Most of the popular-press references to speech origins seem to date language’s birth anywhere from 40 to 70 thousand years ago. Considering all the adaptations required to permit speech, this claim seems ridiculous, but it is based on indirect evidence that must mean something. Archaeological work shows that “symbolic” activity suddenly appears in the record from about that time. New work pushes it back to about 100 thousand years and that date is likely to retreat further, but only a bit further. We would all be astonished if something artistic from, say, half a million years ago turned up. What do we do with the contradiction between the archaeological evidence and the biological/evolutionary evidence?