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The Hyracotherium

The Hyracotherium

Around 45 to 55 million years ago there lived an ancestor of one of today’s common species, the horse (Equus ferus callabus). This individual was a Hyracotherium who inhabited the Earth during the Eocene period. This species remained on the planet for a relatively long time because there were limited ‘selection pressures’ present. Evolutionists are not entirely certain what drove the evolution of this species but many believe that a changing environment due to a change in the climate is rather likely. This Hyracotherium was rather small and had toes on each foot. However now with the changing environment, the anatomy of this species was no longer beneficial to its survival.

In a population, no two individuals are the same. This is due to variation caused by genetic mutation. There will be individuals in this population who will be able to accommodate this change in the environment better than others, and hence are more likely to survive. These individuals will therefore be allowed to reproduce, passing their advantageous alleles onto their offspring. This is known as Natural Selection, a mechanism proposed by Charles Darwin that can explain the process of evolution. Over time, the population will now have a larger proportion of these advantages alleles which facilitates the survival of these individuals. If the new population has changed to a relatively large extent and an individual from the original population cannot reproduce with a new member of a population to produce fertile offspring, a process known as speciation has occurred. This is the process of a new species arising from an older, now probably extinct species.

Ancient Egyptian

Around 2690 BC the language of Ancient Egyptian was present. This makes it one of the world’s oldest languages. It is well-known that the Egyptians were an intelligent race due to their contribution to many fields of study, hence it is hardly surprising that they devised their own language which was written in the form of hieroglyphics and was also thought to have been spoken. The language remained in Egypt for around 3000 years due the land’s resistance to major external influences or for comparative purposes, so-called ‘selection pressures’. Egyptologists are not entirely certain what drove this Egyptian language to become extinct but it is thought that Christianisation influenced the rapid process of the death of the Egyptian language. This language was used from day-to-day communication to the writing-up of the treatments of several conditions such as asthma.

There is always variation in a population and no two individuals speak the same way. Individuals have their own idiolect. There will be a certain way of speaking and hence thinking that may be able to survive this change in environment not only due to the individual’s willingness to adapt, but also the desire to be integrated into a changing society. With these selected individuals, their way of speaking and thought may become the desired form of language, hence others will eventually adopt the same variation of this language. Over time, due to pressures put on this language, it began to gradually change in order to accommodate new modes of thought as well as political and religious change. If the language does not alter in such a way that it can continue to be spoken or used, the language will quickly become extinct. Hence, Ancient Egyptian became extinct and the Coptic and Demotic languages arose from this.

We can see from the two paragraphs above that the extinction of a language and the extinction of a species are rather similar. However, I don’t believe a language can ever become truly extinct. Much like evolution, a species that evolved from the one before it always has several features in common with one another. Hence, the same principle can be applied to language and how hieroglyphics evolved into writing systems such as Coptic. Using Ancient Egyptian as a comparison is beneficial considering it could’ve been one of the first languages on the planet and hence could be described as the root of all languages. It was the catalyst which participated in the

4 evolution of more complex thoughts and ideas.The Hyracotherium

Around 45 to 55 million years ago there lived an ancestor of one of today’s common species, the horse (Equus ferus callabus). This individual was a Hyracotherium who inhabited the Earth during the Eocene period. This species remained on the planet for a relatively long time because there were limited ‘selection pressures’ present. Evolutionists are not entirely certain what drove the evolution of this species but many believe that a changing environment due to a change in the climate is rather likely. This Hyracotherium was rather small and had toes on each foot. However now with the changing environment, the anatomy of this species was no longer beneficial to its survival.

In a population, no two individuals are the same. This is due to variation caused by genetic mutation. There will be individuals in this population who will be able to accommodate this change in the environment better than others, and hence are more likely to survive. These individuals will therefore be allowed to reproduce, passing their advantageous alleles onto their offspring. This is known as Natural Selection, a mechanism proposed by Charles Darwin that can explain the process of evolution. Over time, the population will now have a larger proportion of these advantages alleles which facilitates the survival of these individuals. If the new population has changed to a relatively large extent and an individual from the original population cannot reproduce with a new member of a population to produce fertile offspring, a process known as speciation has occurred. This is the process of a new species arising from an older, now probably extinct species.

Ancient Egyptian

Around 2690 BC the language of Ancient Egyptian was present. This makes it one of the world’s oldest languages. It is well-known that the Egyptians were an intelligent race due to their contribution to many fields of study, hence it is hardly surprising that they devised their own language which was written in the form of hieroglyphics and was also thought to have been spoken. The language remained in Egypt for around 3000 years due the land’s resistance to major external influences or for comparative purposes, so-called ‘selection pressures’. Egyptologists are not entirely certain what drove this Egyptian language to become extinct but it is thought that Christianisation influenced the rapid process of the death of the Egyptian language. This language was used from day-to-day communication to the writing-up of the treatments of several conditions such as asthma.

There is always variation in a population and no two individuals speak the same way. Individuals have their own idiolect. There will be a certain way of speaking and hence thinking that may be able to survive this change in environment not only due to the individual’s willingness to adapt, but also the desire to be integrated into a changing society. With these selected individuals, their way of speaking and thought may become the desired form of language, hence others will eventually adopt the same variation of this language. Over time, due to pressures put on this language, it began to gradually change in order to accommodate new modes of thought as well as political and religious change. If the language does not alter in such a way that it can continue to be spoken or used, the language will quickly become extinct. Hence, Ancient Egyptian became extinct and the Coptic and Demotic languages arose from this.

We can see from the two paragraphs above that the extinction of a language and the extinction of a species are rather similar. However, I don’t believe a language can ever become truly extinct. Much like evolution, a species that evolved from the one before it always has several features in common with one another. Hence, the same principle can be applied to language and how hieroglyphics evolved into writing systems such as Coptic. Using Ancient Egyptian as a comparison is beneficial considering it could’ve been one of the first languages on the planet and hence could be described as the root of all languages. It was the catalyst which participated in the

4 evolution of more complex thoughts and ideas.