Re: Origin of Language

Philip Deitiker (
2 Aug 1995 00:39:16 GMT


<concerning ant colonies>

On the surface this is a good comparison; however, you leave out a
property that the ants have which humans do not have, a strong
instinctive and compelled behavior based upon chemical communication.
If you say the ants social behavior is comparable to human
social behavior you must also provide a similarly powerful means
of communication. Since we lack the pheremones we must have substituted
something else (i.e. language). Secondly, once the ants have coevolved
with the aphids, they are compelled to remain within the confines of the
coevolutionary pattern. Humans (as a single species) are much more
adaptive with respect to habitat and niches, and langauge would
facilitate these types of non-genetically based transitions better than
pheremonic and simple 'touchy/feely' signaling.
Have you ever seen a wolf knock down a tree, hollow out its center,
build a couple of paddles and take off after prey in the ocean. There is
several magnitudes of differences in the creative requirements of say
banding up to kill an antilope when compared to building dwellings, craft
and tools from unrefined instruments. I think Pavlov's experiment
demonstrate the limitations of canine intellegence.