Where and when did language begin? A remarkable new study may have the answer

The origin of spoken language has stumped linguistics dating as far back as the Twenty-sixth dynasty in Egypt and the first recorded language experiment conducted by a Pharaoh named Psammetichus I. While it is widely understood that our ability to communicate through speech sets us apart from other animals, language experts, historians and scientists can only hypothesize how, where and when it all began. Some new findings may provide some real insight into this conundrum.

A recent study conducted by Quentin D. Atkinson, a biologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, suggests two very important findings: language originated only once, and the specific place of origin may be southwestern Africa.

While most studies focus on words in order to trace the birth of modern language, Atkinson zeroed in on phonemes (the basic distinctive units of sound by which words are represented) of over 500 languages around the world. By applying mathematical methods to linguistics, Atkinson discovered that the further humans traveled from Africa, the fewer number of phonemes survived.

To put this into perspective: Many African click languages or “click consonants,” found in all three Khoisan language families, have more than 100 phonemes while the languages of Oceania, the spoken language of the Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand – the latter being the furthest migration route out of Africa, have only 13. The Modern English language has approximately 45 phonemes.

Atkinson’s findings challenge a long-held belief by linguistics that the origin of spoken language only dates back some 10,000 years. Atkinson hints that if African populations began their dispersal from Africa to Asia and Europe 60,000 years ago, perhaps the spoken language had to exist around that time and, as Atkinson hints at, may have been the catalyst for their dispersion and subsequent migration.


  1. Leigh -  July 26, 2016 - 11:06 pm

    Well if nothing else this article has certainly demonstrated that there is no concensus on this subject matter. I don’t think I have ever seen a comment section on the internet span a period of time as extensive as this one…Forums, yes, the comment sections go on for years. But a single article that continues to generate this much interest is exciting and disappointing to me. Exciting because this interest reinforces my belief through documentation that, as human beings, we still have a thirst for knowledge. Disappointing because now I am certain that my bucket list will never be completed. I will never really know who first called anything anything, when or where that was and why they did it…except that language is learned from one person to another and that it is one means that allow us to coexist with others of the same species.

    • Alexander -  August 18, 2016 - 11:58 am

      Language is sound. Frequencies are everywhere. Colors, emotions, words etc are frequencies. Maybe Tesla was right.. Think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibrations. An ex: if you’ve ever heard a couple arguing in a foreign language you somehow “know” they’re angry. How? Why? Maybe it’s resonating at a frequency that YOU can feel? Keep searching friends.. The answer might be one step away. Btw thoughts are also energy and each thought has a frequency as well. Good luck!

      • Mahon -  November 7, 2016 - 9:11 pm

        What distinguishes human kind from other animals is not known merely as ‘language’, it is ‘human language’ i.e the capacity to sonically and symbolically encipher and represent the transmissions of energy in the environment and in the brain, both through hypotheses and reality.

        Archaeo-linguistics is concerned with, for example, the way in which ancient human beings, not other species, could discuss anything ranging from; the hypothetical occurrences of inter stellar events; to what was happening in the immediate environment.

        The conundrum for the science community is that there is no evidence of the evolution of symbols representing sophisticated syntaxes whatsoever. Arrangements of symbols representing noun phrases, adjective phrases, verbs expressed within various time frames, and adverb phrases are evident in Ancient Sumer (3,200 BCE), but there is no evidence of such syntax increasing in sophistication up to that point.

      • Melissa -  November 28, 2016 - 9:57 am

        Very true!

    • Malik -  September 21, 2016 - 6:05 am

      For those who believe first language was arabic, i dare to disagree. Quran is the last book of God and all prophets before Muhammad (PBUH) were not arabic speakers. The only reason of revealing last holy book in Arabic was that the prophet is from Arabic origin. So far, i never read anywhere that God spoke to Adam in Arabic, if Muslims’ book is in arabic it does not mean all incidents quoted, all people mentioned had arabic language used. We can say hebrew is oldest language but it is difficult to say whether it was first language. Scientifically, every characteristic species including human carry are embedded in genes and any change in genes leads to abnormality. Evolution theory fails to provide strong evidence that man evolved from apes and got speech power. Framework of acquiring language is in our genes but somehow it is dependent on interaction. But saying that homo erectus developed speech abilities because of change in positioning of vocal chords, elongated pharynx and … does not explain all.

      • oj -  November 18, 2016 - 7:05 pm

        Well said. For those of us who accept the Creation of this planet we live on (as we modern humans know it), I can accept that “language” was instilled in the created Adam and must have been named “hebrew language” by those who acquired the language, just as languages spoken differently acquired different names to identify the language being spoken. Written language began in order to communicate to other humans – this leaves me wanting to know WHO/HOW/WHEN (the WHY is obvious) “written” words came into being. Moses wrote about “the beginning” which seems to have been written about 400 years after Adam was created.
        Just as some languages require tonal inflexion to be intelligible, there are other requirements for the many different languages.

        I would love to understand how it all began……

  2. Kizzee -  July 16, 2016 - 12:25 am

    Im just a regular guy and i beleive that both scientist and religion both agree to some very high extents…..i mean we cant exactly say how God created humans he could have made us from dirt his breathe and maybe that monkey…i would love to see more facts on the both of the subjects…and i beleive if masters of knowledge come together on both subjects we could agree on some very eye opening matters…..sorry im not as educated as some of you are…i cant sit here and state a vast amount of facts but i can say that i feel it was a schematic (hope i used that correctly) or set up of written communication and verbal before we were able to calculate…maaybe religion and scince can agree and find out one day!!!

  3. siyasanga -  July 9, 2016 - 9:09 am

    guy one of my ansisters might have made language

  4. Tom H. -  June 5, 2016 - 8:18 am

    What I find interesting about the article, is the observation that the more ancient a language is, the more complicated it is. Notice, the whole framework of their assumption is that the greater number of phonemes, the more ancient the language, and that languages simplify (have less phonemes) as they go along.

    This thread has a lot of back-and-forth about the relevance of religion to this matter of historical linguistics.

    Well, if you are talking about “evidence”, and which point of view the evidence point to: we have here evidence that the further back you go, the more complex language gets. We have two competing theories: (1) evolution–that man began as an ape, and gradually moved upward in his abilities through competitive natural selection; (2) that man was created, began with maximum abilities, and has gradually moved away from the optimum state, while yet accumulating an increasing body of accumulated information. That is evidence that man is moving downward in his abilities, not upward. That supports option (2).

    • Tom H. -  June 5, 2016 - 8:23 am

      Wow, I really botched that last paragraph! Clear as mud. My apologies to everyone–a lesson that all of us should carefully read and edit our online communications!

      Let me try that last paragraph again:

      We have here two competing theories: (1) evolution–that man began as an ape, and gradually moved upward in his abilities through competitive natural selection; (2) that man was created, began with maximum abilities, and has gradually moved away from the optimum state, while yet accumulating an increasing body of accumulated information.

      Well, if you are talking about “evidence”, and which point of view the evidence point to: we have here evidence that the further back you go, the more complex language gets. That is evidence that man is moving downward in his abilities, not upward. That supports option (2).

      • Ex2bot -  June 19, 2016 - 11:47 am

        Couple big problems there. First, there’s only one established scientific theory of the origin of animals incl. humans. That is the theory of evolution.
        A scientific theory is a guess or hypothesis that has substantial evidence. You can have good or bad theories depending on the evidence. The theory of evolution is an excellent theory with overwhelming evidence.

        No scientist will talk about ”scientific fact” no matter how good the evidence. The theory of evolution is essentially fact because of the overwhelming evidence.

        The second problem is that you assume that a language having fewer phonemes isn’t as “good” as a language having many phonemes. That’s not necessarily true.

        • Bill -  July 16, 2016 - 11:12 am

          I only see three or four things backing up the theory of evolution. Since evolution is the slow natural selection of advancement how come we have known single cell organisms but have never found 2 or 4 or 8 or 16 or 32 and so on celled organism it jumps from single cell 2 multi million celled organisms. Sorry but that does not sit right with me. That is to say the jump from 8 to Modern human was winning the lottery 100 million times in a row with no losses. I am a physicist and it is mathematically impossible

          • Thomas Carr -  December 10, 2016 - 5:33 am

            I agree. I am not necessarily a creationist or religionist. And I have studied the modern-day theory of evolution . The book Genes contains an excellent exposition of the theory. But, like you, I found that the theory doesn’t really make sense of the data.

        • Alexander -  August 18, 2016 - 12:52 pm

          How does one animal become another? Wouldn’t that still be happening today? And if so, there certainly should, and would, be proof. Correct? In addition, as you said, “Scientific Theory” is self-explanatory. A theory, that a single-celled organism could become this magnificent being we labeled “human”. Psalms 33:4 “For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.” Seek the truth, friend. Your answers lie there. Isaiah 28:10 “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”

      • Natasha Howell -  October 26, 2016 - 9:43 pm

        I disagree. More complex vs less complex – harder vs.easier. I believe human drive for anything we can say do or have serves the sole purpose of longevity and propagation. We are evolving learning how to make things easier for ourselves. But addressing this behavior as harmful is accurate. The negative effects of easier lives are immeasurable.
        But we all want it easier.
        I think the real question should be why.are we collectively evolving in that way? To what purpose?

  5. thriya -  February 25, 2016 - 7:15 am


    • the scarlet writer -  May 19, 2016 - 4:56 pm

      while i understand and are keeping that this is really good and has all the proof needed. How can we be positively sure that there wasn’t more languages before this one that we haven’t found traces of before out there somewhere unknown to all of human kind.

  6. thriya -  February 25, 2016 - 7:14 am

    tamil is the first language ever spoken by the human body

    • akshat khandelwal -  April 13, 2016 - 1:26 am

      how do you know that tamil is the first language ever spoken?

    • Fawzi -  May 27, 2016 - 8:47 am

      The 1st language in the world is actually arabic.the language of god in the al Quran.god spoke to adam in arabic.this according to islam point of view.

      • Fawzi -  May 27, 2016 - 8:54 am

        And from arabic language srart to be different as humans started to travel all parts of the world.it is also believe wer aver u end up in that oart of the world the kind of foid n diet available causes languages to appear.it is proven by sains that every diet u wat n drink effects tge way we look ,behave, n mind set wgicg later changes the languages n culture.

        • oj -  November 18, 2016 - 7:27 pm

          You might just as well say the first language was Faeroese and be as believable.
          If you believe in our Creation by a Heavenly Spirit, the matter seems to be simplified….. BUT if you believe in the “big bang” theory or some other form of evolution – it’s a totally different hypothesis for each individual

      • Meister -  June 5, 2016 - 5:39 pm

        I will lecture you once, but you will possibly not care to heed this.

        i know that the islamists like to believe that they were the first religion and language, but as the actual history pointed out, god spoke to people in Hebrew, Arabic came later.

        also, Islam only came after Abraham’s first son, who he had with a servant girl.

      • barbie -  July 6, 2016 - 10:10 pm

        I think arabic is not the 1st language because when early mam came on earth there was no divisions like islam , hindu etc. So all were equal. there is some other language also.

  7. Yusuf -  January 19, 2016 - 7:06 pm

    Human beings are born with languages as a software pre installed in their hardware minds. Languages are part of our body but are like software. In a single human being there exists millions of languages but adopts the one he first meets.

    • Alex -  January 21, 2016 - 3:40 am


    • Rasheedah Talib -  February 16, 2016 - 3:28 pm

      I agree Yusuf. so much has been in stored in our body before being transported here. it’s difficult for most to comprehend this truth due to the matrix that surrounds us. Understaning this is a huge blessing for us. nothing is as it seems. I was just recently studying the workings a vision, how we are able to physically see with our eyes is nothing less than a miracle!

      • vikram -  March 31, 2016 - 12:35 am

        Hi even to think of what you said about vision is beginning of deep insight it’s in human DNA to find our source actually we ourselves our the source of the creation by being still you can reach it; a human when concived is in different form but still alive with life and slowly in time we ourselves create everything

      • the scarlet writer -  May 19, 2016 - 5:06 pm

        i hate to be a hater here i really do and i love what you said about vision but we aren’t software with upgrades i mean all through out history the Aztec the Mayans they had to write their own language dont just have an “upgrade” and just start speaking words without meaning

    • Charlotte -  March 14, 2016 - 10:28 am

      What type of language did the first humans use?

    • Erique -  March 26, 2016 - 1:25 am

      @Yusuf, don’t be a complete moron, wild children have been found after years of living with wolves and the like, and they have no language. If, as you erroneously say, language was born into humans as ‘software’ these children could speak, they cannot.

      Language is acquired by interaction with other people. Think about it, if we are all born with every language, then how come some people learn a new language quicker than others? Most Muslims cannot and never will be able to speak Arabic, you’d think your false God and prophet would have all people able to speak the language of the Qur’an fairy-tale.

      No wonder the Islamic world is so backward.

      • the scarlet writer -  May 19, 2016 - 5:08 pm

        everyone has their own beliefs we shouldnt hate on there beliefs even if you dont believe that

      • oj -  November 18, 2016 - 7:41 pm

        Erique, I’ve read about some of the abandoned “wild children” and it’s true that some can learn to speak a “human” language easier than others; also, learning to walk like a human has been more difficult for some than for others. Our genetics play a great part in our makeup, but environment can/will play a significant part as well – for some more-so than for others.

    • Erick -  November 14, 2016 - 1:05 am

      I think you have a point here

  8. Parul -  December 22, 2015 - 7:18 pm

    I think man must have done soo much too communicate with each other as we cant live sharing thoughts with anyone they must be like the animals before some 1000yrs ago communicating with each other by shreaking or shouting but slowly slowly this shrieking and shouting turned to soo many languages and finally to what we are speaking ……….

    • Jet -  February 12, 2016 - 4:21 pm

      And even after so much time has past, it’s mind blowing that some still can’t speak or write their own language correctly.

      • Zorro -  June 22, 2016 - 3:44 pm


      • Zorro -  June 22, 2016 - 3:45 pm


      • Eric -  August 14, 2016 - 10:19 pm

        The mystery of language and it’s origin eill likely remain a mystery into the ages. It’s fascinating at the same time.

        Jet, if I catch your drift, I can relate. You put it kindly, however, I fear that some of the concerned individuals, being compelled to comment on the baffling matter of language, may not truly understand the origin of your well timed observation.

  9. abba -  October 31, 2015 - 8:43 am

    can you guys get out of the spiritual world so that we can discuss the issue logically?

    • Enrique -  November 3, 2015 - 8:23 pm

      Hey abba, the answer is no, we can not because creation and every thing in it is from God. Therefore to discuss this topic “logically”we have to be spiritual about. Or are you so wise in your own eyes where you can’t see that?

      • Corey -  November 28, 2015 - 4:06 pm

        A fool is better off than a man who sees himself wise in his own eyes

        • blits -  March 26, 2016 - 11:26 pm

          Nice words

        • oj -  November 18, 2016 - 7:44 pm

          Well said.

    • Enrique -  November 3, 2015 - 8:27 pm

      God explains all this in Genesis btw- It’s not that complicated… Plus Latin, Greek and Hebrew make up most languages that are derived today-

      • Hoekstra -  November 22, 2015 - 7:55 am

        Dude get out. This is not the section to talk about your faith.

      • Ron -  November 24, 2015 - 6:46 am

        If Adam was the first man & he named the animals then the bibleIS a fairy tale. The first written languages were only pictures.

      • Raymond -  February 12, 2016 - 7:19 am

        god is not real

        • Micah -  June 24, 2016 - 9:39 pm

          Wow!! you got a lot of Faith
          Looking all the order around us and simply appreciating all it’s beauty still make you think that God did not exist….
          you are more faithful than any Christian.
          but still i believe you believe that God exist
          you’re just a terrible liar…:)

      • Erique -  March 26, 2016 - 1:21 am

        Genesis is a fairy tale, no more true than Harry Potter….

      • Norman -  April 12, 2016 - 1:27 pm

        Sanskrit, Ancient Egyptian, and Babylonian are all more ancient than Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, so your comment is debunked right there.

        • Nadia issa -  April 30, 2016 - 9:30 am

          Aramiac / Sumerian very first language

      • Ibrahim A Rabu -  June 22, 2016 - 5:41 am

        I have studied many languages, Arabic, Hebrow, English, Spanish, Hindi and others and found that all these languages have borrowed a lot of words from Arabic language, so I see Arabic language being the oldest and the origin of other languages

        • putra -  July 7, 2016 - 8:14 am

          I dont see you understand your field of study very much, here, dude..
          Spain has many loan words from Arab since it had been occupied by Ottoman so it was of course affected many europeans words. Moreover, there are muslims INCLUDING ME in touch with Arabic due to Quran.

          While, in UK Arabic came from the middle east traders during Britain separation of Christianity from Rome Catholic c.a. 1700s AD. The separation caused muslims easily trade with brittons, while they’re previously expelled from any other european regions.

          If you want to debate about religion more, just if, theres no specific literature about what language did Adam A.S. learned.

          If you say Ibrani/Hebrew, which has similarities with Arabic, indeed because they came from the same ancestor and root, Shem. It is why we called them semitic. Not only Hebrew, Aramaic and Somalian’s (Samharic) share some words with Arabic and Hebrew.

          • Paul -  August 5, 2016 - 2:45 am

            Oh I just had to. I amnot sure other otehr areas of the world, like say china, that is why i started this web search for that answer, but as far as the middle east is concerned, arabic langauges ( hebrew, muslim, etc) actually came from akanians, and above that summerian…as in summerian is the FIRST….in cuniform , which started as pics and evolved toletters, then to ar-cane-ian, THEN arabic and their ones evolved from that. so midle eats starts with summerian, now if that started from afric..me so what…what abourt china and other isolated parts of the world…..where from???

