B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Wed Jun 16 15:02:38 EDT 2004


The Eden thread, better to be known as the "Evolution Thread," is hereby

Let's not box until we're at least in the ring!

Bryan Rocine
b-hebrew co-chair

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
To: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
Cc: "Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 8:12 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Eden

> 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
> >
> >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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