1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting after you have posted 20 posts and have received 5 likes.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

  2. Please check out our two newest forums, the "Buy, Sell or Trade" (link ) forum in the Society Category, and the "Conspiracy Theories" (link) forum in our Discussion and Debate Category.

Analyzing crazy eights for seebs

Discussion in 'Creation & Evolution' started by npetreley, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    1
    Here's a fascinating site that lets you click your way through the supposed geneology of Chinese characters.

    http://zhongwen.com/

    It's a framed site that can be a pain to navigate, but it lets you "drill down" through combinations of pictographs, ideographs, etc., to analyze words. I've provided some URLs you can use to bypass their navigation system to study the etymology of the word "boat," but you may have to do things like right-click and open links in other tabs to make this work my way instead of going through their framed system.

    Go to this page -- http://zhongwen.com/d/178/d238.htm -- where you should see the character for boat. Note that it says "boat [vessel] with phonetic." So far, it looks just like seebs and his USENET guy said. The right-hand half of the word is indeed a unified phonetic. Here's what you should see (you can't click to navigate on my image but you can click on the one at the site.)

    [​IMG]

    So let's see where this phonetic comes from. On their page, click on that phonetic (or open the link associated with that phonetic - depending on how you visited this page, browser, etc.). This is what you should see:

    [​IMG]

    Ouch. This stuff about drainage looks bad for the Noah's ark interpretation.

    But... this is still just describing the phonetic, not its component parts. So click on the COMPONENT OF THE PHONETIC that we thought was "eight" to see where that takes you (or open the link associated with that phonetic - depending on how you visited this page). You'll see this:

    [​IMG]

    Are we having fun yet? Perhaps someone should send an apology to AiG, eh?
     
  2. blader

    blader Evilutionist

    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    0
    As much as I hate to admit it... fair's fair. Petreley's got a good point here.
     
  3. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks, blade. The silence is deafening, however.
     
  4. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

    Messages:
    33,806
    Likes Received:
    1,145
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Seeker
    What's interesting, to me, is that the "phonetic" is drawn with a character which is clearly a ji, but the "up close" picture of it is clearly a ba. Since ji and ba are otherwise separate characters, this looks pretty confused.

    So... it's quite possible that the character is often drawn with that component drawn in the way that '8' is drawn in modern Chinese.

    On the other hand, *when the character was first formed*, it would have been using the older meaning, so it still *wasn't* an 8. This kills the "the Chinese knew all about Genesis" argument. We could still have the argument that God tweaked their etymology such that, thousands of years later when new meanings had been attached to some syllables, you'd be able to take part of a phonetic component and extract meaning from it.

    On the other hand, at that point, we might as well acknowledge that you can do a pretty good job of extracting any creation myth you want from Chinese characters, so maybe Vishnu hid his story in there too.
     
  5. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    1
    ROFL!!! Ah, pride. It's such a killer.
     
  6. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    Messages:
    10,760
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can't believe seebs is not retracting his statements. I'm disappointed in him, since I usually see good character and sound reasoning.

    Whats up with that?
     
  7. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

    Messages:
    33,806
    Likes Received:
    1,145
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Seeker
    What's up, s0uljah, is what's been up the last ten times you've asked:

    1. The character is drawn several different ways. In the one that appears to be the most-canonical, the character is drawn very differently. In particular, the thing in the upper-right-hand corner is drawn three different ways; one an unambiguous ji, one an unambiguous ba, and one a weird hybrid.

    2. My *main* point is that it is not reasonable to derive the meaning "8" as a component of the meaning for the word "boat". The fact that the disputed bit of writing is, in fact, part of a *phonetic* part of the word means that I win this point no matter how we draw it.

    3. As has also been pointed out, the word in question can thus be shown to go back far enough that it would have meant "divide", and been part of another character, rather than being an 8 selected to be part of this character.

    So... the point I lose is "this character is never drawn in a way such that this component looks like an 8".

    The points I still have are:
    1. The meaning of a character often depends on knowing which parts of it are phonetic. (Supported by everyone who has expressed an opinion.)
    2. The character for boat is often written with something in the upper-right which is clearly *NOT* the same character as an 8.
    3. A correct understanding of the etymology of that word will not use the number 8.

    So, if you want me to admit that, in some of the three different ways the word 'boat' is drawn, that component looks like an 8, sure, I admit that.

