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Re: VMs: An end to Updates and Summaries

Hi everyone,

At 00:49 27/08/2005 -0600, GC wrote:
I've always said "stay close to the text", and I've meant that with all my heart. In the present discussion about "touching up", etc., I say "stay close to the Voynich". The conclusions that are drawn from only two (to my knowledge) places where it is apparent there has been an extra stroke or two added, are far from the heart of the Voynich, and lead to conclusions such as the "copyist" theory, a second or third artist, etc. That the Voynich was a conspiratorial effort is highly unlikely in my view, and when considering such hypotheses one needs to weigh the simplest against the most complex, choosing the simplest whenever nothing better can be proven.

Given the smorgasbord of plausible hypotheses we have, why do we need to choose at all? Surely the scientific method is all about testing hypotheses, not assuming them?

Once again, I tend to focus on what should be the most important. It doesn't matter if a 3 year-old colored the images .... did the same person write the text from beginning to end? My conclusion is that the same hand was involved in the text, from beginning to end. Even considering that a large period of time elapsed between point a and point b, the text in all sections has readily identifiable elements common to a single hand. Evidence against my own conclusion is desirable, as we are then talking about what actually matters - the nature of the intelligence behind the written word.

Right now, ISTM that we are only partway through a good process - that of "delayering" the text itself (as opposed to the paint / quire numeration etc), to get at this "intelligence" behind the scenes. Dana Scott's three scribes is a good start in this respect - but the question I'm trying to resolve is whether scribe 3 was contemporaneous with scribes 1 & 2, or from much later. I don't think the evidence we have so far is convincing enough for a strong assertion either way... yet. But with luck we're perhaps now starting to ask the right questions. :-)

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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