NYT: Language Gene Traced to Emergence of Humans

Scientist dates a speech-enabling gene to about 100,000 years ago; evidence of culture starts about 50,000 years ago.
And here’s a link to a Nature story last fall about the discovery of the the FOXP2 gene, which enables fine control over the muscles of the mouth and throat.
As always, the science is more subtle than the reports in the popular press. There’s a lot of ongoing research and debate about how and how much the gene influences the ability to speak and understand language.

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