Can Evolution Explain Human Language? Discuss Using Evidence to Support Your Argument.

2020 Words9 Pages
Can Evolution explain human language? Discuss using evidence to support your argument. Over the last fifty years various theories have been established regarding the origin of human language as a result of new archaeological and neuroscientific findings (1). The purpose of this essay is to critically analyse these theories in order to address the following question: Can evolution explain human language? In order to discuss this topic, it briefly explains how new technologies have improved our understanding on evolutionary theories and how language is defined. The second part deals with main question. It will assess three key models of evolution in order to access whether evolution theories can explain human language or whether some evolution theories have to be excluded. Firstly, it evaluates language as a product of adaptation; secondly, as a by-product; and lastly, as a product of random effects. Evidence will be presented to illustrate the strength of each theory. Finally the main arguments of this essay will be summarized and will conclude that human language cannot be fully explained by evolution. It will end with suggesting that these theories have to be seen as provisional, due to the possibility of new findings. The growing interest in the origin of language can be seen as the outcome of significant technological changes in various scientific sectors. When genes and DNA were discovered in 1953, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has been supported in many aspects. Darwin famous observation of different kinds of finches across the Galapagos Islands indicated that these birds must be related (2). DNA findings now show that truly a genetic mutation must have been taken place, helping the birds adapt to their surroundings. Looking at genetic diversity, some biologists where now able to show that language originated from Africa (3). Furthermore, new
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