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  1. #21
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopyPaste View Post
    I never really put much thought into it myself. I know there are competing theories out there. I just came across this video:

    Video Link

    Got me thinking a little bit, especially because if most of us were raised through the public school system, it seems they present the scientific explanation of earth's age/creation with the same amount of fact as "A is for Apple." If it's just a theory that can't be proven, why don't they balance it out with competing theories like the one in that video? What do you think? Should it be an issue? Or does it even matter to you?
    I think that history began when people invented writing.

    As far as what you're talking about... I don't think that they should teach creationism or evolution. They should just admit they don't know, and start the lesson with known history.

    I don't see why people argue with such certainty on this issue when there is none.

  2. #22
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    Sure it is. Just because our methods of interpreting what has been left behind is not yet refined enough for us to understand the language of the universe as well as we can understand our own, doesn't mean our language is more precise.
    Heh actually what you are describing does mean that our language is more precise. Our methods can't extract precise details from nature. Therefore the written word is more precise by comparison.
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  3. #23
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Well, what do we mean when we use the word, 'prehistoric'?

    i.e., before the advent of writing (to serve as a recording - as Blackmail!)

    This may be a bit short-sighted though. As we move AHEAD, we figure out many ways to read the history of something, an X. Even the 'writing' of cave drawings. How to read the history of a tree by its rings. How to read the history of a galaxy. How to read the history of how our earth formed? How we evolved? How to.....

    We add to the 'history' in a retrospective manner. History does not always have to mean a prospective forward linear movement of time and recording.

    Thus, history would first need to be specified, of WHOSE history we speak of. It's not really limited to humans and life. Everything that has a past, has a history.

    You're free to invent your own definition of History, but this won't be History the way most people understand it, especially Historians.

    History can't apply to nature or to prehistorical/protohistorical times. History is NOT the study of the past, but a method to analyze and interpret specific historical events in their context. So it requires a kind of self-consciousness and critical discourse you won't find within the objective study of "nature".

    Epistemologically speaking, you seem to confuse the Naturwissenschaften (sciences of nature) with the Geisteswissenschften (sciences of men, or "humanities" if you want).

    For instance, do you really think that Astronomy and Physics could explain how our moral concepts arose?
    I do not think so.
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  4. #24
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    You're free to invent your own definition of History, but this won't be History the way most people understand it, especially Historians.
    History can't apply to nature or to prehistorical/protohistorical times.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historian:

    A historian is an individual who studies and writes about history, and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, systematic narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all events in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory.

    * I guess there's something called a historian of prehistory....

    History is NOT the study of the past, but a method to analyze and interpret specific historical events in their context. So it requires a kind of self-consciousness and critical discourse you won't find within the objective study of "nature".
    I admit I was getting philosophical with the question of 'what is history', AND I started my OP acknowledging that what is most commonly known as history begins with the advent of writing (agreeing with you):

    Qre:usWell, what do we mean when we use the word, 'prehistoric'?

    i.e., before the advent of writing (to serve as a recording - as Blackmail!)
    However, in how I meant it, broadly speaking, was that history is the study of the past. And, what we define as relevant to our past, which is/can be, increasingly growing. To go beyond us directly. Strictly/defintionally speaking, I agreed in my OP with what 'history' is (the one you're speaking of), though.
    Btw, one specific way you could have highlighted your case is that history (versus science) relies primarily on memory while science relies primarily on the process of reason. Thus, in this way, yes, history lies only with what happened with humans. My additional thought to your proposition of history was that I was challenging: written history = true events.

    And, before you think that 'what is history? how do historians evaluate such history?' are concretely set....there have been lots of revisions to these very 'self-evident' questions.

    Contemporary historians have actually opened up the field to not be so narrow as to find merit only in the written form, because it opens them up to inherent cultural bias that will rise due to non-Western historical cultures (e.g., Sub-Saharan Africa, other tribal populations or civilizations)....who had a history of ORAL traditions.

    Secondly, there have been cases that show that what is recorded in writing is masking what true event happened. I.e., those people may have been writing what they intended to present versus what may have truly been - for political reasons, etc. Thus, other areas, such as the merging of natural sciences, have been used to alleviate these controversies.

  5. #25
    S Saiyan God Mace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    That would be Mesopotamia(sp).
    Oh, of course.

    ... Hmm, I'm about to guess the Persian Empire wasn't the first 'Empire' either - that would be the Egyptian, and Hetite Empire(s), but the Persian Empire came about before the Greek 'Ilyiad' period, over the Bronze Age. Am I right?

  6. #26
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by persianness View Post

    ... Hmm, I'm about to guess the Persian Empire wasn't the first 'Empire' either - that would be the Egyptian, and Hetite Empire(s), but the Persian Empire came about before the Greek 'Ilyiad' period, over the Bronze Age. Am I right?
    No, you are wrong once again.

    The first "genuinely Persian" empire was the Achaemenid one, between 550-330 BC, with famous rulers like Cyrus the great, Cambyses, Xerxes, Daryush... etc...

    The Achaemenid empire was a contemporary of Greece's classical age. For instance, the Parthenon was built around 440 BC (If I remember correctly).

