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Old 12-17-2003, 05:47 PM   #1
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truly strange claims!

I just ran across a site that claims that history is quite literally fiction! It's based on a book written by a mathematician, who makes claims like Jesus was born in 1053, Petrarch and another guy completely invented classical antiquity, and other such, uh, strange claims.

http://history.mithec.com/pressrelease.html

That's the PR statement; the rest of the site is accessable from there.
Weird. I got to it from a search on "French history".
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Old 12-17-2003, 06:08 PM   #2
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The French are trying to re-write history
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Old 12-17-2003, 06:22 PM   #3
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Actually the guy who wrote the book, Anatoly Fomenko, is a Russian.
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Old 12-17-2003, 06:29 PM   #4
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He probably hangs out in France


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Old 12-17-2003, 06:42 PM   #5
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No, he teaches in Moscow. It just so happens that part of the site is about the French Revolution--that's how it came up in a French history search. He's a mathematician who uses various and sundry scientific tools with chronology. I read some reviews of the book at one site, and they claim his scientific evidence is great. Someone called the book "disturbing" but rated it four and a half stars out of five.
This is the strangest stuff...................
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Old 12-17-2003, 07:06 PM   #6
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This site

http://jcolavito.tripod.com/lostcivilizations/id26.html

does a good job of showing just how weird.....uh, ridiculous, Fomenko's claims are.
Whew! My reputation is safe!!
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Old 12-18-2003, 10:34 PM   #7
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I find this all quite bizarre...

""History: Fiction or Science?" is the first successful attempt to transform history from fiction into a rocket science, therefore a must read for everyone who isn't entirely indifferent to human history - and possibly also for those who are. "

Why is he trying to use math (or science for that matter) to explain history? It should be the other way around.
Scientific reasoning grew out of the 18th century, it was a product of Enlightenment thinking, where an emphasis on rationality and a new-found faith in progress, efficiency, and technology all took hold of western society. If I'm not mistaken, mathematics grew in conjunction with this.

So, this guy is holding math/science to be absolute truth, and is using it to explain the development of history. But if you think about it, mathematics is just another way human's have sought to understand themselves. Science has taken the role of religon used to play... But all things considered, it really cant explain a great many ideas or phenomena.

I guess this is why psychology has always bugged me. I can't figure why we so readily accept a field that labels aspects of the human experience. Especially intelligence... how the heck can you measure intelligence? It's not a thing, it's simply a label science uses based upon its own objective criteria.

I know I'm babbling here, but I find this all very odd. We seem too anxious to accept that science can explain everything. IMHO this is a dangerous way of thinking. You could almost liken it to those who use their faith to justify heinous acts or crimes.

blah. i'll shut up now. I've completely distorted what this post was talking about. Neil Postman's "Technopoly" says all of this much better than I can.
(So does Vico)
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Old 12-19-2003, 02:24 PM   #8
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You get nonsense like this when you elevate science to an infallible, "explain-everything-in-the-universe" position. Actually the guy's motivation is political, as the other site explains. It's trying to credit Byzantium--and thus Russia, as the "spiritual heir of Byzantium"--with all human achievement.
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