speculate as to the origin of language. Evolutionist Carl Zimmer summed it up well when he wrote:
No one knows the exact chronology of this evolution, because language leaves precious few traces on the human skeleton. The voice box is a flimsy piece of cartilage that rots away. It is suspended from a slender C-shaped bone called a hyoid, but the ravages of time usually destroy the hyoid too (2001, p. 291).
Thus, theories are plentiful—while the evidence to support those theories remains mysteriously unavailable. Add to this the fact that humans acquire the ability to communicate (and even learn some of the basic rules of syntax) by the age of two, and you begin to see why Aitchison admitted:
Of course, holes still remain in our knowledge: in particular, at what stage did language leap from being something new which humans discovered to being something which every newborn human is scheduled to acquire? This is still a puzzle (p. ix).
A “puzzle” indeed!


In a chapter he titled “What, When, and Where did Eve Speak to Adam and He to Her?,” Philip Lieberman commented:
In the five-million-year-long lineage that connects us to the common ancestors of apes and human beings, there have been many Adams and many Eves. In the beginning was the word, but the vocal communications of our most distant hominid ancestors five million years or so ago probably didn’t really differ from those of the ape-hominid ancestor (1998, p. 133).
Using biblical terminology, Lieberman had written a year earlier: “For with speech came a capacity for thought that had never existed before, and that has transformed the world. In the beginning was the word” (1997, p. 27).
When God created the first human beings—Adam and Eve—He created them in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). This likeness unquestionably included the ability to engage in intelligible speech via human language. In fact, God spoke to them from the very beginning of their existence as humans (Genesis 1:28-30). Hence, they possessed the ability to understand verbal communication—and to speak themselves!
God gave very specific instructions to the man before the woman was even created (Genesis 2:15-17). Adam gave names to the animals before the creation of Eve (Genesis 2:19-20). Since both the man and the woman were created on the sixth day, the creation of the man preceded the creation of the woman by only hours. So, Adam had the ability to speak on the very day that he was brought into existence!
That same day, God put Adam to sleep and performed history’s first human surgery. He fashioned the female of the species from a portion of the male’s body. God then presented the woman to the man (no doubt in what we would refer to as the first marriage ceremony). Observe Adam’s response: “And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man’ ” (Genesis 2:23). Here is Adam—less than twenty-four hours old—articulating intelligible speech with a well-developed vocabulary and advanced powers of expression. Note also that Eve engaged in intelligent conversation with Satan (Genesis 3:1-5). An unbiased observer is forced to conclude that Adam and Eve were created by God with oral communication capability. Little wonder, then, that God said to Moses: “Who had made man’s mouth?... Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say” (Exodus 4:11-12).
This circumstance should not surprise us, since the rest of the created order also was brought into existence fully formed and operational. Adam’s body was that of a man—not a child. His body possessed reproductive capability (Genesis 1:28). His mind was mentally and psychologically functional on the level of an adult. Likewise, trees and plants were completely operational in their photosynthetic, reproductive, and fruit-bearing capability (Genesis 1:11-12). Animals, too, were created fully functional (Genesis 1:20-25). And, the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars were created instantaneously to provide the services they were intended to provide (Genesis 1:14-18). Once again, the biblical explanation of the beginning of the human race and linguistic functionality is logical, reasonable, and scientifically feasible. The evolutionary model is not.


Nobody knows exactly how many languages there are in the world, partly because of the difficulty of distinguishing between a language and a sub-language (or dialects within it). But those who have tried to count usually end up around the 5,000 mark (Aitchison, 2000, p. 26).
The Bible’s explanation of the origin of multiple human languages is provided in the Tower of Babel incident recorded in Genesis 11:1-9. Scripture simply and confidently asserts: “Now the whole earth had one language and one speech” (11:1). When Noah and his family stepped off the ark, they spoke a single language that was passed on to their offspring. As the population increased, it apparently remained localized in a single geographical region. Consequently, little or no linguistic variation ensued. But when a generation defiantly rejected God’s instructions to scatter over the planet, God miraculously intervened and initiated the major language groupings of the human race. This action forced the population to proceed with God’s original intention to inhabit the Earth (cf. Isaiah 45:18) by clustering according to shared languages.
