Last week, I came across two articles which interested me. While that doesn’t mean that they would be of interest to others, Monday morning seems to be a good time to pass them on because it means that I don’t have to work very hard to come up with a post. 🙂
I will briefly introduce both articles, provide a link, and include a snippet.
The first, from the Washington Post, is about the position of women in the Abrahamic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The article points out that women are assigned different roles than men in these religions. These roles keep women out of leadership positions at best … to say nothing of the worst. It’s one woman’s view that I would find difficult to refute.
In the eyes of the Abrahamic religions, the archetypal woman is Eve: disobedient, unreliable, easily led astray, and a seductive temptress of man – man being more noble, yet easy prey to the wiles and seductions of his weaker mate. Woman is the source of danger, the one who corrupts him, the conduit for all that is evil in the world. She is dangerous … yet irresistible; and this very irresistibility makes her more dangerous still. But you will notice that the dangers of sexual temptation are not to be faced equally by men and women: no, religion demands that it is the woman who bears the burden.
The second article, from ScienceNOW, is about a topic that interests me quite a bit. DNA sleuthing has proved pretty conclusively that modern humans originated in Africa and began to disperse outward about 50 000 to 70 000 years ago. Now there is a study of languages that seems to corroborate the DNA evidence.
The story of humanity’s prehistoric expansion across the planet is recorded in our genes. And, apparently, the story of the spread of language is hidden in the sounds of our words. That’s the finding of a new study, which concludes that both people and languages spread out from an African homeland by a similar process—and that language may have been the cultural innovation that fueled our ancestors’ momentous migrations.