In Genesis, what language did god speak?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Medicine*Woman, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I appreciate your respectful response. In context, I found the only reasonable interpretation of the statement was a reference to people who would ask the question, "What language did god speak?" seriously. Not a reference to all people who consider themselves religious. I understand that you interpreted it differently.

    Nonetheless, the definition of "religion" includes belief in a supernatural universe. This is at best unscientific and at worst antiscientific, since science defines the natural universe as a closed system. I stand on the principle that since this is a place of science, we have a right and perhaps an obligation to be hostile to religion.

    And I realize that this may appear to be going off topic, but it is about the definition of some important words.
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    * * * * MODERATOR'S NOTE * * * *

    I continue to receive reports on this thread. This is how my policy applies to it:
    • The OP could not help but open this to a discussion of religion, so such a discussion is not "off topic."
    • "Religion" by any standard definition includes belief in supernatural creatures who exert control over our lives and the entire natural universe, which violates the principles of science.
    • Religion is therefore unscientific, and posting unscientific remarks on a science website, except in a philosophical discussion of the validity of science, is trolling.
    • Therefore we are under no obligation to treat religion with respect.
    • Nonetheless I would prefer it if we did not call each other "idiots."
    • I am not going to infract or ban anybody over this but I will continue to edit posts imperiously.
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  5. John99 Banned Banned

    He probably talked baby talk.
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  7. Till Eulenspiegel Registered Member

    Fraggle Rock,

    You seem to think that scientists have to be antagonistic toward religion. I disagree. Throughout history there have been people who were scientists and religious. While technically not a scientist I do have a degree in biology and I am religious. I personally know two people rather well known in the scientific field, one deceased and the other still living who are/were religious, one Jewish and one Roman Catholic.

    Science and religion are not mutually exclusive and there need not be the antagonism between the two that is exhibited by many people. Religious people have no need to fear or hate science and scientists have no need to fear or hate religion.

    In my opinion only small minded people feel a need to attack beliefs they do not share. Those who are secure in their own beliefs feel no such need.
  8. Fabio4all Registered Member

    it's just like the question I like to ask people because it confuses them a bit. How do babies think? The language is so much more powerful then most people think. It not only allows communication of thoughts, feelings, and ideas between humans, but between oneself. If you have no language, you can't think, you can only react with primal instincts.
  9. USS Exeter unamerican american Registered Senior Member

    It is very difficult to comprehend what it would be like without language, but it is altogether not simply primal instinct. Babies think in terms of photographs; in other words, action + action = effect. Babies can learn very rapidly.

    As far as the language of God? That is a rhetorical question, no one knows, no one ever will.
  10. Non-Logical-Idea-Guy Fat people can't smile. Registered Senior Member

    the bible said his voice boomed out...
  11. Non-Logical-Idea-Guy Fat people can't smile. Registered Senior Member

    well i guess most christians would say he spoke in tongues? y'know that random thing where they basically have an oral breakdown
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    "Speaking in tongues" is called glossolalia. It is only an important feature in the Pentecostal and Charismatic branches of Christianty.
  13. Non-Logical-Idea-Guy Fat people can't smile. Registered Senior Member

    its bullshit is what it is.
  14. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    When I was young (years ago) living in Southern, West Virgina the local paper printed a report of the discussion at an open school board meeting, which had been called to get the commuinty's view about hiring a foreign language teacher. (One for both French and Spanish, as I recall.) One old farmer was against that "needless expense." He, holding up his bible said: "If English was good enough for Jessus Christ, that's all our kids need."
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Well fine, but the point is that it's not "bullshit" that "most Christians" believe in:
    Just Pentecostal and Charismatic congregations. Not Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.
  16. Carcano Valued Senior Member


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    Good one!
  17. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

    They were speaking "schizo".

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    - N
  18. Theocide Registered Member

    God Language

    It's obvious that God spoke Hebrew at the begining. For example the names Adam (ha adama that means ground in hebrew) and Eve(Chavvah wich means in hebrew to breathe) only make sense in Hebrew. That just proves that the fairy tale was invented or edited by the Israelites, and gave the two earliest ancestor of human specie Hebrew names.
  19. HeartlessCapitalist Ravager of Biotopes Registered Senior Member

    Not necessarily. Exodus has Pharaoh's daughter supposedly explaining Moses's name with a Hebrew pun, and she should not by any logic be speaking Hebrew. As well, Moses is a genuinely Egyptian name suffix; it's the same as you see in say, "Tuthmosis" (or to make it fun and connect it to the movie, Ramesses). It means "born of [Insert]" IIRC. (Since the Egyptians (and Hebrews) only wrote consonant sounds down in their alphabet, the vowels are a little different.) So Ramesses was the son of Ra, Tuthmosis the son of Toth, and Moses the son of ... nothing, apparently?

    Although, more on topic, Jewish (and fundamentalist Christian) opinion has indeed usually been that Hebrew was the original language spoken by Jehovah in Eden.
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    * * * * NOTE FROM THE MODERATOR * * * *

    Anita Meyer periodically shows up on SciForums, posting crackpot assertions about the history of language. These assertions are not scientific since they are based on mythology. Furthermore her grasp of the scientific method is weak and she does not respond properly to peer reviews.

