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First known languages are highly complex (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (First known languages are highly complex (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CG110:

The first known human languages were already very complex. Languages do not show an evolutionary progression we would expect if humans evolved gradually.

Source:

Skjaerlund, David, n.d. Creationism explains human diversity.


CreationWiki response:

The wording given above by Talk Origins misrepresents what the source actually says. The closest sentence to the wording of the claim is:

"The oldest language that can reasonably be reconstructed is already modern, sophisticated, and complete from an evolutionary point of view."

By the way it is actually a quote from evolutionist George Simpson. (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. The first known languages were written languages (else they would not be known). Since most cultures in the world have had no written language, and most people have been illiterate even where written language existed, written language is a poor metric to use to measure language in general. Language had been developing for an unknown period of time before written language evolved.

This does not change the fact that there is no evidence for a gradual development. Besides, some ancient spoken languages have been preserved. Hebrew and Greek are good examples.

The claim, that language had been developing for an unknown period of time before written language evolved, is itself an assumption based on the philosophy of evolution. It is not a documented fact.

2. The earliest known writing is simpler than written languages today. There are very simple, non-linguistic precursors (no grammar) to cuneiform writing.

These do not constitute a reasonably reconstructed language.