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Old 25th April 2022, 12:17 PM   #1
ahhell
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Psuedo History I once sorta believed, or you.

I'd like this to be a fairly trivial thread.

Atlantis, I assumed there was some basis for it. A lost city or some such somewhere. Not really, almost certainly just a metaphor in a one of Plato's dialogues. Even the ancients thought so.

The Exodus, I didn't believe in the miracles or anything, just that the Jews were in Egypt at some point and later driven out. Basically no evidence for any of it. They probably just grew out of the local philistine population. At most, they were Levantine clients of the pharoahs at some point.

What about you folks?
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Old 25th April 2022, 12:19 PM   #2
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Maybe, at some point, but I learned to be critical quite long ago.

Hans
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Old 26th April 2022, 04:49 AM   #3
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When I was a kid I totally bought into the idea that the Nazca Lines were runways for alien spaceships. How else could such a primitive civilisation draw such long straight lines? Sticks and string? NO! IT MUST BE ALIENS!
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Old 26th April 2022, 06:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
I'd like this to be a fairly trivial thread.

Atlantis, I assumed there was some basis for it. A lost city or some such somewhere. Not really, almost certainly just a metaphor in a one of Plato's dialogues. Even the ancients thought so.

The Exodus, I didn't believe in the miracles or anything, just that the Jews were in Egypt at some point and later driven out. Basically no evidence for any of it. They probably just grew out of the local philistine population. At most, they were Levantine clients of the pharoahs at some point.

What about you folks?
I viewed Exodus as you did, that someone named Moses probably existed even if he hadn't parted the waters. I used to think that there would be some kernel of truth or fact behind the stories.

I think that for me your phrase "I assumed there was some basis for it" sums it up for a lot of my earlier beliefs about historic events, it was the concept that people wouldn't just 100% make **** up and other people wouldn't repeat it. When indeed a lot of time that was exactly what folk did (and still do).


Aside from that sort of pseudo-history, two I can recall 1) the pyramids were built by slaves, 2) druids and Stonehenge.
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Old 26th April 2022, 06:44 AM   #5
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After watching JFK, I kinda thought Oliver Stone was onto something. Took about a year for it to sink in that he was full of it.
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Old 26th April 2022, 07:05 AM   #6
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I also once believed there was more to the JFK murder than was obvious. Probably isn't though.

Same for Stonehenge and the Druids though that wasn't something I thought about much.
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Old 26th April 2022, 07:09 AM   #7
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Would Shakespearian Authorial questioning count?
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Old 26th April 2022, 07:23 AM   #8
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"There were a variety of complex reasons for the American civil war"...no, not so much as it turns out.
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Old 26th April 2022, 07:37 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cat Not Included View Post
"There were a variety of complex reasons for the American civil war"...no, not so much as it turns out.
Conversely, I used to believe it was a simple question of slavery.
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Old 26th April 2022, 09:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by qarnos View Post
When I was a kid I totally bought into the idea that the Nazca Lines were runways for alien spaceships. How else could such a primitive civilisation draw such long straight lines? Sticks and string? NO! IT MUST BE ALIENS!

Yep. Sticks and string can do near-perfect circles, too. A fact that amazed my children once when they couldnít find the compass


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Old 26th April 2022, 09:17 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
After watching JFK, I kinda thought Oliver Stone was onto something. Took about a year for it to sink in that he was full of it.
Very much the same for me. I actually saw the film twice on day of release because I was so drawn in. Wasn't until much later that I realised that is was all built on nonsense.
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Old 26th April 2022, 09:26 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Yep. Sticks and string can do near-perfect circles, too. A fact that amazed my children once when they couldnít find the compass


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Something I learned about perfectly bisecting a line in drafting (with out measuring). Make two of the same arcs centered at each each end of the line that cross the line and with a radius of over half the line. The arcs will intersect at two points (above and below the line) and another line drawn through those two point will exactly bisect the original line. Generally done with a compass in drafting but out in the real world I use strings and sticks (marking type sticks, that is).

Besides falling for the common theme here that fanciful historical type stories must have some, if even tacit, basis in fact. For me it was the Vietnam war. While not historical at the time, it was ongoing, but I bought into the stated propaganda even though opposing the war in general. It wasn't until the war became a matter of historical fact that I learned how much BS I was actually swallowing.
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Old 26th April 2022, 09:36 AM   #13
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In 7th or 8th grade, in Brazil, we had a whole semester on constructing regular polygons and finding specific line segments using nothing but a compass and a ruler.
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Old 26th April 2022, 10:04 AM   #14
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Well... I used to believe in the whole clean Wehrmacht myth and that Rommel was some sort of genius who always fought with honor. Oh and that there has really ever been any kind of honor in warfare barring a few notable exceptions.