    ---

    Persians and Greeks arose almost simultaneously to power, hence their arch-rivalry. As a matter of fact, the Greek civilization was slightly older than the Persian one (the Mycenaean civilization of bronze age did appear around 1550 BC, and the archaic Hellenic age starts around 750 BC).

    The true old Mesopotamian civilization wasn't Persian at all. Proto-Persians were considered there as foreign invaders, primitive and semi-nomadic barbaric tribes that lived on the plateau and in the mountains. And they arrived rather late, after a long journey through the northeastern Himalayan ranges.

    Just to give you an idea Babylon was founded around 2400 BC, that's about 1860 years before Cyrus eventually conquered the city.
    Last edited by Blackmail!; 04-23-2009 at 04:01 PM.
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  7. #27
    S Saiyan God Mace's Avatar
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    Oh, I just wasn't sure the Persian Empire came about before the Greek 'Ilyiad' period.

    ... But I asked if the Persian Empire was the first 'Empire' apart from the possibility that the Egyptians and Hetites were, and an Empire is that that rules over foreign lands, too.

    What I do know is, Cyrus the Great united the nomadic iranian tribesmen, and conquered a great land mass - that over 5 different civilizations, including Babylonia, Assyria, Israel, Egypt and (present day) Turkey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Persians and Greeks arose almost simultaneously to power, hence their arch-rivalry. As a matter of fact, the Greek civilization was slightly older than the Persian one (the Mycenaean civilization of bronze age did appear around 1550 BC, and the archaic Hellenic age starts around 750 BC).
    That's debatable, really depends on how you note the establishment of a civilization - the iranian tribesmen were present in that (iranian) plateau since 5/4000 BC, from what I heard/read. Even amongst the iranians, are different castes... such as the Aryans and the Bactrians, with one caste outleading the other in civility.

    ... Although it's worth noting that while the Greeks were into Intellect/Philosophy, the Persians were known for their Engineering.

  8. #28
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by persianness View Post
    ... But I asked if the Persian Empire was the first 'Empire' apart from the possibility that the Egyptians and Hetites were, and an Empire is that that rules over foreign lands, too.
    The oldest Empire known in History was the Akkadian Empire, founded around 2300 BC in Mesopotamia.


    - the iranian tribesmen were present in that (iranian) plateau since 5/4000 BC, from what I heard/read.-
    No. The earliest record we had of "Persians" is about 844 BC, when they began to settle in the mountains east of the Assyrian empire.


    ... Although it's worth noting that while the Greeks were into Intellect/Philosophy, the Persians were known for their Engineering.
    Once again, it's not true.

    Only Mesopotamians had a knowledge of engineering, but they were different from Persians (not the same culture, not the same language, not the same history). And Roman engineering was vastly superior to anything known during the Antiquity.

    What the Persians gave to us, however, is a completely different kind of knowledge. And it is: moral values.
    The Achaemenid empire was the first to consider slavery as a crime (hence their continuous wars with the Greek slavers). They were the first to think that each men should have equal rights, should be judged the same way, no matter their origin, culture or religion. (1)

    This moral and legal system is the real foundation of Christianity, far more than the West would admit it. And from there on, of the Age of Enlightenment.

    Christianity and Islam owe far more to Mazdeism than to Judaism, for most of their values. For instance, the dual concept of Good versus Evil doesn't exist within Judaism, as well as proselytism, but are overwhelmingly present in Mazdeism. Hell and Paradise also are inventions of Mazdeism (hence the word Paradeiza (pairi daza), which is Avestan)... and so on...

    ---

    (1) Thus, you can interpret a movie like "300" as a fight between hardcore Fascists (The Spartans) and Democrats (The Persians). This movie has hidden codes that every true Fascists will instantly recognize, hence it's a powerful tool of far right propaganda, despite the fact that the masses will see it just like an innocent source of entertainment. Moreover, Frank Miller never hid his Nazi sympathies, and his fascination for the Waffen SS.
    Last edited by Blackmail!; 04-25-2009 at 06:15 AM.
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  9. #29
    S Saiyan God Mace's Avatar
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    The oldest Empire known in History was the Akkadian Empire, founded around 2300 BC in Mesopotamia.
    Ahh, interesting - the Akkadian Empire sounds familiar.

    No. The earliest record we had of "Persians" is about 844 BC, when they began to settle in the mountains east of the Assyrian empire.
    Perhaps.

    Only Mesopotamians had a knowledge of engineering, but they were different from Persians (not the same culture, not the same language, not the same history). And Roman engineering was vastly superior to anything known during the Antiquity.
    OK, I admit I confused between 'Persians' and 'Mesopotamians', and that perhaps the Persians acquired Mesopotamia's knowledge of engineering to develop their Empire, especially after defeating the Babylonians.

    ... The Romans came about much later than the Persians, so I'm not sure that the skill of engineering can be compared - given the different timeline.

    What the Persians gave to us, however, is a completely different kind of knowledge. And it is: moral values.
    Good call, that is true.

  10. #30
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    It was always my assumption that what is called history started when prehistory stopped.
    Why do we always come here?

    I guess we'll never know.

    It's like a kind of torture,
    To have to watch this show.

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