Imagine a room that holds a giant brute force computer that does not know a lick of the world’s languages. On one side of the computer, there is slot labeled, “Input.” On the other side, there is a slot labeled “output.” Now suppose you fed a string of symbols in the input side and out comes “Language X” from the output side. What do you think it would take for the computer to accomplish an extraordinary feet as that? Could it be mindless chance, or pre-programmed intelligence that is a factor?
The symbols on the page you are reading are letters strung together in order to depict ideas and information. The fact that you are reading multiple symbols right now, and at possibly a high rate, illustrates the input portion of your mind. However, what do you think it would take for your brain to take the letters on this page, and retype it in Spanish? It would be quite an effort! What kind of intelligence do you think it would take to translate what you hear in English and say in Chinese, Spanish, or Afrikaans? Once again, the miracle is too great to describe. In order for you to grasp just how much of a miracle it is for human beings to produce, understand, interpret, etc., language, it is best, first, to describe the tragedy of the evolutionary theory in describing how humans speak in the first place, then, to reveal what exactly it would take for human language to evolve.
Sadly, the Darwinian-evolutionary theory accounts for much in the world through a series of random processes and biological “transitions.” Even worse, the unique ability (and should I say the strictly human ability) of language is too often drug through that philosophical mud. Much of the linguists today, although the data they procure would prove the contrary, believe that at some point in history humans developed the capacity (and some would dare say “miracle”) of language. Some say we acquired language with input from our environment and through gradual physiological changes. Others have said we are born with the innate capacity. Also, there are some who believe that we can produce outputs “mindlessly” like the computer above without any conscious knowledge of a language. Either way, the travesty is that although the data of modern linguistics screams “Creator!” many would rather mock God by choosing to believe chance and natural selection as their father which endowed us all with our linguistic gifts. Space does to permit me to dive into the ocean of inconsistencies associated with Darwinian-evolution and linguistic data, but perhaps a mathematical argument would be sufficient.
Dr. John W. Oller Jr., linguist and author of, “Languages and Genes: Can They Be Built Up through Random Change and Natural Selection?” presents in a scholastic journal why “Neo-Darwinism” cannot, through mathematical and logical proofs, account for human genomes (genetic molecule of DNA) and language by “chance arrangements” (Oller, 2002, p. 26). To get to the point fairly quickly, he uses the computer room analogy above (also known as the Chinese Room experiment) to reveal the mathematical impossibility of language to evolve as Darwinists propose. In order to get the mathematical point (which I think will pour a mountain of “God is awesome” on your head) I must paste a paragraph that he wrote, because it is important in order to understand the equation. He states:
“…suppose the language [input to the computer] is English and that the person outside the box asks the computer to please count the characters in this sentence, excluding spaces and other marks of punctuation, and then repeat them up to the 100th letter. Suppose that the computer inside the box can receive inputs in a typed format and can associate them with other inputs in a typed format. What are the chances that the computer would be able (without ever consulting anyone who knows English, for that would be cheating) to generate the desired response? How long would an observer have to wait for the appropriate response to emerge from the output slot?” (p. 35)
Here is where it gets fun. A person who speaks English finds the challenge to produce the first sentence fairly simple and has a 3.14 x 10^141(power) chance in getting the answer right. In other words, it is 1 chance in 314 with 141 zeros behind it! You can do the math I’m sure. Now, in order to put the odds in Darwinian-evolution’s favor, Oller imagined now 3 billion computers inside that box in the room because that is the approximate amount of base pairs in our human genome. So now evolution has 3 billion computers working for it to be able to repeat the process that a human can do. If the computer were set to produce RANDOM sequences of 100 letters every thousandth of a second for 4.5 billion years (because that has been one of the estimated ages for Earth), just to reproduce the first sentence would take 7.36 x 10^110(power) tries! That is 736 with 110 zeros behind it! In other words, according to Oller, it would take MORE than 4.5 billion years in order for the computers to generate the desired sentence just ONCE on average (Oller, 2002, p. 36). In my own words, in order to get 3 billion computers to do what we can do on a daily basis is not only against the essential assumptions of a slow gradual process, but time wise, it is impossible! Add to the problem of multiple languages in world, and non-verbal communication, and the various other areas of linguistics. The miracle, however, is that we can do all this at a miraculous rate! I can see why some linguists would call language a miracle. It’s too bad the glory for that miracle is not given rightly to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Creator.
So how could we use this knowledge in evangelism? Good question. It depends on who you are talking to, but here are the basic things you need to remember: 1. Dr. John Oller is the name of the linguist. 2. Just like biological science, linguists who believe in evolution make huge assumptions. If any person suggest that they can prove how language could have evolved, the best question is “What data do you have to affirm that? 3. Memorize the numbers above. A human has 1 chance in 314 with 141 zeros behind it to produce the first sentence above. It would hypothetically take 3 billion computers 1 chance in 736 and 110 zeros behind it to do what we do once and that is with producing 100 letters every thousandth of a second at random for MORE than 4.5 billion years. But humans do it repeatedly! 4. We already possess the DNA and genetic endowment to produce language. Not only would scientist have to provide some kind of data to show how DNA came into existence, but they would have to reveal how that data contained the information necessary for us to produce language. 5. Along with #4, we haven’t even scratched the surface when it comes to explaining abstract concepts like meaning, philosophy, morals, etc., which we use language to describe. Even the very subject we are dealing with now would be moot if it were not for the phenomenon of language. In so little words, language truly proves that we are created beings made by the power of an all-powerful, and infinitely complex Creator.
There is more to this, but if you don’t get to use any of this information in a witnessing encounter, just remember this: the ability to speak and produce language is a miracle of God. In the beginning, God spoke (Gen. 1:1). When man was formed, the same breath that spoke the universe into existence breathed life into our lungs (Gen. 2:27). Then, when Adam took his first breath, it is no doubt that he was able to utilize language with a fully functional capacity, or else how would he understand God, or name the animals (Gen. 2:16-20)? But none of this compares to the living Word who was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1). Who bore our shame and carried our sorrows (Isa. 53:4); who cried out, “It is Finished!” for the punishment of sin. Who, when He rose again, defeated sin and death. And when we repent and put our faith in Him, He speaks once again into our darkened and sinful hearts and regenerates us anew (2 Cor. 4:6). Now, we are commanded to go to the nations, if we are Christians, and speak to them about this glorious gospel (Matt. 28:19-20). The gift of language is truly miraculous, but not as miraculous as being born again and having the Holy Spirit enabling us to proclaim this glorious gospel to the nations. I pray that the wonder of language fascinates you and causes you to worship your Creator and God more affectionately with your tongue!
J. Oller, “Languages and Genes: Can They Be Built Up through Random Change and Natural Selection?” Psychology and Theology 30 (2002): 26–40.