Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Since God is the author of all language, we shouldn’t be surprised to find many and varied forms of communication among the creatures he made.
Scientists have discovered recently that even lowly lizards communicate with one another. In analyzing more than 1,500 displays by sagebrush lizards, researchers said there is no question the lizards are communicating with one another. Lizard communication is complex body language that follows recognizable rules of grammar. It is made up of three parts, which include head bobbing, “push ups” and leg motion. Mixing and matching one or more of these actions results in more than 6,000 possibilities.
What do lizards say to one another? Repeated observations have convinced researchers they can interpret what the lizards are saying to each other. Much of the communication is used to woo a mate. Lizards will also brag to other lizards when they find a particularly good rock. A lizard may also warn away another lizard who might want to share his rock.
It also seems that chimpanzees communicate culture to their offspring. Researchers studied the scientific literature on four populations of African chimps. Their study revealed that these chimp populations do, indeed, pass knowledge on to their children. For example, one population eats soldier ants by holding a stick near the entrance to the nest. Once the stick is filled with ants, they sweep the stick clean with their lips. At another preserve, the chimps collect the ants the same way, but then sweep the stick clean with their fingers.
Researchers have even seen mother chimps teaching their children certain skills. They have seen mother chimps leave nuts and stone “hammers” near rocks that could be used as anvils to teach their children how to open nuts. One mother even did a slow motion demonstration of nut cracking for her child.
The Bible tells us that man is created with “life and death” in the power of our tongues. The words we say have the ability to build up or tear down. May we all be mindful to say the words of life, not the words of death, and always have the wisdom from God through Christ to know the difference.
“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.” Proverbs 18:21 TMB
Dianne Brady is an author and speaker and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.