Linguistic Creationism
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19-06-2017, 06:06 PM
RE: Linguistic Creationism
Since the phenotype (the language) is comprised of combinations of words (genes) and syntax (gene reading/expression), and even the letters that comprise those words can be shown to change in a measurable way, I'd say it's genotype changing the phenotype.

If Latin -> Spanish, Portuguese, French, Romansh, Romanian, Italian, Catalan, etc., isn't "speciation", I am not sure what would count! I do wish I spoke Latin simply because I speak French.

Grenade repelled!! Tongue

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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19-06-2017, 06:19 PM (This post was last modified: 19-06-2017 06:22 PM by Fireball.)
RE: Linguistic Creationism
(19-06-2017 06:06 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Since the phenotype (the language) is comprised of combinations of words (genes) and syntax (gene reading/expression), and even the letters that comprise those words can be shown to change in a measurable way, I'd say it's genotype changing the phenotype.

If Latin -> Spanish, Portuguese, French, Romansh, Romanian, Italian, Catalan, etc., isn't "speciation", I am not sure what would count! I do wish I spoke Latin simply because I speak French.

Grenade repelled!! Tongue

[holds shield of knowledge, takes no damage]

Though I did laugh at Reltzik's comment.

And again, though- after I studied Spanish for a few years, I could pretty much glean the meaning out of a lot of things written in Portuguese, Italian, and French. Not perfectly, by any means. The internet helps immensely.

After that, I profess Au bout de son Latin for a lot of it. Tongue

BoT, there isn't much that an apologist won't use/twist/damage beyond recognition to make a point. The worse the twisting, the more painful it is to look at.
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19-06-2017, 07:40 PM
RE: Linguistic Creationism
(19-06-2017 06:06 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Since the phenotype (the language) is comprised of combinations of words (genes) and syntax (gene reading/expression), and even the letters that comprise those words can be shown to change in a measurable way, I'd say it's genotype changing the phenotype.

If Latin -> Spanish, Portuguese, French, Romansh, Romanian, Italian, Catalan, etc., isn't "speciation", I am not sure what would count! I do wish I spoke Latin simply because I speak French.

Grenade repelled!! Tongue

Speciation would require the impossibility of a fertile hybrid between languages. Spanglish couldn't be a thing if English and Spanish were separate "species". Evil_monster Tongue

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19-06-2017, 10:51 PM
RE: Linguistic Creationism
I think languages are more like bacteria; they can transfer genes horizontally. Smile

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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20-06-2017, 12:11 AM
RE: Linguistic Creationism
Jared Diamond in guns, germs and steel mentions linguistics as another way of doing archaeology Smile it sounds nuts but it's solid science. Basically you look at common words that societies have and words borrowed for other languages. You can track migrations and date them by this method. E.g. say you're looking at the Bantu migration from Central to Southern Africa circa 1000 BCE (IIRC), then you can tell that they had sheep and chickens because all of the Bantu-speaking societies who stayed along the migration route have a common / related word for sheep and chickens. Helluva interesting stuff.

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20-06-2017, 12:40 AM (This post was last modified: 20-06-2017 12:46 AM by Glossophile.)
RE: Linguistic Creationism
(19-06-2017 07:40 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  Speciation would require the impossibility of a fertile hybrid between languages. Spanglish couldn't be a thing if English and Spanish were separate "species". Evil_monster Tongue

This is where the analogy with biological evolution, apt though it is in a broad sense, breaks down. Mere contact between languages often paves the way for "horizontal transfer" (like RocketSurgeon said) in a way that is unheard of in the biological realm, at least among sexually reproducing organisms.

Ironically, a biological equivalent of a chimera like Spanglish just might be the infamous "crocoduck," so the creationist straw-man would actually be much more plausible (though still unconvincing) if they were to apply it to philology rather than biology.

There is a certain school of thought among philologists proposing that all the world's languages can be traced back to a single ancestor, but I'm pretty sure it's on the fringe of modern linguistics. If it's been mentioned at all by any of my professors, it was never with any serious consideration.




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20-06-2017, 10:19 AM
RE: Linguistic Creationism
(19-06-2017 10:41 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Re-reading an older thread in which the Christian in the conversation referred to "philologists" (a term I had to look up) whom he claimed backed up his interpretation of a couple of words in the Torah (they don't), I got to thinking about the concept of studying language and how it changes through time. I noticed the practice has several comparisons to the field of evolutionary biology.