    If this is supposed to then lead to the assertion that the etymology of 'boat' in Chinese really means '8 people vessel', you're going to have to do something about the fact that it's not drawn the same way other times, and that it's part of a phonetic component, so neither '8' nor 'people' is present in the etymology.

    My concern here is that, out of five or six reasons given not to accept the original claims by the guy who wrote that book in 1979, you'll notice that only *ONE* has been discussed, at all. Why's that, I wonder? Maybe it's because there's room for legitimate debate about how that component of the character should be drawn, so there's a way to argue that maybe that *is* an 8. There isn't, apparently, any way for people to debate that it's part of a phonetic, and thus contributes no *meaning* to the word. Because, if there were, they'd have made that argument by now.

    So, in the end, the claim that "this etymology is totally wrong" is still well-supported, even though I've granted that some people draw that character with a 'ba' in the upper right.
     
  8. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    Messages:
    10,760
    Likes Received:
    0
    I claim nothing about the etymology, as I don't know anything about it. I do claim, that that character, the only one I have looked into, is in no doubt, and eight.

    The "eight" character was your main objection and the one, I believe, caused you to laugh at AiG on that Yahoo Groups post.
     
  9. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

    Messages:
    33,806
    Likes Received:
    1,145
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Seeker
    Okay, I think I see the issue.

    If you're talking about the character that looks sort of like a / \, only with a bit of a line back from the top of the right-hand \, then yeah, that looks a fair bit like an eight. It has other meanings as well.

    The character I was referring to is the one I've found in a number of dictionaries, when looking up chuan, which looks more like a 'ji'.

    I'm willing to grant that the word 'chuan' is sometimes drawn such that, if we ignore etymology and just look at the shapes, it has something in it that looks a lot like an eight. It is not always drawn that way, and it is not clear to me that the character in question is intended to be an eight.

    The reason I laugh at AiG is not *just* the 8. It's the ongoing sequence of incredibly stretched etymologies, such as interpreting a kou as (breath from God's) mouth, rather than just "probably mouth, maybe person, depending on context".

    To summarize, in the dictionaries I normally use, chuan does not contain anything that anyone would call an eight. The font used by AiG and a few other sites is *different*.
     
  10. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    1
    And the fact that the phonetic is derived from eight+mouth means you lose this point no matter what you claim. This was shown clearly by my post above, and that is from a source that has no stake in establishing its roots in Genesis.

    Bzzzt. The phonetic itself is subject to etymology, and that leads you to the eight+mouth. So you simply refuse to acknowledge that you can look any farther back than your phonetic, which is blatantly refusing to acknowledge the obvious truth.

    That's only partially true (the character IS an eight, depending on style), and it is irrelevant, anyway. The issue isn't how "boat" is drawn NOW, but how it originated. And it obviously originated as eight+mouth.

    Bzzt again. A correct understanding of the etymology shows that it has no other interpretation BUT to be 8.

    You really should reconsider how you're handling this, seebs. It is rather perilous to refuse to love the truth, and that is far more important than the issue of boats and eights.
     
  11. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    Messages:
    10,760
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, it is "defintely an eight" by my two Chinese speaking sources in my family.
     
  12. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

    Messages:
    33,806
    Likes Received:
    1,145
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Seeker
    s0uljah: And *other* Chinese-speaking people have said "I dunno, that doesn't look like an eight to me" or "That's not drawn right to be an eight".

    The conclusion I draw from this is that this may be a regional variation in the way people draw the 8, and some people would recognize that variant as an 8, and others wouldn't.

    As to the other meanings - those aren't reasonably under dispute. Look it up in a dictionary; it has other meanings.

    http://www.zhongwen.com/d/164/d75.htm

    Is it an eight? Sure. It also represents "division", or "separation".

    So... it's not "definitely and exclusively a meaning of 8, no other meanings are possible".

    Furthermore, if you look at different dictionaries' representations of chuan, you'll see that only *some* of them use a symbol that looks like that; many use something that looks more like this:

    http://zhongwen.com/d/164/d76.htm

    or a simplified form of this:

    http://zhongwen.com/d/180/d88.htm

    So... while the thing you showed is definitely a character which sometimes means 8, it has other meanings, and it is not always the symbol used in the upper-right-hand corner of a chuan2.
     
