I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
Psalm 139:14"It’s perhaps the most obvious distinctive trait of humans. Where did language come from, with all its diversity?
Children come equipped with the hardware and software to pick up a language, even though it is not instinctive (otherwise, all children would speak the same language). A new study from the University of Washington Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS), published on Medical Xpress, found that toddlers
can even pick up two languages easily.
When exposed to a second language like English for just an hour a day by a caretaker speaking ‘parentese’ (the characteristic style of speaking parents use with their babies), the children readily gained “an average of 74 English words or phrases per child, per hour” compared to 13 words or phrases in the control group. Moreover, the children retained the ability to speak and understand these words 18 weeks later.
“Science indicates that babies’ brains are the best learning machines ever created, and that infants’ learning is time-sensitive. Their brains will never be better at learning a second language than they are between 0 and 3 years of age,” said co-author Patricia Kuhl, co-director of I-LABS and a UW professor of speech and hearing sciences.
The Bible gives an answer that fits the data. Human beings—and humans alone—were created in the image of God, who is the Logos, the Word, the communicator. The Creator’s words have meaning. They are not just signals like bird calls or ape hoots. The first human pair had a God-given language from the beginning, with which they could communicate with their Maker. That was not lost after Adam and Eve sinned; we find God speaking to Cain, Noah, and Abraham. But when human population size grew after the Flood, they disobeyed the command to disperse and multiply, and instead wanted to form one idolatrous civilization in defiance of the one true God. Knowing it would lead to a totalitarian one-world government in rebellion, the Triune God (notice pronoun “Let Us“) mercifully confused their languages at Babel, forcing them to separate and form separate tribes. In a sin-cursed world, we can deduce this was an act of mercy, creating tension between nations that could offset the capacity for one-world government. Now in our time, however, advances in technology are making the threat of global governance a real and present danger. From the Babel experience, we can predict that another judgment is coming. Fortunately, the Bible has told us about it." CEH