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Today a news item is going viral: «scientist deciphers the Voynich manuscript«, Without a doubt, a« pitch »as news but, ¿the famous manuscript has actually been deciphered?
In an article published in the magazine Romance Studies, Gerard cheshire, a research associate at the University of Bristol, states that the manuscript is'a compendium of information on herbal remedies, therapeutic bath and astrological readings»Which focuses on women's physical and mental health.
He adds that the manuscript was compiled by nuns for the Queen of Aragon María de Castilla.
The scientist believes that the manuscript is not coded, but that its language and writing system were common at the time it was written, and claims the document is the only surviving text written in proto-Romance. He put it like this:
The manuscript is written in proto-Romance, ancestral to today's Romance languages such as Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian, Catalan, and Galician. The language used was ubiquitous in the Mediterranean during the medieval period, but it was rarely written in official or important documents because Latin was the language of royalty.
Cheshire says he discovered the mysteries of the manuscript in just two weeks "Using a combination of lateral thinking and ingenuity":
I experienced a series of eureka moments as I cracked the code, followed by a sense of disbelief and excitement as I realized the magnitude of the achievement, both in terms of its linguistic significance and the revelations about the origin and content of the manuscript.
Criticisms of Cheshire
This new study and rather, his claim about being deciphered, has been heavily criticized by the scientific community. It is known that the text is coded, being impossible even for the famous Alan Turing decipher it (Turing is the one who cracked the Nazi codes during World War II). Even many experts around the world have failed to try.
It is for this and other reasons that many doubt that Cheshire could have figured it out in just two weeks.
One of the most critical was the doctor Lisa fagin davis, Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America:
Sorry, but proto-Romance language doesn't exist"And added that" this is just more aspirational, circular and self-fulfilling nonsense.
However, it is not the only criticism, but the majority of the experts in Codicology agree with what Fagin Davis expressed, and that contains very little scientific basis and many technical errors.
Ben Cartlidge, a linguist at the University of Liverpool, explained:
The writing system of the manuscript can be apprehended once the grammar rules are understood, this is a methodological absurdity. How are you going to write a grammar for a language whose writing system you don't understand? How is it possible that this has been reviewed by experts?
Claire hardaker, director of the Forensic Linguistics research group at Lancaster University, stated that
Somehow this article made its way into Romance Studies magazine, underwent peer review, and once in print, was enough for non-specialists to believe it was valid.
So, it is not possible to claim that the Voynich manuscript has been deciphered and even more so when there are so many experts who have analyzed the document for so many years, who argue that this is, directly, a methodological absurdity, as those mentioned have pointed out.
For all this, we must be very prudent with what we publish and, above all, try to contrast the information or, at least, know what the source it comes from.