Have you heard the story of the Tower of Babel? According to the Bible, all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided to confuse the languages and spread the people across the Earth.
This story points to one of the great mysteries of human culture: why do we all speak different languages? Our ancestors probably began using language between 200,000 to 50,000 years ago. (Can’t remember how Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons are different? Learn how to keep them straight here.) As language evolved and moved across the globe, it changed.
In the same way that geneticists trace how genes are inherited over generations, linguists follow how specific elements of language flow into other languages. Just as you inherit brown eyes from your parents, you learn that a table is called a table and that an adjective precedes the noun it modifies. By tracing languages this way, historical linguists map how languages relate to each other.
Some languages, though, lie outside of these trends and relationships. Basque, a language spoken in Spain, is unrelated to the Indo-European languages spoken around it. Languages that cannot be tied to others are called language isolates. One language isolate, Ket, astounds linguists around the world.
Ket is spoken in Siberia, a remote part of Russia north of Mongolia. However, linguists have been unable to discover how it related to the languages spoken nearby, the language family known as Sino-Tibetan. Ket is not a tonal language like Han Chinese, the most widely spoken language in the Sino-Tibetan family, and its structure differs as well.
In 2008, Edward Vajda, a historical linguist, proposed that Ket was related to languages in the Na-Dene family. This shocked the world of linguistics. Why? The Na-Dene language family is spoken by Native American peoples in North America, thousands of miles from Siberia. However, in his analysis, Vadja traced their similarities and has convinced many other linguists that these two disparate languages are in fact siblings.
What do you think of tracing languages like genes? Do you believe that languages can migrate like people?
Navajo is an example of a Na-Dene language. The supposed relation between Ket and the Na-Dene languages seems totally plausible–especially when the once existent land bridge from Siberia to North America is considered.
“Just as you inherit brown eyes from your parents, you learn that a table is called a table and that an adjective precedes the noun it modifies.”
False. You inherit your eye color by DNA; the language is inherited through culture.
P.S. Languages migrate with people.
I would be interested to know if the two cultures are also genetically connected. It would lend credence to the idea of migration from Siberia across to the northernmost part of north America.
Migration pattern caused people to come into contact with each other. Importing and exporting goods to other groups are recorded in history. The Silk Road in the East would be an example of a importing and exporting route available for transfer of linquistic languages.
People migrate taking belongings with them. With a people are culture, language, and religion. They don’t just leave their language behind as it is a part of the culture; it’s a form of identification, belonging. One does not leave his identification behind when moving.
Why should this be so shocking? The Bering Strait was likely crossed, carrying the language to North America. It continued evolving but retained many similarities.
I firmly believe this to be the case. I’m also a linguist and we can see from the Basque language that survived the great flood, many other languages can be traced to its Babylonian origins. I think we all know of the movement across landmass into America by the Bering strait theory. This may be another step into proving this theory.
a world with one language(common), will bring into the world communication and conjoin.
I think if you consider the Bering Strait as a path of migration, which it is, the explanation of Siberian and North-American connections of any kind becomes easier. Especially if you take into account that Na-Dene is primarily spoken on the Seward Peninsula and Canadian Arctic.
Yes, Of course..English and Hindi share so many words from Sanskrit (the root language of Hindi)and the amalgation is not just due to the colonial influence.
For eg. Grass and Ghaas, Owl and Ullu , Door and Dwar, Path and Path , Cow and Gow ..it goes on..these words not only sound similar they actually mean the same.
I strongly believe that languages can migrate like people. the people migrate and so the langue they speak migrate
It seems to me that, by tracing the evolution of language(s), one is tracing the development of culture and of society itself. They are one and the same. Also, the structure of the language people speak has an effect on thought process. Not what they think, but how. Languages mirgrate. Just as people followed the herds that fed them, they carried culture,as well as their weapons.
The evidence for the evolution and origins of English istoo clear to permit doubt that languages travel and evolve as they go. It seems to me that the distance between these two languages can be halved because they could have moved from acentral position
Doesn’t seem so remarkable to me. Didn’t the native Americans originally come across a land bridge from Asia? Obviously it was mostly the ur-Ket speakers who migrated, leaving only a few behind.
[...] ‘Ket Language’ — Ket Lucky — As Though there were a Point to some Tower Babel. — Metaphorically, Maybe — How do ya get paid for Dese Jobs? — Education for us dour rabble. — Historically, Baby — A bit more incentive for us slobs. — There is so much to learn while some have money to burn. — You’da thunk it perhaps they would care — The meaning of life — Besides self-preservation, greed, power and strife — Much more of a reason to share. –>>L.T.Rhyme [...]
Fascinating ! !
I’m beginning to believe that homo sapiens must have started in several different places around the globe at somewhat the same time.
Great article ! ! !
this is cool and
“According to the Bible, all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided to confuse the languages and spread the people across the Earth.”
what a mean god! What version are you reading?
Of course languages can migrate like people. If they couldn’t, Americans wouldn’t be speaking English.
A land bridge across the Behring Strait connected the Asian and American continents at one time, facilitating peoples’ migration. American Indians, not just the Eskimos, are predominantly of asian origin, so lingogenetic connections between siberian and native american tribes should come as no surprise despite their geographic separation.
More intriguing perhaps is the origin of the Basque language and its preservation in such a small enclave over centuries. Another lingohistorical conundrum is the origin of (and the similarities between) the Finnish and the Hungarian languages.
You said Basque is not related to any other Indo-European language around it. Does it show similarities to any other language or language group?
yes, i agree with you ekta, i speak hindi, there are a lot of cognates.
All the continents split from a single land mass called Pangea. From a single mother in Africa evolved all the people. From a single language of grunts and sounds came language. Eveything took eons which is unimaginable to us who presume to be soooo intelligent. After all I have no knowledge of any time without ME. Regardless of any other considerables humans are combative and greedy wanting to possess more than we need or can use so this is just another exercise in futility the same as hyphonating your ethnicity. “Frankly my dear, ———!”
Dog Gone Ruff, Oui? Mayhap the Story of Roof and Ready?
All humanity lived together in harmony until the tower of babel, but no in harmony with God – There had been hiccups in humanity (Cain v Abel, for example) but the people decided that it was easier to build a tower up to heaven, than be obedient to commandments (kinda reminiscent of those who think welfare should replace hard work in a way) God knew this path would cause problems, so he split them up – Parents will split up squabbling siblings into seperate “time out”s now – back then he simply split them up by changing the languages – and when we all learn to get along properly and “play nice” within the commandments, we’ll speak the same language again – until then just do waht you can to make yourself right with god and endure to the end. – Hardly the actions of a “mean god” but rather a concerned parent who sees his children being led astray, and putting an end to dangerous games “before someone else gets hurt”.
Yes … It is possible ..
“… an adjective precedes the noun …” Not in Spanish.
Laura Lyons is one smart lady (May 3). That way, the DNA and the culture would be connected and Luna could rest easy.
The last thing we need is to have the ability to communicate readily, we’re in enough trouble as it is with the organization we can muster.
Chapintico, the story of the Tower of Babel is in all versions of the Old Testament in the bible. The reason the languages went the way they did was because the people were building the Tower in an effort to reach heaven. This was a prime example of hubris, arrogance in the extreme, as is shown in many of stories of different cultures (e.g. Greek mythology), where man overstepped his boundaries in an attempt to be like or rival God (or the gods) or to flout the wisdom of the Higher Power. In the Tower story, God decided to put a stop to this foolish construction job and made the labourers speak in different tongues. Not being able to understand other workers made the task impossible. The people were able to find a few others who spoke the same tongue as they did. They consequently scattered all over the earth, which was probably a good thing (less overpopulation of an area, competition for food, etc.).
Re: assumption that land bridge explains this… What I took from the article was that the Na-Dene language has not ‘assimilated’ into the lingo of the surrounding cultures. In fact the languages of surrounding or more specifically any other till u get almost 1/3 away around the globe are distinctly different. Thus the call for this article in the 1st place. Just sayin…
My curiosity lies with the subject of the article itself. Without religious association per se, the Biblical peoples, places are being archeologically proven every day. This is the most prevalent but not only form of science that is substantiating various biblical points.
Personally I find it fascinating!
So as far as this goes, the author, proposer if this theory has a fascinating point!
I’ve seen it theorized (language anthroplogy) that Dene is related to protoarchaic Chinese as well as to Basque. Dene, Navajo version, I understand, is tonal, but I do not find any comment that Basque is. Of course, tonality is only an interesting similarity, which may or may not be a dead-end.
Are any of you aware of Nancy Yaw Davis’ study (The Zuni Enigma)? Davis, Ph.D anthropology, U. of Washington. The Zuni language, she notes, is an isolate language, with no resemblance to American Indian languages, N or S, or known languages elsewhere. Curiously, however, it contains a number of words with identical meanings in Japanese. vocabulary. This tweaked her interest. After a great deal of research, anthropological, morphological, syntax, evidence of Japanese west coast contacts prior to Europan contacts, etc., she hypothesizes that a group of Japanese Buddhists settled in Zuni land around 1350.
Why do we have “breathe a breath” but not “birthe a birth–?”
Are these two words from languages isolate…?
Or are linguists slow of tongue and brain…
Really… if Ket is Na-Dene and Na-Dene is Sumerian, then Ket is Sumerian… so all-three are languages isolate… But then we add Egyptian to Sumerian…
“Language Isolate,” is a nonscientific term indicating what little linguists know about languages: It’s like Hawking talking about dangerous space aliens: It’s catchy phrase for the laylike collegians but lacking founded scientific basis…
By the way, the author’s reference to Babel is nonlinguistic: The records of the era indicated Enki confused the language there– an historic fact, not a debatable theological linguistical development: Enki was Yah, one-of-three god-names assumed by name-droppers as the same, i.e. “confused,” and, the Tower at Babel was overthrown by the wind: It was amiss construction, and the assumption of harmony is a theo-idiocy: They fought city-on-city in that era because the multiple gods used mankind as argumentation points: Babel was 43 years in building because they were-not harmonious, and, in the 43rd year they pitched a brick facade but the thin facade was blown off.
Eat a chocolate pyramid wrapped in gold foil: Shock faces are for stoolees.
Really, Let’s get linguistical here:
The reputedly first indian to meet the pilgrims was Hubur-Enoch and he asked for beer– straight out of the Sumerian textbook…
The origin of the name of the State of Illinois, is, Illiniwek, Ellil-Enoch…
The Algonquian indians blamed the story of the great flood on Manabush Ma-Nabu-ukh for killing two of the Anamaqkiu spirits (Anunaki gods after they’re dead) of the underworld (at the bottom of the Persian mountains: there’s a famous rift there that Gilgamec hiked after it’d been barred-up).
Straight out of the Sumerian textbook… as linguistically isolated as ‘God’.
@Chapintico- You make a good point. For those of you who haven’t read the account in Genesis, it is true that all people spoke the same language at one point. However, when they were thus unified, they decided to build a tower that would reach, or go beyond, heaven. God split them up by making it such as they no longer spoke the same language. This isn’t the act of a mean God- it is the act of a superior Being that understood that man was trying to become superior. This could have conceivably disastrous results.
And to most of the rest of you- did you read the previous comments before adding your own? It’s somewhat vexing to have to read the same comment by various people repeatedly.
Another good observation by Socrates.
The Bering land bridge- though obviously valid- has actually limited thoughts about migration and linguistics
I think other possibilities for migration are apparent when you take into account things like pottery, customs, religion, et al.
Did and do we still have a paranoid god who ages ago didn’t want the tower of Babel built?
If the great biblical and Gilgamesh floods were true, then all language spread centrifugally from Mount Ararat after the Ark docked.
I suppose there was a one-way traffic in language to the African continent across the isthmus before the Suez ditch was dug.
The most amazing thing is that no language has been found to
I think the story and the mystery is very interesting. already had read in the Bible and considering that the man wanted to dominate man, good to disperse bound by the language.
Out of the many intriguing and fascinating fields, Historical Linguistics is also one. Even the Polically cotradicting and disparate (Indian) languages like Hindi and Tamil share a lot from lettering and words. If sufficient light is thrown from the Socio-Linguistic point of view, the end result may reunite us from cultural barriers !
Just to be clear: “…all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided to confuse the languages…” is wrong. People were full of sin, and being sinful they decided to make a great name for themselves. God didn’t just sadistically confuse their language and disperse them. [Not a very accurate account of the story Dictionary.com - I love your website design and stories, but please strive to be accurate and conscientious about future articles, thank you!]
Religions will be say always different as they always crated differences in humanity. However, spirituality says we are born from one stalk, and real sense we all humans are brothers and sisters. However, in the case of language inheritance, in my view , a term is called MOTHER-TONGUE. , i.e. a child speaks first the language what her mother speaks ( May be father’s language afterwards). So when mother migrates from one part of globe to another , there is always possibilities of language migration. But it has no relation with genes, as science claims genetic characters are inherited by specific DNA.