  13. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    1
    And they're right, even about the modern way of writing the pictographs/ideographs in the word "boat". I didn't realize that until just now when I was browsing the following site:

    http://www.mandarintools.com/chardict.html

    I looked up things like "boat" and "eight" and found out something fascinating. When I looked up the words in one browser, the "eight" came up without the top line. The funny thing is that it appeared this way whether I looked up the word "eight" or "boat," which I thought was odd, since I thought the modern "boat" had the line on top of the eight.

    Then, when I used another browser, they "eight" came up with the line on top, and the "eight" in "boat" also came up with the line on top! Suddenly they both had the line, and I was getting to this from the SAME WEB PAGE!

    Then I realized what was happening. I was looking at two different sets of unicode fonts!!! In one font, it comes up with the line on top, regardless of whether you're looking at boat or eight. The glyphs are identical either way. Using the other font, they don't have the line on top whether you're looking at boat or eight.

    The fact that the two styles of the "ba" glyph TRACK EACH OTHER, whether the unicode character is for EIGHT or BOAT, should tell you something, shouldn't it?

    If it's anything other than "ba" in the "boat" character, then why does that glyph in "boat" always look like the "eight" in the SAME font no matter which font I use?

    Try this link for yourself. You'll see that the Unicode standard doesn't have the line on top, but depending on the browser and font you're using, you may also see the glyph exactly as it appears in the word "boat" on AiG. So they're both the same thing - ba1, or eight.

    http://www.unicode.org/cgi-bin/GetUnihanData.pl?codepoint=516B&useutf8=false

    In other words, the eight is an eight is an eight no matter how you slice it.

    Here are other excellent sites with lots of translation and information tools.

    http://www.mandarintools.com/

    http://zhongwen.com/

    Here are some of the various modern styles for eight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Seebs, you really should just have your serving of crow and get it over with...
     
  14. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    1
    One or more of you is either ignorant or lying, then.
     
  15. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    1
    Seebs, this is clearly not a "ji". None of the stylized versions of "ji" look like it. But it looks EXACTLY like a "ba".

    [​IMG]

    Since you seem to have problems representing the images so everyone can see how ridiculous your assertion is that it might be a "ji", here, I'll help you out.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  16. Susan

    Susan 退屈させた1 つ (bored one)

    Messages:
    11,305
    Likes Received:
    122
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Democrat
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    Yeah! Admit it, you're wrong Seebs. . . ^.^
     
  17. ashibaka

    ashibaka ShiiAce

    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    18
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Buddhist
    Argh, me-tooing.

    Anyway, Nick, what do you think of my post #136 in the other thread, which states that "eight" is also used as "many"?
     
  18. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    1
    I honestly still don't understand your point in that post. You kept comparing eight ("ba") to the unicode character 51E0, which is many ("ji"), not eight. So of course they didn't match. They aren't the same character. In other words, why should I be surprised that the character you placed in your text (51E0) is not the same as the character you'd need for eight (516B)? (I'd put those chars here if I knew how to do it with vbCode, but I don't.)

    If you're referring to the fact that 8 can also mean "many" in Japanese, then once again I don't see your point. Aside from the fact that Japanese is not Chinese, that's a change that occurred long after the word "boat" was created in Chinese from the combination of vessel+eight+mouth. The oracle bone script makes it extremely obvious that the original glyph was "eight" and not some other glyph.

    If you had some other point there that I missed, well, perhaps you can clear that up.
     
  19. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

    Messages:
    33,806
    Likes Received:
    1,145
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Seeker
    I admitted that I was wrong about whether the character S0uljah pointed out could be interpreted as an 8.

    I have substantial evidence that:
    1. It may be interpreted other ways.
    and
    2. It is not necessarily the best representation of
    what's drawn in the upper-right-hand corner of
    chuan2.
    and
    3. The etymology for the word for 'boat' does not refer to the individual components on the right-hand-side, because it was using a combined pictograph made of them to give a phonetic clue.

    It doesn't make much of a difference. The symbol in that part of chuan2 in my Chinese dictionary is still not an 8, by any stretch of the imagination. The etymology for 'boat' does not refer to eightness.
     
  20. Morat

    Morat Untitled One

    Messages:
    2,737
    Likes Received:
    1
    Faith:
    Atheist
      I was playing around with that site, and the the character in question (ba) seems to have multiple meanings. The first definition stating it represents division.

      The Zhongwen site seems to have an etymology chart at the bottom, but it is not one I can read. I've sent an email to a local expert who (assuming he has the time) might be able to shed some truly professional light on the topic.


     
     
Loading...