This depiction of the origin of languages coincides with the present status of these languages. The available linguistic evidence does not support the model postulated by evolutionary sources for the origin of languages. Evolutionary linguists believe that all human languages have descended from a single, primitive language, which itself evolved from the grunts and noises of the lower animals. The single most influential “hopeful monster” theory of the evolution of human language was proposed by the famous linguist from MIT, Noam Chomsky, and has since been echoed by numerous linguists, philosophers, anthropologists, and psychologists. Chomsky argued that the innate ability of children to acquire the grammar necessary for a language can be explained only if one assumes that all grammars are variations of a single, generic “universal grammar,” and that all human brains come “with a built-in language organ that contains this language blueprint” (Deacon, 1997, p. 35).
Explaining this “innate ability,” a “universal grammar,” and the “built-in language organ” of humans has proven to be, well, impossible! Steven Pinker, the eminent psychologist also of MIT, candidly lamented this very fact in his best-selling book, How the Mind Works. In addressing the failure of “our species’ ” scientists to solve these types of plaguing, perennial problems, he wrote:
[T]he species’ best minds have flung themselves at the puzzles for millennia but have made no progress in solving them. Another is that they have a different character from even the most challenging problems of science. Problems such as how a child learns language or how a fertilized egg becomes an organism are horrendous in practice and may never be solved completely (1997a, p. 562, emp. added).
However, the existing state of human language nevertheless suggests that the variety of dialects and sub-languages has developed from a relatively few (perhaps even less than twenty) languages. These original “proto-languages”—from which all others allegedly have developed—were distinct within themselves, with no previous ancestral language. Creationist Carl Wieland rightly remarked: “The evidence is wonderfully consistent with the notion that a small number of languages, separately created at Babel, has diversified into the huge variety of languages we have today” (1999, p. 22).


In contemplating how language arose, evolutionists frequently link the development of the brain to the appearance of languages. But when one considers that more than 5,000 languages exist, it is incomprehensible to suggest that the invention of language could be viewed as some sort of simple, clear-cut addition to human physiology made possible by an enlarged brain unique to Homo sapiens. Terrance Deacon commented on the intricacy of evolving a language when he said:
For a language feature to have such an impact on brain evolution that all members of the species come to share it, it must remain invariable across even the most drastic language change possible (p. 329, emp. in orig.).
Broca's and Wernicke's Areas of the Brain
Left hemisphere of human brain with language centers—Brocas’s area and Wernicke’s area— highlighted
The complexity underlying speech first revealed itself in patients who were suffering various communication problems. Researchers began noticing analogous responses among patients with similar injuries. The ancient Greeks noticed that brain damage could cause the loss of the ability to speak (a condition known as aphasia). Centuries later, in 1836, Marc Dax described a group of patients that could not speak normally. Dax reported that all of these patients experienced damage to the left hemisphere of their brain. In 1861, Paul Broca described a patient who could utter only a single word—“tan.” When this patient died, Broca examined his brain and observed significant damage to the left frontal cortex, which has since become known anatomically as “Broca’s area.” While patients with damage to Broca’s area can understand language, they generally are unable to produce speech because words are not formed properly, thus slurring their speech.
In 1876, Carl Wernicke discovered that language problems also could result from damage to another section of the brain. This area, later termed “Wernicke’s area,” is located in the posterior part of the temporal lobe. Damage to Wernicke’s area results in a loss of the ability to understand language. Thus, patients can continue to speak, but the words are put together in such a way that they make no sense. Interestingly, in most people (approximately 97%) both Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area are found only in the left hemisphere, which explains the language deficits observed in patients with brain damage to the left side of the brain. Evolutionists freely acknowledge that
[t]he relationship between brain size and language is unclear. Possibly, increased social interaction combined with tactical deception gave the brain an initial impetus. Better nourishment due to meat-eating may also have played a part. Then brain size and language possibly increased together (Aitchison, 2000, p. 85).
However, the human brain is not simply larger. The connections are vastly different as well. As Deacon admitted: “Looking more closely, we will discover that a radical re-engineering of the whole brain has taken place, and on a scale that is unprecedented” (p. 45). In order to speak a word that has been read, information is obtained from the eyes and travels to the visual cortex. From the primary visual cortex, information is transmitted to the posterior speech area (which includes Wernicke’s area). From there, information travels to Broca’s area, and then to the primary motor cortex to provide the necessary muscle contractions to produce the sound. To speak a word that has been heard, we must invoke the primary auditory cortex, not the visual cortex. Deacon commented on this complex neuronal network—which does not occur in animals—when he wrote:
There is, without doubt, something special about human brains that enables us to do with ease what no other species can do even minimally without intense effort and remarkably insightful training. We not only have the ability to create and easily learn simple symbol systems such as the chimps Sherman and Austin struggled to learn, but in learning languages we acquire an immensely complex rule system and a rich vocabulary at a time in our lives when it is otherwise very difficult to learn even elementary arithmetic. Many a treatise on grammatical theory has failed to provide an adequate accounting of the implicit knowledge that even a four-year-old appears to possess about her newly acquired language (p. 103).