A language is an "inherited trait", like a set (or pool) of genes, that must be fairly consistent from generation to generation, with regional variations.

Despite being passed down with each generation, there are distinct regional differences in the pattern, as well as an observable "mutation rate" as the gene expression-- the way certain words are used or spelled-- changes over time, often within a generation or two.

They can use the known mutation rate of a language to date ancient documents, by knowing approximately when certain words or ways of speaking emerged in the language pool.

They can use commonalities between languages to trace the evolutionary "tree" of language, such as the Indo-European family of languages. (Spanish, English, Hindustani, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, Punjabi, German, French and Persian are all Indo-European, and many more... about 46% of all people on earth speak a language descended from Indo-European.) Or in shorter terms, we can see the "Romance" family of languages, descended from the (now extinct) Latin: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Italian, and a couple of others.

Even within a single language, influences from other "gene pools" can have a staggering effect, such as the rapid evolution of English in the wake of the French-speaking Norman invasion. In only a thousand years, we've gone from this:

Hwæt! We Gar-Dena in gear-dagum
þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon!
Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum
monegum mægþum meodo-setla ofteah;
egsode eorl[as] syððan ærest wearð
feasceaft funden; he þæs frofre gebad,
weox under wolcnum, weorð-myndum þah,
oðæt him æghwylc þara ymb-sittendra
ofer hron-rade hyran scolde,
gomban gyldan. Þæt wæs god cyning!

That's English! That's the first few lines of Beowulf, in the language we're speaking now. Except it evolved... significantly.

So why do I mention "linguistic Creationism"?

Because according to Biblical literalism, God Himself came down to: "confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech".

In order to accept the Biblical account, literally, you are required to believe that there was only one language, at one point, and that God deliberately created myriad new languages in order to stop the construction of a tower that had its top "in the heavens"... somehow. Why, then, do we still see the slow evolution and diversification of languages, as a phenomenon, rather than a sudden emergence of numerous, unrelated (God-created) languages?

In order to accept the Biblical account, they also have to account for the fact that 46% of modern languages show descent from a common tongue, while 54% do not come from Indo-European. Why should there be any relation at all? A few, like the Latin->French/Spanish/Italian/Portuguese thing, yes, that could be easily explained by variation "among created Kinds" (as Creationists say), but not almost half the planet. That seems to be the exact opposite of the claim made by the Babel story.

Yet I've never heard it brought up by a single Biblical literalist, except to tell the story without question. Why?

pretty cool, I never use langue as an example of gene mutation.

I don't engage bible literalist. "literalist", of any type, are just a less complex brain that can only be its next thought. that's not to be confused with 'smart" as we measure it. They can seem very 'smart" to people that do not understand a fact lister verous a fact processor.

i do know these fact listers get mighty violent when they know you know what they are talking about. example: that new shoot'em baseball league or anti-anything but white-ers.
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20-06-2017, 10:24 AM
RE: Linguistic Creationism
(20-06-2017 10:19 AM)AB517 Wrote:  pretty cool, I never use langue as an example of gene mutation.

I don't engage bible literalist. "literalist", of any type, are just a less complex brain that can only be its next thought. that's not to be confused with 'smart" as we measure it. They can seem very 'smart" to people that do not understand a fact lister verous a fact processor.

i do know these fact listers get mighty violent when they know you know what they are talking about. example: that new shoot'em baseball league or anti-anything but white-ers.

Once more, in English. Drinking Beverage

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20-06-2017, 10:34 AM
RE: Linguistic Creationism
(20-06-2017 10:24 AM)Vera Wrote:  
(20-06-2017 10:19 AM)AB517 Wrote:  pretty cool, I never use langue as an example of gene mutation.

I don't engage bible literalist. "literalist", of any type, are just a less complex brain that can only be its next thought. that's not to be confused with 'smart" as we measure it. They can seem very 'smart" to people that do not understand a fact lister verous a fact processor.

i do know these fact listers get mighty violent when they know you know what they are talking about. example: that new shoot'em baseball league or anti-anything but white-ers.

Once more, in English. Drinking Beverage

textbook example. Bowing
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20-06-2017, 11:08 AM
RE: Linguistic Creationism
(19-06-2017 10:41 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  In order to accept the Biblical account, they also have to account for the fact that 46% of modern languages show descent from a common tongue, while 54% do not come from Indo-European. Why should there be any relation at all?

They could argue for an innate common "universal" or "mental" grammar which precedes any particular linguistic formulation or relaization.

#sigh
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