Neanderthal ears tuned for human speech, according to articles ScienceDaily and SciTech Daily 1 March 2021, BBC Science Focus 2 March 2021, and Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1 March 2021 doi: 10.1038/s41559-021-01391-6.
An international team of scientists have studied high resolution CT scans of Neanderthal and modern human skulls to reconstruct their ear structure, and use these to determine the hearing ability through different frequencies of sound. Humans can hear sounds from 20Hz to 20kHz, but our ears are most sensitive to sounds between 4kHz and 5kHz, which includes the frequencies used in human speech.
The research team found that Neanderthals also had the same maximum sensitivity, known as the “occupied bandwidth,” to frequencies between 4 and 5kHz. Mercedes Conde-Valverde, of Universidad de Alcalá in Spain and lead author of the study explained the significance of these results: “The presence of similar hearing abilities, particularly the bandwidth, demonstrates that the Neanderthals possessed a communication system that was as complex and efficient as modern human speech.”
Rolf Quam, another one of the researchers commented: “The results are solid and clearly show the Neanderthals had the capacity to perceive and produce human speech.”
Links: BBC, ScienceDaily, SciTech Daily
Editorial Comment: It is no surprise to us that Neanderthals had hearing tuned to the human speech range, including the use of consonants. Neanderthals were fully human people with larger brains than the modern average. All recent research using computer aided reconstructions of their physical abilities, along with studies of their artefacts and living spaces, indicate they were intelligent, resourceful people making a living in the difficult environment of ice age Europe and Near East.
Like all human beings on earth today, Neanderthals were descendants of the people who were scattered from the Tower of Babel. These people had complex speech and language given to them by God, and therefore it is no surprise that they had ears to hear it.
For more on Neanderthals see the question:
NEANDERTHALS? What were these? How do you explain their existence? Answer here.
Creation Research News 17 March 2021
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