And you just know how desperate they are to get to yes:
A new study on animal calls has found that the patterns of barks, whistles, and clicks from seven different species appear to be more complex than previously thought. The researchers used mathematical tests to see how well the sequences of sounds fit to models ranging in complexity.
In fact, five species including the killer whale and free-tailed bat had communication behaviors that were definitively more language-like than random. The study was published online Wednesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
But why would anyone have supposed that the patterns were random?
“We’re still a very, very long way from understanding this transition from animal communication to human language, and it’s a huge mystery at the moment,” said study author and zoologist Arik Kershenbaum, who did the work at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. “These types of mathematical analyses can give us some clues.”
Maybe, but the big problem isn’t language, it’s rationality.
The reason animal communication is simple is that the animal doesn’t think much and so doesn’t have many different things to say. So the “huge mystery” is still the development of the human mind.
Never fear: Someone will (if they haven’t already) get to yes re animal language just by altering the meaning of “true language.” And telling us all that we are species-ist for doubting that barks, whistles and clicks are languages just like English and Chinese.
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