Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
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14-09-2012, 06:29 AM
Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
So glad I picked up a copy of Dawkins' newest book, The Magic of Reality. It digs into the parallels between language evolution and biological evolution.

And that got me to thinking...
http://theunconverted.com/why-arent-ther...n-deniers/

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14-09-2012, 06:40 AM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
Dude, you successfully answered your own question so I have nothing to add.

It's a damn good question though and I too will use this idea when next affronted by an anti-evolutionarian

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14-09-2012, 08:18 AM (This post was last modified: 17-09-2012 07:19 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
Heard on NPR recently an interview with a Cultural Anthropologist who said he has evidence that all present European based languages originated in Turkey/Russia somewhere.
http://www.npr.org/2012/08/24/159998664/...-languages
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story...Id=5541370

The "confusion of speech" idea in Genesis came straight from Sumeria : ie
the Sumerian epic called "Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta." In a speech of Enmerkar, an incantation is pronounced that goes as follows :

Once upon a time there was no snake, there was no scorpion,
There was no hyena, there was no lion,
There was no wild dog, no wolf,
There was no fear, no terror,
Man had no rival.
In those days, the lands of Subur (and) Hamazi,
Harmony-tongued Sumer, the great land of the decrees of princeship,
Uri, the land having all that is appropriate,
The land Martu, resting in security,
The whole universe, the people in unison
To Enlil in one tongue spoke.
… (fragment is missing) ....
(Then) Enki, the lord of abundance (whose) commands are trustworthy,
The lord of wisdom, who understands the land,
The leader of the gods,
Endowed with wisdom, the lord of Eridu
Changed the speech in their mouths, and brought contention into it,
Into the speech of man that, until then, had been one.

http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/0...-ziggurat/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enmerkar_an..._of_Aratta

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14-09-2012, 12:10 PM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
(14-09-2012 08:18 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Heard on NPR recently an interview with Cultural Anthropologist who said he has evidence that all present European based languages originated in Turkey/Russia somewhere.
http://www.npr.org/2012/08/24/159998664/...-languages
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story...Id=5541370

The "confusion of speech" idea in Genesis came straight from Sumeria : ie
the Sumerian epic called "Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta." In a speech of Enmerkar, an incantation is pronounced that goes as follows :

Once upon a time there was no snake, there was no scorpion,
There was no hyena, there was no lion,
There was no wild dog, no wolf,
There was no fear, no terror,
Man had no rival.
In those days, the lands of Subur (and) Hamazi,
Harmony-tongued Sumer, the great land of the decrees of princeship,
Uri, the land having all that is appropriate,
The land Martu, resting in security,
The whole universe, the people in unison
To Enlil in one tongue spoke.
… (fragment is missing) ....
(Then) Enki, the lord of abundance (whose) commands are trustworthy,
The lord of wisdom, who understands the land,
The leader of the gods,
Endowed with wisdom, the lord of Eridu
Changed the speech in their mouths, and brought contention into it,
Into the speech of man that, until then, had been one.

http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/0...-ziggurat/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enmerkar_an..._of_Aratta

Thanks for sharing that. Much like the Christian myth, this one is cute and makes for a nice campfire story but has no explanatory power or basis in reality.

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15-09-2012, 03:11 PM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
I had totally forgotten that The Magic of Reality made this analogy! Shortly after reading the book I'd been making the same analogy, but sometime between then and now I lost it.

I don't think anyone is denying the evolution of language because it's so well-documented (by its nature!) and happens at a much more rapid pace than biological evolution. I still think it's strange that there are people that believe the literal truth of the Tower of Babel myth, when we have a perfectly natural understanding of how several languages can come from one.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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15-09-2012, 08:22 PM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
(15-09-2012 03:11 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  I had totally forgotten that The Magic of Reality made this analogy! Shortly after reading the book I'd been making the same analogy, but sometime between then and now I lost it.

I don't think anyone is denying the evolution of language because it's so well-documented (by its nature!) and happens at a much more rapid pace than biological evolution. I still think it's strange that there are people that believe the literal truth of the Tower of Babel myth, when we have a perfectly natural understanding of how several languages can come from one.

Glad I could help remind you!

Truly a fantastic book. I can't wait to read it with my kid (I already have him passively listen to the audio version when we're in the car).

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15-09-2012, 09:28 PM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
Hey, Light.

I'm going to give you a friendly warning. You may do with it what you wish, but let it be known that I've warned you.

You have just wandered into a minefield and you don't yet realise it.

Welcome to the memetics controversy! There's doughnuts in the back and refills are free Drinking Beverage

The religious don't deny language evolution, scientists do.

What Dawkins is talking about is memetic evolution. Full disclosure, I'm a memeticist. Memetics is NOT universally accepted. Biologists, evolutionary biologists, geneticists, a potpourri of ists quite happily deny memetics.

Personally, I invite you to explore the world of memetics, Universal Darwinism, the replicator-centred view and gene-meme co-evolution. I think it's one of the most interesting and profound subjects there is to investigate. But be ready for controversy, brother. Lots of it.

In the end, religious people don't have to deny language evolution, because other scientists are doing it for them. Everything you just accused the religious of is, I imagine quite inadvertently, a condemnation of a large segment of the scientific community. Like I said, my friend, minefield.

If you have any questions about memetics or language evolution (the origins of language being a subject that is HIIIIIIIIIIIGHLY controversial) nothing would please me more than to be able to answer them for you. Straight up.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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16-09-2012, 06:47 AM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
(15-09-2012 09:28 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Light.

I'm going to give you a friendly warning. You may do with it what you wish, but let it be known that I've warned you.

You have just wandered into a minefield and you don't yet realise it.

Welcome to the memetics controversy! There's doughnuts in the back and refills are free Drinking Beverage

The religious don't deny language evolution, scientists do.

What Dawkins is talking about is memetic evolution. Full disclosure, I'm a memeticist. Memetics is NOT universally accepted. Biologists, evolutionary biologists, geneticists, a potpourri of ists quite happily deny memetics.

Personally, I invite you to explore the world of memetics, Universal Darwinism, the replicator-centred view and gene-meme co-evolution. I think it's one of the most interesting and profound subjects there is to investigate. But be ready for controversy, brother. Lots of it.

In the end, religious people don't have to deny language evolution, because other scientists are doing it for them. Everything you just accused the religious of is, I imagine quite inadvertently, a condemnation of a large segment of the scientific community. Like I said, my friend, minefield.

If you have any questions about memetics or language evolution (the origins of language being a subject that is HIIIIIIIIIIIGHLY controversial) nothing would please me more than to be able to answer them for you. Straight up.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Odd, I've never heard of any scientists denying language evolution. Do you mean denying memetics?

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-09-2012, 03:42 PM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
Because it's nigh impossible to deny what you have witnessed yourself all your life and see (hear) happening all around you all the time.
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16-09-2012, 03:48 PM
RE: Why aren't there any language evolution deniers?
Because the Bible explains the different spoken languages around the world. God made it happen because people pissed him off after the flood. Read the Tower of Babel in Genesis.

You see, no evolution of language. The Bible is correct once again and you need to stop asking such silly questions and commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ. Big Grin

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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