Tool Use

A group of researchers from French and Swedish institutions have studied brain activity patterns in people learning a manual task involving using a new tool and learning to analyse sentences with complex syntax. They found that learning the new tool-using task was associated with improvement in language skill, and training in analysing complex sentences improved the ability to learn a new tool-using manual task.

These results suggested there was a part of the brain used in both functions, even though they involve different sensory input and motor skills. Scans of the brains of those involved in the study showed a common area of activity in the basal ganglia – a collection of grey matter deep in the brain. Interestingly, it was the use of a tool, not just doing a new movement that was needed to produce the language improvement, and vice versa – analysing sentences with simple syntax did not help learning the tool-using skill.

The researchers claim their results “support longstanding theories of the coevolution of tool use and language in humans.”

References and Links: ScienceDaily, Science, 12 November 2021, doi: 10.1126/science.abe0874.

Editorial Comment: There is no co-evolution here. This study confirms the fact that human beings are created in the image of God, who is creative and communicates with language. Therefore, our ability to creatively use tools and language was from the beginning, so it is no surprise to find it is hard-wired into our brains.

These skills are most tightly knit together when we write and draw. God spoke when He created everything in the beginning and built into human beings the ability to both speak and write. Genesis describes conversations between God and the first human beings, and the first reference to writing is in Genesis 5:1 – ‘the book’, or written record, of Adam.

Human beings have always been tool users. The first profession was gardening, which requires making and using tools. After the Fall of Man, human beings became farmers, builders, craftsmen, and boat builders. After Noah’s Flood, people gathered together to ‘build’ a tower. Even after being scattered from the Tower of Babel, people continued to communicate with complex language and use whatever resources they found to make and use tools. We still do.

Creation Research News 1 December 2021

Were you helped by this item? If so, consider making a donation so we can keep sending out our newsletters and add more items to this archive.  Donate here.