Bible Discussion: Human Language

Human Language
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IknowHimDoYou
2003-07-31 18:16:38 EST
Human Language

All known human languages can be grouped into about 17 "families". If
language had evolved in a step by step Darwinian manner, we would expect
some to be "primitive" and some to be "advanced" however, there are no
"primitive" languages written or spoken. All contemporay languages used
by humans are complex(with many of the most ancient ones being extremely
complex showing a trend downward and perhaps ending with grunts and hoots
heard by many evolving people today). The syntax and grammer of many of
the "primative" peoples are in fact richer and more precise that the more
"evolved" English and Spanish. As an example: the Early Modern English
used in the KJV Bible and in Shakespeare is difficult for most readers
today due to its complexity.

Evolutionists have been not even able to properly address, let alone
explain, the question of language origins. It is far to complex(as if RNA
and DNA were simple by comparison!). They must begin with language, and
not just one person but a whole community( unless the first bloke only
talked to himself which is what most of the goo-to-you folks here do)at
the same time. And of course it would not be just one language but
thousands of languages, and not aquired but built in to the brains of all
who spoke*, and not slowly over millions and millions of years, but in a
brief period of just a few thousand years ago.

*All children in a single speech community grow up to speak the same
language. This means that they must all have within them the same template
for that particular language. Of nearly 6000 known languages each has a
grammer that appears to be universal and is matched to a mental template
by the child. The learning of syntax by imitation, on the other hand,
gradually closes by age 7 which is why a child can learn 2-3 languages at
once with ease, but adults have far more problems learning a forgeign
language.

"Genes, Peoples and Languages", L.L. Cavalli-Storza, 2001

Joe Blow
2003-07-31 21:56:17 EST
I*m@leavingsoon.com (IknowHimDoYou) wrote in message news:<IknowHim-3107031516380001@pm10-48.kalama.com>...
> Human Language
>
> All known human languages can be grouped into about 17 "families". If
> language had evolved in a step by step Darwinian manner, we would expect
> some to be "primitive" and some to be "advanced" however, there are no
> "primitive" languages written or spoken.

I wonder if that is because they are all spoken by modern humans? I wonder...

> All contemporay languages used
> by humans are complex(with many of the most ancient ones being extremely
> complex showing a trend downward and perhaps ending with grunts and hoots
> heard by many evolving people today). The syntax and grammer of many of
> the "primative" peoples are in fact richer and more precise that the more
> "evolved" English and Spanish.

I wonder if that is because they are all spoken by modern humans? I wonder...

> As an example: the Early Modern English
> used in the KJV Bible and in Shakespeare is difficult for most readers
> today due to its complexity.

Or all those words that we don't use today.

> Evolutionists have been not even able to properly address, let alone
> explain, the question of language origins.

What about projects like this one (of many easily found):
http://psycprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/archive/00000118/

> It is far to

(sic)

> complex(as if RNA
> and DNA were simple by comparison!). They must begin with language, and
> not just one person but a whole community( unless the first bloke only
> talked to himself which is what most of the goo-to-you folks here do)at
> the same time. And of course it would not be just one language but
> thousands of languages, and not aquired but built in to the brains of all
> who spoke*, and not slowly over millions and millions of years, but in a
> brief period of just a few thousand years ago.

So you are saying that if you did not hear English as a kid, you could
still speak it? Why can't I speak Chinese better than I do?

> *All children in a single speech community grow up to speak the same
> language. This means that they must all have within them the same template
> for that particular language. Of nearly 6000 known languages each has a
> grammer that appears to be universal and is matched to a mental template
> by the child. The learning of syntax by imitation, on the other hand,
> gradually closes by age 7 which is why a child can learn 2-3 languages at
> once with ease, but adults have far more problems learning a forgeign
> language.
>
> "Genes, Peoples and Languages", L.L. Cavalli-Storza, 2001

I basically agree with this except it doesn't go far enough. What is
built in is the universal grammar and each language is just an expression
of that fundamental capacity.

What do you think of the Gorillas doing American Sign Language? Their
expressive abilities are quite a bit less evolved you even yours.

Joe

Adam Marczyk
2003-07-31 23:25:17 EST
IknowHimDoYou <IknowHim@leavingsoon.com> wrote in message
news:IknowHim-3107031516380001@pm10-48.kalama.com...
> Human Language
>
> All known human languages can be grouped into about 17 "families". If
> language had evolved in a step by step Darwinian manner, we would expect
> some to be "primitive" and some to be "advanced" however, there are no
> "primitive" languages written or spoken.

