Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Not Just For Biology

PZ Myers of Pharyngula points out a post over at Language Log on Intelligent Design's attempt invade the field of linguistics with something called Edenics, proposed by one Isaac E. Mozeson:

His theory seems to be that God was a sort of weak cryptographer, who didn't actually create any new languages after Babel, but simply mixed up the old ones ("letters that shift in sound and location, and letters that drop in and out") in ways that Mozeson has figured out how to decrypt.

This strikes me as crank etymology with a religious overlay, rather than a serious attempt at rationalizing the linguistic aspects of Genesis.
Beyond the initial outburst along the lines of: "Of course, Christianity had to borrow a lot from Judaism, it's not anything surprising that a few words managed to filter into other languages, with Islam and Arabic, another Semitic language, doing the same," I really don't know where to start with the stupidity of such a concept. Perhaps a real linguist who chances to stop by could do a better job.

8 comments:

Glock21 said...

At least linguistics isn't part of any normal K-12 courses... don't have to worry about Kansas Board of Education trying to find any way to get their beliefs as part of the indoctrination.

The Squire said...

I'm sure that, if they wanted, they could hoot and holler about including language on Edenics in the English and Foreign Language curricula.

Glock21 said...

Ugh... you're probably right. Hopefully the idea will be safely hidden from them in peer-reviewed scientific journals. :-)

Isaac Mozeson said...

"Mixed up the old oneS?!"

This moron hasn't read or understood a thing about Edenics.
The ONE factory-installed human language program of Eden (our homo sapiens homeland - speakers, not knuckle-walkers)was diversified.

Why not investigate like a human, instead of dismissing like an ayatollah? See for yourself if human speech hardware fits human speech software (Edenic or Pre-Hebrew). This original language was engineered to be diversified, naturally --- after a Big Bang at Babel/Shinar/Sumer.

Come up with a better reason why Karate (from kara, empty and te (read tay), hand is the reverse of YaD (hand) RaiQ (empty) in Biblical Hebrew.

Sorry Glock21, Edenics WILL be taught in h.s. since every foreign vocabulary can be mastered once learning the simple, chemistry-like basics of Edenics.

Try to be less of a knee-jerk fundamentalist, IM www.edenics.org

The Squire said...

Wow, I'm flattered that some crackpot decided to devote enough time to come to my site six months after my original post and write a personal rebuttal.

/sarcasm

Seriously, though, how sad a person do you have to be to be wading six months back into obscure blog comments in order to defend your whacked-out theory? How much of a life does this Issac guy not have?

Glock21 said...

I'd respond, but I'm not sure what the crack/pot balance is with this guy. First impression is heavy on the crack.

:-)

Narc said...

I guess Edenics wasn't big on punctuation, since his third paragraph is unintelligible unless you completely repunctuate it. It seems to have something to do with claiming ancient Israelites were martial arts experts?

You just gotta love the "ayatollah" crack. Those are evil Muslims, don't 'cha know? I bet Squire is one of those terrorist fist-jabber's too.

Did Edenics have acronyms? I'm just curious about the Edenic roots of "laser," "scuba," and "fubar".

The Squire said...

Isaac Mozeson wrote: "Come up with a better reason why Karate (from kara, empty and te (read tay), hand is the reverse of YaD (hand) RaiQ (empty) in Biblical Hebrew."

Sorry, I'm not seeing the backwards bit, both literally and from a practical standpoint - vocabulary isn't a stretch of DNA, you can't reverse bits of it and expect it to still make any kind of sense. Unless you can come up with a defensible linguistic rationale for saying that possibly reversed sounds are related (and I have a sibling who's studied linguistics enough to call BS when it rears its ugly head) I'm gonna have to ponder along with Glock21 about your crack/pot balance.