Oct 11, 2011

Roll, Roll, Roll Your Tongue...

Can you roll your tongue?  Some people can stick out their tongues and curl up the edges to make a U.  But not all people can do this.  Researchers have studied this characteristic in humans and have determined that approximately 65 percent of the population can roll their tongue.  This means that approximately 2 people in five cannot.

So which are you?  Go ahead and try.  I’ll wait.

The first person to really study this phenomenon was Edgar Sturtevant.  He was an American linguist who was fascinated by genetics.  He postulated that rolling the tongue was genetic.  By studying pairs of parents and their offspring he tried to determine the recessive and dominant pairs to produce the ability to roll the tongue.

But this work was challenged by Riedy and Martin in the 1970s.  In studies of identical twins, it was found that some twins could roll their Rs and some could not.  Since identical twins have the same genetic makeup, the tongue rolling thing must obviously be something more than just genetics.  Other researchers have determined that people can actually learn to roll their tongues with practice.  If you cannot roll your tongue, try practicing.  You might be able to learn how to do it.

Go ahead and try.  I’ll wait.

I remember once taking a tour of the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” museum in Florida.  One of the first displays is a big mirror.  The placard underneath the mirror explained that some people can roll their tongues and some people cannot.  The placard suggests to the visitors that they should look in the mirror and determine if they have this ability or not. But what these unsuspecting tourists don’t realize is that they are being watched.  Because at the end of the exhibit you learn that this is a two-way mirror.  Everyone at the end of the tour is watching the people at the beginning of the tour try to roll their tongue.  I laughed very hard at this.

As I wrote this, I wondered how many people in the congregation would try to roll their tongue as they read this.  I even thought about putting hidden cameras all around the room to capture it.  But then I realized that I have much better things to do with my time.

But there is someone watching.  He is someone who already knows if can roll your tongue or not because He created you exactly the way you are.  And He loves you either way. 

Or maybe I did hide some cameras…


Pastor David Hook

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