Read Zacharia Sitchen’s book Genesis Revisited Explains alot about why we have different languages
Bert there was a flood story that was older than King Gilgamesh, and in ancient Sumerian there are more than 6 stories about the great flood. all are exactly the same but thousands of years apart. According to the Vedic texts this is the human races 6 rebuild of civilization.
I have heard an interesting but racist comment as to why we have different languages and skin colours, Apparently the Nephelum “marked” their peoples with different languages and skin tones so that they wouldn’t be mixed up!
Spot on Ray SPOT ON!
I wonder if they know what conjunctions are
@Luna. Great observation!
Does someone has found a sibling language of Bask anywhere?
I think the Tower of Babel story seems more plausible. Why do we try to make things more difficult to figure out than they need to be?
Does anyone else notice that this article mentions the Bible then throws in Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons? Strange that the author would even risk getting mocked and ridiculed for even daring to mention the Bible. Although he/she did put God in a rather unfavorable light. Hopefully that will keep those who disagree with the Bible somewhat content.
Food for thought.
“‘Just as you inherit brown eyes from your parents, you learn that a table is called a table and that an adjective precedes the noun it modifies.’
False. You inherit your eye color by DNA; the language is inherited through culture.”
…Babies are first exposed to their culture via their parents, and their DNA comes from…(wait for it)…their parents!
@Donna Edwards – you misunderstood what Chapintico was saying… Re-read article and Read comment by Jeanna.
@ Author of this article….While I believe you have good intentions for your articles,and I enjoy them, I believe you write them in haste. You do not convey what you mean. It just seems like you don’t give enough thought to what you are really trying to say or ask the blogging community. You will evenutally lose readers. I personally may not read your articles often because obviously your facts are not very accurate. I hope you continue to improve! Thanks in advance for your consideration!
that is good
What’s the big shocker? They’ve been talking for decades about the aboriginal population of the Americas having resulted from people crossing the Ice Age land bridge from Siberia. What’s the mystery?
People always say the only geographical link by which ancients could have traveled between the Asian and American continents is the former land bridge between what is today the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia and Alaska. But I’ve always wondered that since the arctic peoples such as the Laplanders of northern Scandinavia and the arctic peoples of Alaska and northern Canada were always able to travel across the polar ice cap with sleds and dogs, who’s to say they couldn’t have arrived by traveling north from Europe, gone across the polar ice cap and ended up in North America rather than by way of Russia and Alaska? And that the Native American peoples all over the two American continents couldn’t have proceeded from them, coming across the polar ice cap? Why does it HAVE to be Eastward across Asia, and then from Russia to Alaska to the Americas? Why couldn’t it have been from northern Europe across the ice caps of northern Greenland and Canada and then south? And didn’t I hear that the Laplanders of northern Norway and Sweden had been determined by DNA analysis to be genetically related to the arctic peoples of northern Canada and Alaska?
This is interesting but not very plausible. Certainly it is reasonable to suppose that the languages could be distantly related because of the land bridge from Siberia that once existed (I personally would argue that all languages on earth are related). But to suppose that any such connection can actually be measured and studied is quite a stretch. Consider, for example, that modern Hindi, Persian/Farsi, German, Spanish, and English are all related. If you ignore words that are borrowed between them, seeing similarities between them is quite difficult. And they only diverged about 6,000 years ago. In fact without studying their ancestor languages (Sanskrit, ancient Gothic, etc.) it is close to impossible to discern the relationship between Hindi and English. According to the most recent research contact between the Ket and Na-Dene peoples would have been severed more than 10,000 years ago (probably 10,000 is very optimistic). I won’t say that there could not possibly be a way to discern the relationships in those languages but it seems just as likely that any similarities discovered are just coincidence.
Did and do we still have a paranoid god who ages ago didn’t want the tower of Babel built?
If the great biblical and Gilgamesh floods were true, then all language spread centrifugally from Mount Ararat after the Ark docked.”
Just because one is paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get you! The biblical narrative indicates that God wanted men to spread out in the globe and that being of one language enabled them to accomplish anything they set their mind to. So perhaps destructive technology would have been developed before God’s time and purpose with regard to man accompished. Hey may have slowed us from our self-destruction by confusing our languages.
the story is so interesting i love it
The ‘Old Testament’ is a wonderful collection of legend, myth, and allegory. I am pretty sure that the ‘Tower of Babel’ story is just that and not much more. When ‘Baaaad Stuff’ happens people like to blame it on “GOD”, and then try to understand what they did to piss him off enough to hit the good old SMITE button on his console.
Science and technology are our ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and the most nourishing of foods is from the Tree of Knowledge. If we can keep the foundations of our tower from collapsing under it’s own wieght, we will eat from the ‘Tree of Life’ and become ‘As the Gods’… if not, our common language, mathmatics, the language of the universe, will be scattered in the wind along with the ruins of our long climb from the jungle some call ‘Eden’.
I take exception to the article portion thatn misinterprets the scripture as, ” … According to the Bible, all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided … ” Actually, scripture does not describe humanity as living in harmony until God obstructed them. Scripture describes humanity as conspiring together to replace God and of becoming pompous, to the point of attempting to build a tower that would show their ability to physically reach God-like status. God actually acted upon humans’ abilities to continue this self-destructive progression, giving them a second chance at their destiny.
Language migration is the one of the reosons why we have so many languages in the first place, because when one travels to another place he’ll find different people speacking different languages, so at the end of the day he’ll adapt to that one particular language depending on how long he stayed in that certain area. When he goes back home, he’ll carry with him that language with his own accent, so when he speack to his natives or teaches his own people the languge, they’ll learn the language in his own version because of the accent, which at the end of the day will create another language.
I am glad how beings respond to this. I want to state about the root of the language; therefore, be able to know about the civilization that speaks it. For example LATIN, I learned is the root to the Romance languages Spanish, Gernan, Italian, and two more. Phonetically-Pronunciation is the equivalent to music in that it has components. This is significant because we are progressive, now a days we speak more eloquently and are more civilized. I really like the way people answer to this simple question, yet very important about the origin of Languages. Civilizations will reach their highest when the question of immortality is reached and this means sound, pitch, clarity, roots, pace, and FREE of fear for the unthinkable to come.. Reaching in anger to be pay attention and cut off from underneath to still further angered is a root that one has to confront, personaly to understand a successful civilization. How many are there, you would be surprise at the answer most have vanish -we live in communities where we all are from different backgrounds because of the unsound of fear and misunderstanding. Great subject.
I just love reading these!!
“According to the Bible, all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided to confuse the languages and spread the people across the Earth.”
Woah. That does make God sound kind of mean. Humanity wasn’t just living together in harmony. They were working together to try and make themselves famous. But God wan’t them to spread out, so he confused them.
@Bert. That does get me every time but I realize that the tower of Babel happened after the flood.
The Native American DNA is classified as “Asian”.
Can languages migrate? Yes. Just like culture or religion, any neighboring nations will share many common traits; words get absorbed by different languages all the time. As for “all of humanity lived together in harmony” this is vastly untrue and is intended to be subliminal programming to again attempt to undermine the superiorly accurate history within the Bible.
While riding in a taxi in China some years ago, I conversed with my driver and learned that he was a former anthropological scholar before one of Mao’s purges sent him into the countryside for “re-education.”
He believed firmly that the ancient peoples of the Sino-Tibetan regions (including the Tibetan plateau) had migrated across the “land bridge” of what is now the Aleutian Islands, and that this thus explains the similarity in languages of the Eastern and Western hemispheres.
The author should be familiar with a story before using it to start his/her article. The story of the tower of Babel is related to the subject matter, but to claim that, “According to the Bible, all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided to confuse the languages and spread the people across the Earth,” is just plain mistaken. The author of this article does the Bible a considerable injustice and misleads the less sophisticated and/or unbelieving reader.
This statement makes it seem as though God confused the languages in order that humanity could not live together in harmony…making God the author if discord. According to the Bible, all of humanity spoke the same language…that’s it. Man was likely fighting and killing one another just like they have since Cain and Able.
Some may think my comment is uneccessary, but it is the subtleness, and insidiousness, of the implication which make calling attention to it of paramount importance.
For anyone’s information:
Ge 11:4 The people were concerned with building a tower so high that it would not be touched by any flood that the creator Jehovah would ever bring again such as he just had upon the whole inhabited earth. It was an act of rebellion already against him. “let us make a celebrated name for ourselves”. It was a righteous act for Jehovah to scatter mankind and part of his plan …at that time. Much had to be fulfilled before Jesus could come to be the “Ransom Sacrifice” paying the debt for Adams sin.Rom 5:12, 6:23 This would balance the scale and allow mankind to be restored to Godly rule in the Kingdom of God as it was intended.Mt 20:28, It took a perfect man as Adam was and Jesus was the only on ever to walk the Earth…We’re almost there! Ps 37:11,29 Isa 65:17-25 Mt 5:5 Re 21:5
“According to the Bible, all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided to confuse the languages and spread the people across the Earth.This story points to one of the great mysteries of human culture: why do we all speak different languages?”
ummm…So I’m not even going to finish reading this article because from the first sentence it’s misguided. God didn’t make people speak different languages just because He is mean and felt like it. It was because of man’s pride (please read the pericope in the Bible more deeply). Also, the main point of the pericope(please use the correct word, it’s not “a story” like Aesop’s Fables) is not to talk about language, but about the sin of pride, namely, that it is really a bad thing. Thirdly, please do no use the Bible just to try and add authority to your articles. It’s inappropriate and irritating. Thank you for listening to my rather post. I hope it is genuinely helpful.
See above post. Please put “long” between the words “rather” and “post”. Thanks!:)
“Hey, the humans are doing something I don’t like. Come, let us go down and confound their speech.”
“If we’re going to go down, why don’t we teach them something instead of confusing them? We could help them out, tell them about disease. Instead of scattering them about the world and making it impossible for them to communicate with each other, let’s go down and clearly show them exactly what the right thing to do is.”
The story of the northern portion of the North American Continent being frozen has been around for along time. Thus people were able to walk from europe to the Nova Scotia and New york (modern names) areas just as easy as the eskimos came and went to Eastern Russia. The blood lines (DNA), and culturial habits have already been established.
As for the thoughts about linguistic origins: I recommend a book called In search of the cradle of civilization a new light on Ancient India. G. Feuerstein/ S. kak/ D.Frawley. They make a heck of a good case for our origins beings further northeast than Summeria (about 2500 years before) and the source of our languages being split a part from natural disasters and migrations. they also show the five areas that we originally started from if you look at the maps in book.
bulb:dekalb, comes close to rhyming;
bulby:colby, comes close to rhyming;
bulb-right:fulbright, comes really–close to rhyming…
A little ingenuity goes a long way to solving wordsmithy problems…
(Speaking of-which, I looked up my name in anagrams, and I can’t repeat it in public… ‘woow’)
Back in the biblical days when the Tower of Babel was built it was built by people who wanted to make a paradise on earth instead of focusing on worshipping God. Being that they all spoke the same language it would have been easy for them to start making evil plans.They worshiped living good than the one true God who created them. So the Lord because he is jealous God confused their languages. Read your Bibles, it was inspired by God who is never wrong and He can not lie so trust him and his Word. thank you!
P.S. Fulbright is reputed to have said, ‘Either the light comes on or it doesn’t.’ That’d be a Fulbright Bulb Right!
(I learned his phrase while earning my ABE Teaching Credential back in ‘82, But I don’t find it in famous quotes on the Internet.)
First off: Luna that is not the point!!!!!
Second off:Isn’t there a triangle of romance languages with french, spanish and latin? Or is it english?
That many of the northern tribes of America and Asia are closely related is beyond reconsideration to those familiar with them, and turning up another language link is helpful, but it’s still just connecting the dots. The continent has been a “melting pot” since long before roving Europeans came to colonize — and it’s frankly a much shorter trip to float to South and Middle America than to walk there (when the latter option even exists). As a group, North-western tribespeople are no more closely connected to many of their southerly neighbours than Mongolians are to Indonesians; thence their radically different features, physical and cultural. The exciting and persistent frontier of these fields is in the exploration of transoceanic contact from various compass points.
Language confusion? It has been a blessing from God more than any kind of punishment. Languages grow to become huge repositories of human enlightenment, and, also like brains, two of them will always be better than one — especially when brought into compatibility (that is, as we develop more multilingualism, and rid ourselves of such stupid notions as erasing smaller languages with bigger ones for the sake of our own comfort).
The last paragraph — which begs the reader’s opinion — is hilarious. Asking laypersons to chime in on a field which they no nothing about is an exercise in mental masturbation: no more, no less.
@DJ RGT whats up how u bin ?
Well, it is believed that Native Americans migrated through were Russia and Alaska come close, but about 40,000 years ago. This discovery can probable make that statement true.
I see O_o O_o
@ Luna… “False. You inherit your eye color by DNA; the language is inherited through culture.”
Ummm… Luna? Where do you get your DNA from? And where do you think a child is first exposed to language?