    She has been given a chance to reform and has not done so, out of stubbornness, inability, or sheer unfamiliarity with the methods of proper scholarship. She is henceforth welcome to post in Religion or Pseudoscience, where the rules are looser, but when she pops up on Linguistics her posts will be deleted.
  21. Aboz Registered Member

    Certainly not any language

    Certainly, Adam nor Eve spoke any language attributed to any culture, as there were no cultures in that time.
    Grunts, groans, and hand motions would have been the only way to communicate with each other or the beasts of the earth.
    GOD on the other hand, would have only planted ideas and thoughts into their heads.
    Not knowing "Thought", naturally... it would have been attributed to God speaking to them.
  22. wellwisher Banned Banned

    We have two sides of the brain. The right brain is more spatial and uses a 3-D visual/feeling language. The left brain is differential and uses a 2-D language. Science is more left brain and religion is more right brain. Normal spoken and written language is processed in the left brain.

    This topic tries to use the left brain to differentiate the left brain language, back to the source. However, this transition is connected to the right brain pre-humans becoming left brained, so left brain language could differentiate. When humans were right brained normal language would be sparse and more spontaneous. When human become left brain then normal language expands rapidly.

    In terms of bible symbolism, the tree of knowledge of good and evil is 2-D (right or wrong). This tree is connected to left brain (neurons look like little trees) since it tries to differentiate reality into piles; this is good, that is evil. The tree of knowledge of good and evil is not about integration where good and evil combine into moral neutrality. Integration is right brain; tree of life.

    The symbolism has Satan speaking the original linguistic language of the left brain. Satan is make the Lord of the earth and becomes Gods left hand man. Satan was not always the devil but was once Lucifer the bringing of light. God remains 3-D or else he cannot be omnipresent. Satan is the liaison that connects 3-D to 2-D; you shall surely die.

    Before the right brain to left brain transition, the spatial language of the pre-humans would have been based on visual and emotional cues. A picture (and its subjectivity) is worth a 1000 words, because spatial is faster and denser. If we take the picture and break it down with modern language, we differentiate it into all its tiny separate parts via the left brain.

    In tradition, Adam after the fall was symbolically considered the father of science and math, because he was now left brained.

    Picture an older couple, who know each other so well, they can finish each other's sentences and can sense what the other wants or needs even before anything is spoken. This is 3-D language. Love is 3-D and allows access to other 3-D. But it takes years of practice to associate simple cues for their complex meaning and actions. One gesture can be worth a 1000 words.

    Next, picture this same couple getting Alzheimer's, so they forget their private 3-D language. They no longer know how to finish a sentence or even what the subtle gestures of their mate means. Now they need to start again with 2-D language so they can differentiate and create a meeting of the minds; Adam and Eve after the fall. Paradise is lost since now life is harder.

    I am not trying to left brain pin point a differential moment in time and space. This is what the left brain wants. Rather I am trying to use both sides of the brain to create the context that led to the change. Going from 3-D to 2-D creates a new range of necessity leading to differential invention; civilization.
  23. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    That would be bizarre. Aside from all the telepathy and speech without words, and all the other craziness implied in your explanation, it would require that God actually planted grunts and groans in their minds, which is a huge divergence from the story.

    As written, the story anthropomorphizes God. He molds clay. He breathes into it. And he speaks, endows everyone with speech, and then punishes people by giving them distinct languages.

    And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech

    Of course this would have only been a temporary punishment until they became multilingual. And it would have only hurt the people living at the borders. He didn't confuse the people living within the borders of Babylon or Egypt or any other hated realm because that would have made the fable too hard to explain. But of course this is just part of the creation myth, trying to explain the origins of language before there was any knowledge of linguistics. The trick here is to make the people believe their culture and language came first, which is of course false.

    I say "He" but of course the text says "us". That's another really difficult idea for the authors to explain.

    Grunts and groans are impossible. Imagine trying to say "Let there be light" using grunts and groans. The only possible implementation I can thing of is Morse Code (grunt for dot, groan for dash) which takes this to new heights of absurdity. Hand signals are out of the realm of plausibility since speech is the only practical way to communicate. You can't communicate "tiger attack" with hand waving, while holding a knife and a spear and trying not to arouse the tiger.

    As written -- and literally interpreted -- the Bible implies that God spoke Hebrew. Otherwise, the Bible would open as follows:

    In the beginning, the Gods said: "Ugh groan groan groan ugh groan ugh ugh groan ugh ugh ugh . . " (etc.)

    Also note, when the Gods said Let there be light the void listened*, and responded with the Big Bang. A very special version of it, one that wrapped itself around the existing Heavens and Earth. Of course no one in their right mind would read this as literal truth, would they?

    *even the void had ears. Everything is anthropomorphized. This is probably a remnant of the animist ideation of the early Israelite era.

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