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Patrick LockerbyRSS Feed of this column.

Retired engineer, 70 years young. Computer builder and programmer. Linguist specialising in language acquisition and computational linguistics. Interested in every human endeavour except the scrooge... Read More »

The Voynich Manuscript part 5 : The Baghdad Connection
The Voynich Manuscript part 4 : Not So Mysterious ?

The Voynich manuscript was written in an as yet unreadable script.  It is named after Wilfrid Voynich, who acquired it as a dealer in 1912 from the library of Villa Mondragone, a Jesuit college in Frascati, Italy.  It is now in the care of Yale Library.

In my previous articles on Yale Library's Beinebecke MS 408 I focused on its background.  I am now going to discuss some basic possibilities about its unusual script.  I am still working on an attempt to transcribe the text into modern English.  If I succeed, my readers here at scientificblogging will be the first to know.
The Voynich Manuscript : An Enigma, Part #3

The Voynich manuscript, Beinebecke Library's MS 408 is a handwritten parchment codex of about 240 pages measuring 225 x 160 mm.   The manuscript is in an unreadable script.  Most of its pages are illustrated.  For nearly 100 years, not one person or group has managed to decode even a single word of it.
The Voynich Manuscript : An Enigma, Part #2

It is nearly 100 years since the Voynich manuscript arrived in America.  In that time, not one person or group has managed to decode even a single word of it.

I suggest that decryption of any document requires as much prior knowledge as possible about the physical document, its origin and purpose.  For that reason, I am compiling a background to the Voynich manuscript before any discussion of possible encryption schemes.
The Voynich Manuscript : An Enigma, Part #1

There are many unsolved mysteries in this world.  A web search for 'greatest mysteries', 'unsolved mysteries', 'world's greatest mysteries' and similar search terms leads to many sites dealing mostly with the strange and the paranormal.  It is all too easy to claim that science has yet to explain x, y and z, and many sites make such claims.  Before science can explain a mystery it must be explainable at least in principle.  The Voynich manuscript seems to be explainable, at least in principle.  It is just a matter of breaking a code.
DNA : When Is A Code Not A Code ?

Stephen C. Meyer is an intelligent design advocate and a co-founder of the Discovery Institute.