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Another Possible Voynich Breakthrough 160

Posted by samzenpus
from the be-sure-to-drink-your-Ovaltine dept.
bmearns writes "Over the past few weeks we've been hearing a lot about a possible breakthrough in decoding the infamous Voynich manuscript, made by a team of botanists who suggested that the plants depicted in the manuscript may have been from the New World and the mysterious writing could be a form of an Aztec language. But the latest development comes from linguist Stephen Bax, of Bedfordshire University, who believes he has identified some proper names (including of the constellation 'Taurus') in the manuscript and is using these as a crib to begin deciphering the rest of the text, which he believes comes from the near east or Asia."
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Another Possible Voynich Breakthrough

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  • EUREKA!!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:16PM (#46292353)

    It says "Be Sure to Drink Your Ovaltine"...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:18PM (#46292361)

    ...yet another researcher reports their findings that one of the Rorschach inkblots may definitely be a picture of a face...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...yet another researcher reports their findings that one of the Rorschach inkblots may definitely be a picture of a face...

      Boobs. Rorschach inkblots are boobs.

      Water stains, burn patterns, clouds; those are all faces. But Rorschach blots are boobs.

    • ...yet another researcher reports their findings that one of the Rorschach inkblots may definitely be a picture of a face...

      While this has been modded "funny," it really should be marked "insightful."

      For a century now, there have been numerous people -- including serious researchers -- who have chased after crazy theories regarding this manuscript. This particular study seems to involve some people who see a few blotches of ink on a couple of the illustrations of plants (among many weird drawings in the manuscript, it must be said), and decide that these must be New World plants.

      This follows in the general pattern of Voyni

  • finally (Score:4, Funny)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:23PM (#46292373)
    Anyone else get the feeling that this is pretty much the only ongoing legendary Discovery Channel special mystery that actually got solved. Atlantis? Who knows? Stone henge? Not really solved. Nostradamus? Super debatable. But finally, what seems like yet another impossible eternal mystery is FINALLY being solved! And in my lifetime! I can't even think of any other comparison similar to this.
    • SHUT UP!

      BIG FOOT AND GHOSTS ARE *REAL*!

      (I don't care how many caps I use, it's all REAL!)

    • Re:finally (Score:5, Informative)

      by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @12:04AM (#46292503)

      Atlantis was solved over 2000 years ago: Plato made the story up. He says as much. It was never intended to be taken as an actual real place, it was just a story told by a fictional character in one of his dialogs (the Timaeus, to be specific) to make a point.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Landing on the moon, splitting the atom, discovery of the Higgs boson, neutrino detectors, and of course "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus".

      • Landing on the moon wasn't a mystery. Splitting the atom was predicted. The Higgs Boson was solved, just not proven and proving theories is quite boring compared to creating them, neutrinos were already theorized to exist, they merely proved it, and "men and women are different" is not new.
    • I can't even think of any other comparison similar to this.

      How about Piltdown Man?

    • 'Atlantis' is Crete. Minoan culture.

    • What, again [youtube.com]?
    • by gsslay (807818)

      Nostradamus? Super debatable.

      Really? Not much to debate here.

      1/ Write a whole lot of vague waffle that could mean anything.
      2/ Wait five hundred years.
      3/ Pretend waffle contains predictions about things that have happened, after the fact. Don't worry, you've 500 years of stuff to pick from, something is bound to fit somewhere if you're not too fussy about accuracy.
      5/ Solved.

      • I think the hard part is staying alive for 500 years...

        (The implied 'you' makes it sound like you're talking about a singular entity :)

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          Thankfully "you" is plural, and could apply to thee, and millions of others not yet born.
    • Stonehenge has been at least partialy solved - the rocks are bell stones, when struck with metal they each make unique sounds. This would explain why they were hauled such a distance, and we can pretty safely assume their purpose was musical, although whether that was for entertainment, religion, or what is still unknown.

      • by RockDoctor (15477)

        Stonehenge has been at least partialy solved - the rocks are bell stones,

        Citation required.

        Considering that the stones have been significantly eroded (not just by weather ; humans including generations of souvenir hunters have taken their chip, and many of the stones were significantly re-shaped multiple times during the site's 1500-odd years of use, including at least two major rebuilding and re-arrangement episodes.

