The microevolution of language
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09-11-2015, 07:50 AM
The microevolution of language
When presented with the evidence, creationists will admit to believing in so-called 'microevolution' but will deny 'macroevolution'. They then refuse to acknowledge that by doing so they actually believe in evolution.

You can then ask them repeatedly what mechanism is in place to stop a series of small changes from accumulating and they will be unable to answer it.

But they get away with it in their minds (no one else's) because they basically are asking for something impossible. Anything that can be observed evolving is micro-evolution according to them. So they basically demand us to present them with observations (not evidence) of 'macro-evolution'. In other words they demand that we present them with something that they can observe changing themselves which takes longer than a human life.

(They ignore observable evidence such as fossil records etc). But there are examples all around us that they cannot deny. Languages evolve all the time using very small steps. Accents become dialects which become different languages. If you learn German, French, Spanish, Italian for example, you'll see many different similarities between the languages. If you learn an oriental language you will see that it is completely different.

e.g.

the elephant sits in the house
der Elefant sitzt im Haus
象は家に座っています (I'm trusting google translate on this one)

Or you can look at how one language changes over time.

https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/diagram_4English.html

[Image: sample_4english.gif]

Even just from the same language 600 years ago ...

https://sites.fas.harvard.edu/~chaucer/t...lt-par.htm

Quote:3109 Whan that the Knyght had thus his tale ytoold,
3110 In al the route nas ther yong ne oold
3111 That he ne seyde it was a noble storie
3112 And worthy for to drawen to memorie,
3113 And namely the gentils everichon.
3114 Oure Hooste lough and swoor, "So moot I gon,
3115 This gooth aright; unbokeled is the male.
3116 Lat se now who shal telle another tale;
3117 For trewely the game is wel bigonne.
Quote:3109 When the Knight had thus told his tale,
3110 In all the company there was no one young nor old
3111 Who did not say it was a noble story
3112 And worthy to draw into memory,
3113 And especially the gentlefolk every one.
3114 Our Host laughed and swore, "As I may move about (I swear),
3115 This goes well; the bag is opened.
3116 Let's see now who shall tell another tale;
3117 For truly the game is well begun.
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09-11-2015, 08:00 AM
RE: The microevolution of language
I will sometimes use the language example when trying to help one understand evolution's gradual progress. When the defense is "well it is not like a reptile gave birth to a chicken one day", I will counter with "well it is not like a Latin speaking mother gave birth to an Italian speaking child one day".

I will usually just get a puzzled look and then it is back to the willful ignorance game!

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
— Dan Barker —
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09-11-2015, 08:06 AM (This post was last modified: 09-11-2015 09:33 AM by Chas.)
RE: The microevolution of language
(09-11-2015 07:50 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  
Quote:3109 Whan that the Knyght had thus his tale ytoold,
3110 In al the route nas ther yong ne oold
3111 That he ne seyde it was a noble storie
3112 And worthy for to drawen to memorie,
3113 And namely the gentils everichon.
3114 Oure Hooste lough and swoor, "So moot I gon,
3115 This gooth aright; unbokeled is the male.
3116 Lat se now who shal telle another tale;
3117 For trewely the game is wel bigonne.
Quote:3109 When the Knight had thus told his tale,
3110 In all the company there was no one young nor old
3111 Who did not say it was a noble story
3112 And worthy to draw into memory,
3113 And especially the gentlefolk every one.
3114 Our Host laughed and swore, "As I may move about (I swear),
3115 This goes well; the bag is opened.
3116 Let's see now who shall tell another tale;
3117 For truly the game is well begun.

Yabut, it's still English - the same kind of language. Dodgy

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-11-2015, 08:10 AM
RE: The microevolution of language
(09-11-2015 07:50 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  When presented with the evidence, creationists will admit to believing in so-called 'microevolution' but will deny 'macroevolution'. They then refuse to acknowledge that by doing so they actually believe in evolution.

You can then ask them repeatedly what mechanism is in place to stop a series of small changes from accumulating and they will be unable to answer it.

But they get away with it in their minds (no one else's) because they basically are asking for something impossible. Anything that can be observed evolving is micro-evolution according to them. So they basically demand us to present them with observations (not evidence) of 'macro-evolution'. In other words they demand that we present them with something that they can observe changing themselves which takes longer than a human life.

There have been some observations made of many generations of fruit flies that show evidence of speciation in a relatively short time.

The short version goes something like this...

1 One population of fruit flies divided into two populations and isolated
2 one population fed maltose-base food; the other fed starch-based food... simulating geographical isolation.
3 after many generations the two populations are reintroduced to each other
4 the maltose fed flies preferred to mate with other maltose flies and the starch flies with other starch flies.
5 conclusion: selection for using different food sources also affected certain genes involved in reproductive behavior

source: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_45
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09-11-2015, 08:15 AM
RE: The microevolution of language
I like the analogy. Matt Delahunty on the Atheist Experience has used the analogy of evolution of language in a similar manner to scorn creationists who deny the existence of transitional forms and demand the illusionary "Crocoduck", however I can see the typical creationist not buying into this as language is "completely different" from biology.

I know. I know. But they'll deny anything is analogous to evolutionary biology if it suits them and is "non-sciency"

I tend to think that a useful analogue is gravity. A creationist has to accept the existence of gravity right? So we have micro-gravity where tiny masses exert immensely small gravitational forces...................so at what point does micro-gravity become "macro-gravity"? In other words at what point do we call the force that keeps our world, our solar system, our universe together.......micro or macro? They are one and the same thing.

As I say, I like your analogy, but the creationist who wants to spout to pseudoscience or has a twisted view of science will possibly complain about its relevance.
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09-11-2015, 08:35 AM
RE: The microevolution of language
Very nice analogy!

We've seen the deniers of reality on this forum that will accept microevolution but accept macroevolution occurs only because of gaaawd. They are accepting evolution, just trying to create a dividing line between natural/microevolution and god-produced/macroevolution.

Michael Behe actually wrote a book The Edge of Evolution that asserted chloroquine resistance in malaria was that dividing line between micro and macroevolution. Not only was he resoundingly refuted with evidence of this assertion, which showed multiple pathways for chloroquine resistance to develop, more than Behe could account for, Behe also managed to create an argument that not only did god create malaria, but this deity was also bio-engineering modifications to it to get around any medicines we developed against it!
He seemed blithely unaware of this Frankensteinian monster/god he created or unconcerned with the horrific implications of how evil this would make such a deity.

Fortunately NATURAL evolution explains this far better than a supernatural bioterrorist at work trying to destroy mankind.

Side note:
This also shows how language slowly evolves over time without supernatural cause. It debunks the Tower of Babel myth as well. Thumbsup

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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09-11-2015, 08:46 AM
RE: The microevolution of language
Even God has to evolve to fit the context of the societies in which his believers exist Tongue

'Murican Canadian
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09-11-2015, 09:50 AM
RE: The microevolution of language
A cogent demonstration of a very apt analogy.

The True Believers will ignore it regardless.

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