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Researchers: Neanderthals could speak like other humans

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The team studied high resolution scans of the inner ears of modern humans, Neanderthals, and a Neanderthal ancestor (Atapuerca site)

“Most previous studies of Neandertal speech capacities focused on their ability to produce the main vowels in English spoken language. However, we feel this emphasis is misplaced, since the use of consonants is a way to include more information in the vocal signal and it also separates human speech and language from the communication patterns in nearly all other primates. The fact that our study picked up on this is a really interesting aspect of the research and is a novel suggestion regarding the linguistic capacities in our fossil ancestors.”

Thus, Neandertals had a similar capacity to us to produce the sounds of human speech, and their ear was “tuned” to perceive these frequencies. This change in the auditory capacities in Neandertals, compared with their ancestors from Atapuerca, parallels archaeological evidence for increasingly complex behavioral patterns, including changes in stone tool technology, domestication of fire and possible symbolic practices.

Thus, the study provides strong evidence in favor of the coevolution of increasingly complex behaviors and increasing efficiency in vocal communication throughout the course of human evolution.

The team behind the new study has been developing this research line for nearly two decades, and has ongoing collaborations to extend the analyses to additional fossil species. For the moment, however, the new results are exciting.

Binghamton University, “Neanderthals Had the Capacity to Perceive and Produce Human Speech” at Neuroscience News

This shows 3D models of skulls
3D model and virtual reconstruction of the ear in a modern human (left) and the Amud 1 Neandertal (right) Image Credit: Mercedes Conde-Valverde.

The paper is closed access.

Wouldn’t it be a gas if they found writing too? Some researchers did find Neanderthal art a while back.

See also: Neanderthal Man: The long-lost relative turns up again, this time with documents

4 Replies to “Researchers: Neanderthals could speak like other humans

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    This only shows that the researchers don’t know very much about phonetics. Vowels and consonants are not separate “things”. We perceive the consonant parts of the speech stream as shapings of the vowel formants. The skull doesn’t tell you about the CONTROL of the articulators. Until we find a frozen Neanderthal with the tongue, tongue muscles, velum, palate muscles, pharynx, larynx, and lip muscles intact, we can’t make detailed assumptions about speech ability. And even then we wouldn’t know until we reanimated the iceman and heard him speak. The cerebellum can compensate for all sorts of variations in skull and musculature.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    As to: “Researchers: Neanderthals Could Speak Like Other Humans”,,,, Well, if this study holds up, this is a fairly substantial final nail in the coffin for the Darwinian belief that Neanderthals were a more primitive, less intelligent species than modern humans.

    Neanderthals were not inferior to modern humans, study finds – April 30, 2014
    Excerpt: If you think Neanderthals were stupid and primitive, it’s time to think again. The widely held notion that Neanderthals were dimwitted and that their inferior intelligence allowed them to be driven to extinction by the much brighter ancestors of modern humans is not supported by scientific evidence.

    Anatomically speaking, “On the whole, there is hardly any evidence that would point to Neanderthals having a fundamentally different anatomy (than humans),”

    Neanderthals walked upright just like the humans of today – February 25, 2019
    Excerpt: An upright, well-balanced posture is one of the defining features of Homo sapiens. In contrast, the first reconstructions of Neanderthals made in the early 20th century depicted them as only walking partially upright.,,,
    Since the 1950s, scientists have known that the image of the Neanderthal as a hunched over caveman is not an accurate one,,,
    When reconstructing the pelvis, the researchers discovered that the sacrum was positioned in the same way as in modern humans. This led them to conclude that Neanderthals possessed a lumbar region with a well-developed curvature.,,,
    “The stress on the hip joint and the position of the pelvis is no different than ours,” says Haeusler. This finding is also supported by analyses of other Neanderthal skeletons with sufficient remnants of vertebrae and pelvic bones. “On the whole, there is hardly any evidence that would point to Neanderthals having a fundamentally different anatomy,” explains Haeusler.

    Without Neanderthals filling the gap, there is a ‘yawning chasm’ in the fossil record between ape-like and human-like

    The Evolution of Neanderthal Spin – Jonathan Witt – November 27, 2019
    Excerpt: So why did they (Darwinists) often depict them (Neanderthals) as ape-like? Darwinism desperately needs to fill in a yawning chasm in the fossil record between the ape-like and the human-like. At one point many hoped Neanderthals could serve as a crucial link in that lengthy stretch of missing chain between the fully ape-like and the fully human. Coached by the Darwinian paradigm, many assumed that Neanderthals did. But those uncooperative cave men refused to stoop, got the big head (average brain size slightly larger even than modern humans), and got caught red-handed in the fossil record behaving in various ways like intelligent humans.
    Neanderthals even appear to have had children with Homo sapiens, with something like one to three percent of their DNA remaining in most modern humans outside of sub-Saharan Africa.,,,