You didn’t explain why God scrambled the languages! Improve on your knowledge of God before you speak about him!
^^You see what I mean?
No, it doesn’t. “Fulbright” contains a lateralized L, which only occurs in the syllable final position (at the end of a syllable). “Bulb-right” — which isn’t a word — has a B in the syllable final position, and therefore contains a standard L. To compare, try saying aloud “lull”. The first L is normal, but the front of the tongue presses down harder to form the second L sound; this is lateralization.
The B moving from syllable initial to syllable final also affects its pronunciation, namely in the latter being an unreleased B. “Bub” helps prove this: the first B releases air but the second B is unreleased and thus doesn’t release any air, lest you pronounce it “Buh-buh”.
In short, even after making up a word, this rhyme is just as slant as your other suggestions. Sorry.
Many years ago there was an effort in order to create an only language for allover the world. That was “esperanto”, but it failed. I supose every one wants continue with his own language…
This article, like so many on this site, is written so poorly that I am amazed it came from a word site. I feel like the information was quickly communicated to some shlub writer that didn’t do any of his/her own research. The pathetic writer then threw down whatever he gleaned in the three minutes he talked to the actual guy who found it in an email he received from a buddy that heard something about the actual story. “Ludicrous” just scratches the surface. I don’t know why I torture myself with these articles.
modern humans like to pretend that there have never been highly advanced civilizations before. that fact gets in the way of the darwinian paradigm.
if we accept, however, that humans have reached highly technical stages of development in the past, it is easy to understand how the ancients could have travelled the world and taken their language and culture with them.
the unsettling thing about this proposition is that advanced civilizations can also fall and revert to a primitive status.
Sorry you’re all dopes. Our true world history, creation and the reality of what we are has been deliberately hidden from us for such a long time now that majority doesn’t know what to think anymore and believes everything the mainstream scientific types and media tell them about times past. This of course flies in the face of all the suppressed achaeology, writings, technology,etc that proves otherwise. Of course we’re all too busy speculating about this or that and giving our power and responsibility away to notice something that is incrementaly creeping up on us…..Perish the thought that we’re all dancing a tune to someones darker agenda’s in the process…
Then again someone will always bring up the bible in these arguments as proof for something or rather…. Truth is, it’s way more stranger than you will ever realise regardless of whether the tower of Babel was a physical structure or allegory for something else…..
Bet you didn’t know there’s ancient script found in Australia over 300,000 years old predating the so called politically correct indigenous by quite a long time… it’s also found in Africa too… Oh, and the god of your the bible is really an upper 4th dimensional entity and paradigm masquerading as the real thing. Hijacking your minds in the process as you blindly give it your unquestioning faith and true power……
The last question is the stupid. “Can languages migrate like people?” Of course they can. Languages only exist in the presence of people. So if people migrate the languages they speak migrate along with them.
Humanity wants order peace prosperity but on humanity’s terms. Mankind unlike the rest of nature – animals and plant are sustained and guided by instincts. Mankind has a free choice to co-operate with creator God and live abundantly or do you own thing and reap the disasterous consequences that even a disobedient child understands.
The Tower of Babel was another act of rebellion.
Read the Bible folks it has all we need as our western laws are based on its wisdom and knowledge. all cultures have ” eternity written in their hearts.”
Thank you, des bromilow, for fleshing out the story of the Tower of Babel. To hear dictionary.com tell it, it makes God sound cruel and senseless. It’s the details that make the difference.
Wow! I knew about these two “countries” ( shall I say) and I knew that they both share the same language (well, I don’t speak them), but the thing that i never noticed was that they share the same language even though they were on opposite sides on the globe. I mean, I actually knew that but never thought that way. Interesting…
Written by MISS Katie Peterson
PS Single and ready to mingle!
PPS My real name is Katherine.
Yes we can see that the similarity in languages supports the theory of a land bridge across the Bering Strait that allowed the migration of these people to North America. The next step is to answer the question how did this Na-Dene language which is unlike all other languages get into Siberia from the Mesapotomia region.
holy cow, there’s some crazy up in here.
1. The “land bridge”–sure, it was there. Intermittently, and was probably rather swampy. Also, there’s the issue of the new world not being populated from the top down. The archaeology doesn’t support that. What it does support is lots of coastal-hopping in small boats down the pacific coast and colonizing the whole hemisphere more or less west-to-east. People were living in South America too early for everyone to have hoofed it down via the yukon
2. Over the north pole? Walking from w. europe to n. america? srsly? Is that how santa claus got there? You know that there’s NO FRIGGIN’ FOOD on an icecap, right? What you’re suggesting would have entailed thousands of miles of hiking across the mother of all glaciers. What do you propose they ate?
I like linguistic stuff and love the study of it and all but splitting up and creating new languages saved us. Or saved me anyway, if we all still spoke the same language, I would be yelling at everyone, “please shut the hell up once in a while!” But because the languages suddenly became different (if you believe the Tower of Babel story) people migrated with others who was suddenly speaking the same tongue, yes? They migrated and found new places to live, the climate and landscapes shaped the people and gave birth to (other) culture(s). Think of it this way, if we still all spoke the same language, yes there would be no communication problems but it would be boring. Learn a new language, several languages, then you solve the miscommunication problem don’t you?
So thank God for human arrogance and thank God for his mercy (at the time) though I’m sure human arrogance is what’s gonna destroy us all in the end and I say this with a smile. ^______^
and yes we all know the quote here about the Tower is wrong but I get the feeling the author wrote it that way specifically to either poke fun at it in general or to make fun of people who didn’t know it. If humanity can truly live in harmony then it hasn’t been achieved yet and let’s be realistic, it never will be. People are in constant conflict with themselves or others, let’s just accept that fact.
fun little (known) fact – ancient Persians had fair skin, blue eyes and red hair they then migrated to the hills and became known as Persia’s hill tribes then some migrated further into Kazakhstan where some people are still born with red hair and blue eyes. So King Gilgamesh probably had red hair.
…so god is a troll?
Mankind: Boy, these all-destroying floods are really a pain in the arse. We humans are pretty cool. I bet if we all pull together, we could build a tower high enough to ride out any flood for the benefit of all. Think of all of the parents, children, siblings, etc who won’t have to die next time yahweh gets all jealous huffy.
God: haha, nope! nice try, noobz!
i think this is very intresting do you know that when there were 2 types of humans on earth 1 killed the other off which are the cro mangons and that is us
I remember reading something about the Genome Project that determined that all of humanity came from the same mother, if I’m not mistaken.
I read a book, Finding Genesis in the Chinese Language, that demonstrated how when various word concepts were deconstructed and their independent radicals were read, you could find the Genesis story embedded in the language, old Chinese. The author believed that because of the isolation of the Chinese peoples, post Babel dispersion, their language carried “snapshots” of firsthand witness of Genesis events.
I’ve read a little on the idea of contextualization of the Gospell within the cultures stories of various people groups around the world. One book is The Peace Child. Upon observation by some missionaries, it was discovered that a war ritual they performed with their adversaries actually had the birth of Christ embedded within it. Using that ritual, the missionaries were able to share the story of the Peace Child of the Gospel, with the two warring factions.
There is a biblical reference to Peleg and there are several ideas relating to his generation of division that relate to this particular discussion. Here’s the link: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v22/n1/peleg
Let’s be fair in our understanding of what the bible teaches about the tower of Babel. This is another example of God’s judgement on a disobedient people who would rather rule over themselves than have God rule over them. God plainly said in Genesis 9 to Noah and his sons to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth.” Instead, the people said to themselves “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower bwith its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” So to paint a picture of humanity simply living in harmony with one another and God deciding to come in and confuse everyone is an unfair description of the “story.”
“According to the Bible, all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided to confuse the languages and spread the people across the Earth.”
I am under the impression that the opening sentence was purposely written to get us to react and write on this blog. As most of us know, that is not exactly what the bible is trying to tell us. Is it that difficult to accept that we are all one and that “we” are connected?
“Whenever you fail to see yourself as part of this entire whole, related to all of us in this being that we call Human Being, then you lack inner harmony and become dis-eased.” Wayne W. Dyer
Babel is an interesting thing of history. The Akkadian word Babel means “gateway to god.” The Hebrew of the same word means confusion, if I remember rightly.
The Bible says “The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have [d] the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be [e]impossible for them.”" in Genesis 11:7.
Besides enacting the Lord’s command of Genesis 1:28 “God blessed them; and God said to them, “ Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” by scattering people, it was an act of love.
Why? If you look at ancient Sumer, you can understand why the Lord confused their languages and spread humans all over the planet. Right from after the flood, people stayed in one spot and did evil. Much of our mythology comes from this period, with the same ideas for “gods” and “goddesses” being spread from culture to culture. For example, there is an analog to Ishtar in pretty much every culture, from Benzaiten to Aphrodite. The same for gods/goddesses of war like Ishtar, Ares, Kū, etc.
Right from the start, people chose evil as a way of life. Read the Epic of Gilgamesh, a reprobate of reprobates and probably the Nimrod of the Bible, if you think I’m kidding about that. The Sumerians had the charming habit of killing everyone when a noble died. They would kill the servants, retainers and family, stacking them like cordwood, layer upon layer, with the servants at the bottom and the “higher born” in upper layers.
It’s a sad fact of life that we now have reversed Babel in many ways. And almost the entire world is degenerating morally. While various cultures went downhill innumerable times in the past, this is the second time that the world at large has done so. The first time was before the confusion of languages. “nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.” Now that that is reversed, look at the world of the last decades and the shape it’s in.
I meant “Inanna,” not Ishtar, for the Sumerian goddess of war.
“According to the Bible, all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided to confuse the languages and spread the people across the Earth.”
Read more at http://hotword.dictionary.com/ketlanguage/#KIhkq4msICaPIcVt.99
That must be different version, perhaps a Non-Christian POV? God did not confuse languages just because He wanted to. And He didn’t spread people across the earth; after the languages were changed they each made there on group of people, therefore living in different area of earth.
This world needs more cunning linguists.
talkin out my arse, but i believe we all communicated with the same language at one point. this language was probably not spoken but visual. this is why [most but not all of our] body language and facial expressions are universal. to any other beast, showing your teeth would be a threat, but human smiles are a friendly greeting.
to me, a single spoken language being the root of all modern languages seems absurd. language exists on a much simpler level than we are used to thinking of, and complex language probably developed before spoken language. by the time of spoken words, numerous languages would most likely spring up from different locations only to evolve and affect one another down the line.
and by the way, i am roman catholic. but i have more faith in god than an institution. i guess you could call me somewhat of an agnostic that leans to the right. as for the bible, i believe its a life metaphor with a splash of inhumanity to the perpetrators of shameful acts, a collective wisdom of some crazy sand_ if you will.
The article states that this relationship was proposed in 2008. But it seems that this idea has been in circulation since at least 1998:
Interesting report …. but as i thought about it, i wasn’t so surprise, either, since the Native Americans are thought to have come across from the Ukrane, into Alaska and down throughout the Americas.
But i’m curious if this simialarity applies to the languages of ALL the Native American groups.
I’ve been suspecting that the North Eastern and Central Eastern Native Americans might have Euopean influences, specifically Viking, since their body types tend to be taller, leaner, with generally lighter complexions than those of the the Western Native American groups —– as a result, i am wondering if there might be Viking/European influences on their languages.
Since linguistic form is arbitrary, all languages function in a similar fashion. All languages have their own concepts, or system of signs (signifieds and signifiers). Therefore, languages have a relational conception of their elements: words and their meanings are defined by comparing and contrasting their meanings to one another. For more on that topic, you can refer to Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics.
Isn’t it interesting that mentioning The Bible always leads to a heated discussion! God is the creator of our world, every meaningful topic would naturally be about Him.
ul ulay daytoy nga argumento… Siyak mamati ak ti Dios.
The Bible says that:
The people of the earth wanted to be high and mighty as the Lord, so that is why God changed their language sa that without being able to communicate with each other they seperated and lived in other lands.
The book of Genesis says “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.” I would arguer that you choice of the word harmony is misleading. I encourage you to read the Bible because if you read a little deeper I seriously doubt that you will come to the same conclusion which you have made. Food for thought…If you are going to publish an article and draw a conclusion about something, please make sure you understand what you are making the conclusion about so that you can do so responsibly.
Unfortunately for your argument, Christian, even God has decided that He was wrong about some things. Read your Bible, as you recommend, but more carefully:
from Genesis 6 (NASB):
5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
7 The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”
Also, the builders of the Tower of Babel were not out to make an earthly paradise (or, not *only* that); they were out to become famous.
Genesis 11:4 (NASB):
They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
yes … this is possible , migration of languages
Stephen Hawking has garnered a lot of admiration and respect as a brilliant physicist and cosmologist. His book, A Brief History of Time, is a bestseller for its ability to translate physics and cosmology into terms that a layman can understand. So, when he came out recently promoting his new book claiming, “There is a sound scientific explanation for the making of our world—no Gods required” a lot of people took notice. Is our understanding of physics really sufficient to conclude that we know everything necessary to explain the existence of everything?
