Opinions can be based upon a variety of sources. Opinions can come from beliefs, from witnessing events, and through scientific knowledge. A number of Torah stories are viewed as mere mythology and presenting absurd facts. The Tower of Babel story is one of them. A moment upon which a group of people’s language changes and they are unable to communicate with each other? Inconceivable! Confounding this is the fact that we presently may not grasp or understand the ancient language and writer’s perspective with respect to the event. A writer’s perspective, without all the facts or knowledge, may lead to fantastic conclusions.
The Towel of Babel story in the Torah is as follows:
|“Now the entire earth was of one language and uniform words…And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered upon the face of the entire earth.” And the Lord descended to see the city and the tower that the sons of man had built. And the Lord said, “Lo! [they are] one people, and they all have one language, and this is what they have commenced to do. Now, will it not be withheld from them, all that they have planned to do? Come, let us descend and confuse their language, so that one will not understand the language of his companion.” And the Lord scattered them from there upon the face of the entire earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore, He named it Babel, for there the Lord confused the language of the entire earth, and from there the Lord scattered them upon the face of the entire earth.” Genesis 11:1-9|
When rationally looking at this story, the power to be able to change the language of others would be something quite preposterous. This part of the story allows skeptics to dismiss the story as fiction. Scientific evidence, shockingly, may be to the contrary. There is a medical condition recognized that involves people spontaneously changing their speech.
The medical condition called “Foreign Accent Syndrome.” It involves people suddenly speaking in a foreign manner. The condition can have both physical and emotional causes.
There is the physiological etiology. The term “FAS” was given a proposed set of diagnostic criteria: “(1) “the accent is considered by the patient, by acquaintances and by the investigator, to sound foreign”; (2) “it is unlike the patient’s native dialect before cerebral insult,” (3) “it is clearly related to central nervous system damage (as opposed to an hysteric reaction, if such exist)”; (4) “(t)here is no evidence in the patient’s background of being a speaker of a foreign language (i.e., this is not like cases of polyglot aphasia)” Keulen S, Verhoeven J, De Witte E, De Page L, Bastiaanse R, Mariën P. Foreign Accent Syndrome As a Psychogenic Disorder: A Review. Front Hum Neurosci. 2016 Apr 27;10:168. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00168. PMID: 27199699; PMCID: PMC4846654.
Researchers also looked into a psychogenic cause FAS. They concluded “psychogenic FAS is elated to the presence of a psychiatric or psychological disturbance in the absence of demonstrable neurological damage or an organic condition that might explain the accent. Secondly, psychogenic FAS occurs more in women than men, in an age range which is likely to be prone to depression and mental problems (25–49 years)” Keulen S, Verhoeven J, De Witte E, De Page L, Bastiaanse R, Mariën P. Foreign Accent Syndrome As a Psychogenic Disorder: A Review. Front Hum Neurosci. 2016 Apr 27;10:168. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00168. PMID: 27199699; PMCID: PMC4846654.
With this concept in mind, one’s imagination can take over with respect to the story. It is possible that some of the builders sustain head traumas during the construction that could have caused the condition. The workers could have use toxic materials which damaged their nervous system and caused the change. There may have been some psychological trauma at the site that caused the change. The height of the building so high that a lack of oxygen could have impacted the nervous system and caused the condition. In response to the question would be “whether can FAS could impact multiple individuals at the same time?”
In sum, you never know….until you know more. With this, there is something to be said about having an open minds as to the possibilities. This is what makes life stimulating.
Is it possible that individuals language can suddenly change?
Scientifists are now studying a phenomena.