This rote memorization is not uncommon in other religions besides Islam itself. Christians also emphasize the importance of hiding words in one's heart with regards to the Bible (both with the Old and the New Testaments, but especially the New Testament).
Many cultures are orally-based cultures, which is to say, they have no need for writing. "The Brazilian Indians sporadically studiedbetween 1935 and 1939, as well as the American Indian and Polynesian and African tribes who have figured in other reports, exemplify societies which....did not require the support of a developed orality with a complex vocabulary."1
Julian Jaynes notes, from a scientist's perspective, that "In the last paragraph of The Origin of Species, [Darwin] implies that God created mind and body in the first primitive organisms and then both evolved in parallel together."2 If this is true, then the mind had as much importance as the body, and consequentially, what a human said.
"But this sunk the problem in metaphysics, and it was soon realized that there should be some criterion of consciousness. It seemed obvious in the empiricist climate of the time that this was learning. So the question became: when did learning originate in evolution"3 The answer is, learning evolved with the word. This is because, before reading or writing of any stripe, the spoken word came first. This is the basis of all of our literacy and electracy, ultimately-the linguistic representation of some form of information. Ultimately, people became seemingly uber-sophisticated, and a new avenue of expression came into being.
Tribes, as well as individuals, are having a difficult time with literacy. As Barton states, "There are common social practices associated with learning."4 Being able to read and write well (in print) is what truly makes humans superior to other animals.
What truly distinguishes men from the beasts is the fact that humans can not only verbalize (which is orality), but they can read and write languages due to the advanced development of their brain structures. "'Civilized' peoples have long contrasted themselves with 'primitive' or 'savage' peoples[which] should be replaced by 'without writing.'"5
Interestingly enough, the phenomena has occurred that people are now less able to read books as a result of the fact that everyone is now living in a post-literate society-post-literate meaning that the use of visual images is more favorable than materials that people can actually see to read.
"Bruce Freidmanhas described how the Internet has altered his mental habits. 'I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print,' he wrote earlier this year'I can't read War and Peace anymore,' he admitted. 'I've lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it."6 This is the beginning of electracy.
"Part of electracy (which is to the Internet what literacy is to print) is to help citizens think with the image."7 Increasingly, visual images are becoming the new book for individuals as well as schools.
In fact, no one has the time to read a book. Truthfully, why would someone read a book when he or she can