What new theory?
In his new book, Hawking claims that the reason the universe needs no creator is due to a “new theory” called M-theory (where “M” stands for “membrane,” or just “m,” or “murky” or “missing”1 depending upon one’s particular version of the theory). Originally promoted as “superstring” theory 20 years ago, it has evolved from “strings” to “membranes,” although all forms of the theory propose extra dimensions (11, in fact). However, M-theory is no single theory, but, rather, a number of theories through which one may obtain just about anything one wants. How one can test such a nebulous set of theories, which “predict” just about anything and everything, seems to be a problem.
M-theory: science or faith?
The nature of the universe requires that membranes from M-theory, if they exist at all, must be on the order of Planck length (10-35 m). Such a size is way less than microscopic or even well below subatomic particle sizes. In order to confirm such objects, one would need an accelerator on the order of 6,000,000,000,000,000 miles in circumference.2 It would seem likely, therefore, that confirmation of M-theory, based upon observable data, is impossible. Do such a set of theories that predict everything and anything and are not testable through observational data really fall within the realm of science?
Whence the laws of physics?
According to Stephen Hawking, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.” However, neither gravity nor any other law of physics provides a mechanism by which universe can be spontaneously created. The question Hawking never answered was why those laws of physics exist? Although it is possible for things such as particles to pop into existence from “nothing,” it has never been shown that non-quantum-sized objects can perform such feats. Even if it were possible, why would it be expected that such laws of physics would exist that universes to be created from nothing? Why wouldn’t a true nothing consist of no laws of physics and no possibility of anything popping into existence?
So, Stephen Hawking wants us to believe that a nebulous set of theories, which cannot be confirmed through observational data, absolutely establishes that an infinite number of diverse universes exist, having been created from laws of physics that just happen to allow this. John Horgan, a fellow atheist, says that the popularity of M-theory is the result of “stubborn refusal of enthusiasts to abandon their faith.”3 Is it not more likely that a super-intelligent, powerful Being invented the laws of physics that produced the universe? Skeptics always ask, “Who created God?” Maybe they already have the answer to that question—Nothing! After all, they seem to think that nothing is a powerful force for creating things!
Is it really true that entire universes can appear from nothing? This “science” is based upon the real science of quantum mechanics, which has shown that particles can appear from “nothing” and disappear into “nothing.” Atheist scientists say that “nothing” is unstable and spontaneously produces somethings. Although the statement is true in a limited sense, atheists aren’t telling you the whole story. Why is that? Although these virtual particles appear based upon some probability statistic, they also disappear spontaneously, based upon the same probability. In other words, these particles are not stable and do not behave like the stuff we regularly encounter in our macroscopic world. One would never expect a tennis ball to spontaneously appear or disappear, although it is theoretically possible. The reason why a macroscopic object would never behave like a quantum particle is that so many unlikely events would have to transpire simultaneously for such an event to occur. The fallacy that Victor Stenger and other anthropic principle antagonists promote is that probabilistic quantum events apply to the macro world. They never provide any evidence that such an assumption is true.
Outside the box?
Stenger’s logical errors
An even more fundamental error is the assumption that the universe is all that exists. Stenger assumes that there is nothing “outside the box.” In essence he is saying that by measuring the stuff in the box, we can know that nothing exists outside the box. How does he know that? Of course, he doesn’t.
Stenger also wants you to believe that we can ascribe creative properties to “nothing” on the basis of measurements within the box. Of course, that assumption is also false. There is no “nothing” in the universe from which we can make measurements. Space, time, matter and energy all came about during the event referred to as the Big Bang, some 13.7 billion years ago. The entire universe is bathed in the cosmic background radiation of the Big Bang—in every square angstrom of space-time. The problem has gotten more extreme recently, with the discovery of dark energy—a component of the universe that also effects everything, including the very fabric of space-time. Of course, the laws of physics, including quantum mechanics, operate throughout the universe. So, there are no examples of nothing within the box. Stenger ignores the possibility that the box was designed to promote the creation and conversion of matter because it was necessary to its operation.
Christian apologists use the argument that all things that come to exist have a cause, and, therefore, since the universe began to exist, it too must have a cause. Stenger’s unbelievable rebuttal is that not all things that come to exist have a cause:
“Once again, this ignores quantum mechanics, in which events commonly occur without cause. This is the case for the atomic transitions that give us light and the nuclear decays that give us nuclear radiation. They all happen spontaneously, without cause.”1
The “non-caused” cause of radioactive decay is that certain atoms contain too many or too few neutrons compared to protons, which results in nuclear instability. When I do an experiment using a radioactive tracer, do I fret that some departure from quantum probability and the weak nuclear force will render my experiment ruined? No! In the macro world in which we live, there are no significant departures that separate cause from effect, simply because quantum mechanics is acting on the system at the quantum level. Although we cannot predict exactly when any particular atom will decay, we can predict very accurately an average rate of decay for any macroscopic sample of such atoms. The idea that nuclear decay and chemical transitions are devoid of cause is anti-science superstition. The claim that quantum mechanics is not the cause of anything is ludicrous. Stenger wants you to believe that since we cannot predict individual quantum events that such rules apply to appearance of universes—the ultimate antithesis of quantum particles.
Net energy of the universe
Stenger says that because the kinetic energy of all the bodies in the universe is exactly balanced by their negative gravitational potential energy, the universe is the ultimate free lunch. The implication is that since no laws of thermodynamics are violated, the universe could have been produced spontaneously—energy free. The problem with such a claim is that there is no physical principle operating within the universe that would cause the separation of this kinetic and gravitational energy from nothing. So, atheists appeal to the magical multiverse, which “knows” how to make such miracles happen, complete with a reshuffling of the physical laws to eliminate fine tuning requirements.
Victor Stenger thinks he has solved the “problem” of evidence for the fine tuning of the universe. For the expansion rate of the universe (which is fine-tuned to 1 part in 1055), and the mass density term (which is fine-tuned to 1 part in 1059), Stenger says the problem is easily solved by cosmic inflation. According to inflation theory, the universe expanded by 1026 times during a tiny fraction of a second only 10-35 seconds after the initiation of the Big Bang. The theory was originally “invented” by Alan Guth in 1980 to try to address the flatness and horizon problems of standard Big Bang cosmology (a sort of fudge-factor, complete with its own theoretical particle, the inflaton). Surprisingly, inflation has predicted several findings of the WMAP satellite, providing a degree of observational evidence for its validity. However, contrary to Stenger’s claim, substituting finely tuned inflation for other finely tuned parameters does not solve the fine tuning problem. For one, inflationary theories tend to evolve, so that those that fit the observational evidence better become “good inflation” theories, while others are discarded. With a plethora of theories to choose from, one has to ask the question whether inflation is really falsifiable. Roger Penrose, in considering all the possible configurations of the inflaton and gravitational fields, found that obtaining a flat universe without inflation is much more likely than those that produce inflation—by a factor of (1010)100.2 So, instead of solving Stenger’s fine tuning problem, inflation actually makes it much worse.
Dark energy is a mystery to atheists, since it is exquisitely fine tuned at 1 in 10120—making up nearly three-quarters of all the “stuff” in the universe. Stenger provides only a half-hearted attempt to explain away dark energy fine tuning:
“A simple calculation indicates that the energy density of the vacuum is 120 orders of magnitude greater than its experimental upper limit. Clearly this estimate is wrong. This calculation must be one of the worst in scientific history!”3
In his book, The Fallacy of Fine Tuning, Stenger claims to solve part of the dark energy fine tuning “problem” by appealing to supersymmetry at low energies, which is not supported by observational evidence. However, even pulling this data from thin air reduces fine tuning to 1 in 1050—certainly not a very significant improvement. He also appeals to a speculative concept called the “holographic universe,” where the universe is really two dimensional, existing on the surface of a gigantic black hole.4 Accordingly, the apparent three-dimensional nature of the universe we observe is merely an illusion. Although such a scenario might mathematically get rid of the dark energy problem, it is at odds with the observational evidence and is extremely unlikely to be true. Proponents of the theory have yet to explain how there can be black holes within our universe’s black hole existence. Maybe there infinite levels of black holes with Lilliputian worlds galore! Stenger’s approach to the evidence for the fine tuning of dark energy is amazingly backward, from a scientific perspective. In science, one is supposed to accept the data and modify one’s hypothesis based upon it. However, Stenger rejects the data and keeps his failed hypothesis. Amazing!
Beginning of the universe
As much as atheists would love to get rid of a beginning to the universe, it is apparent that it did begin to exist some time in the past. The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem5 shows that there is no way to get rid of a beginning to any universe that is characterized by cosmic expansion (Hav > 0). Since our universe is characterized by cosmic expansion, it must have had a beginning.
The biblical model for creation does not suffer from the inability to explain fine tuning. In fact, it is quite likely that God used fine tuning as evidence for His creative input into the origin of the universe, although He could have created the universe with no evidence for fine tuning. But, since the Bible says that the creation declares God’s handiwork,6 we would expect to see such evidence for design. Atheists are always complaining about the lack of evidence for belief—while going to extreme lengths to try to explain it away. So, it doesn’t really matter how strong the evidence is—atheists will always look for a way to disbelieve. Although the Bible does not give a detailed explanation of the creation of the universe, it does tell us that God “spreads out the heavens” (an expanding universe)7 and that the visible parts were made from the invisible (Hebrews 11:3),8 both ideas supported by modern cosmology. Why did God want to create the universe? According to the Bible, God wanted to spend eternity with other spiritual creatures so that they could share love among one another. However, God did not want to force those spiritual beings to love Him, but gave them a choice by creating a temporary universe where such choices could be made. For more information on biblical models for creation, see our Biblical Creation section.
Why quantum mechanics?
Let’s say that Christianity is true and that God wanted to create a world in which He could perform creation miracles and occasional other miracles, but with reliable physical laws, that insure an experience of consistent causes and effects for creatures living in this creation. The perfect solution to the design problem is to make the creation subject to both time and quantum mechanics. Since God is not subject to time, He can manipulate quantum events to perform miracles, including those that create new designs composed of matter. However, at the macro level, quantum mechanics does not interfere with the principle of cause and effect. Although we can discover God’s “secret” we are unable to manipulate the system to perform god-like miracles, because we are subject to the limitations of time.
Atheists say they have the answer to why there is something rather than nothing—the nothing created it! However, their explanation takes science and turns it on its head—performing miracles of creation through unknown physics or mechanisms that are extremely unlikely to occur. The simplest explanation for the existence of all the something we see is that an extremely intelligent being, God, willed it to happen for His own purposes, and left evidence of that purpose in the nature of His creation and His communication with the creatures He created. The important things in life are not derived from the stuff we can see, but from the One who created it.
The author of this article does the Bible a considerable injustice and misleads the less sophisticated and/or unbelieving reader.
Q. How do Christians know that the Bible is never wrong?
A. Because the Bible tells them so.
Not a very convincing argument. You did get the point of the Tower of Babel story a bit wrong, but that doesn’t invalidate the rest of your article.
Given the clear links between language and culture, I suspect that language isolates would mainly be the languages of relatively closed cultures that had little contact with outsiders. By contrast, open cultures would be more receptive to new linguistic influences and even total assimilation into other neighbouring language groups (when did you last hear anyone speak Cornish?). Has there been any research on this issue?
Oui, Merci, doG.
Re: NON SCHOLAR. INDEED YOU HAVE CLARIFIED THIS AUTHOR’S RUBBISH STATEMENT AND RE-PLANTED HER SEEDS, WITH TRUTH & BIBLICAL WISDOM –& ACCURACY. #BATTLEONWARD.
I had read as a child in Ripley’s that there was a great similarity between the language spoken in in the Indus valley civilisation and that of Easter Island, and if you dug a hole in earth (on Indus) and got out on the opposite side in the Easter island in the Pacific, the same language was spoken. I wonder if it’s true?
i think i would like too solve this one. it seems interesting. however i am yet to reach the level of understanding these words. i need better vocabulary and sentence structure. but still i like this article. really good. thumbs up. hats off.
Actually, the Tower of Babel incident only happened a few thousand years ago. But it is what separated the languages.
I really believe it is related. In our religion we have a prophet named Mahonri Moriancumer also known as Brother of Jared. Who pleaded to the Lord that he and his family not to change their language so that they could still understand each other. The Lord sent them to America.
Laura Lyons has a point, just as geneticists traced the genetic lineage of Genghis Khan. This way we can see the connection between the Siberians and the Native North Americans.
Please, the Tower of Babel is nothing more than a myth believed by ignorant folk who believe the earth is flat and 6,000 years old.
As for the Basque, they have been proven my mitochondrial DNA testing to be a part of the European Celtic tribes that migrated from the Caucus Mountains. Has anybody compared their language to the two major variations of Gaelic?
