[b-hebrew] Eden

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed Jun 16 08:12:20 EDT 2004


On 16/06/2004 00:30, Karl Randolph wrote:

>...
>
>Do you mean to say that Dr. Simpson, who in his day was a famous professor of biology and evolution at Harvard University, didn‘t know what he was talking about? That takes more chutzpah than I have.
>  
>

No, Karl, your chutzpah is the greater. You say not just that individual 
scholars but that entire communities of them, both evolutionary 
biologists and comparative linguists, don't know what they are talking 
about.

>Logically, evolution cannot be scientific, because by definition it violates the definition of science given in science textbooks. It’s not even historical because it is not based on past observation (though contradicted by some, e.g. http://www.genesispark.com/genpark/ancient/ancient.htm ). It is no more than a religious belief developed over thousands of years, which is why it is such a hot button subject.
>  
>

There is some interesting evidence here which needs to be examined. It 
is of course possible that some dinosaurs or similar creatures survived 
into relatively modern times but have since become extinct, or even that 
they still survive in remote places. But such discoveries would not 
"deal a crushing blow to the widely favored hypothesis of a unique 
evolutionary sequence", any more than did the discovery of the coelacanth.

But the truthfulness of the evidence on this web page needs to be 
examined in the light of clear errors like "In the 1940s and 1950s, the 
Iguanodon was completely unknown." According to 
http://dinosauricon.com/genera/iguanodon.html, at least six species were 
known at that time. The type species I. bernissartensis is known from 
"dozens of skeletons (some complete), teeth" dating as far back as 1881.

>This is all that I plan to say on this subject, which should be off list anyway.
>
>Concerning proto-Semitic, I don‘t deny that there was such a language. Some claim that Hebrew itself may have been that proto-Semitic, but I don‘t see clear evidence beyond philosophic wishful thinking to back it up. Are the oldest extant clay tablets closer to that original Semitic language, or copies of copies originally written on leather? Is there any way to tell from presently available data, or not? I think not.
>
>But there are those who claim to be able to ”reconstruct“ proto-Semitic, but they do so based on presuppositions that may or may not be correct. They then make confident statements as to Biblical Hebrew based on their theories which may be incorrect. What I want is observation, realizing that it may never come. I prefer to remain without answers to some of these questions based on observation, than have answers that unknowingly may be wrong because they are based not on observation. In other words, I‘d rather have fewer answers but trust the answers I have because they are based on observation, than to have more answers but not know which ones to trust.
>  
>

Karl, I think that you as a non-scientist misunderstand science as being 
based on direct observations when it is not. Atoms, electrons etc cannot 
be observed; their existence has to be reconstructed from indirect 
evidence, just as do the evolutionary tree and proto-Semitic. But you 
would not be able to read this e-mail apart from devices which have been 
designed on the basis that electrons exist, and whose operation is 
further evidence that they do. Similarly, comparative linguists (and 
evolutionists for that matter) can work from the theory of their subject 
to more practical applications e.g. descriptions of more and more 
features of modern and recorded ancient languages (or of modern 
creatures and fossils). If these reconstructions don't work, the theory 
has to be modified. But in practice to a large degree the theory as 
currently modified is supported all the more by each practical 
application. I'm not convinced of how true this is of evolution, but I 
am convinced about comparative Semitics, that in principle (if not 
necessarily in every detail) it is as soundly based as the existence of 
electrons.

-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/




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