Name the Animals

I'm not religious, but I heard this breakdown of the Garden Of Eden:

...why does God care what Adam calls the animals? The answer to that seems to be that it’s associated, again, with the magic of speech. We know—according to the story—that human beings were already made in the image of God, and that God used language in order to call order forth from chaos. There’s an echo of that, here, even though it’s from an independent tradition. The echo is that the thing isn’t quite real until you name it. That’s an interesting thing, and we don't exactly know how far that extends. It’s certainly the case that things often exist in a strange potential form—interconnected form—where everything’s a mass of confusion before you put your finger on it and name it. What's going on, here? You name it…It’s like, it carves it out from all that underlying chaos and makes it into a grippable entity that you can then contend with.

What a fascinating concept. I hadn't considered it until it was broken down with this story. Now, I use it nearly every day.

Problem at work? Give it a name. Ensure everyone on the team is using that name. (


Problem in a relationship? Name the problem.

Ever notice that something isn’t really trending...until it has a name?

Can I fight a dragon if it isn't called a dragon? Probably not. Trying to describe a dragon without a name takes time & isn't clear. I would be ill prepared to battle.

A real example of this, I learned about the Beast of Gévaudan. A mysterious animal that killed 100+ people in 16th century France, it was hunted by princes, and stalked by noblemen, but never really defined until after the fact. It caused perhaps more fear since it was undefined, than if it had been clarified earlier.