    • Alexander -  August 18, 2016 - 1:26 pm

      @abba I agree, let’s communicate logically. Assuming we came from Apes is illogical so that’s out of the question. Honestly, I would truly like some proof about how we developed from a single-celled organism. Observations from this article conclude that humans, in FACT, are going “downward” rather than “evolving”. Also, as a matter of fact, there are no REAL cave paintings of Dinosaurs, while we speak “evolution”. The only “close depiction” is ALWAYS a dragon or serpent. Never a “true dinosaur” meaning the whole tall-tale dinosaur story is most likely false as well. In addition to it being false, there are ALSO no known dinosaur bones in museums, they’re all plaster. GIANTS however, did exist, and there is proof of them on every continent. Dinosaurs allegedly were ended by a “meteor” according to modern scientists who support this theory. However, modern astronauts can’t even seem to get past the Van Allen Belts? So how are all these related? They’re not.. They’re all lies to throw you every which way than towards the truth. SEEK THE TRUTH. In the bible it speaks of giants. As a matter of fact they showed humans all the “glories” of Heaven. Definition of Glory: something that brings praise or fame to someone or something. Therefore, logically speaking, we can agree that “glory” in biblical context describes “talent or skills”. So it could vary well be possible that these Giants showed humans the skills that they knew while IN Heaven. These skills/glories may include the ability to communicate. Lord knows not everyone is well at that.. We can say it takes “skill”. So everyone, open your eyes, and seek the truth. I promise you’ll find it. No matter what faith or religious beliefs.. The truth is where all the answers are. After all, it’s only logical.

  10. Verry Anizeth Chuwa -  October 17, 2015 - 5:12 am

    They just say tower of babel

  11. James Grossmann -  August 26, 2015 - 3:56 pm

    There is no widely held belief among linguists that language began only 10,000 years ago. 10,000 years represents a probable theoretical limit to how far back we can *reconstruct* past languages based on data from later languages. It does NOT represent when linguists think that language began.

    So much for the credibility of this article.

  12. time -  April 13, 2015 - 12:53 pm

    TIME conquers all.

    • Corey -  November 28, 2015 - 4:07 pm

      There actually is no such thing as time

      • Jet -  February 12, 2016 - 4:28 pm

        Just what space is expanding into…

        • Erique -  March 26, 2016 - 1:20 am

          @Jet, you are another one.

          Space exists, therefore if space is expanding into time (using your hypothesis), then time exists. Space cannot interact with something that doesn’t exist, can it? Nothing can, that’s why no one has ever been spoken to by God, it’s why no one has ever seen God, unicorns or Leprechauns…

      • Erique -  March 26, 2016 - 1:17 am

        @Corey, yeah, like we should take the word of an anonymous person on the Internet -that’s you- over the likes of Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku, who have BOTH written about time and its existence.

        You are almost as ignorant as the religious people here.

  13. ANONYMOUS -  March 26, 2015 - 7:47 pm

    Text robinsonbuckler +1-971-512-TALK (6745) and you will have your lover back.

  14. arooj -  January 24, 2015 - 8:22 am

    ALLAH has created man and when HE created man HE gave man the ability of language so we can express our emotions and tell about our need..who don’t admit the existence of ALLAH,he tell me where’ll they go when they die or what’ll happen to them? there science has no answer about it.. so turn to ALLAH before u return to ALLAH…

    • tuzlic -  February 27, 2015 - 4:46 pm

      Thinking different than you is already like heaven my friend.

      • don -  November 20, 2015 - 5:24 am


    • Shahid ali -  April 20, 2015 - 2:23 am

      very good arooj.

    • Mr.Beautiful -  May 3, 2015 - 6:46 pm

      Why would you write this garbage? You’re a no grammar having, ground sniffing, blind follower. I hope there’s fifty virgins waiting for you in the afterlife. Lmao, dumbass haha

      • Anonymous -  May 12, 2015 - 12:06 pm

        U r not right. Arooj is

      • Anonymous -  May 12, 2015 - 12:07 pm

        Ur not right. Arooj is.

      • Anonymous -  July 15, 2015 - 9:08 am

        U r not right. Arooj is.

      • LOLZ -  September 14, 2015 - 9:24 am

        You forgot to put a period at the end lolz.

      • Corey -  November 28, 2015 - 4:09 pm

        Your really illminded Mr.Beautiful

    • Anonymous -  May 12, 2015 - 12:05 pm

      Ur right

    • Star Charlesetta Alford -  July 13, 2015 - 11:39 am


    • Jet -  February 12, 2016 - 4:36 pm

      Call “IT” male or female, or any name you want. “IT” still does not exist. No wonder your tribes are a thousand years behind ours & are causing most of the shit in the world. You are all victims of victims & have a disease of the mind instilled from birth.

  15. New Study Hall Assassin 2 | ksmile88-for people -  January 7, 2015 - 5:41 pm

    […] Where and when did language begin? A remarkable new study … – Home » Language » Where and when did language begin? A remarkable new study may have the answer… […]

  16. ôNDER -  December 3, 2014 - 1:16 pm

    we made languages

    we named lands & mountains
    we named rivers & seas
    we named past and future

    we are very smart

    sheep use our words
    but sheep cannot see
    sheep sleep for thousands years

    we are shepherds

    sheep is made to follow
    “have trust follow me” :)

  17. ravi singh -  September 23, 2014 - 3:33 pm

    It is a complicated question to give answer

    lopment of English

    The history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. These tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, crossed the North Sea from what today is Denmark and northern Germany. At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed west and north by the invaders – mainly into what is now Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The Angles came from “Englaland” [sic] and their language was called “Englisc” – from which the words “England” and “English” are derived.

    • Kevin Decoteau -  May 6, 2015 - 9:06 am

      So Who or what tribe named what has come to be known as England named it such and why?

  18. ravi singh -  September 23, 2014 - 3:28 pm

    It is a complicated question to give answer

  19. darrin young -  July 17, 2014 - 11:11 am


  20. diseases -  December 16, 2013 - 10:59 am

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe this
    amazing site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning
    to read more, thanks for the info!

  21. jomar -  September 23, 2013 - 6:29 pm

    As for me, language began as imitations from environmental sounds.

  22. jj mark -  August 17, 2013 - 3:34 am

    What a bunch of religious nonsense on these pages. Jesus, do the idiots have to take over every discussion with their religious BS? Go away and study your Bible.

    • Leah -  March 29, 2016 - 3:51 pm

      I marvel at how people are offended when people talk about their faith in God . They tell you to take your faith and not speak.
      What about you go?
      Why should the believers in God have to be ridiculed . You yourselves don’t have any answer to everything .
      At least the Christians believe something .
      You’re still wondering….

      • Kostas -  June 1, 2016 - 2:17 pm

        Very good post.

        Most atheistso or (a)gnostics are so dumb and blind they dont realize what they believe is empty.

        The root of their belief is >> “we are not sure”

        Not to mention they accepted their “fact” of being insignificant.

        Talk about foolishness.

  23. jlewis -  July 27, 2013 - 10:32 pm

    The tongue confessing comment was for the atheists and the misspellings were typing errors. (Wish and mean)

  24. jlewis -  July 27, 2013 - 9:50 pm

    These comments really gave me a headache! Everyone wants to seem so intellectual and argumentative with a twist of sarcasm! U have the freedom to believe whatever u wisj to believe so y all of the hostility? It’s not that serious. Christians, u don’t have to prove that God exists or that the Bible is the truth. Some people are “too smart” for their own good which means there is no room for argument. Being week n spirit has grave repercussions, so just let the intellects
    have their fun here with all of their scient
    ific facts and what not and we can just continue to praise Him, while they “make sense of things”. We know what’s real. I love the comments n the truth and the most u can do for anyone is pray for them, that includes the misguided nonbelievers. It’s so very sad. Don’t be scared while ur tongue is confessing…children of God know what I men. Wait, some intellects know too!

    • mandu -  March 29, 2015 - 8:01 pm

      I like how u started all respectful an peaceful then u ended it with the same things Christians say. lol I’m a Christian but I don’t pass the word to those witch don’t want it. u got the right idea though love thy neighbor even if they try to crucify your but

    • Questioner -  October 17, 2015 - 12:25 pm

      What makes you not believe in God then? What evidence would it take to make you believe that God exists??

      • Jet -  February 12, 2016 - 4:45 pm

        The same evidence that you do not have, nor have ever had, apart from a “I think therefore I am moment”. The notion was fed to you by other human beings.

  25. i love the lingustic history the origins and theries -  July 18, 2013 - 12:48 am

    i love the the lingustic history,origins and theories of people… :)

  26. Larry Kueneman -  November 24, 2012 - 9:48 pm

    I believe Kristin (April 17, 2011 was close to being on target. If, as we are now told, homo sapiens as a species originated around 200,000 years ago, they would have had a spoken language from their inception. And homo sapiens sapiens (around 50,000 years ago) would most certainly been able to speak as we do (just a different language).

    If we look today at certain specific species of birds we find sometimes hundreds of different sounds none of which we understand. But just because we don’t comprehend what is being communicated does not mean there is not language.

    In my writing I look at the pre-human beings of perhaps 2,000,000 ago, and believe that while these people lacked the physical construct to form words they would have had a means of communicating. That with grunts, facial changes, and body language. Just paying attention to body language today is very telling. Continual effort at communicating would have formed the throat components we now have with which to speak. No, it did not take place overnight, but it likely happened within a species.

    Larry Kueneman
    l (dot) kueneman (at) verizon (dot) net

    • KING -  September 23, 2015 - 7:14 pm

      Nice comment

  27. scorp -  April 8, 2012 - 7:31 am

    why there is different languages? see we did not understand each other. listen to the song Imagine by john lennon???

    • RON -  November 24, 2015 - 9:21 pm

      IMAGINE IS ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING POEMS EVER WRITTEN EVEN WITHOUT THE MUSIC. To me this shows that there is something mystical in our existence. where does that kind of inspiration come from?

  28. sherryyu -  April 6, 2012 - 7:48 pm

    omg i cant believe that almost everthing homo sapiens had were form africa

  29. Thank you -  March 23, 2012 - 1:41 pm

    I’ve read not a single article in your blog. You are a massive lad

  30. ggui -  March 7, 2012 - 10:11 pm

    eneh,,,, talna u amin.. basta wada et amin cnan biblya.. NAAWATAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. drnev -  December 5, 2011 - 11:26 am

    Religion is born out of fear,we fear the unknown so we put religion in there to replace the unknown and remove the fear.I dont know when language started and nor does anyone else.What we read are only educated guesses that may be wrong or right.The dead sea scrolls where written by uneducated people in an uncivilised barbarick world.If charles dickens had been alive then churches would be praying to oliver twist or the like,my point islanguage is fantastic whether religious or otherwise the stories from the bible are great stories just like harry potter and whenever language developed(personally i dont care) i say hooraay for it and treat it as a woderful gift,Even if your or mine spelling isnt that great.lol

    • Leah -  March 29, 2016 - 3:53 pm

      i don’t believe in God because I fear. I believe in God because he loves me .
      It’s not fear my friend it’s LOVE that draws me to God .

  32. oc -  November 15, 2011 - 7:44 am

    where and when did ark of covenant and rod of moses can be found today

  33. oc -  November 10, 2011 - 5:15 am

    the most spiritual man on this earth, should answer the question of how language begin,that have work with god of universe,that have seen the past the present and futur answer it before 2020.

  34. Rosemary -  October 19, 2011 - 7:05 pm

    The bibliophiles don’t seem to read any literature outside the restricted stuff that supports what their religious leaders insist is Truth.

    None of these people appear to be aware that the Tower of Babel myth did not originate in the Jewish/Christian holy writings; it originated in Sumerian mythology as did a number of other myths borrowed by the Jewish writers and written into first few books of their holy scriptures. If these borrowed myths are “true” then so is the Epic of Gilgamesh, which contains the original versions of most of them.

    Besides, Sumeria and Jewish religious mythology are not the only stories that exist to explain the origin of different languages. These myths exists from Australia to South America through India and China.

    As for suggesting that the Christian Bible is inerrant and everything in it has been proved – do these people read anything that has not been veted as “safe” by their pastors? A quick look at the last 50 years of secular (non-religiously biased) archeology should put that myth to rest very quickly. The consensus is that the Jews arose from Sumeria (hence the use of their mythology in the Bible), were never enslaved in Egypt and never wandered around the Sinai desert for 40 years. There are numerous biblical stories that cannot have happened at the times that are recorded there, the wall of Jericho was destroyed well before Joshua and his band are supposed to have got there, and so on and on.

    /end disgusted rant

    The article is fascinating and raises all kinds of interesting questions about the origins of language. It has been disputed, of course, by other recent research that suggests that there are in fact several origins of language. I guess we will find out who wins this debate when both lines of research have been followed up over the next few years. It will be an interesting time.

  35. rainfalls -  May 7, 2011 - 2:57 pm

    language starts with the letter “l”
    you guys are so serious ;-)

  36. HappyGoLucky -  May 5, 2011 - 1:47 pm

    Words have no effect on people who refuse to listen. Compromises just can’t be made, so all people do is dismiss ideas they find unsuitable to their ideas. ‘Course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but dang—can’t y’all get along each other? Debates can be fun, so long as insults aren’t thrown around. “Hymn-singing Christians” and “You Atheists seem to think you’re so high and mighty” are somewhat nasty to hear. Generalizing can be iffy, maaan.

    Unless these are all harmless, fun little disses, and I can’t discern playful banter from scornful ridicule, I’d hope this doesn’t happen in Dictionary.com again… though it probably will, teehee.

    But anyways.. yay to people who back up their argument, but boo to those who snub others and their beliefs. Makes me wonder whether science and religion (not just Christianity) can truly co-exist. Also, what’s wrong with evolution? There seems to be no problem with the evolution of languages, but what about the evolution of us and other animals? Can you re-paste your criticism, whoever posted? I think I missed it.

    • Hello -  September 11, 2014 - 10:41 am


  37. BeKa Chap -  May 5, 2011 - 8:19 am

    I think the Tower of Babel has all to do with the subject and here is why. The article is spun around the idea of figuring out where language originated, and with the Tower of Babel, we know where different languages were created. This brings us to the fact that they were all speaking one language, it was the language that was created on the 6th day of the creation of the Earth, when God breathed life into Adam’s lungs. Than there was Noah’s ark… Noah was Adam’s great^10 grandson. Once the flood was over and Noah and his family were let out of the ark, it all began… it was Noah desendants that began to build the Tower… If you want to know more, It starts with Adam who let sin into the world, and Ends with Jesus Christ who trampled over death by death for our sins, so that we could get to God. A bit off subject yet, but I hope my opinionated statement is heard and understood. :) I’m gonna go eat now lol, tummy is groweling!

    • Ahmed -  December 17, 2014 - 1:27 pm

      Yes,it is exactely that, language is God-given yes, of cours for the purpose of communicating. If there wasn’t language ( what ever it could be ) us (Human) wouldn’t have been differenciat from animaux.God created language as well as He gave the promissory that all men are equal and that they have the inalienable righ to pursue Life, Liberty and Happiness as we know all of us.

  38. liang -  May 5, 2011 - 2:53 am

    awesome,is amazing about this.I never heared before.

  39. EightYearOldWormedBook Ü -  May 3, 2011 - 5:31 am

    whenever I failed, I never blame anybody and I will ask my self why did I fail… then I will come up with another idea to avoid failing. In your first statement, its like your saying that God is responsible for everything… if someone will shot your head, you will say, its God’s plan… poor you. I maybe a kid, but I never do that… pity these “matured” people who think that way, I think they need to learn this word we call “Acceptance”. *smile

  40. EightYearOldWormedBook Ü -  May 3, 2011 - 5:27 am

    “I find that it is always the proper time to discuss philosophy; as it is always the proper time to increase one’s awareness.
    ” – Carlito. God bless you.

  41. Carlitos -  May 1, 2011 - 11:07 am

    Thank you, Ian. I find that it is always the proper time to discuss philosophy; as it is always the proper time to increase one’s awareness.

  42. Ian Colley -  April 26, 2011 - 10:49 am

    Apologies! I’ve just looked in the discussion after leaving, but read Carlitos’ comments with interest….what can I say?…A very reasoned, patient, [far more than I can claim], and well-written interjection, most of which I agree with, and the small amount I would contest has very little significance. Well said Carlitos.
    Pity that the thread moved on from the origins of language, which logically, I suppose, must have evolved from a gesture / vocal combination.
    Ian Colley.

  43. Lorax -  April 26, 2011 - 9:36 am

    Wow, I’ve replied to Ian Colley three or four times and all my comments are gone….. oh well, maybe it was for the best. They definitely very kind comments. Anyway, I think I’m done with the whole “religion arguments”. Dictionary.com is not really the place for all of this. I have a lot that I really want to say to Carlitos, but I feel bad for already having posted all the other stuff on Dictionary.com. If we want to talk about philosophy and faith and science and everything that goes with that, we should probably find somewhere else to do that. I definitely wish I knew somewhere that I could go to speak my mind cause I sure have a lot to say about this stuff – but dictionary.com is not the place. Good luck to everyone who’s brave enough to speak the truth, which by the way is not blind. (if anyone really read the comments, they would know this) And I really am sorry for those who are blind to the truth and just go along with the rest of the world.

  44. Britt@ny -  April 26, 2011 - 6:44 am

    @Lorax, I think one of my comments got deleted too :(. Anyways, I think this science vs Biblical truth argument has pretty much ended now, and I can’t think of anything else to type that hasn’t already been typed lol, so I’m sorry to say that I won’t be commenting anymore.

    Goodbye and Godspeed! (May God be with you).

    Advice to everyone, try to be NOTW (not of this world), just means don’t follow wordly values, because they really aren’t important (and I mean things like popularity, gossip, and looking hot or sexy). Because even though it’s feels good to look good, what’s on the inside is more important and will determine the outcome of your life. Be different.

  45. Science4God -  April 26, 2011 - 5:41 am

    @Daria: Exaquetally! (from the caterpillar of Alice in Wonderland )

  46. Daria -  April 25, 2011 - 2:37 pm

    I don’t see why we would have to argue over how old exactly the language might be – or where exactly it started. I prefer to be more focused on how I use the words in my vocabulary.

  47. Carlitos -  April 25, 2011 - 2:21 pm

    Also, I would never ever accept with 100% faith something that provides “all the answers”. What a cheat.

    This is what the religious proponents in this discussion have done. They have accepted, blindly (or faithfully, depending on how you see it), a book that provides all of the answers.

