> Yes, language has changed everything for us in the
> evolution. Will there be enough chimpanses left to
> evolve too? We will probably wipe them out. But
> they use sign language, some of them, both with
> humans and other chimps.
Yes, and that only goes to show that they have the intelligence to understand the concept of language, if not the skills to manipulate as well as we now do. Which in turn implies that hominids with a brain the size of a chimpanzee could have started using language millions of years ago, once they stumbled on the trick of combining sounds.
> When a human gets dementia or Alzheimers - I don't
> know the difference - do they lose their soul? An
> early death, but worse?
I think they just lose the ability to recall experience and calibrate new sensory inputs against them, which leaves them feeling confused. Not so much less of a soul, as diminished consciousness.
> Would I like my soul to live on? Definitely! From
> what all those accounts from an afterlife, however
> they come to us, it sounds really fantastic, not
> the right word! Wonderful would be better.
The way I see it, if your soul lives on, you're not dead. Though I strongly suspect that physical death is the end (and nothing to be scared of; you just cease to be -- returning to the same state you were in before you were born), if it were the case that it is not, and you still have a conscious awareness of your 'self' as you previously were -- complete with all your memories -- then surely it is not an afterlife, just a translation to another phase. To the extent that you are conscious, you are still alive. But with your material body gone, the physics of that are problematic...