“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation…”
Is language learned or is it a built in part of our very nature? If we were made by a Creator who values communication, we would expect to have some built in language skills and desires. In fact, common features among all languages would also support the Bible’s historical account of how humans once had only one language.
Researchers who studied human methods of communication around the world learned that all people have far more in common with one another than can be explained by simple biology. Linguists have noted that all languages have verbs, nouns and similar phrase structures. Certain consonants in English serve as stop sounds for words. When researchers tested African infants who had never heard English, they found that those infants recognized the same boundaries as American infants.
Not only is language universal to humans, but also every human language follows the same basic rules, even though this is unnecessary. Some scientists are now beginning to theorize that present human languages are all built on a single universal language pattern.
They have also noted one more important fact. While you can coax an ape to learn a limited vocabulary by bribing it with bananas and candy, human children happily learn 150 new words per week simply for the joy of learning language. No biological theory of origins can explain this rapid language acquisition. The Bible’s history of humanity offers the only possible explanation for human languages.
Lord, help me to never abuse Your gift of language and words by lying or purposefully confusing others. Help me to thankfully use language to communicate the gospel to those around me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Gould, Carol Grant. 1983. “Out of the mouths of beasts.” Science 83, April. p. 69. Photo: Cuneiform is one of the earliest forms of written language.