by Brian Thomas, M.S. 

Evolutionary scientists do not know how the human brain’s ability to process language supposedly evolved from a non-speaking ancestor. Recent technological advances have enabled scientists to explore this subject in new ways, and one researcher’s review reveals two flaws that underpin the whole research effort.

The review article, published in a special supplementary edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, summarized the history of discovery and implications of a special gene named FOXP2.1 Researchers in 1990 found that specific mutations to FOXP2 caused a heritable speech defect in a family in England. The gene produces a protein that clamps onto DNA to help regulate expression of other genes.

Initially, evolutionists thought that a small change in this one gene might have produced dramatic changes in humanity’s supposed ape-like ancestor’s brain. For example, a 2002 report in Nature noted that the human-specific version of FOXP2 “may be pertinent with regard to the evolution of human language.”2

Emery University’s Todd Preuss wrote “As a gene associated with a human-specific trait [speech], FOXP2 would at first glance seem to be a dream come true for evolutionary geneticists.”1 Could this be a language gene that explains how a human brain could have evolved from a chimp brain?

No. The high hope once held for FOXP2 as a key to explain the evolution of speech in the brain was dashed on the rocks of real research. Analyses of FOXP2 gene activity showed that it was not only used in brain tissues that facilitate speech, but also in various tissues throughout the body with a variety of uses. And a broad array of animals including all mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and alligators share an almost identical gene—although none of those creatures talk like people.

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