Says you. In fact, some of the most ancient languages on Earth - the click
languages of southeastern Africa - are still spoken today.

http://www.translatorscafe.com/cafe/MegaBBS/thread-view.asp?threadid=212&posts=1

> All contemporay languages used
> by humans are complex

Let's leave aside for the moment the fact that you self-evidently have no
credentials to make such a vast sweeping assertion. (There are *hundreds*
of languages on this planet. How many of them have you studied in detail?)
The question remains that no creationist has ever proposed a rigorous and
objective metric by which "complexity" can be measured. You simply employ
this undefined term as the entire centerpiece of your argument and ask us
to accept it. Until you provide a means to quantify complexity and provide
some hard data to support your claims, your assertions will remain utterly
vacuous. Creationists love to argue by sweeping unsubstantiated assertion,
but real scientists know that talk is cheap.

> (with many of the most ancient ones being extremely
> complex showing a trend downward and perhaps ending with grunts and hoots
> heard by many evolving people today). The syntax and grammer of many of
> the "primative" peoples are in fact richer and more precise that the more
> "evolved" English and Spanish. As an example: the Early Modern English
> used in the KJV Bible and in Shakespeare is difficult for most readers
> today due to its complexity.

False. The spelling in KJV and Shakespearian English is certainly
different, and they had many words which we don't (and vice versa), but the
grammar and syntactical rules are essentially identical to ours. The
difficulty a modern reader might have with them is not due to their
"complexity", whatever that means.

> Evolutionists have been not even able to properly address, let alone
> explain, the question of language origins. It is far to complex(as if
> RNA and DNA were simple by comparison!).

Once again, the old creationist whine: "This is too hard! Let's not even
try to understand it! Let's just give up and say God did it." In reality,
considerable progress has been made in understanding the origins of
language, and is still being made, notwithstanding the efforts of
pro-ignorance creationists who feel the need to protect their gap-dwelling
deity by fighting against the increase of human understanding through
science.

Here is one example of some of the progress that's been made: the
identification of a gene called FOXP2, a defect in which causes impairments
in the ability to understand grammar and syntax.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/10/1004_TVlanguagegene.html

Do a Google search on "origin of language" and then ask yourself if it's
really true that scientists "have not even been able to properly address"
this issue. Do you have any real arguments, IKHDY, or are you content to
dismiss entire fields of ongoing research about which you know nothing with
a sweep of your hand?

> They must begin with language,
> and not just one person but a whole community( unless the first bloke
> only talked to himself which is what most of the goo-to-you folks here
> do)at the same time. And of course it would not be just one language but
> thousands of languages, and not aquired but built in to the brains of all
> who spoke*, and not slowly over millions and millions of years, but in a
> brief period of just a few thousand years ago.

Do you consider a few thousand years to be a "brief period"? In geological
terms it is, but on the scale of human lifetimes, that is a very long time
indeed. The whole point of having big brains is that our culture can evolve
faster than the plodding pace of our biology. (How many new words have been
coined so far in our generation?)

[...]

--
"We have loved the stars too fondly | a.a. #2001
to be fearful of the night." | http://www.ebonmusings.org
--Tombstone epitaph of | e-mail: ebonmuse!hotmail.com
two amateur astronomers, | ICQ: 8777843
quoted in Carl Sagan's _Cosmos_ | PGP Key ID: 0x5C66F737
----------------------------------------------------------------------


Ted Holden
2003-08-01 00:20:33 EST


The biggest problem with trying to believe that human languages evolved is
the IndoEuropean/Semitic divide. There is no racial difference between the
peoples and the language families could not have split more than a few
thousand years ago, and yet there is no relationship at all other than a
few borrowed words.

Evolution doesn't work any better for human languages than it does for
animals. The story of the tower of Babel basically says that whatever men
used to do to communicate 5000 years ago suddenly ceased working one day,
very recently, and that the kinds of spoken languages we now use were
thereafter very rapidly developed in desparation:

http://www.bearfabrique.org/babel.html


Ted Holden
www.bearfabrique.org


. . , ,
____)/ \(____
_,--''''',-'/( )\`-.`````--._
,-' ,' | \ _ _ / | `-. `-.
,' / | `._ /\\ //\ _,' | \ `.
| | `. `-( ,\\_// )-' .' | |
,' _,----._ |_,----._\ ____`\o'_`o/'____ /_.----._ |_,----._ `.
|/' \' `\( \(_)/ )/' `/ `\|
` ` V V ' '


Splifford the bat says: Always remember

A mind is a terrible thing to waste; especially on an evolutionist.
Just say no to narcotic drugs, alcohol abuse, and corrupt ideological
doctrines.