The specific mechanics involved in speaking have anatomical requirements that are found only in humans. There is no animal living presently, nor has one been observed in the fossil record, that possesses anything close to the “voice box” (as we commonly call it) present in humans. As information scientist Werner Gitt observed in his fascinating book, The Wonder of Man:
Only man has the gift of speech, a characteristic otherwise only possessed by God. This separates us clearly from the animal kingdom.... In addition to the necessary “software” for speech, we have also been provided with the required “hardware” (1999, p. 101).
Furthermore, the complete lack of any “transitional” animal form (with the requisite speech hardware) in the fossil record poses a significant continuity problem for evolutionists. As Deacon noted:
This lack of precedent makes language a problem for biologists. Evolutionary explanations are about biological continuity, so a lack of continuity limits the use of the comparative method in several important ways. We can’t ask, “What ecological variable correlates with increasing language use in a sample species?” Nor can we investigate the “neurological correlates of increased language complexity.” There is no range of species to include in our analysis (p. 34).
To simplify the anatomy required for human speech by using an analogy, think of a small tube resting inside a larger tube. The inner tube consists of the trachea going down to the lungs, and the larynx (which houses the voice box). At the larynx, the inner tube opens out to the larger tube, which is known as the pharynx. It carries only sound up to the mouth, but it also carries food and water from the mouth down to the stomach. A rather simplistic description of how humans utter sounds in speech can be characterized by the control of air generated by the lungs, flowing through the vocal tract, vibrating over the vocal cord, filtered by facial muscle activity, and released out of the mouth and nose. Just as sound is generated from blowing air across the narrow mouth of a bottle, air is passed over the vocal cords, which can be tightened or relaxed to produce various resonances.
The physiological components necessary can be divided into: (1) supralaryngeal vocal tract; (2) larynx; and (3) subglottal system (see illustration at below). In 1848, Johannes Muller demonstrated that human speech involved the modulation of acoustic energy by the airway above the larynx (referred to as the supralaryngeal tract). Sound energy for speech is generated in the larynx at the vocal folds. The subglottal system—which consists of the lungs, trachea, and their associated muscles—provides the necessary power for speech production. The lungs produce the initial air pressure that is essential for the speech signal; the pharyngeal cavity, oral cavity, and nasal cavity shape the final output sound that is perceived as speech.
Anatomy Used During Speech


Imagine the conundrum in which evolutionists find themselves when it comes to speech and language. The animal that comes closest to producing anything that even vaguely resembles human speech is not another primate, but rather a bird. Deacon observed:
In fact, most birds easily outshine any mammal in vocal skills, and though dogs, cats, horses, and monkeys are remarkably capable learners in many domains, vocalization is not one of them. Our remarkable vocal abilities are not part of a trend, but an exception (pp. 30-31).
For instance, a famous African gray parrot in England named Toto can pronounce words so clearly that he sounds rather human. Like humans, birds can produce fluent, complex sounds. We both share a double-barreled, double-layered system involving tunes and dialects—a system controlled by the left side of our brains. And just like young children, juvenile birds experience a period termed “sub-song” where they twitter in what resembles the babbling of a young child learning to speak. Yet Toto does not have a “language” as humans understand it. Humans use language for many more purposes than birds use song. Consider, too, that it is mostly male birds that sing. Females remain songless unless they are injected with the male hormone testosterone (see Nottebohm, 1980). Also consider that humans frequently communicate intimately between two or three people, while bird communication is a fairly long-distance affair.
One of the big “success” stories in looking at the human-like qualities of non-human primates is a male bonobo chimpanzee known as Kanzi (see Savage-Rumbaugh and Lewin, 1994; Skoyles and Sagan, 2002, pp. 217-220). Kanzi was born October 28, 1990, and began his long journey to learn to “speak” as a result of the training provided for his mother, Matata, via a “talking” keyboard. Matata never did master the keyboard, but Kanzi did. Through many years of intense training and close social contact with humans, this remarkable animal attained the language abilities of an average two-year-old human. By age ten, he had a “spoken” vocabulary (via the keyboard) of some two hundred words. In fact, Kanzi was able to go beyond the mere parroting or “aping” of humans; he actually could communicate his wants and needs, express feelings, and use tools. Inasmuch as Kanzi could accomplish such things, does this prove that chimps are merely hairy, child-like versions of humans?