The pieces of the scientific puzzle are slowly getting together and this information very much agrees with the rest. Genetic tracing of worldwide migration of descendants of the original 10 male and 18 female humans shows that most likely all humans on Earth are related – for example there are scientific evidences that Navajo people are genetically related to the ancestors of some Siberian tribes. Furthermore I’ve read somewhere that some anthropologists long time ago found an astonishing resemblance in customs and clothes of some Siberian and North American natives, but I don’t have a link to that info.
Here’s a link to the article about the “original 10 Adams and 18 Eves”
But my mum says that the only reason that we have different languages is because when god spread the people we really didn’t have a language. But we were spread apart and hd no connection so every colony had their own.
I’m am pleasantly surprised at how many people are standing up for the Bible. Against an author who either wants to make God look bad or, put crudely, doesn’t know what he/she is talking about.
Hats off to you!
@Kurt Hennig Yes! I too am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and that is the Truth from God (whose name is Jehovah- in English). What the Bible really teaches is vital to know. People who are honest-hearted should invest some of their time to get to know what the Holy Scriptures from Jehovah really teach! It can mean an amazing future for those who learn and act in accord with our Creator’s purpose. Kudos to those who take these humble words to heart.
Oh, and Ryan, you clearly know as much about the Tower of Babel as the author of this article. Please learn about what you are mocking before you write your insults. Just a suggestion. Good day.
If you call building a tower with the intent to undermine God’s power a harmonious lifestyle, then yes, all of humanity lived together in harmony.
Considering the migration patterns of peoples (who came to be known as Native Americans) from the area of Siberia into North America via the Bering Strait region, I am not suprised in the least that a connection has been made between Ket and other Na-Dene languages. Let us not forget the history, after all. This should not be taken as a suprising linguistic revelation, but as a common sense connection based on a working knowledge of human migratory patterns.
People here are ignorant or what? Obviously he is talking about english itself! Another thing: obviously he meant that both language and eye’s colors are part of heritage, but he never mentioned how you inherit it, and it does not matter here. Every living organism inherit culturally or genetically its characterists. People want to seem smart on internet all the time to show themselves as superior. How depressing!
The following is a flat-out falsehood!
“Have you heard the story of the Tower of Babel? According to the Bible, all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided to confuse the languages and spread the people across the Earth.”
All humanity did not live in harmony before Babel (after all Cain murdered Abel before this in Chapter 4). God confused the languages to curb evil as Genesis 11:6 says “The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.””
Thank you to all those who commented with words of His Truth to shed Light on the darkness. I admonish you to continue in doing so, but to keep in mind that in addition to shedding His light, always consider that you are addressing those who do not believe. So, speak with Love or else your words “won’t get far”. Also, keep in mind that if one is misled and/or does not believe, they’ll need more than just a quick reading of His Word. Be in prayer for them all, and briefly explain WHY they should believe in Him, so that they would be without excuse, and our LORD God gets all glory…
Also, PLEASE KEEP COMMENTING ON PAGES LIKE THESE THAT CAUSE CONFUSION AND MISLEAD AND DECEIVE.
To say that humans lived in harmony before, and while building, the Tower of Babel is a little bit of a stretch. By nature, we’re not cut out to live in peace every second, back talks, gossips, and squabbles ever part of our anatomy. We don’t even know how to fix our economies when just living within one’s means and working hard stare at us in the morning as solutions to many of our woes.
We also have this inherent ability to conveniently accept what others feed us, especially in regards to our origin and mix of so many tongues. Easily we throw in numbers in the tens or hundreds of thousands in our lukewarm attempt to relate us to those phantom ancestors of ours, failing to reflect on the fact that we are light-years ahead of apes, chimpanzees, and their look-alikes in intelligence.
Have we ever thought that the Bible could never have been written by humans alone? Have we ever realized that for an ear (eye, or nose) to evolve, that non-human would have required an ear (eye, or nose) to receive the data for the brain to get cooking and start the production of that organ? And where did our super brain hail from anyway? Ha!
Ergo, our ancestors were created by the God Family, and were I in their place, I would have also confused our foolhardy ancient relatives to teach them a huge lesson down through their proud descendants—you and I. It’s not hard to accept this—we just don’t want to and hence we remain in the babel of our own creation. When Christ someday returns to fix us, this world will have been mired in a colossal babel. Look around you, as we’re already in a worsening mess, again of our own making.
And a word of caution to those of you who mention God without much reflection as to why you believe and so readily advice others to read the Bible, please stop. Instead of enlightening agnostics and atheists to see that you might have a point, you end up antagonizing them. Encourage them to take a peek and start appreciating the great wonder that life is in a way they haven’t had. I also believe, but with a conviction honed in logic and reason. Let’s not add to the increasing babel.
Sigh… Back in biblical days these stories were already very old… What we should be dealing with here are facts, not superstitous mythologies of any particular religion.
According to the article, these language groups appear to be very similiar and that, in itself, bears a closer look.
I have never been a fan of “reality” by majority rule
I’ve heard that the Basque language is most similar to the Ainu language of Northern Japan. Is there any truth in this?
I think tracing languages is very interesting. For example, Latin-based languages like French and Spanish have a lot of differences, but also have many similarities because they came from the same base, but evolved separately.
As far as the Tower of Babel, I agree that people were not living in harmony. God had told Adam and Eve and later Noah and his sons to fill the earth by having children and spreading out. Building the tower to heaven was a united act of rebellion and defiance against their creator. God confused the languages to obligate them to do what he said. God always makes sure his purposes happen because his purposes always benefit humans. Someone made a good comparison of a loving parent expecting obedience from his children because what he asks of them will benefit them.
I think the Tower of Babel is a credible explanation of why there are different languages. Languages are grouped into families. Languages within the family have similarities, indicating they came from the same root. But language families are not similar to other language families.
You speak with fork tongue!
Nothin chili livin life to the fullest
Mary I have been good what about Mary torres
@Jeanna- yes, several versions of similar comment /content. However, when I posted mine on May 4 at 3:04 a.m. it looked as if I was to be the first to post a comment. On later perusal I find I am now # 13 on the list and my eloquent, witty and incisive comment is now a banal redundancy! Oh woe, oh woe. Goodbye, cruel world! (its back to sleep I go.)
Keith H, May 7, 7:57 am
The Kamchatka Peninsula extends more that 750 miles, with its axis a bit west of south, from eastern Siberia. The Chukchi (Siberia) and Seward (Alaska) Peninsulas are the lands either side of the Baring Straits, forming the eastern and western sections of Beringia the “land bridge” that existed during the lower sea levels until around 8-9,000 years ago. (Beringia was about 1,000 mi wide at its maximum 18-20,000 years ago, connecting most of western Alaska with eastern Siberia that extended hundred of miles further into the Arctic Ocean that it does now.)
It’s highly, highly, highly, doubtful there was ever anything like an “over the pole” migration. It’s just not that easy to travel on the surface of the ice. And, doing so would only be logical if what was on the other side of Arctic Ocean were known or strongly suspected. No internet then to check one’s supposition against, and the consequences of being too lazy to do some similar reality checking, and rather just “going for it” were dire.
I didn’t bother to look for any DNA linkage between speakers of the Sami languages (Uralic family – Finnish, Estonian, Mari and Udmurt in central European Russia, and Hungarian) and speakers of the Athabaskan family (interior Alaska to northern Manitoba and in Arizona and New Mexico). The languages themselves are not closely related.
aliens live among us on
Such is our connection to fungus, Oui?
@DJ RGT chillin cant wait too get out of school in summer lol how old r u ?
“According to the Bible, all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided to confuse the languages and spread the people across the Earth.”
You appear to be under the impression that everything was a blissful Utopia which God then dispensed out of spite. This is not only illogical, but wrong. If you take a look at history, you will find that the only Utopias are either fictional or failed, mainly because they are impossible to maintain. You see, a Utopia requires an all-powerful ruler to enforce it. The ruler inevitably becomes corrupted by the power, and the system becomes a despot. When there is no ruler, the people attempt to take advantage of each other. This leads to anarchy, which later leads to despotism. With all of humanity gathered in one area, they were not only defying God’s command to replenish the Earth, but were also unintentionally setting themselves up for disaster. That is why God ‘encouraged’ there separation by mixing up the languages. Also, why did you include a reference to the Bible when you obviously don’t believe it?
gods, is this really real?
Please tell me you’re trolling and you aren’t really that stupid.
“Just as you inherit brown eyes from your parents, you learn that a table is called a table and that an adjective precedes the noun it modifies.”
False. You inherit your eye color by DNA”
You inherit eye color from genes on your DNA. And where does DNA come from? YOUR PARENTS -___- smh
tha is very interestin’.
if u wanna know why it is so interestin’ then email me firstname.lastname@example.org
I think Donna said is closest to right and the author was way off. The tower of babel was already completed and the people we using it for offerings to their own gods under the leadership of Noah’s Grandson Nimord: the King of the land. Because Nimrod was worshiping and being worshiped as another god (along with the fact the he was a ‘Mighty Man’ as mentioned in the bible) his nation became too powerful and could have easily wiped out the the children of God. Hence, God confused them with other languages and they grouped with ‘like languaged people’.
This is also the reason behind the similarities with Gods worshiped around the world and forms the base of all Pagan religions, such as Semiramus and Tammuz which are now the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus and ect…
Hope this helps all.
@Christian’s name JCR
Yabba dabba doooo!
You made my day!
Oh, and by the way, my neighbor has a German Shepard named Babel, but everyone calls him Babe or Baby. And my, how cute he is!
Loving y’all madly,
STATUS: SINGLE AND READY TO MINGLE
I love you guys!
Kissin’ you all by the name of French Kiss.
Love is really strong. Love can overcome evil.
Words to live by.
Written by Hannah Grace Lee, the FUTURE poet and author of many best selling books.
Copied by me, Katie P!
PS It’s not fair! Hannah Lee gets everything! She even has a boyfriend to snuggle with whenever she’s feelling insecure, while I just have my rotten, old teddy bear that was given to me as a birth gift.
Note that I said BIRTH gift. That means I got it when I was bored. And I’ll tell you, when I say rotten, I MEAN rotten.
Sorry, on the part that says ‘ Note that I said BIRTH gift. That means I got it when I was bored’, I meant to write born but somehow I typed it probably like “bore” or something like that. Spell check on my iPhone changed it so that it would be bored. Remember, I said born not bored. Just pretend it has never happened, ok. Don’t be goin’ around in the loud traffic in new york city saying ‘guess what Katie did?? She made a mistake! Hahahahahahahhaha…!’ or else somethin’ serious is gonna happen to ya, tonight.
PS DON’T MOCK ME! Especially Kara Hendrickson, you know ( talkin to my friends on dictionary) dat big fat girl with the blondie’s curls. Beautiful blue eyes that sparkle like the world. And Kara, do you think you are “all that”??? Well, you’re not! Hannah Lee, Ms. Smarty Beauty (who has a boyfriend, yay), is now dat pop girl, ya know. We will all call you Kara the Snob and everyone will recognize you as Kara the Snob! Now all’s good and good is in all, byebyebye Miss Snobsnobsnob!
After reading Tony Hillerman books about Navajos I became interested enough to pursue more knowledge. They discussed the religion and possible origin of those people. The tribal tradition of their beginning has to do with first man, first woman, first coyote, etc. Anthropologists believe they crossed the Bering “bridge” and in tests they used certain words from other areas. They reported using some words they took from the Aleutian people and asked old Navajo people if they knew the word. Many times the reply was “that’s the way my grandfather would say things.” That pretty much convinced the scholars that there was a link because apparently the Aleutian language was similar to both the Siberians and the Navajos, with the normal adapted dialects like English speakers use. I remember years ago looking for someone in South Carolina and could not understand the dialect of the operator. I had to hang up and try again. Television has blurred dialect in the United States.
Christian’s name JCR:
Never heard of Stenger’s book (The Fallacy of Fine Tuning).
The “holographic universe”4 concept was mentioned on Nova’s “Elegant Universe” with Brian Greene, and it threw me into a tailspin of mental anguish.
I was beginning to feel like Chicken Little, so thanks for the comforting post. Some answers come from the least-expected places!
@Luna on May 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm
i just wanted to let you know that DNA comes from your parents… duh.
Christian JCR @ bubba, you’re a very interesting, well-spoken person, imho. Your long blog on physics was written with humor as well as clarity. I wonder if you’re a physics teacher (or want to be) … I guess you’re a writer. I’m interested in physics just as a layperson & it was a good stretch to follow you. I’m not into the new testament; just the old, which is quite different reading from physics! I feel the old testament is “true” in some way or other. There are libraries full of commentary on the old testament, all giving richer meaning to the simple meaning of the text. You might enjoy reading, for instance, an old testament (the five books) with lots of commentary, specifically the ‘creation story,’ easy to find on the first page. I only read the Hebrew versions (Jewish, with orthodox translations & their many footnotes). My current favorite publication is the Stone Chumash (= the five books), but over the years I’ve read some others, with a variety of footnotes aka “commentaries.” You can get into things about the literal meaning, the figurative meaning, historic notes, allusions, mystical meanings, etc etc…. of nearly every sentence in the bible, and from thinkers from different centuries going back about 2000 years to during the Roman occupation of Israel.
