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Genes for speech not limited to humans?

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mus musculus/George Shuklin

From ScienceDaily:

Our current understanding is that mice have either no — or extremely limited — neural circuitry and genes similar to those that regulate human speech. According to a recent study published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, this understanding may be incorrect.

Dr. Jarvis and colleagues report the results of their investigation into the effect of a genetic mutation in the Forkhead box protein #2 (FOXP2) on the vocalization patterns of adult male mice. FOXP2 regulates speech production in humans. Individuals with deficiencies in FOXP2 protein have difficulty forming complex syllables and complex sentence construction.

Although mice are unable to communicate using speech in the same way as humans, they do vocalize as a means of communicating with each other. Therefore this study sought to determine whether FOXP2 deficiencies have similar consequences for communication by mice as they do for humans.

They do.

Dr. Jarvis suggests that this study supports the “continuum hypothesis,” which is that FOXP2 affects the vocal production of all mammals and not just humans.

Prior research has shown a more limited role for FOXP2 than what is now becoming apparent. As Dr. Jarvis observes, “We believe that FOXP2 already had a pre-existing role in regulating vocal communication before human language evolved.” Paper. (public access) – Jonathan Chabout, Abhra Sarkar, Sheel R. Patel, Taylor Radden, David B. Dunson, Simon E. Fisher, Erich D. Jarvis. A Foxp2 Mutation Implicated in Human Speech Deficits Alters Sequencing of Ultrasonic Vocalizations in Adult Male Mice. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2016; 10 DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00197More.

Useful find. Of course, humans communicate in a complex, abstract way, whether we have vocal speech or not.

If the genes for speech are not limited to humans, then some explanation may be required as to why we are the only life forms that use it to full advantage. We expect some pretty remarkable ones in the years to come.

See also: Researchers: Speech and sign language deeply similar. The real story here is that minds use symbols, whether words or signs, to create information. But we are not permitted to talk about it quite that way. We need to pretend that it is a big surprise that sign language is a language.


Language and cranial features linked, developed at same time? Skepticism is probably still well-advised. Languages are not life forms and need not follow the same rules of descent. We really have no idea of languages spoken during the “early development of humankind”; we do know that in the absence of the written word or a large number of speakers, languages can change pretty quickly.

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semi related:
Douglas Axe - The Research (Part 1) 10-29-2016 by Paul Giem - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp9UlC3oE3A&index=10&list=PLHDSWJBW3DNUx3ngrgTIQyl-B2TaQBoq8
Of related note:
Newly Discovered Convergent Genetic Evolution Between Bird and Human Vocalization Poses a Severe Challenge to Common Ancestry - Casey Luskin - December 15, 2014 Excerpt: "We've known for many years that the singing behavior of birds is similar to speech in humans -- not identical, but similar -,,, "But we didn't know whether or not those features were the same because the genes were also the same." "Now scientists do know, and the answer is yes -- birds and humans use essentially the same genes to speak.",,, "there is a consistent set of just over 50 genes,,," "These changes were not found in the brains of birds that do not have vocal learning and of non-human primates that do not speak," So certain birds and humans use the same genes for vocalization -- but those genetic abilities are absent in non-human primates and birds without vocal learning? If not derived from a common ancestor, as they clearly were not, how did the genes get there? This kind of extreme convergent genetic evolution points strongly to intelligent design. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/12/newly_discovere092041.html
As to FOXP2: Richard Dawkins claimed that the FOXP2 gene was among ‘the most compelling evidences’ for establishing that humans evolved from monkeys, yet, as with all the other evidences offered from Darwinists, once the FOXP2 gene was critically analyzed it fell completely apart as proof for human evolution:
Dawkins Best Evidence (FOXP2 gene) Refuted - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfFZ8lCn5uU
Dr. Giem has a lecture up on the FOXP2 fallacy:
FOXP2 and Family Trees 5-23-2015 by Paul Giem - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arSkMn5UwGM Richard Dawkins has used FOXP2 as an example of how if one prepares a family tree using molecular data on different proteins one always gets "the same family tree." The data, however, is not quite as convincing as the rhetoric.
Even the Darwinist who authored the following paper admitted that the relationship between genetic changes and phenotypic changes is, even for FOXP2, ‘tenuous’,,
Human brain evolution: From gene discovery to phenotype discovery - Todd M. Preuss - February 2012 Excerpt: It is now clear that the genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees are far more extensive than previously thought; their genomes are not 98% or 99% identical.,,, ,,our understanding of the relationship between genetic changes and phenotypic changes is tenuous. This is true even for the most intensively studied gene, FOXP2,, In part, the difficulty of connecting genes to phenotypes reflects our generally poor knowledge of human phenotypic specializations, as well as the difficulty of interpreting the consequences of genetic changes in species that are not amenable to invasive research. http://www.pnas.org/content/109/suppl.1/10709.full.pdf
also of note to the vocalization of mice in general:
Mice sing like a jet-engine - October 10, 2016 Excerpt: Mice court one another with ultrasonic love songs that are inaudible to the human ear. New research shows they make these unique high frequency sounds using a mechanism that has only previously been observed in supersonic jet engines.,,, "Mice make ultrasound in a way never found before in any animal," ,,, Using ultra-high-speed video of 100,000 frames per second the researchers showed that the vocal folds remain completely still while ultrasound was coming from the mouse's larynx. "This mechanism is known only to produce sound in supersonic flow applications, such as vertical takeoff and landing with jet engines, or high-speed subsonic flows, such as jets for rapid cooling of electrical components and turbines,",,, "Mice seem to be doing something very complicated and clever to make ultrasound." https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161010133641.htm

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