Hardly. To use the words of the famous American news commentator, Paul Harvey, someone needs to tell “the rest of the story.” For example, in their 2002 volume, Up from Dragons, John Skoyles and Dorion Sagan discussed Kanzi at great length. Among other things, they wrote:
Kanzi shows that while chimps may have the potential to learn language, they require a “gifted” environment to do so. Kanzi was surrounded by intelligent apes with PhDs [i.e., humans—DM/BH/BT] who spoke to him and gave him a stream of rich interactions. They gave Kanzi’s brain a world in which it could play at developing its ability to communicate.... Therefore, as much as in his brain, Kanzi’s skill lies in the environment that helped shape it (pp. 215,216, emp. added).
Kanzi does not possess the anatomical equipment required for speech. Truth be told, no animal does. As Skoyles and Sagan went on to note: “Chimps lack the vocal abilities needed for making speech sounds—speech requires a skilled coordination between breathing and making movements with the larynx that chimps lack” (p. 214). Humans, however, do possess the anatomical equipment required for speech.
But there is more. Regardless of how much instruction such animals receive, there appear to be built-in limits on their progress. On February 15, 1994, the public television program NOVA aired the show titled “Can Chimps Talk?” (for a full transcript of the show go to www.primate.wisc.edu/pin/nova/html). The show began with a “conversation” with Kanzi, who was required to use a talking keyboard to respond to queries from his human counterpart. As the television program demonstrated quite effectively, Kanzi frequently responded incorrectly when asked a question. For instance, one of the humans asked, “Is there any other food you’d like me to bring in the backpack?” Kanzi’s talking keyboard response was: “ball.”
The program then focused on Washoe, a chimpanzee that, in the 1970s, was taught a portion of American Sign Language by Allen and Beatrice Gardner at the University of Nevada. By the time Washoe was five, the trainers reported that she could use 133 signs. Headlines were quick to report that a non-human primate was using human language. This spurred other scientists, such as Herb Terrace, to begin experimenting with animal language. Terrace set out to replicate some of the Gardners’ study by using his own ape, Nim Chimsky (sarcastically named after MIT scientist Noam Chomsky, who believes language is confined strictly to humans). The main goal of the project was to determine if a chimpanzee could create a sentence. In the documentary, Terrace stated: “I have concluded that, unfortunately, the answer to that question is no.” Nim’s sign usage could best be interpreted as a series of “conditioned discriminations” similar to behaviors seen in many less-intelligent animals. This work suggested that Nim, like circus animals, was using words only to obtain food rewards. Terrace realized that while Nim seemed to be using a combination of signs, he actually was imitating the trainer. This prompted Terrace to examine some of the Gardners’ films. He decided that Washoe, too, was being led by his teacher and was merely imitating.
As Skoyles and Sagan candidly admitted, Kanzi’s skill was “in the environment that helped shape it.” That is precisely what Terrace discovered. Such an assessment always will be true of “talking animals.” But it is not always true of humans! Consider the following case in point.
As we mentioned earlier, the eminent linguist Noam Chomsky has championed the idea that humans are born with a built-in “universal grammar”—a series of biological switches for complex language that is set in place in the early years of childhood. This, he believes, is why children can grasp elaborate language rules, even at an early age—without adults to teach them. Powerful support for Chomsky’s theory emerged from a decade-long study of 500 deaf children in Managua, Nicaragua, which was reported in the December 1995 issue of Scientific American (Horgan, 1995, 273[6]:18-19). These children started attending special schools in 1979, but none used or was taught a formal sign language. Within a few years, and under no direction from teachers or other adults, they began to develop a basic “pidgin” sign language. This quickly was modified by younger children entering school, with the current version taking on a complex and consistent grammar. If Chomsky is correct, where, then, did humans get their innate ability for language? Chomsky himself will not even hazard a guess. In his opinion, “very few people are concerned with the origin of language because most consider it a hopeless question” (as quoted in Ross, 1991, 264[4]:146). The development of language, he admits, is a “mystery.” The fundamental failing of naturalistic theories is that they are inadequate to explain the origins of something so complex and information-rich as human language, which itself is a gift of God and part of man’s having been created “in His image” (see Lyons and Thompson, 2002).