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Old 26th April 2022, 10:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Well... I used to believe in the whole clean Wehrmacht myth and that Rommel was some sort of genius who always fought with honor. Oh and that there has really ever been any kind of honor in warfare barring a few notable exceptions.
Honor in war lasts right up until the honorable folks start losing.
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Old 26th April 2022, 12:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Well... I used to believe in the whole clean Wehrmacht myth and that Rommel was some sort of genius who always fought with honor. Oh and that there has really ever been any kind of honor in warfare barring a few notable exceptions.
There's the old joke from 1943:

What is the difference between Rommel and a clock?

A clock goes forwards and says tic-tac, tic-tac while Rommel comes backwards and says tac-tic, tac-tic.
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Old 26th April 2022, 12:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Yep. Sticks and string can do near-perfect circles, too. A fact that amazed my children once when they couldnít find the compass


Sent from my volcanic island lair using carrier pigeon.
Used that this weekend.
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Old 26th April 2022, 12:30 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I viewed Exodus as you did, that someone named Moses probably existed even if he hadn't parted the waters. I used to think that there would be some kernel of truth or fact behind the stories.

I think that for me your phrase "I assumed there was some basis for it" sums it up for a lot of my earlier beliefs about historic events, it was the concept that people wouldn't just 100% make **** up and other people wouldn't repeat it. When indeed a lot of time that was exactly what folk did (and still do).


Aside from that sort of pseudo-history, two I can recall 1) the pyramids were built by slaves, 2) druids and Stonehenge.
The whole idea that all those adults have never really looked behind the curtain at all was a bit hard to swallow. Catholic school helped, actually. The priests donít have secret knowledge, just Sansabelt slacks and SAS shoes.
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Old 26th April 2022, 02:55 PM   #19
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Five minutes ago my wife and I were watching a video about 57 Chevies and I then told her a story I heard about a half century ago regarding ex-GM workers who built their own assembly line and produced counterfeit ď57 CheviesĒ for a few years.

Then it struck me - this was way before search engines and I had long forgotten that story and had never checked it out.

So I did and it was total hogwash. Then I clicked on ISF and saw this thread.
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Old 26th April 2022, 04:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Would Shakespearian Authorial questioning count?
Yes. Literary history but history none the less.
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Old 26th April 2022, 05:13 PM   #21
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It's hard to remember the things I used to believe, but stopped believing. I know there were lots of times when I've said, "Wow. I didn't realize that's what really happened", and yet they don't come to mind.

One that did come to mind is a bit obscure. I used to believe that Cortes and his Spanish army conquered the Aztecs. That's not really true. Mostly, he rallied a group of Mesoamerican Indians who hated the Aztecs, and then the Spanish really took over when most of the Indians died of smallpox.
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Old 26th April 2022, 08:34 PM   #22
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That the history of Australia really only started when white people arrived.
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Old 27th April 2022, 09:43 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That the history of Australia really only started when white people arrived.
In a way that's true, history kind of requires writing, you know better than me but I don't think the indigenous folks had writing.

Please not, that's most snark, its true in a sense but its not as though pre-history is any less important.
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Old 27th April 2022, 10:53 AM   #24
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In trying to come up with examples, I find myself thinkng of things where my understanding has evolved over time, but not just as simple as "I used to believe that this thing was false."

As a youngster, I might have said that settlers in America rejected having kings and supported democracy. As an older person, I have learned that the origin of the United States and the republican form of government had roots in the English Civil War and the struggle between the King and Parliament, and that an awful lot of the Founding Fathers also would not have in any way wanted this democracy thing to go anywhere near as far as it did.

It's not that my naive youthful ideas were wrong, as such. They've just been developed more thoroughly and put in a broader historical context.
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Old 27th April 2022, 10:57 AM   #25
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Growing up in Texas, what I can remember most is the mythology around the Alamo that was taught as fact in our Texas History classes. Probably still is being taught. Of course, itís only very recently that I learned this was all bunk.

Itís crazy that so much of what I think I knew about ancient history came from the Bible and a school system predicated on perpetuating the Anglo-heroic narrative.

