History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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More on OIT/AIT and Indo-european obscurities

July 29th, 2015 · No Comments

I can’t find my copy of McEvilleuy’s book. Much diffusion is there but core spiritual teachings often don’t diffuse. Jain monks reached the Roman Empire, but their teaching didn’t survive, but may have been very well known before Xtian censorhip. The Trinity is a case of garbled Samkhya.

The influence of Sumer in India is the kind of thing McEvilleuy discusses, very difficult questions.
I have raised the question of the sources of Indian yoga vis the ‘primordial Shavism’ discussed by Danielou, who jumps to the conclusion that the cult of Dionysus is relevant here. There are a number of parallel streams in Egypt (Sumer, no doubt), Greece, India….and these show sources very early, a no-brainer, in a way, most of the great religious streams begin in the Neolithic.
BTW, people should study my WHEE and its parallel/sequential arguments and contrasts: the main line of diffusion is Sumer, except…The influence of religious elements from the sixth millennium BCE is very import

As For Elst (I was de-subbed from a OIT list where he commented) he seems to be shifting his views slightly. Despite his statements the OIT case is vexed. In any case, just as with the Anatolian, the Baltic, the Arctic, the Persian as somebody’s speculative source of some kind they can’t be sources in the manner given, e.g. Vedic Sanskrit (and I am not talking about the later literary Sanskrit which noone spoke, apparently?).

For the OIT to work it has to satisfy the Steppe hypothesis, or some rough variant, willynilly, note the irony, around 2500 BCE a PIE then diffuses everywhere, except India, which gets Vedic sanskrit from that source: from some source before 2500 BCE a root language as proto-PIE saw its speakers wandering in the general Eurasian steppe zone. So if India is the source then some form of proto-PIE became the PIE source of the OIT tribes moving to the core Eurasian (steppes) thence to Persia, Greece, Europe.
That means this proto-PIE had to descend into Vedic in India, while it became Greek, Persia, and then much else in the second millennium in all these other places. I find that quite implausible.
Are these writers assuming that proto-PIE was close to Vedic Sanskrit in the period for proto-PIE before 2500 BCE? That’s not logical. PIE, what to say of proto-PIE must have been higher on a hierarchical tree than Vedic Sanskrit whose cousins are Persian, Greek, etc… So this OIT deep source is not at all like Sanskrit. Is that what these people mean?

The most logical solution is that a mysterious proto-PIE of unknown origin generates PIE in some Eurasian core zone that is a logical jumping off point to Italy, Greece, Persia (with Celtic, Slavic languages being slightly different later cases) and this becomes the source of Aryan invasions or diffusions into Italy, Greece, Persia?, India…
If you place PIE in India, then what of proto-PIE?

In general the Indo-European languages present many puzzles, whose solution in the minds of speculative scholars often runs afoul of the issue of language change. If proto-PIE originated in India it would not look at all like later Vedic Sanskrit.

These scholars often point to things that seem to prove their case: the Arctic theory and the vedic symbolism, same for neolithic astronomic observations. There is no reason such lore can’t descend via translation into a new language.

Let me say at once that a neo-OIT with a case for either PIE or proto_PIE sourcing in India is probably falsifiable with a little zooming, and is very implausible to me. But, whatever the case, we can’t have early Vedic-Sanskrit in the period 4500 to 2500 BCE.
Many myths pass via linguistic change into descendant languages….

Submitted on 2015/07/28 at 2:26 pm

Vedic at 10k????!!!! That indeed would be absurd. I’m not an OIT supporter, but that is not what they’re claiming:

Stern minds will notice the unjustified leap from linguistic distance to geographical distance: a language may perfectly stay in the same place all while changing — compare e.g. the difference between classical Latin and current Italian. Indeed, that is precisely what happened with Sanskrit as a spoken language in its northwest-Indian heartland, Sanskrit has evolved to Apabhramsa, and later to Haryanvi, Konkani and other dialects. This hasty deduction that the Homeland must lie outside of India because Sanskrit differed from PIE, became the first of several unwarranted deductions about the real world from the paper world of the philologists.


Mysterious Indo-European homeland may have been in the steppes of Ukraine and Russia | Science/AAAS | News

Submitted on 2015/07/28 at 1:42 pm

I suspect in the Greek and Indian case something more is going on. Thomas McEvilley’s book probably the best job of indicating this. It’s not a perfect book, but it points to enough similarities that make you scratch your head and say, “That can’t be a coincidence.” It wouldn’t surprise me if we’re missing something from that general Iranian area

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