The fact is, no animal is capable of speaking in the manner in which people can speak. Speech is a peculiarly human trait. Steven Pinker, director of MIT’s Center of Cognitive Neuroscience, stated in The Language Instinct: The New Science of Language and Mind:
As you are reading these words, you are taking part in one of the wonders of the natural world. For you and I belong to a species with a remarkable ability: we can shape events in each other’s brains with remarkable precision. I am not referring to telepathy or mind control or the other obsessions of fringe science; even in the depictions of believers, these are blunt instruments compared to an ability that is uncontroversially present in every one of us. That ability is language. Simply by making noises with our mouths, we can reliably cause precise new combinations of ideas to arise in each other’s minds. The ability comes so naturally that we are apt to forget what a miracle it is.... [H]uman language is based on a very different design.... Even the seat of human language in the brain is special... (1997b, pp. 1,365, emp. added).
Without detracting anything from primates like Kanzi and Washoe, fundamental differences between animals and humans nevertheless remain. Unlike human children, animals: (1) do not have a special region in the brain devoted to language; (2) possess a much smaller brain overall; and (3) lack the anatomy to speak the words they may think. In summary, humans have an innate, built-in, hard-wired ability to acquire and communicate complex language from the moment of their birth. Animals do not. Admittedly, animals do possess a measure of understanding. They can learn to respond to commands and signs, and in some instances even can be trained to use minimal portions of human sign language. But even though apes, dogs, and birds can be trained to do certain things, they cannot reason and communicate ideas with others so as to have true mental communion. Why? The intelligence of animals is, quite bluntly, unlike that of humankind. As biologist John N. Moore observed:
Animals can think in several ways...though only on the perceptual, not on the conceptual level. The key difference here is one between conceptual and perceptual thinking. The latter, which is typical of animal thinking, requires the actual or nearly immediate presence of the pertinent objects. Man’s thinking, on the other hand, is independent of the presence of pertinent objects. It is, in fact, independent of objects altogether, as is the case with logical or mathematical exercises. Secondly, the difference between human and animal thinking resides in the fact that, whether or not the object of the mental operation is present, animals cannot make judgments or engage in reasoning. For example, animals are unable to conclude that such and such is or is not the case in a given situation or that if such and such is the case, then so and so is not (1983, p. 344, emp. and ellipses in orig.).
The issue is not “can animals think?,” but rather “can they think the way humans do?” The answer, obviously, is a resounding “No!” Although animal trainers and investigators since the seventeenth century have tried to teach chimpanzees to talk, no chimpanzee has ever managed it. A chimpanzee’s sound-producing anatomy is simply too different from that of humans. Chimpanzees might be able to produce a muffled approximation of human speech—if their brains could plan and execute the necessary articulate maneuvers. But to do this, they would have to have our brains, which they obviously do not (see Lieberman, 1997, p. 27).


No known language in the whole of human history can be considered “primitive” in any sense of the word. In her book, What is Linguistics?, Suzette Elgin wrote:
The most ancient languages for which we have written texts—Sanskrit for example—are often far more intricate and complicated in their grammatical forms than many other contemporary languages (1973, p. 44).
Lewis Thomas, a distinguished physician, scientist, and longtime director and chancellor of the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, acknowledged: “...Language is so incomprehensible a problem that the language we use for discussing the matter is itself becoming incomprehensible” (1980, p. 59). It appears that, from the beginning, human communication was designed with a tremendous amount of complexity and forethought, and has allowed us to communicate not only with one another, but also with the Designer of language.
In a paper titled “Evolution of Universal Grammar” that appeared in the January 2001 issue of Science, M.A. Nowak and his colleagues attempted to discount the gulf that separates human and animals (Nowak, et al., 2001). This paper, which was a continuation of a 1999 paper titled “The Evolution of Language” (Nowak and Krakauer, 1999), used mathematical calculations in an effort to predict the evolution of grammar and the rules surrounding it. While Nowak and his team inferred that the evolution of universal grammar can occur via natural selection, they freely admitted that “the question concerning why only humans evolved language is hard to answer” (1999, 96:8031, emp. added). Hard to answer indeed! The mathematical models presented in these papers do not tell us anything about the origination of the multitude of languages used in the world today. If man truly did evolve from an ape-like ancestor, how did the phonologic [the branch of linguistics that deals with the sounds of speech and their production] component of our languages become so diverse and variegated? Nowak’s paper also did not clarify the origination of written languages, or describe how the language process was initiated in the first humans, considering we know today that parents teach languages to their offspring.