    Science doesn’t do this, though it does present an ability, or a possibility, to one day answer these hard questions after hard work, dedication, inquisition, experimentation, collaboration, verification, etc…

    There are many positive lessons/morals in the bible/koran/torah, etc., and these are good for people. But there is also opinionated, biased, factless, unintelligent and primitive hooplah that doesn’t stand against the force of reason and rational.

    And God is responsible for sickness and pain. Because God made Satan.

    • Alexander -  August 18, 2016 - 11:51 am

      That being said, that’s why all of the commandments and statutes were created. They are there to show us the answers to our questions. Ignorance blinds us. If we were ever-so searching continuously for this love we call GOD we actually (I personally) would find truth. Truth is scattered throughout the world, science AND religion. No “one” is completely correct. I agree, all of the answers are within the questions. If… No, I mean, when you stop believing what “scientists” teach you and go seek the answers yourself you will find the TRUTH. The same goes for the bible.. Many preaching do not know what they preach but the listener hears exactly what they must. It is magnificent. This is something you can test out yourself. Try it.

  48. Carlitos -  April 25, 2011 - 2:11 pm

    Skillet Fan and Casey-

    Very good biblical research and citation. Kudos to you.

    Though the bible clearly alludes to certain scientific principles, it can not explain them. Also, many of society’s early misconceptions (Flat World, Geo-centric Solar System, etc., were due to man’s ideologies which were based on religion). You will find that even earlier texts, such as of the ancient Chinese, also indicate an awareness of things like the Jetstream, or the immense distances to other stars. You will also find that many humans actually become self aware of certain physical principles on their own. Pehaps this has happened to you, as it has to me at times.

    The word of God is exactly that, and will only be tarnished and misconstrued by man, and this is what the bible has done. As you know, man can’t perceive the true voice of God, so how can we put His voice or His words to ours?

    Your arguments are good, as are those of scientists. The bible provides a faith-based (and intuitive/humanistic/practical) approach to the great questions, whereas science seeks empirical evidence. There are theories in science, yet to be proven of course, and some that will never be proven, I suspect. Just like in the bible. But to make these challenges against science, I’m afraid, you will lose. This is why religion is becoming extinct.

    Religion (or should I say spirituality, as I prefer it to be) is a useful practice/awareness for our sanity. We are meager creatures with tiny understandings. So if it helps you make sense of your world, then do it. But when it goes the way of the crusades or the inquisition, you better know that it won’t be heaven you go to. Remember that ignorance and it’s denial are self-preservation mechanisms that evolution (or God/creation) endowed us with but they can also go horribly, horribly wrong.

  49. Science4God -  April 23, 2011 - 9:13 pm

    @Lorax… sometimes it happens…
    amazing people. this makes the blog very interesting. and i love the argument… and exchange of ideas and information. this is the product of our ancestors who created these words that we were saying now. and some people even portray cavemen as dumb but for me they were the first geniuses

  50. Lorax -  April 23, 2011 - 6:03 pm

    Ok, is it just me, or is everything I post disappearing?

  51. #1 Skillet Fan -  April 22, 2011 - 6:07 pm

    @Casey: Awesome Job on your first comment! Here are some more examples

    Isaiah 51:6 (New American Standard Bible)

    6″(A)Lift up your eyes to the sky,
    Then look to the earth beneath;
    For the (B)sky will vanish like smoke,
    And the (C)earth will wear out like a garment
    And its inhabitants will die in like manner;
    But My (D)salvation will be forever,
    And My righteousness will not wane.

    This is an illustration of the second law of thermodynamics, which was only proposed a few centuries ago.

    Jeremiah 33:22 (New Living Translation)
    22 And as the stars of the sky cannot be counted and the sand on the seashore cannot be measured

    Job 22:12 (Contemporary English Version)

    God Lives in the Heavens
    12God lives in the heavens
    above the highest stars,

    where he sees everything.

    this shows that the stars are numerous and extremely distant. People wouldn’t have been able to know that without the development of the modern telescope and trigonometry.

    New Living Translation (NLT)
    Job 38:12
    12 “Have you ever commanded the morning to appear
    and caused the dawn to rise in the east?

    Job 38:14
    14 As the light approaches,
    the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal;
    it is robed in brilliant colors.[a]

    This is a picture of the earth rotating on its axis. For centuries (specifically from the time of Aristotle to the time of Galileo Galilei) everyone thought that the earth was round. In fact, before then if you said that the earth was round you would be labeled as a heretic.

    Its cool to see how all the homeschoolers are commenting. I too, am 16 and homeschooled. I could tell, Casey, by your writing style backed up by references that you were homeschooled.

    And to anyone that notices any grammatical mistakes, I’m from the south and I can’t help it.

  52. Jude -  April 22, 2011 - 3:46 pm

    Hey!! Whats will all the mess here? Interesting article though…

  53. Ian Colley -  April 22, 2011 - 10:40 am

    Well, here I am again! My last post disappeared somewhere, so I’m afraid everyone was denied the pleasure of reading my pearls of wisdom. I wonder why, do you think it was due to Divine Intervention?

    By the way Mr. or Mz. Casey, ‘lorax’ [unamed], et al, my father was a Deacon of a Congregationalist Mission church and sometime lay preacher. He was a lifelong Christian, and so I was learning about religion [and English grammar] fifty-odd years before you were born. He was a wonderful father, volunteered for WW1, served as a Medical Orderly in a field ambulance on the front line in various parts of the world, because he wouldn’t injure anyone, but had a great sense of humour, which seems to be sadly lacking in yourselves and the majority of the previous correspondents. He left school at the age of 13, so was largely an autodidact, and highly intelligent, but would have been appalled at your shortcomings in the English language….as am I.

    He explained to me that the Old Testament was basically the History of the Jews, along with allegorical fables such as the Garden of Eden, and Tower of Babel, in order to try to explain creation to a basically primitive people, and of course it was assembled many years after the time of Jesus, by numerous contributors, so cannot be taken as word-for-word truth written in stone, but as a guide for living, and an historical basis for the nation.

    The New Testament was the real story for adherents to the Christian faith.
    I still have my Red-Letter Testament, although you probably have not heard of it, being as you claim, a redneck from The South.

    The original contributors, interested, like myself, in the origins of language have all dropped out, you may notice, probably due to the juvenile-level religious content……as now will I, having learned from some foregoing comments that I need only look out from my window and see something which pleases me, to have proof that there is a god after all…..proof?

    Try to do a little thinking and questioning, and Deo volente, you will grow out of your teenage arrogance, and be more like the gentlefolk I have met in Texas and Arizona.

    Goodbye, and may your god go with you.
    Ian Colley.

  54. Lorax -  April 22, 2011 - 6:04 am

    Haha! That’s funny :D

  55. Science4God -  April 22, 2011 - 2:27 am

    so nice if we can only use all the gift from Tatay to good use… but thats like Utopia, but I know its impossible… human mind and heart has its own will, its our right that we must respect.

  56. sara -  April 21, 2011 - 7:28 pm

    @Dwarakanath hahaha….. what a joke

  57. Spreading_Truth -  April 21, 2011 - 7:23 pm

    @ Casey – Excellent points, all. Don’t let anyone steal your Shalom (Peace / completeness). @ Brittany – U R far more supported than U know. @ Lorax U 2 seem to B part of the Home Schooled Crew. Good job on all of your parts, & major props to your parents. Me thinks it high time to Home School my own children. I only had them attend public schools to learn social interaction skills, but the limits put on actual learning & critical thinking is astounding. All 3 of you are on the right track, but allow me to share with you what I’ve uncovered during the last 25 years of my own research.

    1. “God” is NOT a name, & neither is “Lord”. I would strongly suggest looking up the origin of both. & while you’re at it, the tetragrammaton & it’s anti-scriptural reason for being instituted by men (men’s tradition), & the word baal (Ba’aL), which our Creator Yah warned against.
    2. There are other “entities” (satan / lucifer) that go by the title of God (& god), thus making it senseless to call The Creator Yah the same title. (Genesis 1:1) “In the beginning Yah created the heavens & the earth.” Well…within the heavens He also created the Elohim, or the gods. 1 of the Elohim would be an EL, or god. Yah created these as well, making it impossible for Him to be 1.
    3. The Hebrew word HalleluYah means praise you Yah. Somehow, beyond all reason, this was translated in English to Hallelu-j-ah, but with the same pronunciation. OK…question: if it’s pronounced the same, why change the spelling? Come to think of it…why were any of the prophets names changed? When we look the names up, they are of Hebrew origin & the original spelling of every name ending in -iah, was -Yah. Delving deeper, when we look up their meanings they always correspond to The Father Yah! Servant of Yah, Yah’s helper, Exalted by Yah, Friend of Yah, Gift of Yah, etc. Who then is YAH?
    4. Psalm 68:4, Isaiah (YeshaYah) 12:2 & 38:11 of the New King James version of the English translation of the scriptures show us The Most High’s actual name, YAH. The Book of Malachi, Proverbs 30:4, & Exodus 20:7 (The 3rd Commandment) explain how important Yah’s name is to Him. & no scripture mentioning the words, “…His name…”, or “…My name…” makes sense if it is followed by a title & not His name. He has 1 name, the same way everyone submitting posts here have 1 name. We all have different personality traits, but none of those are our names. We can not give our Creator different names on a whim. Would any of us like it if someone called any of us any name they chose to call us? I think not. If anywhere in scripture Jah or Jehovah is mentioned, know
    6. (Wikipedia)
    “J” is the 10th letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet used today; it was the LAST of the 26 letters to be added. “J” originated as a swash character to end some Roman numerals in place of “i”. Gian Giorgio Tressino (1478–1550, “Father of the “J”) was the first to explicitly distinguish “I” and “J” as representing separate sounds, in his Ɛpistola del Trissino de le lettere nuωvamente aggiunte ne la lingua italiana (“Trissino’s epistle about the letters recently added in the Italian language”) of 1524. (& thatz obviously B4 it started being used in English!)
    “J” – the letter is a late modification of Roman – “i” -, originally a scribal creation in continental M.L. to distinguish small – i – in cursive writing from the strokes of other letters, especially in the final positions of words. But in English, – y – was used for this, and – j – was introduced c.1600-1640 (approximately 1637) to take up the consonantal sound that had evolved from – i – since L.L. times. This usage first was attested in Sp., where it was in place before 1600. English dictionaries continued to lump together words beginning in – i – and – j – until 19c. Occasionally “J” represents other sounds, as in Hallelujah which is pronounced the same as “Halleluyah” (See the Hebrew).
    This being the case, everyone should ask themselves what the point of that was?! This is why NO 1611 KJV Bible says HalleluJah. More important questions: If there was no “J” 2000 years ago…what were people calling the Messiah? & what is The Father’s name? (Proverbs 30:4) “…What is His name, & what is His Son’s name, if you know?” What is the name that he doesn’t want people forgetting or replacing with Ba’aL? (Proverbs 30:6) “Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, & you be found a liar.”
    7. We need to question who writes & commissions the textbooks we were “taught” from in school. & why should we believe them when we’re asked to have “faith” in the validity of these uninspired men with who knows what kind of agenda? But the Bible is nonsense? People baffle me with their twisted logic.
    8. The founders of America did NOT believe what we were taught they believed. 33 of the 35 signers of the Declaration of Independence were high ranking Masons. Please do your homework on them. Wanna see what they believed for real? Get a copy of “Morals & Dogma” by Albert Pike, “The Lost Keys of Freemasonry” & “The Secrets for All Ages” by Manly P. Hall.
    Ever seen “The Matrix”? Well that seems to be a LOT closer to reality than what has been presented to us for hundreds, even thousands of years. We’ve all been lied to. Massively deceived, & the deception is about to get worse. In these next 2 years we will see more “Natural” disasters, which we will find aren’t quite so natural at all, including an earthquake in the U.S. under the New Madrid fault line. We will have full disclosure of an ET presence, followed by more mass deception regarding the following of / listening to/ partnering with these same “aliens” by the Galactic Federation of Light. This was actually started in 1977 when during a UK news broadcast the airwaves were commandeered by the “voice” of a representative of The Inter-Galactic Mission (Ashteron or Vrillon), stating how it was imperative that earthlings learn to live together or leave the Galaxy. Something far more personal is coming soon, but it won’t be anything like how it’s presented to us earthlings. There will also be a crash of the economy, followed in the not too distant future by World War 3 against the Muslim world (Islam), the seeds of which have already been planted. See Afghanistan, Libya, etc.
    I could be wrong, except these “plans” were written about in the 1800′s!! Will it matter where language started if the economy crashes, we get ushered into another World War, or we’re asked to come together as 1 religion, under 1 Gov’t so that we can “accept” population “reduction”?! I think not. We as a people need to wake up & find out what is real & what is fake, quickly. Our time is shortening daily. Valiantly seek Truth & diligently seek Yah to present yourselves approved to Yah. (a combo of Proverbs 8:17, Psalm 9:10, Jeremiah / YirmeYah 9:3 & 2Timothy 2:15) & what Truth is can be found in Psalm 119:142 & 151. Shalom people. Just thought this thread needed a heavy dose of TRUTH. Not my truth, just TRUTH. All “religion” is man made, so for someone to blame Yah (the one most erroneously call God) for religious wars is ridiculous, & they are seriously misinformed. Choose Yah, & Yah bless in the name of His Son Yahoshua Ha Mashiach (The Messiah); the only way 2 B safe.

  58. Casey -  April 21, 2011 - 3:36 pm

    @Lorax, I know your name’s not Lora! I accidently put that when I meant to put Lorax! Lol. Dr. Suess. Bring’s back memories of learning to read with his book’s. I remember the The Lorax, now that you mention it, but it’s been year’s since I’ve read it. : )

  59. Casey -  April 21, 2011 - 2:28 pm

    @Ian Colley. Aw shuck’s, Mr. Colley, well you know us folk’s down South cain’t spell, so thank you for correcting my grammar and such! No, but seriously, I’ll be the first person to admit that I’m horrible at punctation, but as Lorax said, I didn’t know this was about literacy as much as it was about stating my faith.

    The only point I was trying to make is that you call me illiterate because I believe in the Bible and God. Being a Christian is faith, but it’s also a relationship with Christ. I don’t expect for you to be able to understand it, so I won’t elaborate. And I know you didn’t say thing’s such as, “The Bible is horrible.” But you imply it.

    Deo Vindice! (God will Vindicate) I also take Latin. I hope you gain more understanding of the Christian religion and learn that it’s really not a bad religion.

  60. Casey -  April 21, 2011 - 12:42 pm

    @Science4God, I agree with Lorax, love the name! I too love science, just not when it’s trying to disprove God. As I said above, I like creation science. It’s pretty cool. I love what you said to Ian, “Tatay loves you.” That was good. I wish I would have said that but I just get so mad at people like that who judge people they don’t know. But anyway’s keep believing in God and never give up on Him!

  61. Lorax -  April 21, 2011 - 12:08 pm

    Yeah, it drives me crazy. By the way, my name’s not really Lora — I just go by Lorax cause the Lorax is the best book ever!! Or at least children’s book :)

  62. Casey -  April 21, 2011 - 11:55 am

    @Lorax, thank you Lora for explaining things to people like Ian. I get so mad at people like that, I can’t even think. They want to say all this stuff about the Bible and what a “fairytale” it is when they probably haven’t even picked it up.

  63. marcmbluewookie -  April 21, 2011 - 11:44 am

    Regarding the Tower of Babel; how far up could they have built before running out of breathable atmosphere?

  64. Lorax -  April 21, 2011 - 10:56 am

    That’s awesome Science4God! And I think the word that you’re looking for is “adapt”, not “adopt”, not that it matters, I just don’t want anyone to be confused.

    By the way, I love you name! So great!!

  65. Science4God -  April 21, 2011 - 10:34 am

    I believe in science and I believe in Tatay(my personal name for God). I agree with 7Teen that Tatay gave us teh ability to ADOPT! without it His creation will not survive. He were able to learn to speak and create words for us to understand each other better.
    To Ian,
    I cannot judge you because i don’t know you and you don’t know me, and with all the respect. I would like to tell you this,
    “Tatay loves you.”

  66. Science4God -  April 21, 2011 - 10:22 am

    And pardon my english grammar because it’s not my native language but I hope you guys will understand what I’m saying here.

  67. Lorax -  April 21, 2011 - 8:41 am

    And excuse my illiteracy, I am not a grammar expert, I didn’t know this had anything to do with grammar.

  68. Lorax -  April 21, 2011 - 8:36 am

    Ok, then Mr. Ian Colley, since your to lazy to do any research yourself on many of your misconceptions, I’ll do some for you. First, God does not “require humans to genuflect in purpose-built buildings, to sing specially written songs of praise to them, and compose self-serving prayers, all of which must be heard, understood, and acted upon”. If you have ever read the Bible you would know that God does not require us to do anything. He only can hope that we come to him in order to be saved from the sin that we brought upon ourselves. You atheists seem to think your so high and mighty, but your just not. Your a measly little human who can’t do anything your self and need God desperately whether you realize or not. Sure your at the top of the food chain, and have the highest intelligence of any other animal, but that doesn’t your “Oh so mighty” and can do whatever you want.

    Second, you seem so surprised that there is pain in the world. Again, if you have ever read the bible you would know that the cause of disease and birth defects is the work of Satan, not God. And because God created us and therefor loves us, he continues to heal those who rely on him, and redeems even the worst of tragedies caused by Satan. And of course people kill each other in the name of religion. People can and do become corrupt. This of course is the byproduct of free will and Satan. Satan wants people like you to see the anguish of the world and think that if there were a god, he must be terrible. But as long as you have an open mind, God can open your eyes to the truth.

    Also, you said that these “unseen, unheard, magnificent benefactors” blah blah blah. Why is god unseen? Just look outside at what he has created, or at least what’s left of it, and you can see him. Just listen to the stories of Gods provision and miracles and you will hear him. And for the part about slaughtering other organisms, know this; when God created the Garden of Eden, every was perfect, and all the animals ate plants. It was at the fall of man that some animals became predators. And people should not torture animals. Let me remind you once again that people have become corrupt. As far as eating animals, I think that we eat way to much and that the food industry is messed up. If you have the right vegetables, you can survive solely on plant food, and if you don’t have enough vegetables, you can survive on minimal meat, specifically of animals you can catch yourself, like fish and flightless birds. God also says that some day when he makes the world perfect again, the animals will once again eat only plants.