I really do feel that Iíve been brainwashedÖ
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Old 27th April 2022, 11:12 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Growing up in Texas, what I can remember most is the mythology around the Alamo that was taught as fact in our Texas History classes. Probably still is being taught. Of course, itís only very recently that I learned this was all bunk.

Itís crazy that so much of what I think I knew about ancient history came from the Bible and a school system predicated on perpetuating the Anglo-heroic narrative.

I really do feel that Iíve been brainwashedÖ
That's an interesting one, and I'll bring up a similar example.

As a child, I learned that the First Thanksgiving occurred when Indians and Pilgrims got together in peace to share the bounties of the harvest, and ate turkey and some other things.

Later, I learned that the fairy tale version I was taught was all bunk, and learned a bit more about the true story of the Plymouth settlers and their Indian relations.

Just a couple of years ago, i decided to look up actual primary source documents and, to my great surprise, found that the "fairy tale" version, was actually true. If you read the actual diaries of the settlers, there's a grand total of maybe three paragraphs in two documents, but it says basically exactly what you were taught in grade school. Ok, the Indians also brought deer, and there was fish, but that's the big, important, difference.


I'm not sure what you were taught about the Alamo, but I think, at least in my case, there would be something similar to what I've been talking about with other elements of history. There's the simplified children's version, and there's the subtle, more nuance and with more historical context version, but they don't really contradict each other. I don't know of any "myth" I heard about the Alamo. But then again, I didn't grow up in Texas, either.
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Old 27th April 2022, 11:13 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Well... I used to believe in the whole clean Wehrmacht myth and that Rommel was some sort of genius who always fought with honor. Oh and that there has really ever been any kind of honor in warfare barring a few notable exceptions.
I think a lot of people were swayed by the self serving accounts published by various German generals that were used as primary sources by some prominent historians. The Halder Diaries spring to mind as a prime example.
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Old 27th April 2022, 11:45 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
That's an interesting one, and I'll bring up a similar example.

As a child, I learned that the First Thanksgiving occurred when Indians and Pilgrims got together in peace to share the bounties of the harvest, and ate turkey and some other things.

Later, I learned that the fairy tale version I was taught was all bunk, and learned a bit more about the true story of the Plymouth settlers and their Indian relations.

Just a couple of years ago, i decided to look up actual primary source documents and, to my great surprise, found that the "fairy tale" version, was actually true. If you read the actual diaries of the settlers, there's a grand total of maybe three paragraphs in two documents, but it says basically exactly what you were taught in grade school. Ok, the Indians also brought deer, and there was fish, but that's the big, important, difference.


I'm not sure what you were taught about the Alamo, but I think, at least in my case, there would be something similar to what I've been talking about with other elements of history. There's the simplified children's version, and there's the subtle, more nuance and with more historical context version, but they don't really contradict each other. I don't know of any "myth" I heard about the Alamo. But then again, I didn't grow up in Texas, either.

The Alamo myth, in a nutshell, is that a bunch of brave Texans, who stood for Justice and freedom, made a stand against the oppressive Mexican government at the Alamo, bravely holding them off until the very last man died. This heroic sacrifice bought time for Sam Houston to raise an army and finally defeat the evil Mexicans and win Texas Independence. Yee-Haw!

This is a good story detailing a recent book that seeks to take another more realistic look at the Alamo and the Texas Revolution in general. Spoiler: The Alamo story is all lies. Slavery was the main issue; the Texans were actually settlers -cotton farmers- of Mexican territory from America who fought against Mexico because Mexico abolished slavery.

The true story has been well known to be lies for a long time. But the scholars who exposed all this were Hispanic scholars so the story was ignored. Itís only now that three White dudes wrote a book that the truth is starting to get wider recognition.

The book: Forget the Alamo

https://www.amazon.com/Forget-Alamo-...78822306&psc=1
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Old 27th April 2022, 04:58 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
That's an interesting one, and I'll bring up a similar example.

As a child, I learned that the First Thanksgiving occurred when Indians and Pilgrims got together in peace to share the bounties of the harvest, and ate turkey and some other things.

Later, I learned that the fairy tale version I was taught was all bunk, and learned a bit more about the true story of the Plymouth settlers and their Indian relations.