Nowak and his collaborators believe that the “first step” in the evolution of language was “signal-object associations.” They speculate that common objects, frequently utilized, were given a representative signal or sign (in a manner similar to modern sign language). These researchers also believe that early in evolution, these signals were “likely to have been noisy” and therefore “mistaken for each other.” Nowak suggests that these errors necessitated the formation of words, and describes this step in the evolution of language as going “from an analogue to a digital system.” However, there is no evidence that demonstrates how these “prehistoric” people made the quantum leap from signals to words. The last step Nowak describes is the evolution of basic grammatical rules in an effort to convey even more information than just simple words. While these speculations make a nice, neat, progressive path toward human language, they do little to explain adequately the anatomical differences found in animals and humans. The human supralaryngeal airway differs from that of any other adult mammal, and is essential for speech. While it is true that chimpanzees have been taught to communicate by means of sign language, they cannot speak, and do not appear to use any complex syntax in communication.
Nowak and his colleagues began with the assumption that language “evolved as a means of communicating information between individuals” (1999, 96:8030), and then went on to speculate that natural selection favors the emergence of a universal, rule-based language system. But if it is true that natural selection “favors” a complex language, how do we account for the non-vocal communication observed in animals, and why hasn’t this communication “emerged” into a formal language in those animals? In an effort to explain this embarrassing lack of understanding, Nowak, et al. offered several speculations as to why animals have not evolved a better form of communication. In their explanation, they listed the following:
  • Signal-object associations form only when information transfer is beneficial to both speaker and listener.
  • In the presence of errors, only a very limited communication system describing a small number of objects can evolve by natural selection.
  • Although grammar can be an advantage for small systems, it may be necessary only if the language refers to many events.
  • Thus, animals may not possess the need to describe “many” events.
But such speculations leave gaping holes in regard to potential explanations as to why animals cannot use speech. As Deacon noted:
How could anyone doubt that language complexity is the problem? Languages are indeed complicated things. They are probably orders of magnitude more complicated than the next-most-complicated communication system outside of the human sphere. And they are indeed almost impossibly difficult for other species to acquire (1997, p. 40).
Also, consider that when language first appears on the scene, it already is fully developed and very complex. The late Harvard paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson described it this way:
Even the peoples with least complex cultures have highly sophisticated languages, with complex grammar and large vocabularies, capable of naming and discussing anything that occurs in the sphere occupied by their speakers. The oldest language that can be reconstructed is already modern, sophisticated, complete from an evolutionary point of view (1966, p. 477).
Chomsky summed it up well when he stated:
Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without significant analogue in the animal world.... There is no reason to suppose that the “gaps” are bridgeable. There is no more of a basis for assuming an evolutionary development from breathing to walking (1972, pp. 67-68).


The fact of the matter is that language is quintessentially a human trait. All attempts to shed light on the evolution of human language have failed—due to the lack of knowledge regarding the origin of any language, and due to the lack of an animal that possesses any “transitional” form of communication. This leaves evolutionists with a huge gulf to bridge between humans with their innate communication abilities, and the grunts, barks, or chatterings of animals. Deacon lamented:
So this is the real mystery. Even under these loosened criteria, there are no simple languages used among other species, though there are many other equally or more complicated modes of communication. Why not? And the problem is even more counterintuitive when we consider the almost insurmountable difficulties of teaching language to other species. This is surprising, because there are many clever species. Though researchers report that language-like communication has been taught to nonhuman species, even the best results are not above legitimate challenges, and the fact that it is difficult to prove whether or not some of these efforts have succeeded attests to the rather limited scope of the resulting behaviors, as well as to deep disagreements about what exactly constitutes language-like behavior (p. 41).
Another scholar who recognized this chasm between humans and animals commented:
The very fact...that human animals are ready to engage in a great “garrulity” over the merits and demerits of essentially unprovable hypotheses, is an exciting testimony to the gap between humans and other animals (Holloway, 1976, 280:330).
Gap indeed! Humans are capable of communicating in human language because God created them with the ability to do so! The Bible still offers the only plausible explanation for the origin of human language when it records: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;’...So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).


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