IknowHimDoYou wrote:

> Human Language
>
> All known human languages can be grouped into about 17 "families". If
> language had evolved in a step by step Darwinian manner, we would expect
> some to be "primitive" and some to be "advanced" however, there are no
> "primitive" languages written or spoken. All contemporay languages used
> by humans are complex(with many of the most ancient ones being extremely
> complex showing a trend downward and perhaps ending with grunts and hoots
> heard by many evolving people today). The syntax and grammer of many of
> the "primative" peoples are in fact richer and more precise that the more
> "evolved" English and Spanish. As an example: the Early Modern English
> used in the KJV Bible and in Shakespeare is difficult for most readers
> today due to its complexity.
>
> Evolutionists have been not even able to properly address, let alone
> explain, the question of language origins. It is far to complex(as if RNA
> and DNA were simple by comparison!). They must begin with language, and
> not just one person but a whole community( unless the first bloke only
> talked to himself which is what most of the goo-to-you folks here do)at
> the same time. And of course it would not be just one language but
> thousands of languages, and not aquired but built in to the brains of all
> who spoke*, and not slowly over millions and millions of years, but in a
> brief period of just a few thousand years ago.
>
> *All children in a single speech community grow up to speak the same
> language. This means that they must all have within them the same template
> for that particular language. Of nearly 6000 known languages each has a
> grammer that appears to be universal and is matched to a mental template
> by the child. The learning of syntax by imitation, on the other hand,
> gradually closes by age 7 which is why a child can learn 2-3 languages at
> once with ease, but adults have far more problems learning a forgeign
> language.
>
> "Genes, Peoples and Languages", L.L. Cavalli-Storza, 2001


Ted Holden
2003-08-01 02:10:11 EST
B enian wrote:


>> Evolutionists have been not even able to properly address, let alone
>> explain, the question of language origins.

> No big deal...

Sorry, but it really is a big deal. There are simply too many things which
anybody wanting to believe that languages evolve would have to explain.
Total isolate languages like Basque are one problem, as is also the Baltic
family of languages including Lithuanian and old Prussian. Lithuanians
have supposedly been sitting there between Germany and Russia as long as
white people have inhabited Europe and in theory at least, their language
should be about halfway between German and Russian, but English is a lot
closer to Russian than Lithuanian is. Other than a handful of IndoEuropean
roots, Lithuanian looks like what you'd expect Martian to; the
overwhelming bulk of the words are totally unrecognizable.

And then you have Australia. When Europeans first got to Australia, there
were several hundred aboriginal languages, no two of which resembled
eachother any more than English and Japanese do. There's simply no way to
believe that any language evolution ever took place there despite the fact
of the people being basically one group.

> For human language, you are actually considering a period of hundreds of
> thousands of years.

Sorry, but that's totally wrong. There is no evidence of modern humans
being on the planet more than a few tens of thousands of years even using
uniformitarian dating schemes.

Again, the real version of the story:

http://www.bearfabrique.org/babel.html


Ted Holden
www.bearfabrique.org


. . , ,
____)/ \(____
_,--''''',-'/( )\`-.`````--._
,-' ,' | \ _ _ / | `-. `-.
,' / | `._ /\\ //\ _,' | \ `.
| | `. `-( ,\\_// )-' .' | |
,' _,----._ |_,----._\ ____`\o'_`o/'____ /_.----._ |_,----._ `.
|/' \' `\( \(_)/ )/' `/ `\|
` ` V V ' '


Splifford the bat says: Always remember

A mind is a terrible thing to waste; especially on an evolutionist.
Just say no to narcotic drugs, alcohol abuse, and corrupt ideological
doctrines.




Thore Schmechtig
2003-08-01 03:57:14 EST
> > All known human languages can be grouped into about 17 "families". If
> > language had evolved in a step by step Darwinian manner, we would expect
> > some to be "primitive" and some to be "advanced" however, there are no
> > "primitive" languages written or spoken.
> I wonder if that is because they are all spoken by modern humans? I wonder...

You know, I think I understand what he's doing...
..."Blessed are the weak of mind" (retranslation from German, sorry if
it sounds strange to you)...
so he's trying to improve his chances of entering heaven by acting as
stupid as he can ;)

David Sienkiewicz
2003-08-01 09:28:13 EST
Ted Holden <medved@fcc.net> wrote in message news:<dBWdnaddv5dNp7eiXTWJhw@fcc.net>...
> Thore Schmechtig wrote:

< snip >

Ted, if we can find that you lied about something as
easily checked as this:

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=g:thl1988640608d&dq=&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&selm=35fa3772.0307271507.6e7a35d4%40posting.google.com

How can you expect to be counted on to tell the truth about anything
else?