Wow! Okay, so heres what I think:
The native speakers of Ket crossed the Bering Straight to Northern America, and the language evolved!
Wow! Okay, so heres what I think:
The native speakers of Ket crossed the Bering Straight to Northern America, and the language evolved!
Please read Genesis. It is bewildering that so many of those who criticise G-d’s Word, seem to have not actually read it. Likewise, it is bewildering that so many of those who champion the Bible, seem to have never actually read it. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. Let us become wise. Not in our own sight, but through the study of the Word. Read the Genesis account of the fall. Learn about your predicament.
“Here is the one. Here is the one. Here is the one thing that cannot be missed: We like the oxen ramming our heads against steel rails, come to know mercy long before the barrier fails” – Grant Lee Buffalo
des bromilow – LDS?
They weren’t living in harmony, they were in defiance of God’s command. “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the Earth.” Instead, they though they should build a tower to reach God, that they should group together so they could show Him what for.
Sorry, that first part irked me.
God did that because the Babylonians were making the tower of babel.
I think that it is not about tracing genes but it should be tracing Needs and emergency of creating language to survive. We all know that every thing has a base and every new thing is a creeper. So even emigration has and had the same reason – to survive. And hence, language is the another part of existence of human race. If you don’t learn you are out of the race.
So language is undoubtedly inheriteded by us but it is equally the need of us.
About twenty years ago, scientists were taking DNA tests from American Indians (perhaps in an attempt to prove wrong the Mormon fallacy that they (the Indians) are the lost tribe from Israel) and found them closely related to people just north of Mongolia. Migration of those people to America during the Ice Age (25,000) years ago (and other periods nearer our time) across the Bering Strait from that Mongolian area broought in what we call the Indians today. Their facial features look most like eskimos than the southern Indians that bred with the Spansih.
These languages are related because when humans crossed the Bering Straight, they brought their language to North America. Why is this so astounding?
What? No mention of the Ainu, which carries many similarities to Basque? Fail.
the tower of Babel as told clearly in the Bible… states that we humans were made to live within gods boundary and dwell within his love….not to explore beyond what is required of us…we will surely face the consequences……ABIDE OR DIE
The God of the Bible is a God of love. He created this world to be perfect, then cursed it when man sinned in the garden. That isn’t injustice. In fact, for a holy God to not punish sin would be injustice. Man continues to rebel against the One who created him, and one day every man will be judged for his actions. Then God will create a new heaven and earth where there is no sin. God’s children will live with Him in a perfect world for eternity. That is the true God of the Bible, and that is the God I want to serve. In relation to this article, the linguistics aren’t worth discussing if we’re going to start out on a false premise about why and how they are what they are.
“False. You inherit your eye color by DNA; the language is inherited through culture.”
That is exactly what the authors of this article meant. They weren’t saying that the language a person speaks is encoded in one’s DNA. They didn’t explain the difference between biological and cultural relatedness because they thought it was obvious enough to go without saying.
I would be interested to know if the two cultures are also genetically connected.
Maybe some of us should apply for the job of writing articles for dictionary.com. We could probably do better job than whoever they have now!
God is a just and loving god. He did not just “decide” to scramble all the people up; they actually did it to themselves. People are supposed to follow God, obey His commands, but they were not living in harmony with God. Man has not lived in harmony with God since the fall of man with Adam and Eve.
These people were in defiance of God. They wanted to build a tower up to heaven, and be greater than God. So God rightly scrambled their languages so that they could not work together to build the tower. If you read Genesis, you will get the correct story.
P.S. I would like to ask that in the future, would the authors who write these articles please do more Biblical study if they are to refer to God or the Bible in their articles, because they were doing a horrible injustice to both, and I know that ever other Christian on here does not like seeing our God’s Word twisted to make it look like something other than what it really is. It is highly offensive and not right.
Another P.S. I wish there were a way to reply to people on here, because I would like to hurrah every Christian on here standing up for God!
@Katie u single ready 2 mingle and i’m single ready 2 mingle so whatz good with u
All these comments show how little we all know and how much we want to know. Nothing comes about without help and hard work. Language comes from the source of wisdom. Primitive civilizations were more spiritual than modern man. They knew that they had to reach out to something bigger. Today we are so proud of our accomplishments that we just care about our toys.
The truth is that there is so much we do not know or understand. Even if it is in front of us we cannot perceive it. We have become so brained washed that we will not accept the truth.
For starters we are more than flesh and bones. We have a part in us that is eternal that we are not feeding. Since we are not feeding it is sleeping. So wake up first and you will be able to enjoy reality. We are one; if we want to we can be united with an eternal purpose. An eternal language,LOVE.
Has anyone really read the Bible’s version of the Tower of Babel?
This article makes it sound like God is mean and evil! However the Bible says that God confused the people’s language because the they were worshiping their own achievments and not God’s power. They built a tower to show that they were greater than God himself. If anyone want’s to read the Bible’s account of this story, it is found in Genesis 11:1-9.
God decided to confuse language and dispersed the people? Think again: God is all Love and all Freedom. Love does not confuse and freedom allows. People make these kinds of decisions to roam, explore or in this case to move out of the perfection of Oneness and into diversity and seperatness. This movement is a metaphore for moving away from the perfection of God’s Love to explore the world and the loss of this origional connection causes the rise of man-made fear, greed, distrust and seperation of all of God’s people.
Fact of the matter is ALL LANGUAGES around the world are somehow or another related to each other. I’ve yet to find ANY two languages that do not somehow have one or more words that mean exactly the same thing and are used exactly the same way.
WE ARE ALL FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*** Eric posted on May 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm ***
“Just to be clear: “…all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided to confuse the languages…” is wrong. People were full of sin, and being sinful they decided to make a great name for themselves. God didn’t just sadistically confuse their language and disperse them. [Not a very accurate account of the story Dictionary.com - I love your website design and stories, but please strive to be accurate and conscientious about future articles, thank you!"
I agree Eric! Here is a portion of the story from the Bible.
"(5) And [יְהוָ֔ה (Yah-weh; Jehovah)] proceeded to go down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men had built. (6) After that [יְהוָ֔ה (Yah-weh; Jehovah)] said: “Look! They are one people and there is one language for them all, and this is what they start to do. Why, now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be unattainable for them. (7) Come now! Let us go down and there confuse their language that they may not listen to one another’s language.” (8) Accordingly [יְהוָ֔ה (Yah-weh; Jehovah)] scattered them from there over all the surface of the earth, and they gradually left off building the city. (9) That is why its name was called Ba′bel, because there [ יְהוָ֔ה (Yah-weh; Jehovah)] had confused the language of all the earth, and [יְהוָ֔ה (Yah-weh; Jehovah)] had scattered them from there over all the surface of the earth.”
Babel’s God-defying program centered around construction of a religious tower. It was not built for the worship and praise of the God of the Abraham, but was dedicated to false man-made religion, with a motive of making a “celebrated name” for the builders. Look at (Genesis 11:4).
Both the Scriptures and secular records reveal man’s turn from worship of the God of Abraham, in the post-Flood period. There is strong evidence that Nimrod, whom made it known that he wasn’t a worshiper of God, played a major role in this; there is evidence pointing to Babel (Babylon) as the major site where false worship developed. Look at (Genesis 10:8-12; 11:1-4, 9).
The story goes the tower project proposed at Babel was a demonstration of human power and ability, independent of God, unauthorized by Him. It was to bring reputation and fame to its builders, not to God. And, as God realized, this would be only the beginning. It could lead to a series of ambitious power projects taking men on a course farther and farther away from the true God, in defiance of Him and his purpose for the planet and for the human race. So then, God stepped in, throwing the project into confusion by acting upon human powers of speech, causing the peoples to disperse throughout the globe.
By far was this an act of cruelty on the God of Abraham’s part against human kind. It’s a shame that people feel this way about our beloved Creator. If people would take the time to really read and mediate on what the Scriptures say, most would most likely come out with a different view of our Creator!
Adjective precedes noun?
In how many languages?
When God created humans, he implanted in us a vocabulary and the ability to expand it. There is no evidence of any primitive human language consisting of grunts and growls. On the contrary, consider what the Encyclopædia Britannica explains about Sumerian, the oldest known written language: “The Sumerian verb, with its . . .various prefixes, infixes, and suffixes, presents a very complicated picture.”
About the 20th century B.C.E., contrary to God’s command to spread out and “fill the earth,” humans made an effort to control all society at the Plains of Shinar, in Mesopotamia, and began building the religious Tower of Babel. Language diversity originated when God confused their common language, thwarting their dangerous and hurtful plans.—Genesis 1:28; 11:1-9
The Bible record does not say that all languages descended from the original one. At Shinar, God introduced many new vocabularies and thought patterns, resulting in a variety of languages. Thus, efforts to trace a parent language from which all others developed have been in vain.
I find in interesting that an article about the science of tracing linguistics causes some people to only notice the biblical references and start a debate about that instead of the main question/thesis of the article.
That’s a great idea.
Wait, Ann, are you Hannah Lee’s sister. You know Hannah Grace Lee because Hannah said that she has a sister named Anna Lee except her nickname is Ann.
Oh, and by the way, I know there are many Katies in the world but remember me, I’m Katherine Alyssa Peterson.
anything is possisble….
To those that wrote that it took eons of time for the languages to come into being, I and a number of scientists I am acquainted with, (including PHD’s in chemistry..ect..) would completely disagree. Firstly, if there was the first mother, then there had to be a father, so at that exact time frame, we had 2 “people” they had to be in the same place at the same time of different genders both wanting to reproduce at the same time. I find that hard to believe, for 1. Secondly, it is IMPOSSIBLE for new genes to appear (without intelligent design). It has never happened and it never will happen. And for those that say many small mutations happened over time, bull s**t! NO mutation has EVER helped ANY organism. A mutation is an accident, not supposed to be there, so APPARENTLY, an accident can produce, jet fighters, subways, diplomacy, neurosurgery, and the like. Also, since no new genes can appear out of nowhere, it means that the first “mother” had to be MORE genetically diverse then we are today. By the way, natural Selection is NOT evolution. natural selection is when already existing genes are mixed with other genes and a mix comes together. Let me explain, if 2 dogs have medium fur, it means that they have 1 long hair gene and 1 short hair gene each (one from dad, one from mum). It is actually WAY more complex than this but for ease of demonstration. But back to the story, these dogs with medium fur breed, and they have 4 pups, Now, each of the pups receives 1 gene from dad, 1 gene from mum. One pup gets the short hair gene from mum and the short hair gene from dad, he has short hair. The next receives long hair gene from dad and short hair gene form mum, medium fur like parents. the last 2 pups receive both long hair genes from both parents, meaning that they have long fur. Now, we have 1 pup with short fur, 1 with medium fur and one with long fur. We have a diversity. But this is NOT evolution. The diversity comes from ALREADY existing genes, they have always existed. So microbes-man requires NEW information, which you simply can’t get. Another solid argument against evolution. Apparently the world is 500 million years old and was once a ball of lava that eventually cooled down. RUBBISH! If the world was lava then all the heavy minerals would sink to the bottom, no? How come we have gold (molten gold is heavier than molten lead) on the crust? The theory just doesn’t hold through. Also, the sun produces heat and light through contraction, if it where 100 million years old( which seems ludicrously young) it would have been so big it would have engulfed the earth and mars and half of the asteroid belt, so how come the world is not just some chunk of sun? Fifthly, the world is slowing down in its rotational speed at a certain rate, now if we go back 10 million years the rotational speed would have been so much that the G-force would have flattened earth like a pancake, and pushed all the continents to the equator, so how do we explain a world with different land masses of varying shapes? Sixthly, (I could go one for days) the earths gravity is decreasing by 50% every 1400 years. So if we go back 10 million years the force would have been so great that nothing could live and the moon would be pulled in. Lastly, the ocean floor has 20 billion tons of sediment laid down every year, the sediment coming from coastling being worn down every year. The rocks giving way under the ocean floor only accounts for 1 billion tons of sediment disappearing every year, so where has the rest of the sediment gone? It is only deep 7,000 years of sediment deep, so it proves that the worlds young. This proves that the bible is true in it’s account of creation for what other theory shows old the world is? this means that there is a God who does judge sin and that those who do not believe in his son Jesus Christ will go to hell, FOREVER. Is that you today? Sincerely, Creationist
Please Hot Word, (author), when you quote the Bible at least copy and paste so we don’t have to read your twisted version.
“Bad Form.” In the words of Peter Pan from Hook.
Vajda or Vadja?
Ever notice that the EU Parliament looks like the tower of Babel? What is that saying?…know your history, or it is destined to repeat itself.