        But don't let facts and evidence get in the way of telling a nice story.

        • It's not the shape of the rocks that give them musical properties, it's the material of the rocks:

          English Heritage allowed archaeologists from Bournemouth and Bristol universities to acoustically test the bluestones at Stonehenge, effectively playing them like a huge xylophone.

          To the researchers’ surprise, several were found to make distinctive if muted sounds, with several of the rocks showing evidence of having already been struck.

          The stones make different pitched noises in different places and dif

          • by RockDoctor (15477)
            [Shrug] The Daily Flail and the Royal College of Arts aren't very high on my list of reliable sources ; though I'd expect one of the Royal Colleges to hold to reasonable standards of scholarship, but I wouldn't expect the Flail [qwghlm.co.uk] to honour that. . But more importantly, you've carefully (or accidentally ; I don't know how much you actually know about Stonehenge) shifted from referring to "the stones" being "bell stones", to citing information about the bluestones.

            While the bluestones are a part of Stoneheng

            • [Shrug] The Daily Flail and the Royal College of Arts aren't very high on my list of reliable sources ; though I'd expect one of the Royal Colleges to hold to reasonable standards of scholarship, but I wouldn't expect the Flail [qwghlm.co.uk] to honour that.

              Ah I can see this is going to be a genuine and rational argument when your first salvo is attacking the messenger.

              But more importantly, you've carefully (or accidentally ; I don't know how much you actually know about Stonehenge) shifted from referring to "the stones" being "bell stones", to citing information about the bluestones.

              This doesn't even make any sense. The bluestones are bellstones or ringing rocks. There is a video where a guy hits them with a hammer and makes all sorts of musical notes. Initially they went back to the quarry where the stones originated and did the same thing, finding the same property. There are many other videos of people doing the same thing with other such rocks. Are you trying to say tha

  • by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:35PM (#46292411) Journal

    This guy just looked at the pictures, found a few he thinks he knows, and assumed the text with some similarity MUST BE IT.

    "He said he had managed to find the word for Taurus, alongside a picture of seven stars (seen as part of the zodiac constellation of Taurus)"

    Up next he'll find the word "leaf" next to a picture of a leaf, and the word "copyright" on the last page...

    • by jrumney (197329)

      Looking at a random page from the book, the manuscript is clearly nonsensical, perhaps someone's attempt to leave a coded riddle, but certainly no ancient record of exotic flora or other scientific knowledge. The same "word" is repeated four or five times on each line, with only one different word appearing on the line, often differing from the repeated word by only one "letter", at other times looking like it could be an English word in barely legible script.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Looking at a random page from the book, the manuscript is clearly nonsensical, perhaps someone's attempt to leave a coded riddle, but certainly no ancient record of exotic flora or other scientific knowledge. The same "word" is repeated four or five times on each line, with only one different word appearing on the line, often differing from the repeated word by only one "letter", at other times looking like it could be an English word in barely legible script.

        So if I understand you right, you're trying to tell us this is some ancient person's version of the lyrics to badger badger badger.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20, 2014 @04:02AM (#46293039)

        You do realise that in the languages families this is puported to be from, that's normal patterning of a aggulnative language; heavy on prefixes, and repetition (both word and morpheme level) This is compounded by the fact many of the languages are few on morphemes.

        "fachys.ykal.ar.ataiin.Shol.Shory.cThres.y,kor.Sholdysory.cKhar.or,y.kair.chtaiin.Shar.are.cThar.cThar,dansyaiir.Sheky.or.ykaiin.Shod.cThoary.cThes.daraiin.sa o'oiin.oteey.oteos,roloty" -- Beginning of First page of the voynich transcript using latin characters. -- Looks like a language to me.

        I personally love http://my.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E1%80%A1%E1%80%9B%E1%80%B1%E1%80%AC%E1%80%84%E1%80%BA This example for a language that is nothing but repeated circles.

