by badboy 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • badboy

    Difference cultures count differently.

    Some ,I believe can only count up to about 4.

    This raises a good question,if say Noah could count to ten,how came some cultures don't even count up to ten.

  • diamondblue1974

    he could only count upto two?!


  • james_woods

    But he could build a ship half as big as the Queen Mary (out of nothing but wood, LOL) - and all with only a few helpers. While preaching!

    I always wondered where he got the hammer & nails, and the saws to cut down those trees...

    Guess mankind lost those skills up until about the time of the Spanish Armada, as well.

  • Lapuce

    Jehovah provided the tools ... Type of answer an elder would say...

  • mkr32208
    Jehovah provided the tools

    Why the hell didn't jehobber just provide the damn ark? Type of response an "apostate" would give to the stupid elder...

  • Leolaia

    LOL....What base is used in one's numerical system does not limit your counting ability.

  • james_woods

    Remembered & found a book just now that says an ethnographic study done in Papua, New Guinea in 1890a.d. showed the natives of the Torres Straights had a number system called "two-counting". Words for 1 and 2 were "urapun" and "okosa". 3 was "okosa-urapun", 4 was "okosa-okosa". For numbers larger than 4, the natives used the word "ras", meaning "many". Almost identical systems have been found in nearly modern times in Brazil, South Africa, and Australia.

    So, maybe BadBoys point here was that if Noah could at least count past forty, how did these descendents manage to build boats and get to these remote islands, and forget they had five fingers on each hand?

    It also mentions that the Babylonian used base 60 with a "place-value" number system at least 2000B.C. But of course, maybe they were counting to six so easy because of the six-fingered mutant nethinim. But wait, they were all killed in the Flood, no? Well, except for few throwbacks like Goliath...

    The book also relates that one of the oldest known number-markings is on a bone handle of a human made tool found around Uganda and Zaire. It is dated to about 9000B.C. and records three rows of notches totaling 60, 60, and 48 each.

    The meaning is unknown.

  • Leolaia

    james_woods....Thanks for the additional info. Unfortunately, the widely-reported description of the Torres Strait number system (as well as those of other Australian languages) is erroneous and belies an ethnocentric bias. What 19th-century anthropologists reported and how the language actually works is not the same thing. For a good examination of this problem, see the following article:

    As the author notes, this notion has also been used to support racist attitudes about the mental inferiority of Australian aborigines. A good example can be found in the following book, published originally in 1896:

    Note the following statements: "The natives, who are to be classed among the lowest and the least intelligent of the aboriginal races of the world, have number systems of the most rudimentary nature....It is simply a legitimate result, such as might be looked for in any part of the world, of the barbarism in which the races of that quarter of the world were sunk....But among races whose intelligence is of a low order, or—if it be permissible to express it in this way—among races whose number sense is feeble, progression from one number to the next is not always in accordance with any well-defined law", etc.

  • james_woods

    My dear friend Ms. Leoleia,

    In sincere apology, perhaps an offense has been produced that was never intended!

    I read your reference, (which is a good one), and now if you would allow me to make a couple of points...

    1>> I must assure you that I am not a racist nor do I have any condescending attitude toward the noble and ancient tribes of Australia and the Pacific Islands. (well, I do have a boomerang hanging on the wall in my garage with the RC planes, but that is out of genuine respect and also because it is fun to throw on flying days at the field...)

    2>> The comment on ancient numerical systems was meant as sort of a joke - I cannot see that BadBoy really had a telling point here on proof/non-proof of the flood at all. But, I kind of like this sort of investigation into early human language and thought. The study of this issue may in fact show that our math and language developed over a period of time in many places on earth rather than being dropped down upon us scrathed out as stone tablets.

    Now that I have got that out of my system, could I ask you something --- Do you believe in a literal world-wide flood about 2500BC? It would help me a lot to know.

    Later in the day, I have some further research to share on these numerical systems - but that will probably be a long boring post which should carry a warning to the unwary...Just wanted to do the polite thing and say sorry for any offense just now.


  • Leolaia

    james_woods.....No apology at all would be called for , the little "factoid" about aboriginal number systems has been reported even by seasoned linguists who vehemently denounce the kind of racist attitude shown by benighted 19th-century writers, but who nevertheless have relied on such sources for documentation. The moral is always re-examine what you think are facts to be sure they are really facts; unfortunately, most of us are unable to do this all the time, so myths and biases persist despite our best intentions....

    Now that I have got that out of my system, could I ask you something ---Do you believe in a literal world-wide flood about 2500BC? It would help me a lot to know.

    LOL. In a word, no.

    But I do believe the Mesopotamian flood myths (which the biblical version is derivative of) do reflect memories of actual flooding in Mesopotamia in the 5th-3rd centuries BC...particularly, at the end of the Jemdet Nasr and Uruk cultures.

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