Just a couple of years ago, i decided to look up actual primary source documents and, to my great surprise, found that the "fairy tale" version, was actually true. If you read the actual diaries of the settlers, there's a grand total of maybe three paragraphs in two documents, but it says basically exactly what you were taught in grade school. Ok, the Indians also brought deer, and there was fish, but that's the big, important, difference.


I'm not sure what you were taught about the Alamo, but I think, at least in my case, there would be something similar to what I've been talking about with other elements of history. There's the simplified children's version, and there's the subtle, more nuance and with more historical context version, but they don't really contradict each other. I don't know of any "myth" I heard about the Alamo. But then again, I didn't grow up in Texas, either.
Tosh! The first Thanksgiving would have been in Virginia, of course. Jamestown was settled 16 years before Plymouth. Okay, that lot weren't as pious as the puritans and might not have made as much of a fuss.

Also, I was confused, for a long time about how the Confederacy won all the battles, but lost the war!
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Old 27th April 2022, 07:22 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
In a way that's true, history kind of requires writing, you know better than me but I don't think the indigenous folks had writing.

Please not, that's most snark, its true in a sense but its not as though pre-history is any less important.
It's only true if you define "history" with the criterion of having been written down. There is oral history, and cultural history, and in the case of Australia, there's approximately 40,000 years of it before any European started writing any of it down.

My point is that my education on Australian history started with the European explorers, and practically ignored the people who had been living there for literally thousands of years prior to any European having glimpsed the place, except inasmuch as they interacted with the Europeans. And for the record, another piece of pseudo history I once sorta believed is that these interactions were mostly peaceful.
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Old 27th April 2022, 08:25 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
The Alamo myth, in a nutshell, is that a bunch of brave Texans, who stood for Justice and freedom, made a stand against the oppressive Mexican government at the Alamo, bravely holding them off until the very last man died. This heroic sacrifice bought time for Sam Houston to raise an army and finally defeat the evil Mexicans and win Texas Independence. Yee-Haw!
So, the Alamo truth:

is that a bunch of brave Texans, who stood for Justice and freedom, made a stand against the oppressive Mexican government at the Alamo, bravely holding them off until the very last man died. This heroic sacrifice bought time for Sam Houston to raise an army and finally defeat the evil Mexicans and win Texas Independence. Yee-Haw!


Yeah, every nation, in this case considering Texas as practically a nation unto itself, which was true for a little while, tends to whitewash its own history, and take out the inconvenient parts.
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Old 27th April 2022, 11:58 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
The Exodus, I didn't believe in the miracles or anything, just that the Jews were in Egypt at some point and later driven out. Basically no evidence for any of it. They probably just grew out of the local philistine population. At most, they were Levantine clients of the pharoahs at some point.
I haven't written Exodus completely out, yet. Obviously nothing that was anything like the account in the Bible ever happened. And it is almost as certain that the bulk of the people who become Israelites lived in Palestine for the whole time. But it is within the realms of possibility that some group was in Egypt and left from there against Egyptian wishes. Their story then became the foundation story for the whole Israel.

There is no hard evidence for it. Pretty much the only evidence for it is that the Israelites themselves believed it. The belief is old. It occurs already in the Books of Amos and Hosea that are among the earliest books in the Bible. They are usually dated to late 8th or early 7th century BC. It's also in Micah but it is the part of Micah that is not universally accepted as being part of the original Micah and may be a later addition.

The belief in Egyptian captivity arose from somewhere. As far as I know, it is not a common origin story shared among many different peoples of the Levant. It seems to be unique for Israel. A "minimal Exodus" of a small group of people is one possible explanation how the story began. It is not the only possibility and I'm certainly not willing to say that Exodus definitely happened in any form. Only that I'm not saying that it is impossible.
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Old 28th April 2022, 01:13 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
So, the Alamo truth:

is that a bunch of brave Texans, who stood for Justice and freedom, made a stand against the oppressive Mexican government at the Alamo, bravely holding them off until the very last man died. This heroic sacrifice bought time for Sam Houston to raise an army and finally defeat the evil Mexicans and win Texas Independence. Yee-Haw!


Yeah, every nation, in this case considering Texas as practically a nation unto itself, which was true for a little while, tends to whitewash its own history, and take out the inconvenient parts.

No.

The truth is way more complicated than that but the gist of it is that the Alamo defenders were defending the right to own slaves. Texas is like the Confederacy and Mexico is like the Union but this time, the slavers won. They donít tell us anything about slavery in school. They tell us the Texas Revolution was about freedom and liberty. Thatís a flat out lie and itís just scratching the surface.