@Ann lee: wow that’s a stab in the heart lol
language is carried forward through generations through cultures just like genes carried forward through generations. linguistic similarities between cultures is the evidence of migration of colonies from place to place leaving behind their traces, language being one of them. Tracing back through the lingiuistic channels may be we can trace back the evolution of languages and its development through generations and can guide us to finding the tower of babel.
Luna – you are a simpleton. Re-read the statement, they’re not saying that language and eye colour are obtained by the same means. *Rolls eyes*
A recent movement in philosophy, Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO), can help shed light on the relationship between language, its structure, and its migration. Essentially, it proposes that language is, as Luna mentions at the top of the thread, culturally acquired–and further, we “anthropize” our relationship to the world with language (which is, in terms of sensory perception, is false). Objects around us are not inherently related to us, nor is our understanding of them predicated on self-awareness; rather, self-awareness is a kind of evolutionary accident, and complex consciousness has allowed us to use language to develop shorthand reference to the world around us–but the world is not, for that reason, defined by the language we use to describe it.
It should come as no surprise that languages evolve as people spread; as environments change, cultures adapt to their surroundings, advances in technology, science and spirituality, and the language evolves accordingly to accommodate for the unique circumstances of these sensory paradigms. To this extent, so far as the environment, culture and sense of relationship to the world around us does not necessitate a continuous (and in terms of “big” time) radical evolution, there is every reason to believe disparate languages can be related. People in different places can maintain the same sense of shorthand; it is merely shorthand, and if the convenience of language does not drastically change because of two cultures’ surroundings, it could be seen as natural rather than an aberration.
..totally GEEKY stuff..
This is a very interesting piece of writing. Very fasinating but in my apinion it is also lacking in information on thing here and there and as a critic to writing this is, on a scale of 1-10, it’s about a 8
and if u believed that last comment i made.. u just goe schooled by a 8Th grader..lol
Great info. While there are similarities in language, it’s evolution is more likely caused by environment.
Genetics are one thing, but whatever language you’re raised on is what you learn. If an American couple were to adopt a Chinese baby, then the baby would be raised learning and speaking English. Languages do, however, migrate with people, changing as they divide from the original home, acting somewhat like a speciation of language.
Yeah dude. Totally.
I completely agree with dave’s comment. This isn’t shocking information at all. Early nomads from Siberia migrated through the bering straight to North America, and brought the same language there.
omg KATIE i luv u <3
yes, there r many katies in the world, there are also many anns in the world. lee is a common last name.
there could be billions of ann lee's out there, or just two or three.
What state do you live in? How old are you?
P.S. this whole message is for katie
lol love peace kenz Mercedes Kenz, Big Mac
Tower of Babel is a crap theory. Different languages where created to hide secrets, and keep others from ease dropping. Can you really find one point in time where all of the world was at peace? I can see it now, just as the egypt used slaves to do the work. Why would they not create a new language to keep their captors from finding out how they are surviving, or their plans of escape.
Why would it not happen again, when we attempted to reach the moon, and now we have orbiting space station?
Lots of talk here about the Tower of Babel and about the Great Flood as if they were real. They are stories, old stories told and repeated and passed along among many peoples for centuries. That’s all we know. There’s no evidence of any kind, anywhere, of either.
And Ray, whatever it is you have, can I have some?
THE BIBLE IS THE TRUTH. ONLY EXPLAINATION
“I take exception to the article portion thatn misinterprets the scripture … God actually acted upon humans’ abilities to continue this self-destructive progression, giving them a second chance at their destiny.”
And I take exception to your use of the word “actually” next to “God” and a verb.
The author clearly threw in the Babel thing as a nice little opening story to get us interested in language differences and how they might REALLY have emerged. And yet, here we are days later, with a stream of god-bothering nutcases going on about inaccuracies in the re-telling of the Babel story and what God “actually” did … instead of debating what the story is ACTUALLY about.
I understand that Christians feel under threat these days, given that the majority of people see their quaint little stories as just that. But could you please allow the rest of humanity to discuss SOME things without relating it back to Jesus and his bloodline? We know your point of view about God saving us and so forth, and we try to respect it as best we can, but WE’VE HEARD IT BEFORE!!! Right now we’re on a language website, talking about language. If you want to join, please do. If not, please go to a religious website and talk about religion.
Btw, the land bridge thing is a cool possibility, and people who said “Yeah, we got that!” are right – it isn’t the first time it’s been proposed – but also a little jaded, i.m.o. It’s still cool, even if you’ve heard it before.
And Basque? Don’t get me started! There was a theory a while back that it was related to the language of Japan’s indigenous Ainu people, based on some vocab similarities that were thought to be cognates. I LOVED that theory, and was disappointed when I learned that it had been squashed. Still, it preserves the mystery of an isolate right smack in Western Europe, which is nice
Language evolves as we learn. The internet connects the world and languages will grow together. English has picked up words from other languages that English didn’t have i.e. no word for the people with cameras who search for pics of people of great interest.English now uses the French word that I can’t spell Other languages didn’t rename words like software etc as the computer age grew. What will we see in 100 years
I’m sure the adjective follows the noun in Irish (gaelic), not precedes it.
It is difficult to count the number of things in your post which you asserted as facts, but, about which you are mistaken and obviously know nothing. Let me try….all of them! You would have Chemists judge the validity of linguistics and theology? Just don’t let you gardener do your heart surgery. Oh, infallible one, the abbreviation is etc., not ect.
This is the “smart” test. If you miss even one, then you are not a “smart” one. Guys, this is really easy. I bet all of you colleagues and adults would get this right. Kids tend to get this wrong because (teachers, you’ll know this and I bet all of you say this to your students) they make silly mistakes. To “newbies” that are starting out as a substitute teacher or something else, please tell your students NOT to make silly mistakes.
Teachers: Note that this is a survival pop quiz or the “get it (optional: right) or die”, or ther “live or die”, and so forth.
This test shall start…
Name_____________________________ Date________________ Score: +____
a) 11 b) 2 c) 1 d) 0
2) Complete the pattern. Which one is next?
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N __
a) ø b) & c) O d) other _________
How was the test?
The answers are on the bottom.
Thank you for taking the pop quiz!
Your assertion that story of the tower of Babel is a “nice little opening story to get us interested in language differences” merely shows that we Christians have reason to be upset about its use. God’s purpose in including that story in the Bible is not to interest us in language differences or how they might “really” have emerged, as you say. As Christians, we are recognizing the one Who created us and finding Him as the source of true knowledge. People who do otherwise are rejecting real wisdom and knowledge because they don’t want to be accountable before God (Romans 1:18-25). You cannot incorrectly use some biblical truth and expect Christians to ignore it. Furthermore, Christianity is not simply a “religion.” A person cannot be a true Christian and not be influenced by it in every aspect of life. Wherever a Christian goes, there goes his “religion.” Perhaps that is why so many people are intolerant of our speaking about it.
In any case, I’m sure we Christians would all appreciate it if those who do not believe the truth about God cease using Him and His works as mere stories to spark discussion about something unrelated. In this instance, I do not believe that the Christians should be the ones asked to be silent, but rather the people using the God’s “quaint little stories” for their own purposes.
A Concerned Christian
Click on my name, KATIE highlighted in blue. It shows you a very extraordinary website. Please do click on it if you have the time. Note that this is a pretty long article, so it may take some time. Trust me, when I say long, I mean LONG!
Kids: I know some of you are slow readers and some have tight-packed schedules. This article is an extremely long article. It may take approximately thirty minutes. Kids, I know you love reading long articles (some don’t) and especially your long strand of text messages about gossip such as who so-and-so likes or did you hear about so-and-so and et cetera. But, this one takes such a long time. This may not be an fast-read and there are many “adult words” (whatever you call that) that you may not understand. So don’t be going like “Mom, I’m feeling very sick. I don’t wanna go to swim.” I have experienced that in my life so I know how you feel. I used to do and I am still doing now guitar and hip-hop, except for the fact that I used to love hip-hop so I would never miss a single session or class. I hated guitar for a year or so because I was five and my gentle, delicate fingers were too weak to press the strings or strum the guitar. So, kids, you will understand that you cannot miss a single class.
*** Creationist *** posted – on May 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm
“To those that wrote that it took eons of time for the languages to come into being, I and a number of scientists I am acquainted with, (including PHD’s in chemistry..ect..) would completely disagree. Firstly, if there was the first mother, then there had to be a father, so at that exact time frame, we had 2 “people” they had to be in the same place at the same time of different genders both wanting to reproduce at the same time. I find that hard to believe, for 1. Secondly, it is IMPOSSIBLE for new genes to appear (without intelligent design). It has never happened and it never will happen. And for those that say many small mutations happened over time, bull s**t! NO mutation has EVER helped ANY organism. A mutation is an accident, not supposed to be there, so APPARENTLY, an accident can produce, jet fighters, subways, diplomacy, neurosurgery, and the like. Also, since no new genes can appear out of nowhere, it means that the first “mother” had to be MORE genetically diverse then we are today. By the way, natural Selection is NOT evolution. natural selection is when already existing genes are mixed with other genes and a mix comes together. Let me explain, if 2 dogs have medium fur, it means that they have 1 long hair gene and 1 short hair gene each (one from dad, one from mum). It is actually WAY more complex than this but for ease of demonstration. But back to the story, these dogs with medium fur breed, and they have 4 pups, Now, each of the pups receives 1 gene from dad, 1 gene from mum. One pup gets the short hair gene from mum and the short hair gene from dad, he has short hair. The next receives long hair gene from dad and short hair gene form mum, medium fur like parents. the last 2 pups receive both long hair genes from both parents, meaning that they have long fur. Now, we have 1 pup with short fur, 1 with medium fur and one with long fur. We have a diversity. But this is NOT evolution. The diversity comes from ALREADY existing genes, they have always existed. So microbes-man requires NEW information, which you simply can’t get. Another solid argument against evolution. Apparently the world is 500 million years old and was once a ball of lava that eventually cooled down. RUBBISH! If the world was lava then all the heavy minerals would sink to the bottom, no? How come we have gold (molten gold is heavier than molten lead) on the crust? The theory just doesn’t hold through. Also, the sun produces heat and light through contraction, if it where 100 million years old( which seems ludicrously young) it would have been so big it would have engulfed the earth and mars and half of the asteroid belt, so how come the world is not just some chunk of sun? Fifthly, the world is slowing down in its rotational speed at a certain rate, now if we go back 10 million years the rotational speed would have been so much that the G-force would have flattened earth like a pancake, and pushed all the continents to the equator, so how do we explain a world with different land masses of varying shapes? Sixthly, (I could go one for days) the earths gravity is decreasing by 50% every 1400 years. So if we go back 10 million years the force would have been so great that nothing could live and the moon would be pulled in. Lastly, the ocean floor has 20 billion tons of sediment laid down every year, the sediment coming from coastling being worn down every year. The rocks giving way under the ocean floor only accounts for 1 billion tons of sediment disappearing every year, so where has the rest of the sediment gone? It is only deep 7,000 years of sediment deep, so it proves that the worlds young. This proves that the bible is true in it’s account of creation for what other theory shows old the world is? this means that there is a God who does judge sin and that those who do not believe in his son Jesus Christ will go to hell, FOREVER. Is that you today? Sincerely, Creationist”
Excellent points, friend! I also like the prophecies recorded in the Bible. So many in detail, it makes it hard to accept by any reasonable person that it (Bible) was written by imperfect men alone. The Bible definitely had to be authored by someone of higher intelligence and power than the 40 men who are responsible for penning it.
About this: “You cannot incorrectly use some biblical truth and expect Christians to ignore it.”
I sort of take your point. I was born in Australia, but I’ve spent a fair portion of my adult life living in Kazakhstan, and I love that crazy place! So when anyone says sth inaccurate about it, I find it extremely difficult NOT to leap to its defence.
On the other hand, I think sometimes there’s an argument that says “Religious people oughtta lighten up”. Like, if the author of this article had said “We all know that the Tower of Babel story is a bunch of rubbish, but here’s a REAL story about the disperson of languages”, then I think you’d be more than justified in going “Hey buddy, watch what you’re sayin’ … that’s my freakin’ religion you’re dissing for no apparent reason!”
But (s)he didn’t say anything truly terrible like that. He just got a little detail wrong. If I were a Christian, I’d like to think my response would’ve been sth like this: “As a beliver, just a small point of order: in the original text, it’s pretty clear that God tore down the tower because it symbolised man’s hubris … great article, though! Hope to read more about related stuff in the near future”.
Any more than that, and you risk being like one of those people who can only EVER talk about their babies. You must know someone like that … someone you used to get along really well with and talk to about any number of things, but now you kind of avoid them because you know that they’ll relate EVERY SINGLE THING you say back to their little bundle of joy. It’s not that you don’t like babies, or that you aren’t happy that your friend is fulfilled in their new role as parent. Of course you are! It’s just that, y’know, sometimes you want to talk abut babies, and sometimes you want to talk about other stuff.
