"In trying to understand why, Iâ€™ve settled on what I call the â€œape with a termite stickâ€ argument. If youâ€™ve heard it before, skip ahead. If not, it goes like this. People learn to use tools by watching how other people use them, and imitating what they see. Observation is the key. Suppose apes had language, and the discoverer of the termite stick could explain to the tribe:
â€œSo, you find a stick about yea long, and strip off the bark so itâ€™s sticky, and poke it into the hole, and presto, it comes up bristling with yummy ants.â€
Some of the other apes might get it, but most of them wouldnâ€™t. On the other hand, any ape who could observe this technique would get it immediately, and never forget it."