    And lastly, we are not hymn-singing, unthinking suppliants. We are simply people, just like you, searching for truth. And when I look at what you have written, I must admit that you seem pretty unthinking, blindly going along with the rest of the world. The only thing that you said that was definitely true was how we are killing our God-given world, which will need a lot more than only praying.

    I hope this helps you with some of your confusion.

  69. Ian Colley -  April 21, 2011 - 3:27 am

    Thank you, Casey, for your diatribe, I apologise for the ‘insult’ in my reference to your contributions as semi-literate. I was not wishing to offend, but merely stating a fact. I’ve taken a few minutes to indicate some of the errors that your teachers obviously are not correcting in class, or overlooking when making your awards, maybe it is a reflection on their abilities in teaching English…or in teaching!
    I have ignored the incorrect use of conjunctions* in starting sentences, and used parentheses to highlight some of the more obvious literary transgressions and omissions in the following two passages from your ‘Comments’.

    * ‘and’ ‘so’, ‘yet’ etcetera are conjunctions and can rarely be capitalised, except possibly in quotes. A sentence must be able to stand on its own, as I learned in Primary School when six years of age.

    Casey on April 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm
    @BTW Ian, next time you insult me[,] sir[.] Make sure you know more about me. I’m far from illerate [illiterate] actually. I have recieved [received] many reading awards in fact, about ten writing awards, and I’m an A/B student. [pause for applause].

    This is the thing about you [A]theists. You think you can insult everything you don’t know. [difficult to do!] You use [B]ible quotes when you try to paint [G]od as this horrible mean god and yet[,] you don’t even know what they mean. [I never quote from the bible]
    DO NOT EVER [shouting...naughty!] call me half literate again [comma] just make yourself proud that you insulted a little, how did you say it, [interrogative mark] “hymn-singing” [C]hristian. I hope you feel like a big man now[.] [comma?] I really do. I hope you feel so proud that your [you're] not one of those “idiots” who believe in something after death. [I really have no idea what I'll believe in after I die] [W]ho believe in something because they were raised that way and it is their lifestyle. [exactly.....unthinking, blind faith in what one is told, instead of the use of reason, proof, and logic]

    My personal quote: [Personal? No, it's from the bible].

    “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way that you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” I Timothy 4:12
    And sir, if you think this wrong, then so be it. [I can see nothing wrong in that, except for the faith bit, and can't recall saying so].

    Casey on April 20, 2011 at 6:53 pm
    @Ian, [and] I think you are half literate. Are you serious? Here is your quote: [“] They may have allowed blind, deaf, and disabled children to be born, and mistakenly designed terrible diseases but hey, surely one can miss a few tricks whilst trying to listen to all those prayers, and watching people kill each other in the name of religion? [“]

    Have you ever, ever read the Bibe? [bible] I mean seriously. This is one of thing [one of the things?] that is talked about the most in the [B]ible. Death, illness, all of this is becaus [because] of sin. Sin is here because of Adam and Eve. [Adam and Eve, now who's serious?]

    Next time you call me illiterate, make sure you know what the heck ['heck', euphemism for h***, the place below...naughty!] your [you're] talking about, cause [because] obviously you don’t. [comma, lower case 'a'] [A]nd its not God’s fault that people kill each other, thats [that's] ours. God gave us free will, obvious [oblivious?] to the fact that their [there] are [A]theists at all, so its [it's] not his fault that people will kill each other. Once again, thats [that's] sin.
    And bravo, sir, your [you're] so smart for calling me illiterate when you don’t know anything abou [about] the Bible that you call so horrible and hate so much!
    [no, I don't...never mentioned it, and of course my lack of knowledge of the bible has no bearing whatsoever on your ability, {or lack thereof}, to express yourself clearly and concisely.....in my native language.]
    Regards, Ian Colley.

  70. James -  April 20, 2011 - 9:08 pm

    Creationism is not a science, as it is based on faith and not proof, and science is based on proof and not faith. We should not learn it in school, as there are many different religions, non of which can be proven. Any taught would offend those of other religions, and all would offend atheists.

    The Darwin quote doesn’t prove any thing, as he wrote it without of any of today’s research and technology. It has been shown how the complex organs could develop.

  71. Casey -  April 20, 2011 - 6:53 pm

    @Ian, and I think you are half literate. Are you serious? Here is your quote: They may have allowed blind, deaf, and disabled children to be born, and mistakenly designed terrible diseases but hey, surely one can miss a few tricks whilst trying to listen to all those prayers, and watching people kill each other in the name of religion?

    Have you ever, ever read the Bibe? I mean seriously. This is one of thing that is talked about the most in the Bible. Death, illness, all of this is becaus of sin. Sin is here because of Adam and Eve.

    Next time you call me illiterate, make sure you know what the heck your talking about, cause obviously you don’t. And its not God’s fault that people kill each other, thats ours. God gave us free will, obvious to the fact that their are Atheists at all, so its not his fault that people will kill each other. Once again, thats sin.

    And bravo, sir, your so smart for calling me illiterate when you don’t know anything abou the Bible that you call so horrible and hate so much!

  72. Casey -  April 20, 2011 - 6:20 pm

    @BTW Ian, next time you insult me, sir. Make sure you know more about me. I’m far from illerate actually. I have recieved many reading awards in fact, about ten writing awards, and I’m an A/B student.

    This is the thing about you Atheists. You think you can insult everything you don’t know. You use Bible quotes when you try to paint God as this horrible mean god and yet, you don’t even know what they mean.

    DO NOT EVER call me half literate again just make yourself proud that you insulted a little, how did you say it, “hymn-singing” Christian. I hope you feel like a big man now. I really do. I hope you feel so proud that your not one of those “idiots” who believe in something after death. Who believe in something because they were raised that way and it is their lifestyle.

    My personal quote:

    “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way that you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” I Timothy 4:12

    And sir, if you think this wrong, then so be it.

  73. Ian Colley -  April 20, 2011 - 5:01 pm

    OK. I admit it, 15 year old half-literate children have convinced me that there are supernatural beings powerful enough to have created the whole universe.

    Beings vain enough to require humans to genuflect in purpose-built buildings, to sing specially written songs of praise to them, and compose self-serving prayers, all of which must be heard, understood, and acted upon.

    They may have allowed blind, deaf, and disabled children to be born, and mistakenly designed terrible diseases but hey, surely one can miss a few tricks whilst trying to listen to all those prayers, and watching people kill each other in the name of religion?

    Remember, these unseen, unheard, magnificent benefactors also dreamed up lots of other weird and wonderful organisms and placed them on our world in order that the human race, [along with animal predators], could slaughter them, torture them, eat them, and amongst other things breed them out of all recognition.


    Yes, thankyou Casey et al for putting your case so succinctly, and converting me to being a hymn-singing, unthinking suppliant, though still arrogant enough blindly to believe that the whole of creation was ‘designed’ for humanity.

    We are in the process of killing off our ‘god-given’ world anyway, so……all together now………let us pray!

    Ian Colley.

  74. 7Teen -  April 20, 2011 - 11:04 am

    Wow Casey! amazing… I believe in evolution because without evolution, no life will be left… God created us, and He equiped with the ability to adopt!
    And science helped us understand these things. Too bad some people are overwhelmed with the knowledge that they learned, maybe that the reason why God did not give us superpowers because humans as we are, are prone to corruption.
    *pardon my grammar, I’m not a native english speaker

  75. Casey -  April 20, 2011 - 10:23 am

    @Brittany, hey Brittany! I’ve found out something really interesting that I think you and everyone else should know. I know this isn’t the place where I should be posting it at all, and I’m sorry for posting it here. But anyways, here it is:

    As we all probably know, Charles Darwin is the father of evolution, coming up with it and publishing his book in, I think, 1859. Now people in the 19th century didn’t have the technology we have now, so when they looked at DNA in microscopes, all’s they saw were little blobs they called protoplasm. So Darwin came up with the idea from looking at DNA that we all come from one simple cell. Now, in are day, with out better technology, we know there is no such thing as a simple cell and that all cells are incrediably complex.

    Darwin wrote in chapter 6 of On The Orgin of Species that “natural selection can only act by the preservation and accumulation of infinitesimally small inheirted modifications, each profitable to the preserved being… If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, succesive, slight modifications, my theory would break down.”

    Darwin says it himself. We have found cells and organs that are very complex with our modern technology that Darwin clearly states could not be formed by numerous, succesive, slight modifications. So in truth, the theory of evolution broke down the moment modern technology discovered the complexity of DNA and the human bodies. So why are we still learning it? Have scientists, really read Darwins book, where he says this clearly.

  76. Y' haun-a -  April 20, 2011 - 9:03 am

    wow this was really dumb to me sorry.

  77. Lorax -  April 20, 2011 - 6:30 am

    Oh yeah, and by the way I’m also home schooled. Go team Britt@ny and Casey!! Haha

  78. Lorax -  April 20, 2011 - 6:26 am

    @Casey –
    WOW! That’s awesome!! I am totally writing down all those quotes. And your part about the mouse trap was so true. That, in my opinion, is the biggest “missing link” in evolution.

    @Arcanis –
    Great quote! I couldn’t agree more.

  79. ender -  April 20, 2011 - 12:09 am

    I have no doubt in my mind that the world’s original language was Turkish.Since there are nations still speaking Turkish in China,there are countries like Azerbaijan,Kyrgyzstan,Uzbekstan,Kazakhstan still speaking Turkish in the central Asia,since we know countries like Hungary,Bulgaria use to speak Turkish and called themselves Turks only 1000 years ago,Since Turkish and American Indians have 300 common words ,since there are many people in North Africa who still call themselves Turks,I wonder how you can still doubt this!
    That Muslims are terrorists and they did 9/11?
    That there were ancient Greeks?
    How brainwashed can you be!
    I laugh at you with my …..
    Look ,this is from genesis 11:
    1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there

  80. Casey -  April 19, 2011 - 10:00 pm

    @Brittany, really I never thought of that? Actually, it would be kind of cool. I love to debate people on politics, religion, and such. Or at least as far as yelling at my TV screen! Lol. It was be cool also to get into theology. Heck, there are a lot of things I would love to do! I also love history, and its sad that America used to be the most Christian nation and now its not. We were founded on Christian beliefs no matter what anyone says. I even have quotes to prove it! Lol. But as you said, this really isn’t the type of article to debate that on. Your thanks is appreciated.

    I am also glad that I have you as a sibling in Christ as well. I think its good that there are still teens out there who still believe in God, even when many of them are pulling away from religion.

  81. Britt@ny -  April 19, 2011 - 5:41 pm


    Once again, wow! All your proof and facts are so cool, it’s overwhelming! Also, I think you should consider joining a debate team if you haven’t already, your really good at debate! I know you want to be a linguist, but i think you should look into theology or being a Bible teacher at a Christian school. I don’t even know you, but I sure am glad to have you as a sibling in Christ! I know none of this has to do with what people are arguing about on here, but i just wanted to thank you for being one of the strongest speakers commenting on this thread.

    @Lorax, Thanks for being so supportive!

  82. Casey -  April 19, 2011 - 5:01 pm

    @Arcanis, I agree somehwhat, but you can’t mix the two when the two don’t agree. You don’t hear anything about creationism science in school, only evolutionary science. I believe we should be able to hear both or at least pick which want we want to learn. And another thing, most scientists, at least 90% in the US are Atheist and are biased.

    Einstein believed in God, why can’t these scientists? Thats is the question I want to know.

  83. Arcanis -  April 19, 2011 - 4:50 pm

    I’m going to quote Einstein
    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”

    all of you cool it with the science and religion, just mix the two

  84. Casey -  April 19, 2011 - 3:49 pm

    @Scott Byran, once again you show your complete lack of intelligence by your one statement, “It’s amazing that this day and age so many people still take the Bible seriously.” Okay, for one, yes I have read the Bible and have you read my post above about science in the Bible. And saying that poeple are basically idiots for believing in God is like saying Muslims who belive in Allah are idiots. You can’t sit there and call people’s religion’s stupid just because you don’t believe it.

    Its amazing that this day and age people still take evolution seriously. Darwin’s theory was originally based on the theory that all life came from one simple celled organism. This was in the 19th century before they even knew much about DNA. Now a days, we know enough about DNA and human cells, to know that they are in no shape or form simple. They are so complex that many scientists say they can only come about by Intelligent Design. Here are some quotes:

    “Each cell in the human body contains more information than in all thirty volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It’s certainly reasonable to make the inference that this isn’t the random product of unguided nature, but it’s the unmistakable sign of an Intelligent Designer.
    Walter L. Bradley,
    The Mystery of Life’s Origin

    “Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever.”
    Dr. T. N. Tahmisian, Atomic Energy Commission, USA.

    “Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.”
    Professor Louis Bounoure, Director of Research,
    National Center of Scientific Research.

    “[Evolutionary theory] is still, as it was in Darwin’s time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support . . . ”
    Michael Denton, molecular biologist

    I am sorry to say, freedom of inquiry in science is being suppressed. Under a new anti-religious dogmatism, scientists and educators are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator. They cannot even mention the possibility that—as Newton or Galileo believed—these laws were created by God or a higher being. They could get fired, lose tenure, have their grants cut off. This can happen. It has happened.
    Ben Stein, author, actor, film-maker
    EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed

    Biochemist Michael Behe (Darwin’s Black Box) says that modern science has made the Darwinian explanation of the origin of complex life forms much less believable than it was in Darwin’s day.In the 19th century, it was believed that a cell was just “a homogeneous globule of protoplasm.” They did not know about DNA or the complex processes that go on inside a cell.

    The book’s central thesis is that many biological systems are “irreducibly complex” at the molecular level. Behe gives the following definition of irreducible complexity:

    Behe starts with the example of a mousetrap; he claims that a standard mousetrap is “irreducibly complex”. Such a mousetrap consists of:

    (1) a flat wooden platform to act as a base

    (2) a metal hammer, which does the actual job of crushing
    the little mouse

    (3) a spring with extended ends to press against the platform and
    the hammer when the trap is charged

    (4) a sensitive catch that releases the hammer when slight pressure
    is applied

    (5) a metal bar that connects to the catch and charged hammer
    (there are also assorted staples to hold the system together)

    Behe then continues with his logic as to why this system is “irreducibly complex”:

    Which part could be missing and still allow you to catch a mouse? If the wooden base were gone, there would be no platform for attaching the other components. If the hammer were gone, the mouse could dance all night on the platform without becoming pinned to the wooden base. If there were no spring, the hammer and platform would jangle loosely, and again the rodent would be unimpeded. If there were no catch or metal holding bar, then the spring would snap the hammer shut as soon as you let go of it…

    A mousetrap cannot “evolve” slowly, bit by bit. All of the parts must be in place at the same time. The same with such things as DNA.

    If this isn’t enough for people to start doubting Evolution already then I don’t know what is. These are just some of the reasons I started doubting what I was taught.

    Once again, do not delete my comment! I have copy and pasted. People need to know this stuff.

    • naenae -  May 18, 2016 - 3:03 pm

      thanks everyone for helping out for all the work I needed

  85. Casey -  April 19, 2011 - 3:25 pm

    @Scott Byran, once again you show your complete lack of intelligence by your one statement, “It’s amazing that this day and age so many people still take the Bible seriously.” Okay, for one, yes I have read the Bible and have you read my post above about science in the Bible. And saying that poeple are basically idiots for believing in God is like saying Muslims who belive in Allah are idiots. You can’t sit there and call people’s religion’s stupid just because you don’t believe it.

    Its amazing that this day and age people still take evolution seriously. Darwin’s theory was originally based on the theory that all life came from one simple celled organism. This was in the 19th century before they even knew much about DNA. Now a days, we know enough about DNA and human cells, to know that they are in no shape or form simple. They are so complex that many scientists say they can only come about by Intelligent Design. Here are some quotes:

    “Each cell in the human body contains more information than in all thirty volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It’s certainly reasonable to make the inference that this isn’t the random product of unguided nature, but it’s the unmistakable sign of an Intelligent Designer.
    Walter L. Bradley,
    The Mystery of Life’s Origin

    “Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever.”
    Dr. T. N. Tahmisian, Atomic Energy Commission, USA.

    “Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.”
    Professor Louis Bounoure, Director of Research,
    National Center of Scientific Research.

    “[Evolutionary theory] is still, as it was in Darwin’s time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support . . . ”
    Michael Denton, molecular biologist

    I am sorry to say, freedom of inquiry in science is being suppressed. Under a new anti-religious dogmatism, scientists and educators are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator. They cannot even mention the possibility that—as Newton or Galileo believed—these laws were created by God or a higher being. They could get fired, lose tenure, have their grants cut off. This can happen. It has happened.
    Ben Stein, author, actor, film-maker
    EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed

    Biochemist Michael Behe (Darwin’s Black Box) says that modern science has made the Darwinian explanation of the origin of complex life forms much less believable than it was in Darwin’s day.In the 19th century, it was believed that a cell was just “a homogeneous globule of protoplasm.” They did not know about DNA or the complex processes that go on inside a cell.

    The book’s central thesis is that many biological systems are “irreducibly complex” at the molecular level. Behe gives the following definition of irreducible complexity:

    Behe starts with the example of a mousetrap; he claims that a standard mousetrap is “irreducibly complex”. Such a mousetrap consists of:

    (1) a flat wooden platform to act as a base

    (2) a metal hammer, which does the actual job of crushing
    the little mouse

    (3) a spring with extended ends to press against the platform and
    the hammer when the trap is charged

    (4) a sensitive catch that releases the hammer when slight pressure
    is applied

    (5) a metal bar that connects to the catch and charged hammer
    (there are also assorted staples to hold the system together)

    Behe then continues with his logic as to why this system is “irreducibly complex”:

    Which part could be missing and still allow you to catch a mouse? If the wooden base were gone, there would be no platform for attaching the other components. If the hammer were gone, the mouse could dance all night on the platform without becoming pinned to the wooden base. If there were no spring, the hammer and platform would jangle loosely, and again the rodent would be unimpeded. If there were no catch or metal holding bar, then the spring would snap the hammer shut as soon as you let go of it…

    A mousetrap cannot “evolve” slowly, bit by bit. All of the parts must be in place at the same time. The same with such things as DNA.