That’s all. Hope I’ve managed to explain my original objection (and the objections of others) without annoying you even more. I don’t mean to disrespect your faith … and as I said, I do take your point that little inaccuracies like that can drive you up the wall and make you want to go “Aaaarrgghhh!!!”.
Peace and happiness to you, in any case
P.S. to Creationist: I share your doubts about some aspects of the theory of evolution – we put way to much faith in it nowadays (ironically enough). But I would like to add two things – and I’ll keep the first one as short as possible, for reasons you’ll understand when I tell you the second one:
First, it’s not necessarily a question of EITHER evolution is true OR the Bible is true. Has it occurred to no-one else that there might be a completely unrelated explanation hasn’t been thought of yet? I mean, for both the biblical and the Darwinian account of creation to be wide of the mark, we’d only have to be wrong twice. We’ve been wrong a lot more times than that about almost everything else!
And second: once again, back to my original point. This forum is for comments on a short article published by dictionary.com, and the article is about language isolates. It’s NOT about evolution or anything connected with it. So again, people who want to argue in favour of Chstianity’s version of history are absolutely more than entitled to do so, but please, PLEASE pick your moment! Honestly, you aren’t helping the cause by bringing these things up in the context of totally unrelated discussion. Just try and hold on for the right occasion … it will come, I promise! And then people will a) be keen to hear what you have to say and b) not regard you as a nutcase (which I’m almost sure you’re not).
Hope this is helpful )))
I appreciate the friendliness with which you replied to my post. I am not annoyed in the slightest. I do understand what you’re saying, and I hope you understand that I’m not one of those people that talk about “my baby” excessively. It does come up with every single thing in my life, but I try not to become tiring about it. That would hinder my usefulness, not help it. It was the responses of the Christians (both true ones and the ones who claim to be such) and unbelievers to each other that spurred me to post.
If I were to comment on the article, however, I would say that I have difficulty appreciating it at all. When the first two paragraphs provide false information, I’m not inclined to even read or trust the rest, though there may be some truth contained in it. Specifically, I cannot pretend that I believe evolution might possibly be true, whether it’s the point of the article or not. Creationism is the only truth, no matter what theories mankind may create. However, I will not push that on anyone or malign them because they don’t believe it. It is enough to say I’m not interested in anything that begins with false pretenses and leave it at that.
Ikr! Haha… I’ve been there…
Wordnerd + anonymous
BFFs & A LOVELY COUPLE!
Think of Abercrombie + Fitch (A+F)
Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo (like omigosh-like) cute!
To wordnerd, true that this site is not about the evolution creation debate…. but I must be clear from some of the other posts which I read on this site, CLEAR STUPIDITY ANGERS ME!! Hense me writing my article, and to your first point, isn’t that an excuse for not answering where we came from (the answer hasn’t been thought of yet, so who knows). Seriously, in all your imagination you can’t think of anything else (other than aliens)?
May I also add that the article that I responded to was one very much concerning linguistics. The article said that language began from our EVOLUTIONARY mother and language was originally just grunts and moans and eventually became what we have today. This is what I was disproving over all. Thank you, Creationist
By article I meant comment, sorry if that caused confusion. But even the author of the report was an evolutionist. 200,000 to 50,000 years? don’t think so
Of course they can migrate like people. They are people.
So, if you doubt what Creationist is saying, and can prove every thing that he/she says false, then do it! Please! And you can add in your own arguments if you want.
No way they can do it! What he/she said is “true” science. The Bible’s message harmonizes 100% with it, too!
Who ever wrote this article stating, “…According to the Bible, all of humanity lived together in harmony, until God decided to confuse the languages and spread the people across the Earth” is incorrect and should not quote anything from the Holy Bible unless they give accuracy. People who are ignorant of the word may read this , consume it and actually believe God would just interrupt the harmony of speaking one language amongst people just to do so. It should state that harmony of speaking one language was interrupted due to the misbehaving of mankind. Mankind wanted to out smart God by building towers that would reach the heavens to keep them from dying in another flood, make a name for themselves if successful and paid the price (Gen. 11). Therefore confusion and being scattered was a cursed among mankind. When you tell a story, tell it the right way. God exist and watches all.
Why do you think the author risks ridicule just for mentioning the Bible? What a perverse world you must live in. If he’d mentioned instead, say, the The Dhammapada, the Upanishads or the Torah I suppose you would have had no objection.
The Bible is the source of much of the West’s shared mythology; the story of Babel is well-known to all — even to you. If you thought the author was arguing for the literal truth of the story simply by introducing his topic with it, with all due respect, you’re looking for excuses to be insulted.
However, the story never really answers the question it asked: what are the origins of Ket? That it is related to Da-Nene is interesting, however, Da-Nene is, by the theory, a descendant of Ket, and thus the discovery still tells us little about where Ket comes from, only where it went to.
And yes, the Bering land bridge theory is a well-known and accepted theory for origins of North American peoples (though recent archaeological work is suggesting multiple origins). It’s only surprising to me that linguists hadn’t investigated a possible link earlier. Since Native Americans (both North and South) originated in Asia, it would be only natural to assume linguistic origins there as well.
Of more concern is the rapid disappearance of languages in the twentieth century. In North America alone there are currently about 165 indigenous languages, but only eight are spoken by more than 10,000 people, and 75 (45%) are today spoken by only a handful of older people; they will be extinct within a generation.
Its obviously because when native Siberians crossed the ice bridge to Alaska and settled down in places like Arizona, they brought aslightly different version of their language so that means the Na-Dene family originates from Siberia and Northern Asia.
conclusion, yes languages can migrate, or move along slowly througout the land, and may change while it travels to its destination
[...] language spoken in Siberia is related to languages spoken by Native American groups. Learn its full history here. Read more [...]
[...] spoken in Siberia is related to languages spoken by Native American groups. Read more here: http://hotword.dictionary.com/ketlanguage/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. 05 Jun This entry was [...]
I concur with the first part of the statement by Nathanael on June 3, 2012 –
The cultural isolationist policies of the “Religious Right” are glaringly visible in all these pro-American-Christian, biblical literalist/ anti-any-other-vantage-point comments. It’s so sad that so many people shut their eyes to anything outside their socially inherited narrow beliefs; that they self-impose ignorance on their minds when the Web has opened up the whole world to them. They strap themselves to the time and place in which they were born, when there has been so much research done over the ages to enlighten ourselves about the past and the paths humankind has taken.
This is a testament (sorry, but the word can be applied to other things than your religion) to the lack of education in the USA – and that is just how Big Money wants to keep things. It’s one of the reasons they pretend to support Christian fundamentalism. That’s the same principle that the Catholic Church has used since its inception – control the way people contrive to understand the unknown, and you control them absolutely.
I’m also amazed (though I shouldn’t be) that so many people who are making comments on dictionary.com – a site devoted to broadening one’s knowledge – can’t put together a cohesive sentence (with those who are not native English speakers being excepted.) It’s the reason I can’t stand Twitter and won’t use it. Ironic, isn’t it, that those using Twitter with its disregard for proper grammar, syntax, spelling, etc. are commenting on an article which uses the Tower of Babel as an illustrative device?
Biblical tradition has it that the lost tribes of Israel are scattered over the whole earth. In this light, finding that a Siberian language and a native North American language are related is not surprising. – Doc Meek, docmeek.com
I do beleive languages can migrate but, what the point trying to trace them when one still cannot traced one owns genes as widely as one would wish today in an easy way, or am I wrong to think so.
This makes perfect sense, if human beings (i.e., ancient Native Americans) did in fact migrate across the ice bridge covering the Bering Strait.
Human back then wanted to reach heaven so they made the tower of babel, so God decided to confuse their languages. the way the first paragraph was stated was kinda wrong.
I like the summary of The Tower Of Babel!! You all have some great theories. I think languauge may have migrated possibly by “Ancient Explorers”. Think, more or less; emissary.. One culture sends out a brave group from their tribe. Who then treks until a friendly tribe, unlike theirs, is found. A few of the group shares information with that tribe. Thus transferring cultural information and influences. The group then moves on, minus the few who spoke with the tribe. They return home with their knowledge. The rest look for another, different tribe in which to benefit from. And the process carries on..
With that simple gathering of information about borders, weather, and hunting game, cultural influences and nuances are passed on. Languages, tactics, and ideas for example.
I thought it interesting that a scientific discovery linking two distanced languages had turned so quickly into an evolution vs. creation, left vs. right, argument.
But to answer the questions the article asked of us readers. In my opinion, while genetics and linguistics may have some similarities, it’s tough to compare them on a deeper level. Your parents can’t decide the color eyes or hair you inherit from them, but they can choose (if they wish) which language you are to learn first.
I believe languages can migrate, yes. But only with a group of people acting as its vehicle. The English language migrated to the US and Australia because the English people that moved there carried it with them. Fair?
Don’t forget the effects of cyclic global climate change on human populations and their localized dialects. Last ice age was about 10K years ago.
He who from the heavens came…the ancient astronaut theory would explain much in theology/mythology/ancient architecture. How conceited are we to believe we are the pinnacle of universal evolution? One person’s “higher power” is another person’s “Anunaki”.
Everyone talks about their version of heaven after death but not once have I spoken to a deceased person inquiring the truth of what’s on “the other side”. Better for us to understand where the energy originates at conception to induce life in order to fully understand what happens to our life energy after death.
@Christan (May 7, 2012 at 10:07 am)
Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian. Those were the five my teacher told me, at least. I looked it up, and there are A TON.
Reading through the comments, I’ve noticed that religion, politics, etc. always leads to arguments and/or long discussions. I doubt anyone will even see this, because there’s so many other comments!
Also, with all the religion comments, (please don’t hate on me for saying this) maybe every religion, and the scientific theories, are all true, just different parts of it, and everyone just processed it differently.
We’re all related in some way,shape or form;duhhh! God separated us to take on differences in the gene pool and inorder for a stronger gene to be made we must combine them! He works in mysterious ways; things are enevitable
It’s not “shocking” to find this relationship, but it is a great surprise, because up to this point, no definitive link had been drawn between any Old World and North American native language despite many attempts.
I’m really rather dismayed at all the biblical referencing here. I think even the most fundamentalist Christian today can accept that 1) Heaven isn’t a place up in the sky, and that consequently 2) No tower, no matter how high, would have gotten there or been any threat to God. Considering that humans cannot survive on the highest moutaintops (which are well within the troposphere, and nobody has seen any flocks of angels flapping around the peak of Everest) because of lack of oxygen, even if some ancients did make a giant tower they would have been cut short by their inability to work.
The ways that languages diverge through isolation and evolve until they are incomprehensible has been well documented and researched; all the Bible thumping in the world won’t change that. Or is Babelism destined to be the new fundamentalist cause, along with creation “science?”
Also to set the record straight on a couple of other statements that I’ve seen recur in the comments here.
1) The theory is not that the Na-Dene languages evolved from Ket, it is that the Na-Dene languages and Ket share a common ancestor, just as the Germanic languages (which include English) and the Slavic languages (which include Russian) are related by a common ancestor, the theoretical/reconstructed Indo-European. Reconstructed because whatever the common ancestor was, it was never written down.
Before you come in with Bible-based arguments about how it’s “only a theory” and therefore wrong because the Bible says otherwise, take a bit of time to read up on the subject of phonology and language change, and how linguists arrived at the Indo-European theory. It’s a process that we can observe happening today.
2) Although the links between Siberian and Native American people are fairly clear, the fact that two people share a language doesn’t *necessarily* mean that the people are related genetically. Languages spread in different ways. Consider the the number of Africans who now speak Portuguese and French as their native language because of colonialism, or the millions of people from all over the world living in N. America who know no other language but English, including, relevantly, the majority of Native Americans these days. Many people who consider themselves Turks today are genetically closer to the ancient Greeks or Hittites than anybody in Central Asia, where the original Turks came from. These things happened in the ancient world as well, though not on the scale they do in today’s world of mass communication.
3) To the “The Bible says so, so it’s true, because the Bible says it is” crowd – your arguments are laughable. When you draw a “scientific theory” based on
a) a previously held conclusion that it is true; and
b) selective dismissal of any an all evidence to the contrary,
then your arguments are not only laughable, they’re pathetic, and an excellent indication of how desperate people are to avoid using the brain that God supposedly gave them.
In response to question: 3. Seeing how many times the Bible has been right against all popular opinion and “scientific proof/evidence”, I see this to be no different. In an example of, let’s say, Tiktaalik, all “scientific proof/evidence” showed that this was a “missing link” no longer missing. The bible says that the earth was created…… main stream says that it evolved……(see article further up)….. The mainstream were certain that Tiktaalik was the transitional form from fish to amphibian and confidently said that it is solid proof against the bible. Now, they have found foot prints, dated BEFORE Tiktaalik. So they are doing a complete rethinking of evolution. From solid for Tiktaalik, to now against it and it has been thrown out the window. Bible: 1 Mainstream: 0 It will not be long until this happens with linguistics. Sincerely, Creationist