by Chris Banescu
Earlier this year, researchers in Spain made a remarkable scientific discovery. Rats are capable of discerning the rhythms of the human language and can tell the difference between different languages. According to the Reuters story, the “study suggests that animals, especially mammals, evolved some of the skills underlying the use and development of language long before language itself ever evolved.” There is only a slight catch with the researchers’ evolutionary explanation, it does not make any sense. Rather than support evolution, these findings actually reinforce the Creation model of the world. The research seems to indicate yet another weakness of the evolutionary model and adds more weight to a growing body of scientific evidence that disproves many aspects of evolution.
Neuroscientists at the University of Barcelona used Dutch and Japanese in conducting their studies on 64 male rats. They chose Dutch and Japanese because these languages are “very different from one another in use of words, rhythm and structure.” According to the story the rats “were trained to respond to either Dutch or Japanese using food as a reward.” The findings were indeed remarkable. “Rats rewarded for responding to Japanese did not respond to Dutch and rats trained to recognize Dutch did not respond the spoken Japanese. The rats could not tell apart Japanese or Dutch played backwards,” according to the Reuters account.
More important, “results showed that rats could discriminate natural sentences when uttered by a single speaker and not when uttered by different ones, nor could they distinguish the languages when spoken by different people,” the researchers observed. In other words, rats are predisposed by their DNA to discern human verbal communications, and not just in general, but by individual speaker and specific language. And yet, these diminutive mammals were supposed to have “evolved” these abilities millions of years before human beings appeared and started using language as a means of communication. A miracle indeed!
According to the geological data, rodents first appeared in the fossil record “at the end of the Paleocene and earliest Eocene in Asia and North America, about 54 million years ago (Meng, 1994). These original rodents were themselves descended from rodent-like ancestors called anagalids.” Even using the most generous estimates of when Homo sapiens first appeared on the earth – anywhere from 300,000 to 500,000 years ago – the arrival of the rats predated modern man by tens of millions of years. Yet, scientists are trying to tell us that rats evolved an ability to discern language 53.5 millions before the users of such verbal communication skills arrived on the scene. How is that possible?
As amazing as these scientific experiments are, the incorrect conclusions the researches seem to draw are even more astounding. Common sense should dictate that it’s scientifically impossible for rats to have evolved language discrimination skills before language ever existed. Such a concept goes against the very tenets of evolutionary thinking which require that specific traits in organisms can only appear as a direct result of external environmental stimuli. If evolutionary logic is to apply in the rat’s case, then the very stimulus, human language, that was supposed to have caused rats to develop their abilities in the first place, did not exist.
This latest research does not bode well for the passionate advocates of evolution. In my review of the book Uncommon Dissent last year I discussed how an increasing number of reputable scientists have garnered a large body of evidence and arguments that persuasively question the validity of the evolutionary theory. Many intellectuals and scientists with impeccable credentials and a solid record of scholarly work have exposed many problems, inconsistencies, oversights, and errors with evolutionary theories. In my opinion, these rat studies also provide additional scientific data and insights that could be damaging to evolutionists and also call into question the validity of the model.
What then was the stimulus that gave the lowly rat language skills in the span of millions of years before man showed up and started talking? Science offers no plausible answer to this question, but the Master of all has a very good explanation. God’s revelations, masterfully recorded in pages of the Bible, and preached for millennia in both the Jewish and Christian religious traditions, is very clear on how such a miracle is possible.
In the book of Genesis, God offers us a more credible explanation why rats have the ability to understand human language: He created them that way! “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so.'” (Genesis 1:24).
And why did God give rats the ability to comprehend language? Because that fit nicely into His plan to have man take care of it all:
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'” (Genesis 1:27-28)
It seems rather obvious to say it, but rats have the innate ability to tell languages and human speakers apart because God designed them that way from the beginning. In giving man “dominion” over all animals, I believe God imprinted all of His creatures’ DNA with the traits needed for them to understand their master, man. While the sins of generations and the overall corruption of mankind may have broken the original bonds and disrupted the synergistic relationship between man and the animal kingdom, those traits are still there. Many creatures are still able to respond to their masters – some better than others – and that original relationship will indeed be ultimately restored by Christ’s Second Coming.
I also believe that the rat’s unique language abilities are not an anomaly, but reveal a greater truth regarding all living creatures. We already know that domesticated dogs, cats, horses, and even some bird species respond very nicely to human language. We have also seen how primates and porpoises are able to comprehend and react to a wide variety of verbal cues. Now we know that rats are also language-enabled. Building on that experience and this latest information my faith, reason, and common sense tell me that similar language abilities will be discovered in many other members of the animal kingdom. I firmly believe that it’s only a matter of time before science confirms that animals are indeed predisposed to understand man and respond to verbal communications. Come to think of it, researchers should check a few circuses or animal parks, those venues should be ripe with potential candidates.
These latest rounds of scientific experiments offer more proof that the Biblical account of God’s creation is indeed true. Given the choice between illogical inferences, unproven evolutionary theories, and trusting God’s word on faith, I will always choose God. He is, after all, the Creator of everything; He should know!