    If this isn’t enough for people to start doubting Evolution already then I don’t know what is. These are just some of the reasons I started doubting what I was taught.

  86. Scott Bryan -  April 19, 2011 - 2:42 pm

    I reckon language originated with gestures because it’s so difficult to talk without wanting to use our hands and arms. The decreasing phoneme theory seems plausible mainly because as languages grow more sophisticated (to keep up with the growth in the complexity of the memes that matter to us) it becomes harder to make transitions from one sound to another when there are many different sounds. Writing systems also seem to create a selective pressure favoring simpler mappings between symbol(s) and phonemes.

    It’s amazing that in this day and age so many people still take the bible seriously. Have they actually read it? Gosh, the first and last commandments define “thought crimes” for crying out loud! You can’t get much more absurd than that. Do these folks really want to live in a world where people are stoned to death merely for disbelieving in the “correct” god, or coveting their neighbors’ property? What kind of person worships such an intolerant and brutal monster just to save themselves? Are not advertisements designed to inspire common desires for the good things that others have, and isn’t our entire economy and overall wealth a product of that same desire to achieve ever more useful and remarkable products, industries, and lifestyles?

  87. Casey -  April 19, 2011 - 1:25 pm

    @A Pair O’ Docs, thank you for the comment. I never try to play missionary. And I never try to convert anybody, I just try to get people to see our side and why we believe. Christians and any religion really that believes in any god are ridiculed for it and I think its wrong.

    Its not even about Christianity. Before the modern day, there weren’t many peope who didn’t believe in a god. You had the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians, the Jewish, and the Egyptians, just to name a few who all had their god or gods. Its human nature to want to believe that there is something after death and I think its horrible now a days that more and more people and kids are becoming Atheists. They’re just getting taught in science that we’re nothing more than chemicals that evolve, and thats just not true at all. I don’t see how any one can look at the beauty and complexity of our world and think someone didn’t create it.

    But anyways, thank you for the comment. I would hope that you look more at Christians side of the argument before you deem everyone a missionary trying to convert people, but I appreciate you recongnizing that I was trying to show evidence.

    • Jet -  February 12, 2016 - 5:34 pm

      I too experience the “beauty and complexity of our world” and you are correct, “Its human nature to want to believe that there is something after death”, but please man get over it.

      We are all just chemical engines. An intermediate product of the stars after an (in human terms) inconceivable amount of time. (whatever that is!)

      Dumbly accepting from your ancestors that “God did it” is too simplistic.
      It negates any further explanation & systemically dooms your children to
      the same ignorance. (no insult intended)

      Once you can logically accept that there was no grand creator, it makes the universe seem even more fantastic than if “God did it”. We are one of the animate products of the universe wanting to experience itself.

      Best regards & peace.

  88. Casey -  April 19, 2011 - 1:13 pm

    @Brittany, thank you Brittany! I’m glad I could show you that the Bible does have science in it. I am home schooled too! What a coincidence! I have learned evolution a few times throughout my years in scool and it gets reall annoying. People that try to make Christianty sound stupid say we believe in a “big man in the sky.” Well guess what? You believe the universe just exploded for no reason and matter magically appeared. Did you know that scientists still have no explanation for how the matter got there? They avoid the question all the time. Its because they know that Evolution goes against science in matter cannot just appear, it has to have gotten there somewhere. And the first law of thermodynamics is a proven scientific fact, where as Evolution is not.

    I really do think this article is interesting though because I like learning about language and such. In fact I’m considering being a linguist in the Air Force when I graduate. But I just wish people would start looking more into the Tower of Bable and other languages. I think they are biased because they believe in Evolution which states humans evolved in Africa. Its like a police investigation, if you just focus on what person of interest, the real suspect might be out there but you’ll never know because you only focus on that one person.

    @Lorax, thank you also!

  89. ImStill08 -  April 19, 2011 - 1:00 pm

    @Juicebox: I think Science and Religion is somehow interact with each other but in a different ways.
    This article reminds me of the universal language in the Pacific Circle, like the word “lima” which means five…

  90. Lorax -  April 19, 2011 - 10:33 am

    @Casey — Great examples of supporting what believe in with facts and logic. The world needs more people like you. And like you said in one of you first posts, when you really do research, there is nothing in the Bible that can be proven false, and most science actually supports the Bible.

    Same goes for Britt@ny and all the others defending what they know is right and true. Keep on fighting!!

  91. Lorax -  April 19, 2011 - 10:01 am

    You know, for all you people saying that God does not exist, I have a challenge for you. Lately I have been questioning the Bible’s legitimacy, so I’ve been researching any questions I have, and so far, everything that I’ve found has made perfect sense in regard to the Bible, and even supports it. As crazy as it may seem, you may not be able to rely completely on what others tell you. Just cause you were taught the evolution theory in school, doesn’t mean it is true! Don’t just believe anything you hear, use your brains, I’m sure they’re there for a reason. Or maybe you don’t want to find the truth, cause sure is harder than doing whatever the heck you want right when you want. Truth isn’t easy, and may require sacrificing what you rather do, like wasting time entertaining your self with meaningless crap or doing what feels good, thinking there are no consequences. Guess what! Amazing people, people who go down in history and leave legacies, there lives were hard! But I guarantee that at the end of the day, they were more satisfied than you are. Don’t just follow along like everyone else. Like I said in an earlier post, dig deeper. Find truth. Maybe life does have meaning.

  92. Lorax -  April 19, 2011 - 9:29 am

    The more I think about this post, the stranger it seems. How could people ever not have language? I mean, whether you believe that a being greater than yourself *gasp* created life, or that a tornado blew through a junk yard and over time became a fully functional neighborhood, it’s easy to see that humans are social creatures, and like many other animals with higher intelligence, we could not function without community and relationships, which obviously requires some form of language. I may be wrong, but it seem like ever since the beginning of humanity there must have been language. I mean, there was for other animals…. right?

  93. #1 Skillet Fan -  April 19, 2011 - 8:16 am

    I left a comment yesterday, but why isn’t it showing up? is anyone else having this problem?

  94. Andy North -  April 19, 2011 - 7:20 am

    Guys, following this forum has been an amazing experience! Are you all nuts in the US? For sure, you live on a different planet! :) I loved the one who said that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri! It’s fantastic! …

    Good luck to all of you!

  95. Britt@ny -  April 19, 2011 - 7:09 am


    Wow! I just read your post with all the verses in it, and I thought that was so cool! I either haven’t read those verses before, or I didn’t understand them at the time, but thanks to you now I know what they mean! SO THANK YOU, for putting those up, showing that the Bible DOES mention scientific things. I know one thing for sure, if I wasn’t a Christian and if I believed in science only, that post of yours would have gotten me to begin questioning science and logic. It would have made me want to know more about what God says in the Bible.

    I have been taking a Bible class recently, and it states some very interesting things. Did you know that through the ages, the Bible is the only book that has been copied more than any other book and written in the most languages more than any other book as well? NO other religion has lasted so long and has had SUCH an impact on history and the world as the Bible has. But, Christianity isn’t even a religion! It’s a faith, and a way of living. So everyone who calls it a religion is wrong.

  96. Britt@ny -  April 19, 2011 - 6:46 am

    The Bible doesn’t mention unicorns, those “unicorns” are actually believed to have been a type of ox, which makes sense because oxen have horns too!

  97. Britt@ny -  April 19, 2011 - 6:42 am

    @ Casey

    Thanks for standing up in my defense, I am also 15 believe it or not. And @Kbg, I’m not trying to force the Bible on anyone, and I’m sorry if it sounded that way. I know that forcing God and the Bible on people is no way to spread His Word, and you have a point there on humbleness. You are right that I didn’t sound very humble, I was just getting fired up in my first post and I apologize for not being humble as I typed my words. However, @Casey, I loved what you typed. It is completely wrong that in schools students are taught evolution (I’m home schooled btw), and evolution is just based off faith and no actual proof. So how is it any better than what the Bible teaches? If anything it is much more absurd that man would have “evolved” from monkeys! Mankind is more than and always has been more than just animals, we have authority over animals. (However that does not mean it’s okay to abuse animals in any way, it states in the Bible that people should treat animals well.) I know that statement in parenthesis was random, but just saying.

  98. A Pair O' Docs -  April 19, 2011 - 6:00 am

    lol at all the people who come on to Dictionary.com of all places trying to be missionaries. Seriously. It’s pathetic. I mean, I’m not saying that it’s wrong to believe in the Bible, it’s just stupid to come on to a site like this to God-troll people. People like Casey, however, I can deal with because he/she didn’t say “lol science is stupid,” but did manage to share beliefs and “evidence.”

    As far as the article goes, I think it sounds reasonable.

  99. Ian Colley -  April 19, 2011 - 3:05 am

    So far there are 147 comments on this thread, so it’s difficult to follow a reference to a previous remark. Maybe it would be best to copy/paste the original into your own message to save readers having to scroll back in the hope of getting the gist?

    Incidentally, an article on the origins of communication by language, oral or otherwise, seems to have spawned, in this list of comments, a host of misspellings, flying apostrophes, and ludicrous punctuation, not to mention bad grammar, indicating perhaps, the way in which language changes or is degraded.

    Not for the first time on fora has the original subject been hi-jacked by believers in the supernatural, so couldn’t we avoid the obfuscation and try to keep to the point?

    Ian Colley.

  100. hksche2000 -  April 18, 2011 - 10:34 pm

    There’s no question, that the great apes and other animals communicate by phonemes and sequences thereof. If apes can talk, so could Lucy 3Mio years ago..

  101. Michael -  April 18, 2011 - 10:06 pm

    This article just daintily glides past countless linguistic facts, the foremost being historical sound changes. There’s languages with many phonemes and few phonemes all across the world, even though there is a general trend that the number of consonants and vowels in an inventory are inversely proportional. If Atkinson is talking places of articulation within Sprachbünde, that’s different than total number of phonemes. We really would have to see the actual paper to know what he’s really proposing. This article really only does more harm than good in it’s mere glance at the study. If you’re interested in linguistics, take a class, read a book, or do a Google search – even Wikipedia is better than this misinformed snipit.

  102. Casey -  April 18, 2011 - 9:44 pm

    You know what! I want to know why my comments are being removed! What was wrong about my last post? All’s I said was I wished there were more studies on the Tower of Bable, is that so wrong. No. Its an honest opinion that deserves to be heard. This is getting stupid. You can’t just delete all my posts.

  103. Casey -  April 18, 2011 - 9:36 pm

    @Andrea, I would love them to study the the Tower of Bable as well. I think it would be interesting to see if they find any thing reguarding that and see if the breaking of languages really happened there. Like I said(though I think the post got deleted) I think they are only studying Africa because people believed we evolved from there. Doesn’t it make sense for people to go to a place where they think we “evolved” from. I of course, don’t believe in evolution, so how about more studied on other languages and the Tower of Bable.

  104. Casey -  April 18, 2011 - 8:54 pm

    @Wes, for God’s sake! I never claimed to be a “good Christian folk” as you so blatantly put it. I’m fifteen years old and I have done more bad things than I have ever wanted to. I was having my own doubts a while ago, even though I was raised in the Christian religion, and I decided to look up some questions I had about both evolution and the Bible and I learned some pretty interesting things.

    You say they only put this article on here to bring us the facts, well we are only commenting on it as a Constitutional right of free speech to disagree and then we are attacked for being stupid and pathetic! Its amazing the double standard. I’m only mad now because I get so tired of Christians being called idiots!

  105. Casey -  April 18, 2011 - 8:43 pm

    @Bob, you are dumb for even commenting. Appearently its getting yours in a knot as well if you feel the need to comment. Lol!

  106. Casey -  April 18, 2011 - 8:40 pm

    @KansasRoots, my comments were romoved as well! Thats a violation of the Constitution. I and everyone else on any computer have the right of free speech to say whatever we want. That is wht you have a comment section. If you do not want people to say what they feel then take down the whole comment section, otherwise keep my comment on. I’m trying to say this article is wrong, I’m just trying to say why I can’t agree with it. Free speech.

  107. Anonymous -  April 18, 2011 - 8:33 pm

    The origin of language began at the Garden of Eden but was made into many different languages by God at the Tower of Babel.

  108. Beth -  April 18, 2011 - 7:32 pm

    No, it began in Missouri. In the Garden of Eden.

  109. Wes -  April 18, 2011 - 7:22 pm

    After reading this article and the never ending comments, I feel obligated to add my two cents.

    God doesn’t exist. Gasp! But of course he does the Bible says so. Well the Bible also mentions unicorns multiple times, and that we should exacute women who lose thier virginity before marriage, or maybe they’re just typos. Why is religeon even being argued right now? The man who wrote that article and the man who gathered the evidence have spent time trying to teach us about the origin of language. They didn’t write this article to attack religeon. They’re simply bringing the facts to you. I personally appreciate that, but you “good Christian folks” will deny anything that suggests you are wrong. So pretty much all of science. Here’s an idea, lets put down the Bibles and read text books. You know, books with facts and knowledge to back them up not beliefs.

  110. Bob -  April 18, 2011 - 6:58 pm

    Wow, you are all dumb for letting this topic get your undies in a knot.

  111. JD -  April 18, 2011 - 6:57 pm

    I can’t believe that anyone thinks that everything was originally Turkish. I’ve never heard that before. Do they truly teach that in Turkey? Is “ender” actually serious or just trolling?

    The people who think Sanskrit was the first language are just their own culture’s version of our Western Biblical literalists–bibliolatrists who worship a book instead of God.

  112. J.B. -  April 18, 2011 - 6:55 pm

    Wow! I always thought that we started to communicate when the cave men came up with meanings for their grunts. ;P .

  113. Karina -  April 18, 2011 - 6:48 pm

    This is not true….the origin of language came from…..when the people as it says in the Bible…..wanted to build a tower and get to God…..but the God changed the language so everyone had a different language and no one understood each other. That’s the real origin of language. People just try to say different things to get their minds off God!!

  114. KansasRoots -  April 18, 2011 - 6:22 pm


    Thank you for the compliment! I also agree that we are not trying to persuade, brainwash, force, or other forms of implimenting “a different way”. If we didn’t care so much about OTHERS (such as you), we wouldn’t mention it, think about that for a minute…

    Further more, Look at science. Specifically the “Big Bang Theory”… a rule of science says ‘Matter can not be created or destroyed but only transferred’ then that right there makes the big bang theory a phony. This is what happens when a language is not spoken correclty and taken the correct way and how meanings get lost in their depth. People tend to take things they hear (mispronounciations, incorrect spelling *I’m not a perfect speller*) and the brain actually hears something other than what’s being said. The language is how history is lost and found, language is how we fight or love, language is so complex and amazing. Ever heard of a religious one speaking or praying in Tongue? It’s a reference to the Holy Spirit. Speaking in Tongue’s is scary if you don’t know what it is… I would know, it used to terrify me! Now that I’m a grown woman and have ventured out to learn about something I knew nothing of (you should try that sometime) and found it is something completely different.

  115. Dimitri -  April 18, 2011 - 6:11 pm

    All higher animals have some form of communication. It ranges from something as simple as hissing or barking to complex and language-like as wale songs. Undoubtedly, our communication ability had to evolve in step with our bodies and brains. Apes do not have a speech center like ours, nor can they produce all the sounds that we can. Neanderthals could not have had a language as well developed as our modern languages are, because of the position of their larynx. But they could not have been able to teach their children how to make tools and weapons without at least a primitive language. Language had to evolve in a continuous, gradual process from the simplest forms of communication all the way to the complex forms we know as language. In short, there can be no single point or boundary in time at which we could say that language has suddenly developed.

  116. Lorax -  April 18, 2011 - 5:43 pm

    Isn’t it funny how people say things like “keep religion out of science” or “that’s a myth”, but they never say anything else… maybe cause they don’t have any good evidence to support it. What ever happened to actually making sense and stating something that you can support with facts? C’mon people, can’t you stop a second and see if your “claims” really have any relevance before you post something stupid, silly, and random, just for the heck of it cause you think your so smart. Don’t just believe whatever you are taught! Figure it out for your self, dig deeper, and find proof! Let’s see some logical evidence!! For anything!!

  117. Andrea -  April 18, 2011 - 5:34 pm

    In the bible it talks about the Tower of Babel and how God destroyed the tower and changed the people’s language so they wouldn’t build the tower any higher causing the individuals to spread about in different parts of the world. How come no one ever try to find ruins or descriptions in ancient relics of this type of true history (not that i’m saying you have to, to prove this, but it would be interesting to find relics about this)?

  118. tree hugger -  April 18, 2011 - 4:53 pm

    What happened to my comment, it disappeared, thats not fair!!!!

  119. Tylore -  April 18, 2011 - 4:39 pm

    You know i’m really glad to see all of the christians who are speaking their mind. It makes me know that i’m not alone. Thanks Guys!!

  120. Random XD -  April 18, 2011 - 4:12 pm

    I got taught about evolution too although Im just 12

  121. Random XD -  April 18, 2011 - 4:10 pm

    Casey I couldn’t agree with you more

  122. hallo -  April 18, 2011 - 4:05 pm

    This colum I think meaning in my opinion, is all very wrong

  123. Random XD -  April 18, 2011 - 4:02 pm

    You know that comment wayyyy up there about Juicebox and Kbg. the one that said to keep religion out of science. I have something to say about that. God is science he made the heavens and the Earth and You didn’t happen by chance and just appear out of a monkey Plus no one is trying to force religion on you we are just trying to show you the truth. The origin of separate language is all in Genesis. At the tower of Babel. Besides people have spoken like Tazz M said since Adam. Besides if you still don’t believe me Scientist do use the Bible! The Bible if you notice is all, almost history. All of it connects. KansasRoots is very right and I agree with her for the most part.

