[b-hebrew] Evolution of Languages & Organisms

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Wed Jun 16 15:07:27 EDT 2004


Dear b-hebrew,

Even the evolution of languages is not a topic of discussion within the
mission of b-hebrew.  Please end this topic, and get back on track.

Bryan Rocine
b-hebrew co-chair


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <david.kimbrough at charter.net>
To: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>; "Hebrew"
<b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 2:10 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Evolution of Languages & Organisms


> Although my MS is in air chemistry and my PhD is in water chemistry, my BS
is in biology.  For the record, evolution is not A theory, it is THE theory.
The science of biology makes no sense without evolution.  This applies to
bio-molecular pathways, comparative physiology and anatomy, behavior,
taxonomy, ecology, and any other branch one can name.  Without evolution,
biology is a static collection isolated facts.
>
> Has anyone every seen wild packs of Chihuahuas or Great Danes running
about?   Or indeed, even any evidence that either of these breeds even
existed more than 2,000 years ago?.  Of course not.  These wildly different
breeds of dogs, indeed all dogs, are the result of many years of selective
breeding of wolves (dogs and wolves can inter-breed incidentally).  Only
dogs (wolves) with certain features, both behavioral and physical, were
allowed to breed.  Selective breeding is exactly how biological evolution
works, except there are no people involved.  Only organisms with certain
characteristics survive and reproduce while those that lack them, don?t.  So
there is nothing random about evolution.
>
> Languages likewise evolve.  Once there was a language called Latin with an
extensive written record (linguistic fossils if your like).  It evolved into
a large number of daughter languages although Latin itself is dead.  There
is a long written record documenting this evolution.  One can see how these
languages share certain features (vocabulary and grammar) among themselves
and their parent language but how differences increased over time.
>
> It is hypothesized that Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit all evolved from some
more ancient common language (proto-Indo-European).  There is no *fossil
record* of this evolution.  However, just as Latin?s daughter languages show
a pattern consistent with *evolution*, so do Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit.
These languages share some vocabulary and have similar syntax but show
differences as well, differences that increase over time and distance, just
as Portuguese and Romanian did.  So while the hypothesized language of
proto-Indo-European can never proven to the same degree as Latin is proven
to exist, there is strong evidence.  The same is true of proto-Semitic or
proto-Hebrew.
>
> >
> > From: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
> > Date: 2004/06/16 Wed AM 07:30:48 GMT
> > To: "Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> > Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Eden
> >
> > Jack:
> >
> > I am not a scientist, that is why I cited Dr. George Gaylord Simpson's
definition. I have found no textbook (years ago, I looked in several) that
contradicted Dr. Simpson's definition. Every scientist I asked said his
definition is correct.
> >
> > I also took Dr. Simpson's definition of evolution. Again, other biology
textbooks gave the same definition.
> >
> > 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.
> >
> > 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.
> >
> > 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 W. Randolph.
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon at historian.net>
> >
> > > ----- Original Message ----- 
> > > From: "Karl Randolph" <kwrandolph at email.com>
> > >
> > >
> > > > Dear Peter:
> > > >
> > > > Now that you bring in science..
> > > >
> > > > When I was in college, one of my profs was a missionary for
evolution, and
> > > to aid in his efforts to convert all of us to believing his religion,
he had
> > > us use a biology textbook by Dr. George Gaylord Simpson. In its
> > > introduction, the textbook had a multipage definition of science
complete
> > > with examples and counter examples. Briefly, science depends on
observation,
> > > but in order for that observation to be scientifically relevant, it
must be
> > > a repeatable observation. Upon noting patterns in observations,
hypothesis
> > > are made which, upon testing by more, repeatable observations, are
developed
> > > into theories. Of course, you know that.
> > > >
> > > > After making that definition, Dr. Simpson defined evolution as the
theory
> > > that teaches that all life are descended by natural means from simple,
> > > common ancestors over a long period of time. (I know that's not an
exact
> > > quote, but it is pretty close.) Though he called it "a scientific
fact", it
> > > violates the definition of science he had just spend pages developing.
That
> > > theory is not scientific at all. Evolution is a perfect example of
"bad
> > > science".
> > > >
> > > > I do not know of a single "evidence" for evolution that does not, at
least
> > > in part, depend on presuppositions that cannot be observed-geologic
> > > stratigraphy (Charles Lyell, before Darwin), radiometric dating,
phylogeny,
> > > etc.-every one depends at least in part on inobservable
presuppositions.
> > > >
> > > > This is not a claim that "creation science" is science. It is not
science
> > > for the same reasons evolution is not science.
> > >
> > >
> > > I really have to put more effort into resisting the temptation to
reply to
> > > those outrageously ridiculous claims made by posters who are out of
their
> > > element...because it doesn't stop them anyway.  I will say, however,
that
> > > the ignorance of science did not prevent a soapbox that, no matter how
> > > absurd the claims, has no place in a forum for the discussion of
Hebrew.
> > > That is the good thing about discussing the nuances of the Hebrew
> > > language...you cannot fake it...like Karl's "understanding" of a
scientific
> > > theory.
> > >
> > > Jack
> > >
> >
> > -- 
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> >
>
> David Kimbrough
> San Gabriel
>
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