For this conversation, this article is an excellent must read. Notably, its authors include the great Noam Chomsky, essentially making the main point I’ve been making here. Likewise, acquisition of language does not necessarily mirror the origin of language. There is a great deal of mystery in the origin of language, very little evidence, and a lot of ungrounded but strong opinions.
Regarding the failure of the great apes in language experiments, this article is really good, quantitative and recent. A key point is that they cannot even achieve the point of forming sentences, but only two word phrases. My son at 12 months was far beyond Nim Chimpsky in acquisition of language, knowing at least 125 words (like chimpsky) but also putting them together occasionally into 5 word sentences (he was advanced). It also took much less effort for my son to acquire this competency than Chimpsky.
No matter how you cut it, chimps are quantitatively and qualitatively very far from human language. I had the privilege of talking about this with Ajit Varki on stage at UCSD a couple years back too. I wrote an article up about it, but the video is worth watching too.
Regarding theory of mind, it was a common theme in my january Veritas forums.
In particular, the talk I gave at UCSB with a grief counselor, just following the mudslides in SB, on how humans grieve differently than animals is germaine to this conversation. Grief is one area the distinctions between human and animals is incomparable, partly because we have a full theory of mind, and they do not.
As for the surprising resistance to explaining the limits of scientific knowledge, it’s remarkable how quickly things devolve…
(I did not say that).
(no, I am not making Ken Ham’s argument)
(just like is the case for all scientific theories, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duhem–Quine_thesis)
(yet we have been unable to socially transmit language or theory of mind to the great apes)
(no, we are talking about linguistic origin, not linguistic evolution, which is intertwined with biological evolution)
It is ironic that the first time I was similarly accused of pseudoscience and other such things on this forum was almost exactly a year ago, about genealogical science and the genealogical Adam. I ended up making my case in spades on that one.
Perhaps consider backing off the heated rhetoric, and realize that I’ve solidly justified several theses that, on face value, seemed absurd to this forum. I have a track record of demonstrating surprising things like this. Maybe lets not accuse me of total ignorance from the get go. Moreover, as a professor at a secular institution, I have much more at stake here than does almost everyone else (with some notable exceptions). I would not make claims here I could not justify thoroughly to my secular colleagues.