        "A koi aku la lakou ia ia a hilahila oia, i mai la ia, E hoouna aku oukou. A hoouna aku la lakou i kanalima kanaka; a imi lakou ia ia i na la ekolu, aole i loaa. A hoi hou mai la lakou ia ia, (no ka mea, e noho ana no ia ma Ieriko,) i aku la ia ia lakou, Aole anei au i olelo aku ia oukou, Mai hele oukou?" (Old Testament)

        "oka maeuhane e nana ana oe maloko oka abenana ma kahi mamao he hoailona laki ia no ka hoomahuahua ana aku i kona ma pomaikai.
        ina he kanaka mahiai e holopono ana kana mau mea kanu ina he kanaka ma ka oihana e pii ana kana ma hana ina he kanaka ilihune mahuahua ana kana mau keiki a pelaaku." (Newspaper)

        "Aymar aruxa arsuta aru, qillqata aruwa. Jichhurunakanxa waranqh waranqh aymaranakarakiw uraqpachan mirantatasipki, janiw Los Andes ukawjanakt utjki aymaranakaxa."

        Or look at http://dv.wikipedia.org/wiki/%DE%89%DE%A6%DE%87%DE%A8_%DE%9E%DE%A6%DE%8A%DE%B0%DE%99%DE%A7 For an example of repeated glyphs over, and over again.

        Or even inuktitut article for the eye: http://iu.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E1%90%83%E1%94%A8
        Seeng repeated glyphs over and over, looks like complete gibberish, or variants that aren't significant, actually are. dot over the i or no? significant in Turkish. i, j, originally just a cursive swish to differentiate i at end of word from a trailing tail.

      • by eggstasy (458692)

        Bacon-wrapped back bacon is still bacon-wrapped bacon. Does this mean that by repeating "bacon" too many times I have rendered the sentence invalid? Please. You can never have too much bacon.

        • by jrumney (197329)

          The page I was looking at was more like "Bacon bacon bacon beacon bacon pork. Beacon bacon pork bacon bacon beacon. ... ad nauseum, the lines morphing over time but the repitition being constant. It was illustrated with a half dozen naked cherubs, but I can't seem to find it now (was on the first page of a Google image search this morning). Looking at other pages, there seem to be many pages with patterns in the text (same word not quite lining up vertically the entire way up the page), which make it look

      • So? Could be some sort of linguistic joke. Something like Dutch "de vliegen vliegen vliegende vliegen achterna" (the flies fly after flying flies).

      • by evilviper (135110)

        The same "word" is repeated four or five times on each line, with only one different word appearing on the line, often differing from the repeated word by only one "letter",

        1) Da na na na na na na na na na na BATMAN!

        2) Fuck the fucking fuckers...

        3) Random opinionated people on /. are always more knowledgeable than experts in the subject.

      • by bmearns (1691628)

        Looking at a random page from the book, the manuscript is clearly nonsensical

        Yeh, you're right. The world's greatest linguists, historians, and cryptographers have been studying this for a century and are still undecided about the nature of the work, but you "looked at a random page" and have a pretty solid grasp on it.

      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        So you're saying it's in some sort of 'code' that you can't understand...
    • So? Could be some sort of linguistic joke. Something like Dutch "de vliegen vliegen vliegende vliegen achterna" (the flies fly after flying flies).

  • by bammmmm (3498549) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:36PM (#46292415)
    • by bammmmm (3498549)
      sorry for the typo :) is there an edit function on slashdot?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Is the an edit fucktion on slashdot? No, sorry, there i snot.

  • Schizophrenia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sg_oneill (159032) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @11:36PM (#46292419)

    When I was younger, early 20s back in the 1990s , once of my best friends started to slip into schizophrenia (it ran in his family). He constantly jotted drawings and writings on paper, which grew increasingly more bizare. Started with pictures of aliens and UFOs (Which he'd say where just him having fun) but over time turned into numerological type things (My first letter is T my second is C, I am top cat, my age adds up to 9 which upside down is a third of 666 etc etc etc) and increasingly more paranoid mystery theories. He'd draw charts explaining the relationships between things.

    And since he was a biology student, he drew lots of plants. Particularly his favorite, marihuana.

    Whats to say this isn't the mad scrawlings of a schizophrenic mad man, 500 years ago? It'd certainly fit the pattern.

    • Whats to say this isn't the mad scrawlings of a schizophrenic mad man, 500 years ago? It'd certainly fit the pattern.

      While not impossible, the text that remains is 240 pages (each page roughly 6.3 x 9 inches). Being as it seems to have some coherent themes across sections, it seems rather unlikely that a disturbed person could have written it on a whim.