    Skull “Rewrites” Story of Human Evolution — Again – Casey Luskin – October 22, 2013
    Excerpt: “There is a big gap in the fossil record,” Zollikofer told NBC News. “I would put a question mark there. Of course it would be nice to say this was the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and us, but we simply don’t know.” –

    Review of “Contested Bones” (Part 3 – Chapter 3 “Homo neanderthalensis”) 2-10-2018 by Paul Giem – video

    Unsurprisingly, it was a Darwinist, using imaginary Darwinian assumptions, who was largely responsible for misleading researchers for over a century about Neanderthals.

    Neanderthals were stereotyped as savages for a century — all because of one French scientist – Sep 20, 2016
    Excerpt: Ever since that scientific description was published in 1911, we humans have told the story of Neanderthals in a way that makes us look good: We were smarter, less savage, better equipped to inherit the Earth than the Neanderthal.,,,
    The dominant narrative about Neanderthals is based on the work of a French paleoanthropologist, Marcellin Boule.
    Boule is one of the premier paleoanthropologists at the beginning of the 20th century.,,,
    ,,, all the different characteristics he could have emphasized, he emphasized the primitive. His conclusion is that this Neanderthal is going to walk with a kind of hunched posture. He’s going to have really divergent big toes, which is considered a more primitive characteristic.
    We look at it today and say, “Geez, that was really biased.”,,,
    Later, in the middle to second half of the 20th century, scientists and anthropologists begin to go back and look at Boule’s original material. They’re starting to reexamine Neanderthals and look at their culture and look at their sophisticated tool use.,,,
    We now say, “Oh, look, they have culture. They bury their dead. They can start fires. We’re interbreeding. They’re more human than we first thought.”
    There was a great publication a couple of months ago that points out Neanderthals carried fire starters. That’s fascinating, right? I think that what happens is we keep saying they’re more like us.
    It’s a very additive thing. We keep adding all these characteristics.
    They’re not so different from us,,,

    In any other field of science, (i.e. physics, chemistry, etc…), such an over the top mistake, such as Darwinists have made in their assumptions about Neanderthals, would be such a monumental scandal that it would long be remembered in the history of science and force researchers to severely rethink the foundation of their entire theory.

    But alas, for Darwinists, such over the top mistakes in their primary assumptions are, apparently, just another day at the office for them and are of no big concern.

    Which just goes to show, once again, that Darwinian evolution is not a hard science in any meaningful sense of being a hard science, but is more realistically classified as being a pseudoscience, even as being a religion for atheists, rather than ever being classified as a real, testable, and hard science.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Contrary to what Darwinists constantly portray to the general public, the fossil record simply does not support the Darwinian narrative of some ape-like creature gradually morphing into a human.

    Contested Bones: Is There Any Solid Fossil Evidence for Ape-to-Man Evolution? – Dr. John Sanford and Chris Rupe
    Excerpt: We have spent four years carefully examining the scientific literature on this subject. We have discovered that within this field (paleoanthropology), virtually all the famous hominin types have either been discredited or are still being hotly contested. Within this field, not one of the hominin types have been definitively established as being in the lineage from ape to man. This includes the famous fossils that have been nicknamed Lucy, Ardi, Sediba, Habilis, Naledi, Hobbit, Erectus, and Neaderthal. Well-respected people in the field openly admit that their field is in a state of disarray. It is very clear that the general public has been deceived regarding the credibility and significance of the reputed hominin fossils.
    We will show that the actual fossil evidence is actually most consistent with the following three points. 1) The hominin bones reveal only two basic types; ape bones (Ardi and Lucy), and human bones (Naledi, Hobbit, Erectus, and Neaderthal). 2) The ape bones and the human bones have been repeatedly found together in the same strata – therefore both lived at the same basic timeframe (the humans were apparently hunting and eating the apes). 3) Because the hominin bones were often found in mixed bone beds (with bones of many animal species in the same site), numerous hominin types represent chimeras (mixtures) of ape and human bones (i.e., Sediba, Habilis).
    We will also present evidence that the anomalous hominin bones that are of the human (Homo) type most likely represent isolated human populations that experienced severe inbreeding and subsequent genetic degeneration. This best explains why these Homo bones display aberrant morphologies, reduced body size, and reduced brain volume.
    We conclude that the hominin bones do not reveal a continuous upward progression from ape to man, but rather reveal a clear separation between the human type and the ape type. The best evidence for any type of intermediate “ape-men” derived from bones collected from mixed bone beds (containing bones of both apes and men), which led to the assembly of chimeric skeletons. Therefore, the hominin fossils do not prove human evolution at all.,,,
    We suggest that the field of paleoanthropology has been seriously distorted by a very strong ideological agenda and by very ambitious personalities.

