To judge from some of the ancient creation narratives, the world arose as a visible manifestation of speech. “In the beginning was the Word,” as it says in John 1:1. First there was formlessness and chaos, and then the divine voice flashed forth like lightning in the darkness. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” The world began to assume visible, comprehensible form.
Whatever we may now think of the old visions of creation, we can remain sure of one thing: without the speaking of the Word, without language, we would have no science today with its striking power to illuminate the world.