Itís way beyond leaving out a few inconvenient facts.
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Old 28th April 2022, 01:24 AM   #34
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How about that a character literally called "grief of the Hellenes" in a Greek ritual play about war, loss and letting go of grief at the end, after stuff like degrading an enemy's corpse failed to bring any relief, surely must be based on a real person. Oh right, you probably know him better as Achilles
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Old 28th April 2022, 02:42 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That the history of Australia really only started when white people arrived.
Yes. It is often forgotten that one of humanity's first mass extinctions was caused by indigenous Australians.
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Old 28th April 2022, 04:31 AM   #36
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The Exodus story is now regarded by scholars (at least, non-religious scholars) as part of the “national foundation myth” of the Israelites.
They point out that when the Rosetta Stone allowed Egyptian hieroglyphics to be read, the story would come to light…. But not a glyph…
Also, over 100 years of searching by archaeologists has failed to provide any evidence whatever in support of the story.
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Old 28th April 2022, 07:46 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
No.

The truth is way more complicated than that but the gist of it is that the Alamo defenders were defending the right to own slaves. Texas is like the Confederacy and Mexico is like the Union but this time, the slavers won. They donít tell us anything about slavery in school. They tell us the Texas Revolution was about freedom and liberty. Thatís a flat out lie and itís just scratching the surface.

Itís way beyond leaving out a few inconvenient facts.
I find that the "because" factor in lots of historical explanations is often arguable. What is presented as a great and noble cause often turns out to be someone trying to make a buck at someone else's expense.

What I was saying was that the core facts of the Alamo story, who fought where and what the result was, are true. The reason they were fighting, though, is often misrepresented.
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Old 28th April 2022, 08:46 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by qarnos View Post
Yes. It is often forgotten that one of humanity's first mass extinctions was caused by indigenous Australians.
Is it just me who smiled at gigantic fossil birds found in Australia being described as "struthius", and did Paul Hogan have anything to do with it?
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Old 28th April 2022, 09:14 AM   #39
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Up to about my 21st year, I was an Old Earth Creationist who believed the Noachian Flood happened, but that it was some local event. I believed that Adman and Eve were real people God created, giving Humans a special status.

But then I began reading actual Science books instead of the Seventh Day Adventist Creationist offerings.

Of course, I also believed the Gospels were written by the disciples (and Luke), and that the Jesus Christ I was taught of in Sunday and Sabbath School was the actual historical figure.

If your reading stays in the bubble of "good Christain literature," you're going to be in the dark.

Religion, folks. I can't think of a single religious tradition that doesn't have some pseudo-history attached, or some myth taken for actual history.
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Old 28th April 2022, 09:45 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
I'd like this to be a fairly trivial thread.

Atlantis, I assumed there was some basis for it. A lost city or some such somewhere. Not really, almost certainly just a metaphor in a one of Plato's dialogues. Even the ancients thought so.

The Exodus, I didn't believe in the miracles or anything, just that the Jews were in Egypt at some point and later driven out. Basically no evidence for any of it. They probably just grew out of the local philistine population. At most, they were Levantine clients of the pharoahs at some point.

What about you folks?


Two. Both basis books that had impressed me a lot at the time. (Which I realize doesn't speak well of my critical thinking chops back then. In my defense I was a kid.) And --- and this was kind of important back then I remember (although this impulse too, when I think back now, was equally silly) --- it made me an expert on something, which in a weird kind of way upped my cool factor, with the guys, and with the girls as well.

The first would be space aliens. Yes, literally! I mean the Daniken stuff. I guess I had enough sense even back then to realize this wasn't 100% fact, but I did think this made sense, and was very likely.

And the second was the thing about Jesus spending both his early life, as well as the period after his pretend-death, in countries like Egypt and India. I'd read some books, I've no recollection who the authors were, but there were more than one, and I remember I'd been very impressed with that theory. In a very weird feat of (mis-)reasoning, while I found the argument that Jesus trained in this mystical stuff compelling, because how else was he able to suddenly pop up out of nowhere all full of wisdom and mystical superpowers and such; but it did not occur to me that this was exactly like theorizing about where Sherlock Holmes spent his years between the waterfall and his return.

Took me a very long time, not until I was in my early twenties, to grow out of these two ...not quite beliefs, but conviction that these seemed very likely.
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