The Language of God
I have been going through all my blogs the last few days to delete a 100% perfect spam job that attached some impenetrable gob of Chinese authored by someone or some computer named "sexy." In the process, I encountered one of my blogs on religion and decided to Google "The Language of God" to see what sort of nonsense there might be out there on the internet and found that some nitwit has a book titled just that. I am a couple of years late in noticing that but gratuitous slaps at religion are never too late or too early.
In an ABC news story prompting this diatribe, I discovered that former President Clinton and the "leader of the international Human Genome Project," one Francis S. Collins, are described as conspiring to claim, in the words of Clinton,
"Today," he said, "we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, and the wonder of God's most divine and sacred gift."I'm sure I have blogged on the idea that there could be a language of art or music, pointing out how silly such notions are, but worse than these is the notion that the code that determines our genetic make up is written in some sort of language
3 billion letters long, and written in a strange and cryptographic four-letter codewhich is amazingly complex. Yo, dude, if this code is so complex and wondrous how in hell have humans been able to crack it? We linguists haven't been able to understand the structure of any human language. We must be dumber than geneticists or, more likely, the human genome just ain't that difficult to crack and certainly an unworthy candidate as an example of the language of anything but a very minor god.
Actually, if the human genome is a code then it isn't a linguistic system on a par with Chinese or Spanish or Xhosa, which are anything but code like. Human languages consist of expressions that refer to elements of the natural world as well as a multiplicity of quite abstract notions (justice, democracy, infinity). The strands of DNA don't refer to things outside the organizm from which the DNA is drawn.
This geneticist must be an admirer of the equally silly intelligent design (non)theory for like it, it is restricted to one phenomenon -- the origin of the species. There is no intelligent design theory of physics or linguistics or anything other than the origin of the species. Similarly, the "language" of DNA, while it might bear the slightest resemblance to the graphical representations of organic chemistry being taught way back when (and maybe even now), it bears no relationship to the "language" of physics. Are we to say that the mathematical representations in physics are not instances of the language of God or is it that He is bilingual or multilingual, with one language for the human genome, another for physics, another for statistics, and still another for syntactical structure, etc.?
How a scientist of this guy's reputation could come up with so silly a theory is beyond my simple imagination. But then, whenever my wife says I am imagining something, my reply is allways, "I have no imagination." Neither does this dude.