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THE WORD PROJECT
The Word Project
Every research project has to have a starting point. This survey of the evolution of certain words within written languages will begin with the word translated as ‘serpent’ in several translations of the modern Bible. I will attempt to show the various connections and mutations of concept that have occurred throughout time and place without inputting my own conclusions. I believe that the meaning of this project will become apparent and that no formal conclusion needs to be presented.
In the third chapter of the biblical book of Genesis, it is recorded in the English that while Adam and Eve were happily in the Garden of Eden, a third party showed up on the scene. This creature is introduced as the most subtle of all the creatures of the field. He is called a serpent. According to pretty much all of the readily available sources, the word serpent is: nachash
This is pronounced naw-khawsh. It is from a primitive root word: nachash
This is pronounced naw-khesh. As you can see, the only difference is in the pronunciation of one of the vowel sounds.
The declared and commonly accepted difference in meaning is profound. The first listed here is ‘to hiss’ as a snake hisses. The academic concept is that the word means snake or serpent, because those reptiles make a hissing sound.
נָחָשׁ nâchâsh, naw-khawsh’; from H5172 (Strong’s); a snake (from its hiss):—serpent.
The primitive root that is only differentiated by a supposed vowel inflection variant, is much more detailed:
נָחַשׁ nâchash, naw-khash’; a primitive root; properly, to hiss, i.e. whisper a (magic) spell; generally, to prognosticate:—× certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) ×enchantment, learn by experience, × indeed, diligently observe.
Let’s take a look at the importance of vowel enunciation in biblical Hebrew.
This kind of investigation is called orthography, which is the system of norms for a language, like spelling, emphasis, and punctuation. The mystery of biblical Hebrew, is that its orthography has had almost as much of an evolution as English has. Vowel usage in the Hebrew Niqqud system is used to indicate vowels that are not part of a consonant, or to…
A short summary of how to respond to events and experiences that are commonly referred to as paranormal.
(without references or annotation)
How science is misunderstood
We live in a society that reveres science and the ability to understand the laws and mechanisms that the universe operates by. Science is not an entity unto itself. It does not have it’s own momentum. Scientific processes are performed and observed by people and, these days, more and more with machines as main cooperators. These people specialize in specific arenas of interest, and they use the method of validation and invalidation of supposed fact that we call the scientific method. This is a systematic study of known phenomenon (and some imaginary-experimental, for instance experimental mathematics) and the main tools of research are data sets. Data is obtained through careful observation and testing, from which hypotheses are formed. In the rare case that testing and reproduction of tests provides solid reliability of a hypothesis, a theory is then compiled which basically explains the observations and gives instructions on how to reproduce the tests. More research and testing is done by other teams of scientists in order to apply Okham’s Razor, which is in essence, a B.S. removal tool. The developed/developing theory is then useful for educational purposes, and may make it into widespread textbook circulation within 10-25years, given that the concepts in the theory are suited to popular and/or cultural and/or political currents of thought. Once a theory is supported by a cadre of famous or respected scientists, it often becomes popularized through the media as well as lower levels of education. Here is where the breakdown of science begins.
Popular science dispersal lacks the background of technical knowledge that is necessary to properly understand a scientific report. Beyond that, each branch of science has it’s own lingo, or terminology. The same terms are used across all branches, and even in common speech, but what most people fail to realize is that the meaning of a term changes depending on which branch of science it is used in. One common mistake that is simple to understand is the meaning of the term ‘myth.’ In common speech this is used to refer to stories that are so far beyond belief that everyone knows the content is not factual.
Ex.: “That stuff about leprechauns and pots of gold at the end of rainbows is a myth.”
However, in anthropology, a myth is a folktale that is from the unknown distant past and cannot be proven or disproven by cultural evaluation. It is the unbiased opinion of the anthropologist that a myth is neither false nor true, simply because in that branch of science, a living culture cannot support a study of the content of a dead culture with all of the requirements of cultural relativity et al. to formulate a working hypothesis. Instead, myths are studied in order to understand what a cultural group claims to base their beliefs on, and then further study is performed in order to determine how the lives of the people in question actually match up to what they say they believe. From this point of reference, you often hear slightly educated people lambasting religious texts by calling them fairy tails and myths. What you are witnessing in these tirades is a slightly educated person who failed to actually pay attention to what they claim to have studied. They are using a scientific term with a specific meaning and applying it to common usage in a biased context, thereby rendering their statement invalid.
Another common mistake is the use of the term, ‘fact.’ In scientific lingo, across most disciplines, a fact is a statement of hypothetically supported data, conveniently fitted into a working phrase. This means that a series of tests has produced reliable results for whatever mechanism of observable nature was in question, and the data has been put in the form of a sentence (or series of sentences) in order to allow the scientists to talk about it without spending 3 hrs per conversation repeating the data. For instance, to talk about the long series of data sets that are required to formulate a basic understanding of the natural chances of a genetic trait to be reproduced into surviving and reproducing offspring, which allows that trait to become a relative constant in a given gene pool, and also provides the recipient taxa or genus of the trait a chance at reproducing into the distant future despite catastrophe and mortal diseases… is referred to as Natural Selection. If you pay attention, you will quickly recognize that when the slightly educated argue about the Theory of Evolution, they toss around the term ‘Survival of the Fittest.’ This term is going out of use in scientific circles because it, as a system of reliable data sets in the past, is (arguably) no longer recognized as reliable. But people still use it and think that it means the same thing as Natural Selection. Even if they were interchangeable, the concept of Natural Selection is grossly misunderstood in common circles. This is probably the most prevalent misuse of scientific terminology in common speech, and causes a lot of conceptual divisions between people that could otherwise get along nicely.
Simply put, a fact in science does not equal a fact in common speech.
This brief overview of how science is misused and misunderstood because of language barriers is provided at the beginning of this discussion in order to provide the reader with basic understanding of two key concepts.
Concept Number One is knowledge. Always question what you think you know, and always question whether you understand it accurately. Knowing what you are talking about will make you less emphatic about your opinions and what you learned in school, and may help you understand more of what you have already learned and experienced. A simple remedy is to use a dictionary. Knowledge is flexible and non-static, it changes as you learn, and as you gain more expansive views of your experiences.
Concept Number two is science. Science is a broad term used to generalize various classes and disciplines of observational research. The realm of science is; that which can be observed with the naked eye or with gadgets, repeatedly tested and observed, and repeatedly tested and observed by everyone with adequate training. Science does not test things in order to prove theories. This is a common misunderstanding. It is more appropriate to state that science develops theories and then studies the theories in order to disprove them, whether all or in part. Previously recognized facts that cannot be supported by mounting evidence are cast aside as unreliable. Science itself does not have a personality, it is a system used by people to pursue research and explain the results. Science is not a thing, it is a process of investigation.
How psychology is misunderstood
This topic alone could fill several thick tomes with mountains of references and boring rhetoric. In order to keep it short and sweet, I will state ‘facts’ about the topic and the reader is encouraged to engage themselves by taking out a notebook, and a dictionary, and an internet search engine and actually ‘do some research.’
Psychological research is mostly limited to the realm of behaviorisms. What makes people do what they do? What do you do if you are engaged in repeated behavior that is unhealthy? Stuff like that.
Comment and criticize….