The Confounding Nature of Linguistics

In the book of genesis in the bible, there is a story about the Tower of Babel.  After the great flood, mankind resolved to build a city with a grand tower that would reach the heavens.  After God had heard word, he came down and discombobulated their unified language so they could no longer communicate and understand one another.  This lead to construction complications, forcing the people to abandon their task. 

What’s worth noting is there are multiple analagous stories in other ancient civilizations, such as the Greeks, Sumerians, Jews, Islamics and the Celtcs.  How peculiar is it that all these ancient civilizations have strikingly similar accounts for linguistics and the etymology evolution of words over time?

Linguistics are second most profound  way of expressing a thought, opinion or an emotion (the first being body language).  So having a universal systematic methodology for communication is very appealing for obvious reasons.  Some Philosophers take linguistics in the strictest sense, stating than we, in fact, are not capable of expressing meaning due to the subjectivity of words.  Although I think that is an over simplification.   

Will we ever ideally be able to reconstruct a universal language as described in the ancient civilization scripts?  It certainly would resolve a lot of global issues.  I teeter back-and-forth if I think it is something that is plausible or just wishful Utopian thinking.  Part of me wants to say that words stem from empirical experience, and unless we all have a identical experiences, than it isn’t possible.  On the other hand, neuroscience has evolved tremendously over the past decade.  If you were to take a functionalist approach to describing brain states (and I’ll admit this is a big if) then neuroscience might one day be able to transcribe the inner dialog on a neuro level in terms of what neurons and circuits are firing.

In any case, I still find it remarkable that all these civilizations have similar accounts to the confounding nature of lingustics.

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