  124. Maciek -  April 18, 2011 - 3:45 pm

    Not sure how exactly this thread deviated where it has and there’s just so much balderdash going on here it’s hair-raising. But against my own good judgment, I’ll ask those who claim that science is the same as a religion, nothing can be proven and so on – I hope you realize that the car you drive, the house you live in, the medicines you cure your ills with, the appliances you use and, most obviously, the computer at which you sit to type posts are all products of science.

  125. Katherine -  April 18, 2011 - 3:36 pm

    This is all well and good, but he can’t have been the first person to realize that language originated in Africa 60,000 years ago. The theory that people have only been talking for only 10,000 years has been obsolete for a long time.
    Tens of thousands of years ago humans developed a special bone in their tongues that allowed them to make the sounds necessary for advanced speech. This bone has been found in skeletons over 10,000 years old, so the fact that humans have been talking for as long is probably already accepted in the scientific community.

    @ Casey
    What about Lucy was proven “false”? Her skeleton is still believed to date back 3.2 million years, and she is still very much accepted by the scientific community.

  126. ♥arn♥ -  April 18, 2011 - 3:32 pm

    …you sound stupid

  127. Richard Hooton -  April 18, 2011 - 3:16 pm

    cyberquill has it right. It may not be obvious where it when language actually began, but it reached it end with Twitter and texting. lol

  128. David -  April 18, 2011 - 2:44 pm

    Language was before everything else started to be, so it is a little bit difficult to trace its beginnings.

  129. Michael Matthew -  April 18, 2011 - 2:23 pm

    O, the delusions of men! So full of their own self importance & intellect. & this is why the world is SO ripe for a complete takeover. The 1 world gov’t & religion is almost upon us, but rather than get together to thwart it, people bicker about irrelevant topics like man’s science. Science is merely man’s attempt to uncover the mysteries of The Father Yah’s creations. What’s more, 99% of the population don’t even know Yah’s name, instead opting for titles & false names instituted by men. Mass mind-control is a beast! Who would’ve thought that most people would be so willing to give up their freedoms, their families, their communities, & adopt the many forms of satanism that have been thrown in their faces? Some of them have boldly proclaimed their disdain for Yah, like evolution & Atheism, who don’t even attempt to find the truth; 1 based on man-made nonsense needing the same leap of faith as belief in Yah but with far less proof, & the other a sad excuse of mere existence, just 1 small step from satanism’s credo of “Do as thou wilt”.
    Hebrew was the original language, extremely specific & exact, in place upon Yah’s creation of 1st man. THAT was/is Yah & Yahoshua’s language. Believe what you will, just understand that your “beliefs”, purposefully tainted by long-standing mass deceptions, hardly constitute facts. Your religions were created to mislead you, as was “the education system”, which should really be called “the indoctrination system”. The Scriptures (& their translations, once the falsehoods are weeded out), are not a representation of religion. That has things in a backward order. Religions, wholly man’s, were designed to lead people away from The Most High Yah. & it has worked…to perfection. The time to turn back & diligently seek the truth of Yah & His Son, Yahoshua is nigh. It’s Yah’s way, or the road to death…the 2nd, far longer one.

    Look up “The interview with Howard Wallace Rosenthal”, “A Letter from Your Globalist Friend”, & AboveTopsecret(dot)com/forum chat by Hidden_Hand, Oct. 2008 This tells you why we are where we are. It was all planned. “They” think we’re all stupid! Useful idiots, or dissenters, the whole lot of us. Wake up, or die sleeping! Shalom & YAH Bless. (Nothing is as you think it is.)

  130. KansasRoots -  April 18, 2011 - 1:47 pm

    Just noticed my most recent comment was removed… how sad! And pathetic! O well. It must have stricken a chord with someone to motivate them to remove it. It’s helarious and sad…. language here is limited to a moderators opnion.


  131. Deets -  April 18, 2011 - 1:29 pm

    I think there is some confusion between phonetics and phonemes. Phonemes are units of spoken language that correspond to vocalized sounds. Phonetics are units of written language that correspond to vocalized sounds.

    The idea that as languages dispersed further away from Africa, fewer phonemes were being used does not mean that the integrity of the language was diminished. It merely adapted and evolved to what the cultures needed it to do. Context plays a key role in determining usage of language over time.

    For the many who think that the internet has diminished the integrity of our language, I understand your chagrin and I too picture the average internet user as not having a large vocabulary.

    Again, however, you have to remember the role context plays (and technology) in language development. Teh Gutenberg pressed made it possible for vernaculars across Europe to become realized written language; the internet is making it possible to condense language experiences into short letter strings that are NOT linked to phonetics, but to entire phrases of meaning.

    I think that is just exciting as it is frightening. The solution: teach our children to use their language appropriately.

    Finally, to address the religion vs. science discussion: yet again, I think it is important to remember CONTEXT here. The articles is obviously addressing an anthropological aspect of language and not a bibilical aspect. Just throwing in a 2 cents worth of religion is not suitable for the discussion unless you meet the discussion on its own ground. It’s like joining an argument about who’s going to do the dishes by mentioning who mowed the lawn.

    Although my beliefs about God and the world are just as important to me as the science used to explain the world, I have always viewed the story of the Tower of Babel, and many other bible stories, as an allegory. It is a story not meant to be taken literally.

    This does not necessarily discredit or devalue the purpose or the power of the story, in fact, I think it enhances it.

    The story is not about the origin of language, but the pride of mankind and to take any other message away is not to understand it. The punishment for building a tower to the heavens could have been anything that we humans have to suffer with. The fact that diverse languages was chosen speaks to our concern that even though we’re all human, we don’t all speak the same language and we don’t know why. We don’t understand why we can be so similar and so different at the same time.

  132. J.D. -  April 18, 2011 - 1:24 pm

    Help! As a scholar of historical linguistics and Assyriology (Ancient languages and archaeology of Babylon and earlier Mesopotamia yep pre-biblical ooo), I’m trying to stop myself from attacking my computer screen in utter disbelief over the Tower of Babel even being involved in this discussion.

    Religion or lack thereof is a personal matter, but for Pete’s sake if you really believe an invisible deity’s anger at the ancients architectural pursuits caused us all to misunderstand each other all of a sudden….

    I’m not trying to knock anyone’s religion. I myself am a recovering catholic turned Agnostic (how’s that for a label;)

    And yes I’ve read my bible, and, koran, and torah, and Mesopotamian scriptures, and Greek mythology, and Nordic Mythology which in instance after instance contain an overwhelming number of similar stories with different names only showing that they are all man’s way of trying to come to grips with why we are here. A question that we will never be able to answer so why not concentrate on making the best of the limited time we’re here.
    If you feel like having a religion enriches your life and helps you be the person you want to be then more power to you, but in general if you have a set of functioning eyes, it is difficult to deny how much anguish it also causes in the world…And no not just by certain individuals as the typical response to that statement is.

    OK total sidetrack…getting back to the subject…There’s an interesting book called Linguistic Anthropolgy that explores the whole monkey/early man language issue;)

    @Ram Luitel–Not true with Sanskrit.(Although it is believed to be the oldest Indo-European language on written record) No one knows what the oldest spoken”language” is for obvious reasons, but the oldest record of a written language “as we understand the system of “language” is Ancient Sumerian. Although one can learn to interpret texts, it is extremely difficult and translations can often be highly debated as it, despite sharing some glosses with Old Akkadian (another ancient Mesopotamian dialect), doesn’t fit into any know language families as such.

  133. Tazz M -  April 18, 2011 - 1:19 pm

    Mankind has spoken since Adam.

  134. Arianwen -  April 18, 2011 - 12:09 pm

    @none of your business
    Science NEVER claims to be “absolute”; quite the opposite, in fact. As soon as you hear someone talking about “absolute science”, start backing away.

    Nice. I wonder when consonants appeared? They do give a greater flexibility and more variety, but I imagine early language didn’t have that much variety to begin with… so perhaps a population that could produce clearer consonants might have a greater technical advantage, as it were? Erk.

  135. KansasRoots -  April 18, 2011 - 11:46 am

    And I almost forgot…. if you don’t believe the information about the Tower, then start looking into the medical field. There is a condition where some people wake up speaking their language with a different accent. Say a southern american (redneck twang in the voice) wakes up one morning, their southern accent is gone and instead they are speaking with a british accent. They can’t control it and they’ve never been to britian. It’s a very rare disease…. so if turning to God doesn’t do it for you, maybe medical history will… I will pray for those who have no God in hopes that he may find you a soft place to land.

  136. KansasRoots -  April 18, 2011 - 11:41 am

    @ JUICEBOX; Why should we leave religion out of science? Is there something wrong with having faith in something you don’t have to see in order to know it’s there? Or is it the fact that you fear the unknown. Yes, the languages started before the Tower that everyone referrs to… it was because of the tower that the people were trying to build to get to heaven that God created different languages so that when the tower was built, it wouldn’t be built correclty. The Tower did eventually collapse becuase of the communication complications. I don’t honestly have any opnion or even educated guess as to where speaking originiated. I do know that we can still communicate with out it. A dog does not know the definition of “sit” or “go lay down” but they understand it. Language is only words, meaning and emotion are spoken through the heart and not the tongue.

  137. Andy North -  April 18, 2011 - 11:40 am

    I agree with those who mention the bible! It is a great book! I use it to level my kitchen table!

  138. ender -  April 18, 2011 - 11:38 am

    @ Koko
    So Turks used Arabic language as scientific language at one time,Persian as Literature language at another time.What is your point?
    These do not change the fact that Latin alphabet and even Egyptian Hyeroglifs were invented by Turks.
    FOR people like you facts are not important!For you how you can deviate the facts so you can have your zion is important.You are one of those people who wrote the Genesis and given the mission to confuse the world’s language .You are one of those people who banned any thing esoteric(Özüturk,in essence Turk)at one time.
    Just because Hittites,Lidyans,Frigians ,Macedonians used other languages besides Turkish,does not mean Anatolia was not always and solely Turkish.ALWAYS!
    I challenge you to post those 1000 ‘s of words from Greek!Because you made me angry and I decide to post all of them!

  139. Casey -  April 18, 2011 - 11:37 am

    @Kbg, I’m gonna reply to you in Brittany’s defense? I’m fifteen years old and in school I’m taught evolution and the Big Bang in a whole freakin’ module? Why, its just a theory, you cannot even prove it, nobody had seen evolution happen. So here is my own question, believe in your evolution, why do have to? Why do I, a Christian, have to be taught in SCHOOL about some false thing where tons of things have been already proven false? I learned about the three-toed horse, which was proven false fifty years ago. I learned about Lucy which was proven false. Evolution is just another religion, so why do I have to learn it? If I am free to believe what I want to believe than why in school all over the world are kids being brainwashed.

    And another thing, about this article, the only reason I think their saying language started in Africa is because they think we all evolved in Africa. It makes sense that people will say language came from Africa because we did.

  140. l. da vinci -  April 18, 2011 - 11:04 am

    It is interesting to note how little has been achieved in africa considering this article that 60,000 years ago language was born and spread out to the world. Did they just give up on the future of progress after their language discovery? or was it so bad that people had to migrate and flee out of africa?
    (Such a topic would require pages and pages of explanation to relativity and why progress in its simplest form is visible through advances that can be seen in a civilization over thousands of years until now. Look around you right now, the tools you use. Where have they come from? Which single person has made them and from where has that person come from? these are simple questions with simple answers. It is a human flaw to find answers that do not exist based on another simple fact that our mind looks for answers we can relate to and feel like we are part of it while at the same time bypassing the real truth of it.)

    There are still many broken links in history (below and above ground) to make accurate statements about what happened as far back as 60,000 years ago.

    Keep things simple and you will most likely find the answer to history and what ever problem you need to solve. Some of these people cannot accept the fact of certain things as they are in simple form so they seek out for the sake of finding answers that no one has found before. They force an answer to their solution, they interrogate history and nature until it is broken and an answer falls out of which they can claim victory on.

    take all facts published as facts of one person, not true facts of nature.

  141. koko -  April 18, 2011 - 10:47 am

    @ender: Have a look at this part from your history

    In the spring of 1928, Mustafa Kemal met in Anakara with several linguists and professors from all over Turkey where he unveiled to them a plan of his to implement a new alphabet for the written Turkish language based on a modified Latin alphabet. The new Turkish alphabet would serve as a replacement for the old Arabic script and as a solution to the literacy problem in Turkey. When he asked how long it would take to implement the new alphabet into the Turkish language, most of the professors and linguists said between three to five years. Kemal was said to have scoffed and openly stated, “we shall do it in three to five months”.

    You can look it up in Wikipedia by searching your first Turkish president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Before coming to conclusions, I can give you 000s of English words that are derivatives from Latin, Greek, Spanish or any other language. Just because of this, doesn’t mean indefinitely that your language is the mother of all languages. And don’t forget that turkish people are descendants from Mongolian, hence you should be talking in Mongolian and not typing in English!

    Assignment: What is the derivative of the word Assasin and how it is related to Hushish?

    Secondly, the Tower of Babel, whether being a myth or not, it doesn’t negate the fact that language was inexistent beforehand. The main point of this article is to try and locate WHEN and WHERE people started talking and NOT when people started talking different languages.

    Thirdly, if language didn’t start when the first human stepped on Earth, I can possibly deduce that Adam and Eve were actually monkeys and they could only pronounce the A and U vowels, as all monkeys do. Then some time later, other people started including consonants as well.

    Enjoy your programming languages!!!!

  142. tonylaz -  April 18, 2011 - 10:33 am

    TO: Karen (from) April 17, 2011 at 10:09 am

    PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says ” …time range from 80,000 to 60,000 B.P. …”. British Petroleum?

  143. David Kratz -  April 18, 2011 - 9:17 am

    re “none of your business”
    please start a separate chain

  144. none of your business -  April 18, 2011 - 9:13 am

    How do you people know that Bible is false? Were you there? And by the way, the “absolute” science hasn’t always been true and correct, either!

  145. David -  April 18, 2011 - 9:11 am

    @ Timo: The notion of “race” is culturally defined. What were, for example, “race” issues in the region of the Apartheid Southern Africa, one will see that it was “racist” and not based in science or even discussed intelligably in any forum. It spontaneously emerged as a means to control and maniuplate a predominate population into servitude. That is “racist.” To track population movements from one region of the planet to another involves “race” which as an anthropologist, I still cannot completely fathom my scientific forefathers/mothers ineptitude in discussing the human species with such a fleeting, narrow margin of accuracy.

    It would be better served if we left the notion of “race” into the realm of geneticists, who are better able to answer these types of questions reguarding “race,” human movement across the planet and any origin myths we may need. Genetics will be the future of anthropology, socialization of cultures and even linguistics.

  146. David Kratz -  April 18, 2011 - 9:02 am

    Those cluttering up this chain with references to a Bible story should realize that although it’s largely proven to be true it also often doesn’t mean what it’s usually purported to mean. Like Genesis One is obviously not a chronological account of 6 consecutive solar days. It’s also pretty clear that the Babel story is dated long after birth of the first Bible figures. Christians who pretend that distortions of Bible truths are true evoke blasphemy against their God. If you want to talk about than then please start a separate chain.

    There was a book (“Origin of Languages”?) I read several years ago where the author had traced the evolution of language from some place in Afric demonstrating how it changed among various indigenous populations. And just a couple years ago another scientist had a similar project analyzing dna samples form indigenous populations in many areas where such a thing could still be reasonably postulated. It appeared to me that both studies led to the same conclusions regarding the spread of humanity and language. Isn’t that remarkable?

  147. Ram Luitel -  April 18, 2011 - 8:59 am

    Sanskrit is the origin of all languages and it is the oldest language in the entire universe.

  148. Roxanne -  April 18, 2011 - 8:32 am

    @white, grunts? if you actually looked into the languages that were mentioned in the article you would know that actually it was ‘clicks’

    I think it makes perfect sense for language to get easier with less phenemes just like the anceient writings of China and Egypt were made up of many characters (although China still uses them) more recent forms of writing are much simpler. Languages die all the time so it would make sense that some sounds are lost, normally because they are uneeded and many times they are converted into other sounds, which is most obviously shown in the case of how names are sometimes different in different languages :)

  149. David -  April 18, 2011 - 8:16 am

    As a culture develops, so too does language. For example Ancient to Modern Hebrew. It is theorized that AH started out as a two radical system, like “pr” for example (vowels are mutable, so while it may be written as “pr” it should be known that it stands for “par” which is the word for which “open” is associated.).

    As a culture develops, and becomes more sophisticated, the word becomes “frts” (“pf or f” is a softened sound of “p” and the same radical in AH. The word is now “frats.”) And further refinement becomes “mfrts” for the word “delta.” More radicals lead to more developed cognative ability within the language, in this case from a simple two radical notion of “open,” through a bay, and into a much more complex idea of “river delta.” It too should be noted that simple compounding of an idea, like “prpr” (butterfly – “open open” descibing the wing movement of the butterfly) should not be interpreted as a collective development within the congative social and political structure of any culture. Simple compounding emphasizes a need for more complex cultural development in the fact that this concept is not “implemented” but rather develops over time and use of langauge/culture.

  150. David -  April 18, 2011 - 8:05 am

    It has been proven, by the way, that children are born understanding language. An informal experiment took place in France during the 1920′s. Russian emmigrants, leaving behind the various revolutions in their homeland, settled in France. The Russian aristocracy of that time spoke several languages fluently, to include French. (This is all anecdotal, so please don’t ask for references.)

    A medical doctor asked his patient, who was pregnant, to speak only French during her pregnancy. Everyone around was only to speak to her in French too. When the child was delivered and everyone began speaking Russian, the child couldn’t understand and was “stunted” in their development. Fortunately, languge acquisition is ripe at that age, and she was able to catch up after age 6-8, and make a full “recovery” of her natural language (in this case, both French and Russian).

    While we don’t think of such experiments as ethical now days, we do see some value in this. I speak ASL, and have often contemplated this issue of personal language development in conjunction with any myriad disabilities that could potentially reduce ones linguistic success in regards to their culture.

