“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” 1 Corinthians 15:49
We have all heard that our ability to communicate our thoughts is one of the things that make humans unique. On the evolutionary scale of things, language was considered a sophisticated development. Supposedly, chickens didn’t have any thoughts worth communicating anyway. Now, this view is being challenged by multiple studies of animal communication.
Most of the studies have looked to see if there is any pattern to various species’ distress calls. For example, researchers have found vervet monkeys are very specific as they warn each other of danger. When the danger is a large monkey eating creature like a tiger, the danger call is “wrr.” At this call, all the monkeys in earshot hurry up their trees. If an eagle threatens them, the alarm call is a grunt, causing the monkeys to dive into the underbrush. If the threat is a snake, the alarm call becomes chuttering sounds. This leads the monkeys to stand up and look around the ground for the threat. Researchers were amazed that specific sounds lead to specific actions, depending on the threat.
Other animals, like ring tailed lemurs, have been found to have their own pattern of communication. And yes, even the lowly chicken has a different warning call, depending on whether the threat is a raccoon on the ground or a hawk in the air!
So it’s not our ability to communicate that makes us unique but the fact that we were created in God’s image and we have been redeemed by Christ’s blood.
I thank You, dear Father, that You have made me to have a relationship with You, and that You have redeemed me. Amen.
Susan Milus, “The Science of EEEEEK!”, Science News, 9/12/98. Photo: Vervet monkey and baby. Courtesy of SajjadF. (CC-BY-3.0 UNPORTED)