      • Re:Schizophrenia (Score:5, Interesting)

        by chihowa (366380) * on Thursday February 20, 2014 @12:01AM (#46292495)

        Length and coherency don't preclude madness. One of my father's patients claimed to visit another world frequently and wrote a very long book detailing the world and its inhabitants. I have a huge map he drew of the place with detail so fine you need a magnifying glass to read it all and plates of the (not surprisingly) bizarre animals that lived there. The whole thing is incredibly detailed and quite internally consistent. Schizophrenia is not orthogonal to intelligence.

        There's also work like Henry Darger's [wikipedia.org], which is extremely lengthy and follows a coherent theme.

        • by chihowa (366380) *

          Hmm, sanity is apparently orthogonal to proofreading ability.

        • Re:Schizophrenia (Score:4, Informative)

          by infogulch (1838658) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @12:19AM (#46292559)

          Schizophrenia is not orthogonal to intelligence.

          Surely you meant "schizophrenia is orthogonal to intelligence", otherwise you're saying that all schizophrenics are geniuses.

          • by durin (72931)

            Huh? The statement "Schizophrenia is not orthogonal to intelligence" does not say that schizophrenia == intelligence (while your own statement says that schizophrenia != intelligence), it says that just because someone is schizophrenic it does not mean that they're not intelligent.

        • The whole thing is incredibly detailed and quite internally consistent.

          I guess the obvious question is if he can locate the planet in the sky and describe the planetary system.

        • Did he ever publish it? Not only would it be an interesting read, it would most certainly make a lot of GMs and Storytellers happy to have a complete world at hand that isn't split out over 1000 source books that cost something bordering a new car to get all of them...

        • One of my father's patients claimed to visit another world frequently and wrote a very long book detailing the world and its inhabitants

          I would be interested to see this book -- is there any way to get a copy?

        • by Jmc23 (2353706)
          You might have point, then again, your father's 'patient' might not actually be mad.
      • by QilessQi (2044624)

        I'll just leave this here:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]

      • While not impossible, the text that remains is 240 pages (each page roughly 6.3 x 9 inches). Being as it seems to have some coherent themes across sections, it seems rather unlikely that a disturbed person could have written it on a whim.

        Never underestimate outsider art, especially if crazy outsider art. Look at the works of Henry Darger [wikipedia.org] and his book The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion which is over 15,000 typed pages. Along with that he has countless artworks associated with it, a 10,000 page handwritten sequel, and some other books including The Story of my Life which after 200 pages of talking about his life goes into almost

    • by Jmc23 (2353706)
      So what you're saying is that your friend was close to discovering the secret of reality until THEY intervened, concocted the usual schizophrenia 'diagnosis' and then gave him a life time supply of anti-thinking pills?
  • cant tell if expert or 'expert', but look: http://www.ciphermysteries.com... [ciphermysteries.com] found some more german critics http://scienceblogs.de/klausis... [scienceblogs.de]
    • by bammmmm (3498549)
      also: if it wasn't encoded / plain text and even borrowing from known or even latin languages, I'd guess you could identify words with heuristics...
  • by Calavar (1587721) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @12:13AM (#46292531)
    I remember reading an article long ago that said that the Voynich manuscript was made by a con man that wanted to make some quick cash by writing down some gibberish in a book, claiming that it had mystical origins, and selling it off to someone with more money than common sense. (In this case, that person would be Emperor Rudolf II.) Some linguists have said that the statistical patterns of the text match what would be expected of a natural language, but the article that I read suggested that it is possible to create a random text that looks like a natural language by randomly choosing syllables with a special table. This table of syllables is constructed in such a way that the probability of a certain syllable occurring depends on the syllable that precedes it. To me, this seems like a much more reasonable explanation than the idea that New World lanuages somehow made it into a book that was (according to Wikipedia) was written in Europe between 1404 and 1438.
    • by plasticsquirrel (637166) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @01:02AM (#46292685)

      You may want to read the article before jumping to conclusions. The authors have identified many of the plants and animals as those of the New World, including specific breeds of cattle introduced from Spain, animals like the Ocelot, and others. Their study is very thorough, and it includes study of texts they have found with similar scripts and languages. Their conclusion is that it came from 16th century Spain, and was written in an Aztec language by natives who had been educated by the Spanish (and their evidence for this is quite convincing). From the conclusion of the research:

      We note that the style of the drawings in the Voynich Ms. is similar to 16th century codices from Mexico (e.g., Codex Cruz-Badianus). With this prompt, we have identified a total of 37 of the 303 plants illustrated in the Voynich Ms. (roughly 12.5% of the total), the six principal animals, and the single illustrated mineral. The primary geographical distribution of these materials, identified so far, is from Texas, west to California, south to Nicaragua, pointing to a botanic garden in central Mexico, quite possibly Huaztepec (Morelos). A search of surviving codices and manuscripts from Nueva España in the 16th century, reveals the calligraphy of the Voynich Ms. to be similar to the Codex Osuna (1563-1566, Mexico City). Loan-words for the plant and animal names have been identified from Classical Nahuatl, Spanish, Taino, and Mixtec. The main text, however, seems to be in an extinct dialect of Nahuatl from central Mexico, possibly Morelos or Puebla.

      • by mbone (558574) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @01:31AM (#46292771)

        You may want to read the article before jumping to conclusions. The authors have identified many of the plants and animals as those of the New World, including specific breeds of cattle introduced from Spain, animals like the Ocelot, and others. Their study is very thorough, and it includes study of texts they have found with similar scripts and languages. Their conclusion is that it came from 16th century Spain, and was written in an Aztec language by natives who had been educated by the Spanish (and their evidence for this is quite convincing).

        Read this [ciphermysteries.com] for a contrary (and, I think, better informed) view.

        • I wish the author of that article provided links to the information about letter forms. I'd like to read about that. The age of the vellum doesn't help much, as vellum was often re-used. Of course, there may be evidence that this text was the first use of the vellum, though the article does mention finding previous text with a blacklight. Maybe I should be glad there aren't links to this other research. I might lose half my morning.
      • by denzacar (181829)

        Except carbon dating puts the book at the beginning of 15th century.

        Which would mean, that for it to fit into those New World stories it would have to have been made a century BEFORE it was filled out, AND then someone gave the empty book to the natives to fill it out with drawings and text.

        On the other hand... someone finding couple of piles of old unwritten material, binding it together, filling it out with plausible nonsense and selling it to some rich amateur alchemist... that sounds a lot more plausibl

        • With respect to your low uid# and the awesome bit of Schiller in your sig, I have to point that the age of the vellum does little to prove that the text originates earlier than some assumptions. Vellum was used over and over. So, unless we have some clear evidence that it has not been reused, the manuscript text may well be written on vellum significantly older than itself.
          • Vellum was used over and over.

            Umm, no. Vellum was sometimes reused once, and it was common enough to scrape off, wash, and reuse stuff that there is a term for it, palimpsest [wikipedia.org]. While there are quite rare examples of a "double palimpsest" (reused twice), it certainly was not at all the norm to use vellum "over and over."

            So, unless we have some clear evidence that it has not been reused, the manuscript text may well be written on vellum significantly older than itself.

            No, I don't really buy that theory either. As someone who has actually spent quite a bit of time working with early manuscripts and has even played a hand at deciphering previous "scraped off" texts in palimpsests, I ca

          • by denzacar (181829)

            Two things don't fit into that.

            One... we know of the practice of scraping and reusing parchment cause it tends to be visible, often with naked eye. [wikipedia.org]

            Two... Traces of scraping tend to be noticeable. And there are some. Well... One. [wikipedia.org]
            And it kinda points in the scam direction, rather than in the direction of Aztecs writing on scrapped parchment given to them by monks who taught them to read and write and draw in European style and fashion but not in European alphabet or language.

            As for the UID and Schiller... It's

        • ...

          Which would mean, that for it to fit into those New World stories it would have to have been made a century BEFORE it was filled out, AND then someone gave the empty book to the natives to fill it out with drawings and text.

          ...

          Umm.. did you know that the production of blank books was a common practice, and in fact still is? They were, and are, used for diaries, ledgers, log books, sketch books, etc., etc. At the beginning of the 1500s, when a book about the New World could be produced, a blank book made 80 or so years earlier was hardly unimaginable.

          • At the beginning of the 1500s, when a book about the New World could be produced, a blank book made 80 or so years earlier was hardly unimaginable.

            "Unimaginable"? No. Very unlikely? Yes.