  151. ACHS -  April 18, 2011 - 8:03 am

    @Tadhg….you mentioned the Bible has been wrong, but failed to give an example….I do not know when the Bible has been wrong, so please enlighted us all.

    @Casey…great examples of science in the Bible! Whenever folks have tried to prove the Bible wrong, they have been unable to do so. Try it for yourself, you will find out the Truth is always the Truth regardless of who believes it or not. The Bible is the Truth, it cannot be proven wrong, and it can provide proof for science as Casey points out several examples.

  152. Terry -  April 18, 2011 - 7:54 am

    Cyberquill, you have the quote of the day. LOL! Is there a such thing as a Twitter dictionary?

  153. David -  April 18, 2011 - 7:53 am

    I strongly suggest that the more serious commentors look into the field of glottogenesis, and once that has taken place, it will be understood that you’ve been thinking in these terms all along. Also, I suggest that some research be done in the field of primate vocalization and primate ritualized behaviors; not the neurotic type human behavior.

    The article is good for a basic understanding, and as demonstrated, it pulled some very interesting comments that focus on the timeline of human linguistics. It would be prudent, however, to view this as only a brief timeline of suggested behavior, and not a fully developed theory proposed and posited in a scientific forum.

    While phonemes are a great idea with which to start this discussion, it should be noted that each language spoken in the current era of humanity is a “contemporary” language. Phonemes develop within each culture as needed, but never as identified as a need. In other words, the psychology of our languages is culturally dependent and not not culturally identified. We don’t wake up one morning and decide that we need differentiate the word “seen” from “scene” (think only about sounds, no written cues), or “sea” and “see.”

    This is a great article for the stimulating discussion it has already provided. I’m not a linguist anymore, but still have tremendous respect for any person who can discuss this intelligently and dispationately.

  154. idman -  April 18, 2011 - 7:46 am

    “if i try the answer, ‘the language started when the peaple were created ” am i wrong or right? how does it seem to u? by tnk u.

  155. Kbg -  April 18, 2011 - 7:24 am

    So believe in your bible..but why do I have to? That’s the issue ..believe what you want to..but why does it always end with you biblers trying to make everyone else have to buy your beliefs .what happened to live and let live..do you need to force other people, into your belief system to make yourselves feel more secure..how a discussion of linguistics got to this is ridiculous..let’s get back to science ..

  156. Kbg -  April 18, 2011 - 7:20 am

    Hey britt@ny what happened to humility and humbleness?

  157. Kbg -  April 18, 2011 - 7:17 am

    There was a family..and. The son never spoke.. He was about 18 years old..they had tried every intervention,every therapy but he never spoke.. Then one night they were eating dinner … All of a sudden .. He said “the soup is too hot”.. the family was astounded.. They said what happened.. Why didn’t you ever speak before this… He replied…”until now everything was “OK”!

  158. Kbg -  April 18, 2011 - 7:08 am

    One can believe or not, in god, and still have theories.. Einstein didn’t say he spoke to god and he/she gave him the theories..his belief motivated him..so good for the world.. But if god was speaking to him..that’s a whole other story.psychiatric…..but his theory is still independent… based on science.. Keep the religion in some other place….. and don’t try to force it on others..

  159. Kbg -  April 18, 2011 - 6:59 am

    Creation? Are you kidding? Are, babies born speaking? Does complexity of language develop.?DARE I SAY “EVOLVE”. As a life is lived…

  160. Kbg -  April 18, 2011 - 6:55 am

    Which phonemes do they have in common?
    What about language developing the other way.. From fewer to more complex..?

  161. White -  April 18, 2011 - 6:50 am

    Anyone interested in the Tower of Babel and what role it plays should look up Arthur Custance and his writings on the subject.

    Also, remember that God “spoke” the world into existence…and that “the Word” existed before the Earth was even created. Non-Christians will scoff, but how exactly do you think language could evolve independently? Even if the trait developed in one human by mutation, how would that human be able to communicate with any other pre-linguistic humans? It’s a huge stretch to assume that the complex systems of grammar in existence today evolved from grunts, when no other animal shows the potential to do this. #faceitwe’respecial

  162. Mimi -  April 18, 2011 - 6:49 am

    Interesting commentaries all around, many of which have great kernels of insight. But I need to know — are any of you here trained linguistic historians? I’ll base my acceptance of facts on who actually knows of what s/he speaks.

  163. Yugan Dali -  April 18, 2011 - 6:41 am

    @ Jaffui Generally, an original location has the greatest variety. For example, Africans have the greatest genetic variety of all humans. Say one group, call the Jaffui group, left the original location, they would carry >only< the Jaffui genes, and not the Ffuija or Iuffaj genes, which remained in place.
    By the same logic, if there were 100 phonemes in the original language group, but one group took away only 70 of those hundred, they would have fewer phonemes. See what I mean?
    As to you people who talk about the Tower of Babel or India as the source, please remember that humanity originated in the rock of Pinspkan.

  164. Harry -  April 18, 2011 - 4:53 am

    The Tower of Babel is a myth, and the hypothesis that the number of phonemes decreases with time or distance appears to be speculation. However the method of investigation based on that speculation is scientific and it’s very interesting! :-)

  165. Britt@ny -  April 18, 2011 - 4:50 am

    I am with those “idiots” who read the Bible and know the REAL truth, like I do. The Tower of Bible is true, all the Bible is, is TRUTH. It was written by God’s people, in His own words. If you try to figure something out by science alone, you will never get anywhere with it, and you’ll be doing a never ending search. Though you may not realize it, the things that happened in the Bible (except the book of Revelation, the only prophecy in the Bible; still waiting for the things in Revelation to happen) HAVE happened. When I read what everybody says about those who stand up for God, Christians like me, I am not hurt. God says in the Bible, that it’s not going to be easy for His followers, we WILL be made fun of, and there will be hard times for us. But I become sad for the people who make fun of us, because I know where me and others like myself are going when we die, and I know where those who deny the real truth clearly stated in the Bible are going when they die. I pray for those who call me an idiot, and who try to base everything off facts and reason, just because they find it hard to believe that miracles DO happen. To all Christians who are reading this right now, your not alone, don’t let yourselves be brought down by what others say about you for standing up for what’s right.

  166. Eugene Costa -  April 18, 2011 - 4:46 am

    The idea that human language is only ten thousand years old is, quite frankly absurd, and surely not a widespread theory in linguistics as reported.

    The divagations of specific surviving human languages at 60, 000 years ago may be correct. There are elements in Indo-European and/or Nostratic that suggested at least that long.

    More generally, however, even this is much too late for the origin of speech and language among humans.

  167. Timo -  April 18, 2011 - 3:32 am

    To question where language came from is to suggest that humans did not always speak. The research that this article refers to does not prove where language first appeared; rather, it suggests that those who spoke the original language lived in the Southwest area of Africa, according to this article. This is not incompatible with the Tower of Babel concept, nor does it contradict a creation theory of origin.

    Also, as any linguist knows, languages have always changed over time. The study is based on 500 known languages – ones that are currently documented. But languages die regularly and change constantly. There is no way to know if the language spoken in the southwestern area of Africa was the original or a derivative of some other language.

    Here’s an interesting question for discussion: How does this relate to ideas of race? There are physical characteristics that are dominant among people who share a common language. If all languages have a common origin, do all peoples also have a common origin? If all people have a common origin, can there really be a scientific definition of race?

  168. Ballz 2 U -  April 18, 2011 - 3:20 am


    are you serious?

  169. ender -  April 18, 2011 - 2:31 am

    These are wrong!
    Language has started in the middle east over 30 000 years ago and the original language of the world was Turkish.Until 2000 years ago,only Turkish was spoken on the British islands.Look at these:
    Gurur ——-Hubris
    I can give thousands of examples like these

    • Vijay -  September 13, 2014 - 6:16 am

      “Tamil” language is a first started in this world
      20,000 year back this language started but now English is popular
      i m proud 2 tell Tamilanda..
      World first Human take in “TAMIL” only

    • ôNDER -  December 3, 2014 - 12:51 pm

      Dûrûst is hidden in Trust :)

  170. sandy -  April 18, 2011 - 2:31 am

    Doesn’t this all presuppose that language originated in one place? It just seems unlikely to me that just one person, or group of people should be attributed with the discovery/creation of language. There could well have been a group who invented a language in south west Africa, but also could there not have been a group in North America for example, who created their own language too? Perhaps that would explain some of the anomalies in the current spread of language (ie. Someone mentioned the isolation of Finnish etc.). I think the search for the one unique beginning of language is pointless, but nevertheless very intriguing. As for the inclusion of religion in the argument, if you believe the Bible, then your answer will differ greatly from that of an atheist. So the combination of the two is very hard, in finding one answer to satisfy everyone. I’ve always seen religion as more of a why, and science as a how, so for me the two are incompatible more or less all the time anyway.

  171. Dimitri -  April 18, 2011 - 1:39 am

    In response to Dwarakanath; India is not the birthplace of indo-european languages. The proto-indo-european language (on which Sanskrit is based) was brought to India by the Aryans from central Asia, just like the cast system.

  172. Tallulah -  April 18, 2011 - 1:36 am

    Am kind of gobsmacked that people here are actually legitimately debating and discussing the Tower of Babel as the origin (or spreading) of language.

    …I mean, that’s not even remotely funny. That’s pathetic.

    On the other hand, very interesting article and topic :)

  173. Dimitri -  April 18, 2011 - 1:17 am

    I agree with Josh about migration not stopping after 60k years. And I would like to point out that language may be complex in the amount of phonemes that it has, or by having longer words and a more complicated grammar. All Indo-European languages started out as the later. As someone mentioned already, English used to have many declinations, like in Slavonic and Finno-Ugrian languages. It is the mixing of ethnic groups with different languages, that forces languages to simplify. Britain was repeatedly invaded over a short period of time, and each time it had another language imposed upon it. Now English words are the shortest of any European language and grammar the simplest. In my opinion, for a language to become well developed and complicated, it has to be spoken by a large group of people undisturbed for a long time.

  174. Tadhg -  April 17, 2011 - 11:03 pm

    I love how I can’t even read about linguistics anymore without people bringing religion into.

    Just because the Torah/Bible say something, doesn’t make it true. It’s been wrong before, what else could it be wrong about?

    See, the difference between science and religion is that science is constantly trying to prove itself wrong. Religion, on the other hand, is constantly trying to prove itself right.

    I’d respectfully request that you not bring religion into linguistics anymore, but I know how few people actually read comments before posting their own comments.


  175. Anne Pemberton -  April 17, 2011 - 10:52 pm

    Interesting conjecture, but the comparison is problematic. The far end of the spread out of Africa was the arrival in America. Linguists study four or more basic language families, and there are some thoughts that not all arrived on America by the same path. Some may have survived interesting ocean voyages to settle in a new land. Was Antarctica once habitable? Habitable enough to be a stopover in a long journey? Ah the questions, when we once consider the possibilities!

  176. Casey -  April 17, 2011 - 10:38 pm

    I get so tired of people saying the Bible isn’t true, its a fairy tale, bla bla bla. You know, maybe if you actually did research beside believe everything shoved down your throat, you would actually know some truth and not doubt it so much. For instance, I myself was having some doubt if God was real so I decided to do a some research and found out some facts, that people just can’t put down. Here is some science in the Bible and if you don’t believe me, look it up. Do some of your own research.

    Ecclesiastes 1:6
    The wind goes toward the south,
    And turns around to the north;
    The wind whirls about continually,
    And comes again on its circuit.

    This explains exactly the way the jet stream works, only discovered by air men in WWII. Now how could some man thousands of years ago just come up this and be completely right. I’ll leave you to answer that for yourself.

    Leviticus 17:11
    ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

    This statement refers to our blood. Blood is the life of a body, it carries water and nourishment to every cell and regulates the bodies temperature. Up until the 19th century, blood letting for illnesses was common in the medical field until people found out it did more harm than good.

    Job 36:27-29
    For He draws up drops of water,
    Which distill as rain from the mist,
    Which the clouds drop down
    And pour abundantly on man.
    Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds,
    The thunder from His canopy?

    This is an awesome one I think. Because it explains evaporation. Now how could some man who just decided to write a book thousands of years ago know what evaporation was.

    Ecclesiastes 1:7
    All the rivers run into the sea,
    Yet the sea is not full;
    To the place from which the rivers come,
    There they return again.

    All rivers do run into the sea, incase someone didn’t know that. So how could an everyday common man make a trip all around the world and visit every single river to see if every river ran into the sea. The answer is simple. He didn’t have to go around the world, which would have been impossible thousands of years ago, but he did have God speaking through him.

    Job 38:16
    Have you entered the springs of the sea?
    Or have you walked in search of the depths?

    Do you know that is had only been a recent discovery in modern science that there were infact springs underneath the oceans. I don’t think they knew this thousands of years ago.

    Isaiah 40:22
    It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
    And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
    Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
    And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

    The word circle here is translated from the original Hebrew chuwg which meant “sperical.” Were we not all taught that Columbus sailed the ocean blue 1492 and that before that everyone thought the world was flat. So how thousands of years ago could a man sit there and say that the world was round when every other religion and people of that era said it was flat.

    Job 28:25
    To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.

    Air does have weight. Once again another modern discovery in the Bible.

    Job 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.

    The Earth does hang upon nothing and for me this is one of the most remarkable scientific sayings in the Bible. Do you know why? Well another religion, I think it is Buddhism, said that the Earth rested upon the backs of turtles. In Greek mythology, their religion of the time, the god Atlas held up the Earth. The Bible is the only religion to make the claim that the Earth was suspened in space. After all, they didn’t have space shuttles.

    I’m not putting all of this to convert anybody but I get so sick and tired of people thinking there so “smart” and saying the Bible doesn’t have science and cannot be proven. As you just read, there is some very surprising scientific facts in the Bible. And for those of you that believe in Evolution. Did you know that Evolution basically contradicts science? The First Law of Thermodynamics states that “matter cannot be created or destroyed.” Of course us Christians who believe in God know that this does not apply to him because he is God, he makes the rules, he doesn’t have to obey them and he exists outside of time but for you guys that believe the Big Bang Theory, this presents a little problem.

    In the Big Bang Theory is states that the Univserse was a tiny pin point and than it suddenly expanded and matter just all of sudden appeared. Remember what the Law states, matter cannot be created. Where did the matter come from than? Science can’t say.

    Yes, the Tower of Babel has not been proven true, yet, but a lot of things in the Bible has, you just got to look for yourself.

  177. Luck in W -  April 17, 2011 - 10:09 pm

    Put my two special loves together: history and language and you get linguistic history.
    You have two languages in Europe that are almost stand-alone: Finnish and Magyar (Hungary). They are related to a few other languages in the world but their spread and isolation are still somewhat of a mystery. There’s also a language–and a corresponding group of people–that were recently found in some nigh-inaccessible corner of the Asian mountains. I wonder how their language relates to others and what the history of the group is.

  178. Shingo Brown Nakao -  April 17, 2011 - 10:02 pm

    I think the first man or woman who uttered a word was extremely inventive.

  179. Zirious23 -  April 17, 2011 - 9:48 pm

    I beleive in those who side with the tower of babel, after the people spoke different languages, the ones who spoke similar ones stayed together and migrated together, and lived in communities for long enough. maybe thats why (indigenously not nationally), people who spoke similar languages tend to have similar features probably because those where the ppl who spoke simlar languages and got together.

  180. Frombleklopp -  April 17, 2011 - 9:06 pm

    Christa Fuller I think you may have a CAPS LOCK MALFUNCTION.

    Also, in b4 flying spaghetti monster

  181. Egon -  April 17, 2011 - 8:18 pm

    In 1980s educators in Nicaragua noticed some deaf children speaking a new language. the children had been developing a novel sign language in the dormitory of the school for the deaf in Managua. Language is always being created anew everwhere and everytime. Children create language not society, not adults, not linguists.

  182. Emory -  April 17, 2011 - 8:10 pm

    Joel is absolutely right in his comment on April 17, 2011.. The Bible has NEVER been proven wrong on the MANY subject it covers.

  183. christa Fuller -  April 17, 2011 - 6:56 pm

    LANGUAGE —no linguist has figured that out.
    TIGRERO, a film that was never made, docu by MIKA KAURISMAKI
    winner of the BERLIN CRITICS AWARD

  184. Anonymous -  April 17, 2011 - 6:09 pm

    Everyone has different beliefs on religion, but please refrain from using the “lol god did it” response when discussing things here. And Cyberquill, you had the best comment on this article. So very true.

  185. Josh -  April 17, 2011 - 5:50 pm

    I think that a lot of this skepticism (and the article, too) is founded on the idea that migration patterns were extremely linear, and groups settled in different locations along a common path out of Africa, never to move again in 60,000 years. I don’t know a whole lot about linguistics or the migrations of ancient peoples, but I do know that English wasn’t a language that was developed only within the geographical region that we know as England today. A lot of the groups that our modern languages can be traced back to were nomadic, so I feel like that stands in opposition to both the skepticism of the comments and the logic of the article, no?

  186. Logan -  April 17, 2011 - 5:46 pm

    OMG!! Are u telling me that the all time favorite word, supercalfrajalisticexpialadocious (I’m not sure if i spelled that right) originated from the clicking clan of Africa?!?!

  187. GWSTB -  April 17, 2011 - 4:45 pm

    @cyberquil- Most of those unholy acronyms have been around far longer than Twitter. If anything, Twitter seems, on the whole, to be more intellectual than the likes of Facebook and certainly MySpace.

  188. Diane -  April 17, 2011 - 4:39 pm

    Seriously, the people saying to look at the bible or what “god” did make me laugh so hard! Keep fiction out of science, you idiots!

  189. Hugo Fitch -  April 17, 2011 - 4:21 pm

    Furthermore, it has been determined that the first sentence ever spoken was, “Are you gonna eat that?”

  190. Jeremy -  April 17, 2011 - 3:54 pm

    @ Juicebox, keep science out of religion. I don’t know why everyone tries to figure out certain answers to things in life when it’s all in the bible. Evidence doesn’t produce belief, and if it did, people would stop smoking

  191. Yasmine -  April 17, 2011 - 3:40 pm

    It is not necessarily true that the African language was more complex than the languages that formed after it just because it had more sounds, that actually could show that it is an older language because it’s not as efficient. As languages evolve we shorten words and sounds to make them easier to say and help get the point across in a quicker fashion. So even though it is frustrating, as Cyberquill pointed out with the whole Twitter way of typing, it really might just be a natural evolutionary step in language, albeit it was expedited by technology. And to all the bible people on here… wtf?!