    Here is a video playlist of Dr. Paul Giem reviewing John Sanford’s book “Contested Bones”.

    “Contested Bones” review by Paul Giem – video playlist

    Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig has collected several quotes from Darwinian. researchers themselves honestly admitting that the evidence itself is not living up to their a-priori Darwinian expectations,

    Neo-Darwinism and the Big Bang of Man’s Origin – Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – February 25, 2020
    Excerpt: “There is a popular image of human evolution that you’ll find all over the place, from the backs of cereal packets to the advertisement for expensive scientific equipment. On the left of the picture there’s an ape — …. On the right, a man … Between the two is a succession of figures that become ever more like humans … Our progress from ape to human looks so smooth, so tidy. It’s such a beguiling image that even the experts are loath to let it go. But it is an illusion.”
    – Bernard Wood, Bernard Wood, Professor of Human Origins at George Washington University,
    “Who are we?” New Scientist 176 2366: 44-47. 26 October 2002:,,,
    A Big Bang at Man’s Origin?
    To repeat the key points quoted above (from Darwinists themselves), we may emphasize that
    1. “differences exist on an unusual scale”
    2. “Homo sapiens appears […] distinctive and unprecedented”
    3. “There is certainly no evidence to support the notion that we gradually became what we inherently are over an extended period, in either the physical or the intellectual sense.”
    4. “…we evidently came by our unusual anatomical structure and capacities very recently.”
    5. “…a convincing hypothesis for the origin of Homo remains elusive”
    6. “[W]e should not expect to find a series of intermediate fossil forms with decreasingly divergent big toes and, at the same time, a decreasing number of apelike features and an increasing number of modern human features.”
    7. “No gradual series of changes in earlier australopithecine populations clearly leads to the new species [Homo sapiens], and no australopithecine species is obviously transitional.”
    8. “…early H. sapiens was significantly and dramatically different from earlier and penecontemporary [as well as coexisting] australopithecines in virtually every element of its skeleton and every remnant of its behavior.”
    9. “Our interpretation is that the changes are sudden and interrelated,” “a genetic revolution.”,,,
    “…a rather minor structural innovation at the DNA level” appears to be, for all that can be known at present, a rather unsatisfactory proposal for a comparable origin of some 696 new features (out of 1065) which distinguish man from chimpanzees, 711 from orang, 680 from gorilla, 948 from Gibbon (Hylobathes), presupposing a similar magnitude of different anatomical and other features (“distinctive and unprecedented”) from his supposed animal ancestor, “our closest extinct kin,” not to speak of 15.6% differences on the DNA level between man and his alleged closest cousin, the chimpanzee, which means, in actual numbers, more than 450 million bp differences of the some 3 billion bp constituting the genomes overall.28,,,
    Almost any larger science museum around the globe presents a series of connecting links between extinct apes and humans such as Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Australopithecus afarensis (“Lucy”), Ardipithecus ramidus, Orrorin tugensis and others. For a brief overview on such assumed links see Lönnig (2019).38 I include there a series of references to papers and books that do not simply presuppose evolution and neo-Darwinism as the final truth on the origin of species without any scientific alternative (as is common practice nowadays). Instead, these works critically discuss the relevant details, showing in depth the untenability of the evolutionary scenarios usually given to these would-be links generally put forward as indisputable scientific facts….
    98.5 Percent Human/Chimp DNA Identity?
    Although long disproved, the assertion that human and chimp DNA display approximately 98.5 percent identity is still forwarded in many papers and books. The present state of the art has been clearly articulated by Richard Buggs, Professor of Evolutionary Genomics at Queen Mary University of London. He asks, “What does the data say today in 2018, and how can it be described to the public in an adequate manner?” Key answer: “The total percentage of the human genome that I can know for sure has one-to-one orthology with the chimp genome is 84.4 percent” (“our minimum lower bound”)39, i.e., more than 450 million differences (15 percent of 3 billion bp = 450 million).
    Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, (retired) Senior Scientist (Biology), Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Emeritus, Cologne, Germany.

    Supplemental notes

    February 2020 – anatomical and genetic dissimilarities between apes and humans are far greater than what Darwinists present to the general public:


    Genesis 1:26-27
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

  4. 4
    mahuna says:

    We need to keep in mind that our Neander buddies were MUCH more modern than ANY of the earlier African “upright bipeds” (homo erectus). They lived in small groups of families and drew art on the walls of their caves. So CLEARLY they’re chatting, “Hey, Thog, buddy! Nice musk ox. How about I add some reindeer?”

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