Matt Silberstein
2003-08-01 11:25:40 EST
In alt.religion.christianity I read this message from
I*m@leavingsoon.com (IknowHimDoYou):

>Human Language
>
>All known human languages can be grouped into about 17 "families". If
>language had evolved in a step by step Darwinian manner, we would expect
>some to be "primitive" and some to be "advanced"

No, *we* would not. Primitive has a meaning in evolution, but
that translates pretty much as "older". And there are older and
newer features in human languages.

> however, there are no
>"primitive" languages written or spoken. All contemporay languages used
>by humans are complex(with many of the most ancient ones being extremely
>complex showing a trend downward and perhaps ending with grunts and hoots
>heard by many evolving people today). The syntax and grammer of many of
>the "primative" peoples are in fact richer and more precise that the more
>"evolved" English and Spanish. As an example: the Early Modern English
>used in the KJV Bible and in Shakespeare is difficult for most readers
>today due to its complexity.

Nope, just due to its *difference*. All human languages are
equally complex. All natural human languages can describe the
same things with pretty much the same efficiency. For any
languages there are some things that take fewer words to describe
and some more, it all averages out.

>Evolutionists have been not even able to properly address, let alone
>explain, the question of language origins.

Do you know enough of the science of linguistics to make this
claim? Would you care to discuss it now? Or are you just making
things up with the hope that Jesus will forgive you for lying in
His Name?

> It is far to complex(as if RNA
>and DNA were simple by comparison!). They must begin with language, and
>not just one person but a whole community( unless the first bloke only
>talked to himself which is what most of the goo-to-you folks here do)at
>the same time. And of course it would not be just one language but
>thousands of languages, and not aquired but built in to the brains of all
>who spoke*, and not slowly over millions and millions of years, but in a
>brief period of just a few thousand years ago.

And, yet, we have French and Italian and Spanish, all evolved
from Latin. Now did that happen?

>*All children in a single speech community grow up to speak the same
>language. This means that they must all have within them the same template
>for that particular language. Of nearly 6000 known languages each has a
>grammer that appears to be universal and is matched to a mental template
>by the child. The learning of syntax by imitation, on the other hand,
>gradually closes by age 7 which is why a child can learn 2-3 languages at
>once with ease, but adults have far more problems learning a forgeign
>language.
>
>"Genes, Peoples and Languages", L.L. Cavalli-Storza, 2001

Yes, there does seem to be some inate mechanisms involved in
language. So?



Matt Silberstein
2003-08-01 11:27:20 EST
In alt.religion.christianity I read this message from "B enian"
<*4@hotmal.com>:

>
>"IknowHimDoYou" <IknowHim@leavingsoon.com> wrote in message
>news:IknowHim-3107031516380001@pm10-48.kalama.com...
>> Human Language
>>
>... If language had evolved in a step by step Darwinian manner, we would
>expect
>> some to be "primitive" and some to be "advanced" however, there are no
>> "primitive" languages written or spoken. All contemporay languages used
>> by humans are complex(with many of the most ancient ones being extremely
>> complex showing a trend downward and perhaps ending with grunts and hoots
>> heard by many evolving people today). The syntax and grammer of many of
>> the "primative" peoples are in fact richer and more precise that the more
>> "evolved" English and Spanish. As an example: the Early Modern English
>> used in the KJV Bible and in Shakespeare is difficult for most readers
>> today due to its complexity.
>
>Languages develop by use. Their model of "evolution" is not Darwinian; it is
>very different. No child speaks precisely the same language as his or her
>parents. This is why languages change as they do.

Actually, the model is darwinian. Languages do change in
apparently random ways with selection for situational efficiency.
Evolution explain the language families just fine.

[snip]



Joe Blow
2003-08-01 13:09:34 EST
"Thore Schmechtig" <starspawn@carcosa.de> wrote in message news:<bgd722$ng9n7$2@ID-87341.news.uni-berlin.de>...
> > > All known human languages can be grouped into about 17 "families". If
> > > language had evolved in a step by step Darwinian manner, we would expect
> > > some to be "primitive" and some to be "advanced" however, there are no
> > > "primitive" languages written or spoken.
> > I wonder if that is because they are all spoken by modern humans? I wonder...
>
> You know, I think I understand what he's doing...
> ..."Blessed are the weak of mind" (retranslation from German, sorry if
> it sounds strange to you)...
> so he's trying to improve his chances of entering heaven by acting as
> stupid as he can ;)

I agree, and he is exceedingly good at it.

Joe
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