            The production of blank paper books for various purposes in recent centuries is common enough, but producing a blank vellum book only to sit on a shelf for nearly a century without being used would be quite unusual. Do you realize how many animals had to be killed to make this book, not to mention effort gone into scraping, stretching, treating, and otherwise processing each page of skin? This was a very expensive and wasteful endeavor... making such a book to s

    • by mbone (558574)

      I remember reading an article long ago that said that the Voynich manuscript was made by a con man that wanted to make some quick cash by writing down some gibberish in a book, claiming that it had mystical origins, and selling it off to someone with more money than common sense. (In this case, that person would be Emperor Rudolf II.) Some linguists have said that the statistical patterns of the text match what would be expected of a natural language, but the article that I read suggested that it is possible to create a random text that looks like a natural language by randomly choosing syllables with a special table. This table of syllables is constructed in such a way that the probability of a certain syllable occurring depends on the syllable that precedes it.

      His name was John Dee [wikia.com], or maybe his buddy Edward Kelley [wikipedia.org], both pretty interesting characters.

      I also believe that you are referring to the hoax theory of Gordon Rugg [keele.ac.uk], but I found that unconvincing (such ciphers were popular 100 to 150 years after the creation of Voynich, and even if someone independently invented it earlier, manually it is a lot of work for a 240 page hoax).

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      What you're referring to is called a Markov chain. You can generate some very interesting text with two-deep chains, to the extent that a speaker of the language used to generate the probabilities could read it naturally and it'd feel like it's actually in that language, even though it's complete nonsense. I guess my only question would be whether someone could've figured that out back in the 15th century when Markov chains only appeared centuries later (and also had the dedication to compile those statisti
    • Some linguists have said that the statistical patterns of the text match what would be expected of a natural language, but the article that I read suggested that it is possible to create a random text that looks like a natural language by randomly choosing syllables with a special table. This table of syllables is constructed in such a way that the probability of a certain syllable occurring depends on the syllable that precedes it. To me, this seems like a much more reasonable explanation

      It seems reasonab

    • by jafac (1449)

      iI remember reading an article long ago that said that the Voynich manuscript was made by a con man that wanted to make some quick cash by writing down some gibberish in a book, claiming that it had mystical origins, and selling it off to someone with more money than common sense. \\

      much more creativity than Joseph Smith. . .

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You have nothing to fear from them. They want to be our friends.

  • There's going to be a lot of embarrassed "experts" when some one finally gives pig-latin a try.
  • It's da healin' of da nation for sure man!

  • by mbone (558574) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @12:52AM (#46292657)

    The entropy and other statistical measures of the Voynich language is different from Indo-European languages. Zandbergen [voynich.nu] goes through this in some detail. To quote

    Voynichese is nearly as information-rich as Julius Caesar's Latin, and significantly more so than the Vulgate version of Genesis.

    Voynichese is less information-rich than Latin in the first two characters of each word, but compensates by greater variability in the trailer.

    and

    The statistics of Voynichese and a Mandarin text written in the Pinyin script (using a trailing numerical character to indicate tone) are very different.

    There is actually a lot more of this in this and other papers. The Voynich language, for another example, has a lot more repeated words than (say) English. I seem to remember that the closest match in terms of word repetitions was with Vietnamese, and there was some speculation that it might be an invented script for that language, but that didn't pan out in detailed examination. The upshot is that it is just not realistic to just assume that Voynich is a common language written in some weird script (and, also, that these substitution games have been played before).

  • RTFM (Score:5, Funny)

    by FullBandwidth (1445095) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @12:57AM (#46292667)
    Anyone who's ever read documentation written by an engineer should immediately realize that the Voynich Manuscript is the user's guide for the Antikythera Mechansim.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20, 2014 @01:16AM (#46292733)

    ...based on the illustrations (plants, herbs, astrological symbols, and MANY butt-ugly naked women), this was the medieval version of "How to Seduce Women and Add Inches to Your Penis"

  • C'mon, I'm disappointed. It's been solved ages ago.

    https://xkcd.com/593/ [xkcd.com]

  • Well it was Lee Adama who wrote it originally. It was copied so many times until the 15th century when the Galactica was changed into a wooden ark because the copiers thought the galactica was a boat.
    And the CAG kept getting mentioned. (eg gollcag). So it must be their legacy after all and we are the cylons.

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