  192. Boaz -  April 17, 2011 - 3:29 pm

    @Cyberquill the fact that you and I both understand the meanings of LOL, WTF, and the like, means that they function as language –to communicate an already agreed-upon meaning. Do not confuse “official” language with real language: your English sounds a great deal different from Chaucer’s or even Shakespeare’s, but I’m sure you still consider it English. Language changes; English more than many, partly because it is unregulated. (This for a pamphlet titled “The Hegemony of Standard English”). Being a “snoot” is fun, granted, but do not let yourself forget that grammar is as artificial and arbitrary as manners or fashion.

    One complaint I have with these histories is that they make it sound as if a full language simply arose ex nihilo, as if a group of people simply started speaking. Could not an entire generation have known and lived with merely a handful of words? Could the process have been a great deal more gradual than we seem to think?

  193. Ari -  April 17, 2011 - 3:09 pm

    @ Sunnie
    It seems that reading the bible has caused your grammar skills to atrophy. I wouldn’t touch that book with a ten-foot pole.

  194. Roland -  April 17, 2011 - 2:39 pm

    I have not studied linguistics, but It makes sense to me that language would begin with more phonemes. One would want to make the distinctions in the sounds describing things as obvious as possible to begin with.

    One begins by making distinctions, later one sees that there are limitless distinctions and so settles upon generalizations. (I’m hypothesizing).

    Also, it is said about people that they expend less energy as they age, because their movements become more efficient. Perhaps our use of language follows that model?

  195. johnny boy -  April 17, 2011 - 2:12 pm

    I think that language started after my lunch time

    Yummy in my Tummy


  196. Isirius -  April 17, 2011 - 1:21 pm

    Thomas – The Tower of Babel may have existed, and is not a proven myth. The story behind it, however, is not provable and therefore stands as myth.

    Juicebox – It is not necessary to keep religion out of science as long as you remain objective. The bible, if taken as myth, can be a great source of historical information. And seeing as there are not a plethora of surviving texts from the eras the bible spans it is wasteful to dismiss it out of hand for scientific purposes.

    Regarding the debate on if the Tower is the central point in which language split into multiple tongues, the story is focused on a geological area. There may have been other languages outside of the writers knowledge.

    As for the phonemes, it is my *opinion* that it makes perfect sense for them to lessen the further out you go. As an example: when you were a kid, if you ever tried to make up your own language, you tried to make every word sound different than any other word you made up. This lead to what felt like a billion different sounds to you. However, as you grew up and learned vocabulary of the language your contemporaries speak, you became comfortable with slang words and simplifications. eg can’t, brb, later (instead of goodbye), lol.

    Makes sense to me.

  197. Bran -  April 17, 2011 - 1:19 pm

    I’m sure there’d be other factor’s involved, that was just my initial stab at it.

  198. Bran -  April 17, 2011 - 1:15 pm

    To counter-arguments about phonemes starting simple and getting more complex:

    Consider slang in cultures. People are notorious for making up their own sounds, words, and meanings for things when there aren’t rules or systems in place, which would exist in slang or early language.

    Without a strict system or precedent (no grandmothers correcting your speech), people would be free to make up as many interpretations of a sound or symbol as they wanted, creating a hodge-podge of phonemes and word-meanings.

    Only after people implement stricter systems to teach later generations and create written languages, would they need to wrangle in the wild spoken tongue to simplify and formalize it.

  199. Lorax -  April 17, 2011 - 1:14 pm

    That’s really interesting, tho I would need more info on it to completely convinced. And @Juicebox, what the heck is that supposed to mean?? Sorry, but I don’t think that makes any sense whatsoever.

  200. Other J.W. -  April 17, 2011 - 1:03 pm

    Hey J.W., you stole my initials!

  201. Ed -  April 17, 2011 - 1:02 pm

    I suppose the reason England has comparitivly more is because they’ve (we’ve) been invaded so many times and so our languages have merged.

  202. areisha -  April 17, 2011 - 12:50 pm

    I think it’s quite interesting to know how a language starts, where does it come from and why people started using it, thanks for the information you provide us, continue doing it to be completely informed!!

  203. Nitya -  April 17, 2011 - 12:31 pm

    Please spare us the biblical solutions! Complex problems are not well served by simplistic answers.
    It’s great that someone is out there trying to find the origins of the languages in the world. I’m intrigued by the development of the asian languages, which are so different from the indo-european ones we speak.

  204. Kristin -  April 17, 2011 - 12:26 pm

    @ jaffui: Humans have a tendency to simplify language; we value economy in everyday speech. For example, some people might say “He go there often”. That’s a simplification of the irregular system: I go, you (sg) go, he goes, we go, you (pl) go, they go. The same is applicable to sound changes.

    As for regions close to Africa with fewer numbers of phonemes (Spain was mentioned for its vowel simplicity) — it is my guess that early humans traveled from southern Africa up through the Rift Valley in the east, simply due to geography. If they kept traveling north, they would have been funneled through modern-day Egypt and into the Middle East, Asia, and then Polynesia, etc. Only later would they have made the trek northwest to the regions around the Black Sea, Italy, France, and Spain.

    As a side note, there’s always this confounding variable of culture that takes effect in more recent history. Early speakers of English so admired Latin that many of the stupid, hilarious rules of English are only in place because they were rules in Latin. No split infinitives? Rule from Latin. Best part: that’s impossible in Latin because its infinitives are one word, where infinitives in English are two words and completely capable of being split across adverbs.

  205. Arcanis -  April 17, 2011 - 12:23 pm

    I get the gut feeling that language came from sounds heard or made, each sound made others know what it was meaning, and language developed from there

  206. Aaron -  April 17, 2011 - 12:04 pm

    DUHHHHHHH!!! and yes the tower of Babel is a figurative story (do research) and you will not end up with OBVIOUS (RE)”DISCOVERIES” such as this it is an epidemic in America to be overtly ignorant, another reason we are hated by most.

  207. Jabani -  April 17, 2011 - 11:51 am

    Biblically that hypothesis is half true and half inaccurate.
    It is true all languagues originated from one language, but by
    delibrate act of the creator of language who made many out of one.
    It is inaccurate because languagues were increeased at Babel,and it is not in Africa.

  208. theyipedo -  April 17, 2011 - 11:49 am

    Interesting, Filipino has very few phonemes too, which seems to conform to their hypothesis. But then again, it could be just one language family (Austronesian) who happens to be far from Africa with very few phonemes.

    P.S.It’s unbelievable how some people seriously consider the tower of babel story to be a viable explanation at all. What’s next, are we gonna camp inside whales for 3 days now?

  209. Blu Raeven -  April 17, 2011 - 11:48 am

    Yowza! Okay…

    @ Cyberquil: You just made me BURST into a full GUFFAW @ work!! Thanks a lot! :) Too funny! And absolutely correct.

    “NEXT”!!!: @ Thomas: THANK YOU for contributing an intellegent and tactful way of pointing out that the masses inferring that the Tower of Babel has any place in this conversation, are mistaken.

    @ All The Others Who Infer That The Tower of Babel Has Any Place In This Subject Whatsoever: The author is discussing the ORIGIN/Inception (time and place) of language. The story of the The Tower (as some have stated here) tells of how one language became many. It does not discuss when the “one language” came about. So again; why is The Tower being brought up at all? (Ugh.)

    Lastly, this article is uber fascinating. I hear you (to whome it applies) about the idea that it would seems logical that the breadth between the origin and the current location would yeild MORE phonemes as opposed to less. However, after a bit I was considering how a story, or even a phrase, can become more and more simplified as time, distance, and number of re-tellings increase…I have to accede that it sounds completely possible…

  210. Erin -  April 17, 2011 - 11:47 am

    Didn’t multiple languages originate when God confused the people at the Tower of Babel so that they couldn’t build a tower to the sky to worship their false gods? At least, that’s what the Bible says…

  211. W Edwards -  April 17, 2011 - 11:43 am

    The only reasonable comments here are from Arda, Jaffui & especially Diane D. This whole thesis rests on the assumption that phonemes are lost over time, & that language devolves phonemically. This is as ridiculous an assertion as any ever made. The use of the word “science” in reference to this crazy-ass theory is laughable, at best.

    @Robert Black: the term you’re looking for re: Annette is “hear, hear”

  212. Steve -  April 17, 2011 - 11:05 am

    1) Not everyone is Christian/Jewish, so using Bible/Torah stories is ineffective, especially when you are coming from a scientific standpoint, where there is really little room for religious impositions. Regardless, the Tower of Babel does not answer the origin of language as it only tells of the separation of the singular existing language into many. Where did that initial language come from?
    2) It makes sense that languages would lose phonemes as it gets farther. Languages are ever-simplifying themselves. A great example of this is the fact that many Western European languages have lost their declensions (the Romance languages, English, some other Germanic languages) which they had only about 1000 years ago.
    3) English does have more phonemes than Spanish, however, English is a language which has undergone so much foreign influence that it has had to adapt to the sheer amount of loan words and derivations from other languages, particularly Greek, Latin and French, in addition to its Germanic roots. Not only that, but English and Spanish come from different families. Those languages which English comes from may have lost less phonemes than those that sprouted Spanish.
    4) Yes, India is the source of Indo-European and Indo-Aryan languages (among others), many arts and many religions, however, the power of language as a whole may or may not have started there.

  213. Ian Colley -  April 17, 2011 - 10:47 am

    Wow! Am I glad that I’m an Atheist!

  214. Eyewitness -  April 17, 2011 - 10:36 am

    An earlier study I read which employed a different methodology placed the beginning of spoken language in the region of what is now modern day Turkey. I wish I could recall the scientific premise behind the analysis which yielded that result.

    Does anyone remember reading about that “discovery” three or four years ago?

    I regret to add this note of skepticism, but among the drivers of academe is the “publish or perish” syndrome among collegians. How much they actually contribute to “knowledge” is debatable. How much they contribute to their own financial security is frequently more to the point. Not LOL.

  215. Cody -  April 17, 2011 - 10:34 am

    Re: Leave Religion out of Science
    Hey Juicebox,
    It is impossible to leave religion out of science. Every unproven theory you believe is part of your belief system. You may try to classify those things as philosophy or theory. Philosophy and theory are religions that are masked as “science”.
    The unfortunate state of mankinds’ ignorance prevents any possibility of pure science outside of the laboratory.
    Einstein made it absolutely clear it was his belief in God that motivated his theories. When you are smarter than Einstein, be sure to let us know.

  216. Alan Turner -  April 17, 2011 - 10:28 am

    The bible is the bible. It was written by men who believed what they believed and that’s all it is. It is there for the spiritual comfort of those who need it. It has nothing to do with reality. The people and the events probably happened but after two to five thousand years they have become garbled into folk lore. To any clear sensible mind the idea of creation is anathema but to the closed mind it is not. There are none so blind as those who will not see and none so deaf as those who will not hear. Language and it’s development must obviously go hand in hand with the growing of the human brain. Primitive people used primitive language pursuant to their needs (what use would a hunter/gatherer have for the word computer?) For those who believe in it leave them alone. For the sane and sensible scientific mind just add power to your elbow

  217. John Gray -  April 17, 2011 - 10:19 am

    10,000 years is laughable. 60,000 probably falls short as well. I’m fairly certain any advanced tool making, hunting strategies and rudimentary trading would have involved language. I would not at all be surprised if language spanned the approximate time of humanity and even before it (250,000).

    Any ability of symbolic thought (art, paintings, sculpture) and the ability to speak (dropped larynx), would have resulted in language. These indices surpass 60,000 years quite easily.

  218. Karen -  April 17, 2011 - 10:09 am

    The spoken language may have been well underway 80,000 years ago – perhaps 100,000 years ago leading up to he changes taking place in Africa. Consider the following information from PNAS:
    …major demographic expansion centered broadly within the time range from 80,000 to 60,000 B.P., probably deriving from a small geographical region of Africa. Recent archaeological discoveries in southern and eastern Africa suggest that, at approximately the same time, there was a major increase in the complexity of the technological, economic, social, and cognitive behavior of certain African groups, which could have led to a major demographic expansion of these groups in competition with other, adjacent groups … dispersal of these modern populations over most regions of Asia, Australasia, and Europe, and their replacement (with or without interbreeding) of the preceding “archaic” populations in these regions.

  219. Chris -  April 17, 2011 - 9:33 am

    If this is the case, and that with Egypt, the heiroglyphics represented a spoken word, why is this not the same case with cave drawings from France or Spain, 50-60k years ago?

  220. Brian -  April 17, 2011 - 9:30 am

    This was a great article!8)

  221. sunnie -  April 17, 2011 - 9:13 am

    read your bible, Gen when the Gods came down cause of the possibility of super human and the greatness of oneness so they change it all. Dont that tell you we are spirit program.

  222. Chandralekha Wijeratne -  April 17, 2011 - 9:10 am

    WE READ.

  223. Jewels -  April 17, 2011 - 9:09 am

    It’s interesting that Spanish has a fewer number of phonemes when compared to English, and yet Spain is so close to Africa…

    Spanish has only 5 vowel sounds, while English shows a wider range of vowel phonemes. Perhaps this makes learning to speak Spanish a bit easier than learning to speak English.

  224. Gina Lifrieri -  April 17, 2011 - 9:08 am

    It’s all in the Bible……. :)

  225. Diane D. -  April 17, 2011 - 9:03 am

    Is Atkinson suggesting that the earliest language was the most phonetically complex? Surely a language would begin with only a few communicable meanings and ways of expressing them, and GROW?! Are those “click languages”, so rich in phonemes, perhaps LESS complex SYNTACTICALLY and such? If so, that would indicate that their linguistic development was focused differently than that of other peoples, NOT necessarily that they were the root source of all the sounds other groups use to convey meaning! I’m unbiased philosophically as to human origins, simply skeptical of this premise, at least as presented briefly here.

  226. Beatrice Mazique -  April 17, 2011 - 8:27 am

    I agree with Annette and the Biologist Quentin Atkinson. The eleventh chapter of Genesis states that God scattered the people of the land of Shinar and confounded their language. They could no longer communicate in the previous one language. I looked up the land of Shinar, and found out it was in Mesopotamia between Iran and Iraq. Very interesting topic.

  227. Thomas -  April 17, 2011 - 8:24 am

    Number One: Tower of Babel…. ya, I don’t think so, it’s a myth lady! Next, I totally agree with cyberquill.

  228. Moses -  April 17, 2011 - 8:20 am

    A thought provoking answer. A question to add is the location of the Tower of Babel.

  229. Noah -  April 17, 2011 - 8:15 am

    @annette Agreed. So that would place the first dispersion of language approx 2250 BC.

  230. Maureen -  April 17, 2011 - 8:11 am

    It makes sense and I like the science behind it. And actually, 60,000 years ago still seems just a blink away. Didn’t dogs became domesticated about the same time? Maybe that’s why they understand human language so well.

  231. Ole TBoy -  April 17, 2011 - 7:43 am

    So the migration of folks from Africa to the rest of the world was a “who might be over the back fence?” phenomena. “I have learned to talk so I need to discover who might be around the next curve that I could swap stories with.”

    Ah, the power of gossip.

    Or, maybe it was the “I need to show off” phenomena. “Hey, look at me strangers. I can talk. Can you talk, too?” Which probably led to, “My talk is better than your talk.” Which led to war.

  232. Juicebox -  April 17, 2011 - 7:34 am

    “Tower of Babel?”

    Keep religion out of science.

  233. Maggie -  April 17, 2011 - 7:34 am

    So, would you say that the closest modern approximation to the language existing 60,000 years ago can be found today in southwest Africa? I want to learn more about ancient language. Thanks for the info.

  234. Thomas -  April 17, 2011 - 6:40 am


    Actually the Tower of Babel is how languages became seperated,
    there was still a single language before the Tower of Babel so the mystery continues…

  235. arda -  April 17, 2011 - 6:36 am

    How accurate is the postulate that phonemes decrease the further away a language group is from Africa. What about regions in close proximity to each other with wide differences in the number of phonemes in their respective languages?

  236. Joel -  April 17, 2011 - 6:23 am

    We are told where language developed. It was present at Creation in one tounge and then different languages formed at the Tower of Babel. From that point, different languages have developed from other languages until you have the complex system of languages found today.

  237. umesh -  April 17, 2011 - 5:49 am


  238. Karlo -  April 17, 2011 - 4:48 am

    LOL @ Tower of Babel.
    My favorite characteristic of human language is its ability to evolve with the times while continuing to look to the past.

  239. Jaffui -  April 17, 2011 - 3:47 am

    I don’t get it. Wouldn’t you expect earlier languages to have fewer phonemes, and for phonemes to accumulate in languages as they diverged from the source?

  240. Dwarakanath -  April 17, 2011 - 3:37 am

    INDIA is the origin of all kinds of arts and languages. If anyone has any dispute with my ideas I’m sorry.

    • thriya -  February 25, 2016 - 7:16 am

      tamil is the first language it is indian

  241. Robert Black -  April 17, 2011 - 2:45 am

    @ Annette: here here

    @Cyberquill: LOL

  242. Schindler -  April 17, 2011 - 12:14 am

    Wow, that is so interesting. I always wondered why Pacific islanders had so few sounds in their languages.

  243. Ali mohamed ahmed -  April 16, 2011 - 11:54 pm

    I want know the best way i can learn english language freely while i stay in africa?

  244. Annette -  April 16, 2011 - 11:31 pm

    Tower of Babel?

  245. Cyberquill -  April 16, 2011 - 11:15 pm

    I don’t know when language began, but I know it pretty much ended with Twitter (lol, brb, wtf, etc.)

  246. J.W. -  April 16, 2011 - 11:14 pm

    awesome. i love all of the articles on linguistic history

    • ANONYMOUSIE -  December 2, 2015 - 11:00 pm



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