Put your lips out and strum up and down on them with your fingers while saying “ooooo.” Yes it’s babble time.

I don’t know if the word “babble” comes from the name of the Tower of Babel, or the other way around, or neither. I just want to talk about the story and how dumb it is, like many religion stories. Fabricated historical stories seem to be an important part of belief systems, for reasons that have always escaped me, and the rule is that these stories need to be as nearly senseless as possible. Take the Tower of Babel story, for just one instance.

The people of the earth decided to build a tower which reached up to heaven. Improbable. Would this idea occur to you? No. It wouldn’t occur to anyone. How about climb a mountain instead? See heaven yet? No, so let’s build a building even higher than a mountain! That will work, and only take a million years or so. But they started anyway, and given construction techniques of the period, got up to maybe 400 feet high! So far so good! But God looked down and decided this was all very alarming, forgetting for a moment that heaven is not a physical place and not reachable by stairway, regardless of what Led Zeppelin had to say on the subject, and I’m still not sure what it is they were saying. This tower story COULD HAVE been a good metaphor about human vanity and its delusions, but that would have required God to stay out of it. LET the people build as high as they wanted. They’d figure out their folly eventually. It’s called “learning by doing.” But no, God got antsy and confounded their efforts by having them each speak a different language. Clever, though why in that particular way?

Because the story may REALLY have been a just-so story about how people came to speak many languages. That at least makes a little bit of sense, except for the small problem of it being wrong.