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Expert Questions Voynich Manuscript 'Language'

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A researcher in the UK contends that the seemingly indecipherable Voynich manuscript cannot be decoded because it is likely that the 'language' it contains is gibberish!

Gordon Rugg, from Keele University in England, has studied the vaunted and mysterious manuscript for over a decade and used his background in linquistics to put together the case that the book is a hoax.

His argument takes aim at the contention of pro-Voynich researchers who say that the text appears to follow an established linquistic pattern seen in languages we already understand.

However, Rugg was able to construct a rudimentary system to replicate that pattern using completely made up words.

Therefore, he believes that previous assumptions that the manuscript contained a code due to the perceived pattern are no longer valid.

As one might expect, those who subscribe to the idea that the text is coded disgree with Rugg's findings.

They point to a number of studies looking at other aspects of the book which strengthen the case that there is truly more than meets the eye to the mysterious manuscript and that it is simply too complex to be a total fabrication.

While he is skeptical that the book contains an elaborate code, Rugg conceded that there may be finer details contained in the text, such as obvious physical changes made by the author, which could shed even more light on the mystery.

Whether these prove to ultimately settle the Voynich debate once and for all is unfortunately unlikely, as Rugg observed to New Scientist, "I don't think there will ever be a resolution that everybody will be happy with."

Coast Insiders looking to learn more about the Voynich Manuscript can check out the 3/23/2014 edition of the program featuring artist Stuart Davis and Professor of Linguistics Stephen Bax.

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