Talk:101 evidences for a young age of the Earth and the universe/Archive10
Number 99's rebuttal off
I found several things that I feel misrepresent the field of linguistics.
"The changes in language are not random like mutations — they are "intelligently designed", because all changes happen in the brains of thinking people." Indeed, changes in language are not random. They change in extraordinarily consistent ways following strict rules and according to a limited set of tendencies. However, they are not "intelligently designed." Linguistics holds that phonological change occurs subconsciously without the speaker realizing it. So I found this misleading.
"Most of them are caused by speakers being exposed to new concepts, contact with other languages and changes in circumstances." This is absolute nonsense. This is not a common way for languages to change at all. It's a bit complicated, but languages change on syntactical, morphological and phonological conditions. For instance, If two vowels are too close together in the vowel space, this may cause them to merge, which may cause other vowels to shift in height and frontness. This itself may mean that a bilabial consonant that was once followed by a rounded front vowel may now be followed by an unrounded back vowel! This may cause the consonant to change, be omitted or for another syllable to be inserted. This itself is going to have an effect on the phonotactics of the language, which itself might change the morphology of the language and suddenly a language develops a new way of declining nouns or might invent a new aspect. It is true, however, that when agriculture gets introduced a new word might be introduced from another language (these people gave us these new animals to farm. They called them "sheep."). But that's hardly changing a language.
"Historical linguistics is a field marred by a dearth of empirical data." Alright, now you're just dismissing an entire field of social science here. Linguistic empirical evidence consists of all written records ever and every surviving language on earth as well as descriptions of now extinct languages. The fact that one can construct, say, Vulgar Latin, by reading French, Romanian and Spanish dictionaries and descriptions and then compare it to actual vulgar latin that exists in writing and the fact that it's pretty darned spot-on says that linguistic constructions should actually be very reliable. Proto-Indo-European is widely believed to be 75-90 percent accurate, which is pretty good for a language that died around 4,500 years ago. On the contrary, if language began only 6,000 years ago, languages should be similar enough to each other that linguists should be able to reconstruct the entire language family tree. Unfortunately, it appears that if there's any way that English and Japanese are related, they diverged far more than 6,000 years ago.
"While writing often survives, spoken language leaves no traces once all of its speakers die." Wrong. Those traces are called modern languages.
"Reconstructing extinct languages and past forms of modern languages often involves a lot of intuition and guesswork." While I agree, the writer here is implying that linguistics is not an accurate science and that once the rules for how a language has changed from an ancestral language it is somehow "just a guess."
- Well you seem to know your stuff. Sign up for an account and fix it. Cheers VOXHUMANA 16:36, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
I've been thinking how I might change this recently. I've never altered a wiki before as I'm always afraid that I'm not expert enough in anything. It's hard because the claim itself isn't THAT awful from their point of view. I mean, what's the difference between languages diverging slowly of tens of thousands of years versus a god suddenly making languages very different 6 thousand years ago? It's like if god confused the species of animals 6,000 years ago. Like, there was only one and then he just suddenly made them a little different. The claim is basically just saying rather than evolution happening over millions of millions of years, it happened suddenly in one day. Linguistics doesn't necessitate that any language family be older than 6,000 years old so it's hard to be tough on them. If all languages were the same at 4,000 BC and then suddenly and catastrophically they were very different because of divine intervention that wouldn't technically negate anything I personally know about linguistics. I'd have to really look into the article they cited and see what's wrong with it. And I'm lazy, so that's probably not going to happen immediately.
tl;dr thinking about how I might change that entry, but it's hard considering the claims don't concretely and unambiguously contradict a widely accepted theory of linguistics as far as I can tell. — Unsigned, by: 22.214.171.124 / talk / contribs
- Laziness is the mother of invention, no matter what conventional wisdom says. Having made a friendly sensible start, you may find that others are willing to chip in and fix any wiki markup smudges you may leave in your wake. I'd be tempted to pick away at
the low-hanging fruit first, such as the failure of the analogy between linguistic change and mutation. If I overcome my laziness before you do, feel free to undo or over-write whatever blatherings I may insert. Carry on, Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 22:44, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
- @126.96.36.199 - Based on what you've written so far, I can't see what problems you'd have. You certainly seem knowledgeable and you write well. Regardless, if you need any Wiki help, just post a comment on this talk page, someone will be glad to assist. Being lazy - meh, you're far from unique in that. Welcome aboard either way. VOXHUMANA 23:06, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
- Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Somehow the closing pair of curly braces fell off the copy. See Template:Sbs/doc. In the midst of reading it, still... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:40, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
I made a lot of really weird grammatical and spelling errors. Unfortunately I've got a lot of stuff going on recently with the death of a relative. But we'll see what I can accomplish until Friday morning when I got to drive to where the funeral is going to be and then there's like another day of annoying, drawn-out Catholic nonsense. So Sunday I might start fixing it if no one else starts fixing my weird sentences before then. Cerealbox (talk) 23:59, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
- The absurd babble about choking is a reference to the slight increase of fatal choking due to changes in human anatomy which enabled us to effectively communicate verbally. This change in human physiology is not howver solely related to the development of speech and it should be noted...the rate of fatal choking in speech enabled humans is minimally higher than in animals who cant say please ans thank you to each other. claiming that being able to speak makes you choke is like claiming that having an appendix makes you die of internal death disease. Let me know if ive expressed this well or not and Ill try to reword this and or elaborate. --Shabidoo (talk) 02:06, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Copyediting required for #99
A BoN added a lot of stuff to the rebuttal for 99:The Tower of Babel argument. While there is some good stuff it is written in the first person and needs some rewriting. I'll have a look when I get the time, but this is a heads up, if anyone wants to make a start. ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 02:44, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
The "man would at some point have gained the ability to speak. This process of change would actually be superbly dangerous, as they admit." Um... no? Why would language have been dangerous? Where did this even come from? claim is not valid as is. Later in the original article the statement is explained with: ... their vocal tracts are much longer and differently shaped, thus making speech possible. However, the shape is also dangerous, as it could lead to choking. I don't know whether this reasoning is valid, but the claim that speech is dangerous is not presented with no explanation as the rebuttal claims.--188.8.131.52 (talk) 14:58, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Reference for #27
File:The estimated store of soluble salts in the Lake Eyre catchment.pdf --Tweenk (talk) 22:16, 27 August 2013 (UTC)