Talk:World History Lecture Three

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The instructor's understanding of Buddhism is inaccurate; they do not believe in reincarnation, hell, heaven and are not less moral than any other religion. Being the 4th largest religion, it is a religion. Religion is defined as a system of belief. Some have gods. Some religions, like Buddhism, does not have gods.

Bombay doesn't exist any more - it's Mumbai. --Clearlytim 02:34, 15 March 2007 (EDT)

that's great, this isn't a article. Geo. 02:35, 15 March 2007 (EDT)

This requires learning about many new religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

Confucianism isn't a religion. DukeAra 06:26, 29 February 2008 (EST)

I've deleted the very last paragraph as it was mostly incorrect. 1. Christianity may indeed be spread by freedom of speech nowadays but that was very much not the case for almost the entire history of the religion, from 330 to about 1750 AD. 2. Evangelism of Sikhism and Buddhism was almost entirely peaceful, much more so than Christianity. 3. Conversion by force is not accepted by Islamic law. HSpalding 20:05, 14 November 2008 (EST)

I've deleted the figure of 1 in 9 Chinese being Christian. This figure is very much too high. I don't know how large (or small) the Christian community is in China, so I haven't replaced it with a more accurate figure. Maybe 1 in 100? HSpalding 20:12, 14 November 2008 (EST)

Regarding the 'Major Belief Systems Today' section, would you really classify all irreligious people (1.1 billion, according to your source) as ANTI-religious? That seems to be quite a leap and it is certainly not what your source says. It's like labeling the Christianity row as "anti-nonChristian" when such a notion is obviously absurd. So, what's the reasoning here? -Adam9389 13:18, 04 March 2010 (MST)

Language issues

I'd fix these on the page, but Ed Poor asked that I point them out here instead. So:

  • Ἰησοῦν doesn't say Iesous. Look at the case :)
  • I'm not aware of systems that pronounce Jesus' name in Greek as I-ee-soos (assuming this means the first syllable rhymes with "my" and the second with "he"). Having the first syllable rhyme with "he" and the second with somewhere between "hay" and "hare" is more common. There may be a system, perhaps an American one that my classes didn't cover, that uses this pronounciation, in which case, fine, but maybe put a reference in there?
  • "Gospel" is not a Greek word.

DeniseM 17:54, 10 February 2009 (EST)


That's a very good concise account, but I wonder if it worth mentioning that Confucius was an atheist (or at the very most, a confirmed agnostic)? The huge criticism of Confucianism is that its static nature and inability to cope with changing circumstances led to the stagnation and collapse of the Chinese empire in he late 19th/early 20th century; the Godlessness of Confucian doctrine is surely the explanatiuon for this fatal absence of dynamism. RegalBruin 11:55, 11 February 2009 (EST)

Atheism is a modern concept, and I don't think it applies in ancient times. But thanks for the suggestion.--Andy Schlafly 15:28, 11 February 2009 (EST)
I thought Socrates was accused of atheism at his trial. Did it have a different meaning for the ancient Greeks? ReneeStJ 15:56, 11 February 2009 (EST)
He was accused of impiety, which is a lack of reverence for God. Belief in God was basically assumed in those times. Maybe they did have a higher IQ back then ;-) MattL 16:00, 11 February 2009 (EST)
I see; there is quite a difference there. So Meletus just meant "impious" by άθεος, not actual disbelief in Gods? ReneeStJ 16:02, 11 February 2009 (EST)

Reversion explained

The edit was reverted because it was not an improvement, and it had deleted a key date (thereby introducing a misleading time reference).--Andy Schlafly 15:28, 11 February 2009 (EST)

So what you are saying is that:

  • The Chinese "invented" bamboo. (They made widespread use of it, like every other culture in east and south-east Asia, but did they invent this naturally growing plant?)
  • The Chinese did not invent or develop the fixed rudder. (My reading suggests it was used from the 4th century B.C. in China and started being used in the west in the late middle ages.) (Ref: "Dictionary of Ship Types": A. Dudszus & E. Henriot. Trans. Keith Thomas. Conway maritime Press 1986)
  • The Chinese invented gunpowder after their invention of fireworks. (By all means put in this date, but tell us what their first fireworks were made of before the invention of gunpowder.)
(I am genuinely trying to help here.) AlanE 16:43, 11 February 2009 (EST)
Oh, and another thing: I would have discussed this earlier this morning before the edit, but the page was locked. AlanE 16:55, 11 February 2009 (EST)
Andy, we need to stress that fireworks are a Chinese invention. As is, the article is not clear as to whether fireworks were extant with the advent of gunpowder, or if it was a new invention. How about:
"Later, in A.D. 850, China invented gunpowder, which also popularized fireworks, another Chinese invention."
MattL 17:08, 11 February 2009 (EST)
Are we still denying the fixed rudder as a Chinese innovation? And can there be a word further than "invent". Neither the cultivation of bamboo and its development as a source of artifacts; nor the development of silk, can be classed as an "invention" under the generally held meaning of the word. An example is Watt's development of a working practical steam engine is not normally considered an "invention".AlanE 17:31, 11 February 2009 (EST)
You have the right word at the start, "innovation." Adapting or developing things in new ways is usually called innovating, as opposed to creating something entirely new, inventing. ReneeStJ 19:30, 11 February 2009 (EST)

Indus Civilization

  • (1) My Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology describes the Aryans as "the people of the Rig Veda who invaded Iran and India from the northwest in the later 2nd millenium B.C. By one theory they were responsible for the downfall of the Indus Civilisation. Their language was an early form of Sanskrit, the most easterly of the Indo-European tongues." Who are these "Aryans" you mention that arrived in 3000 - over 1000 years before the first recorded evidence of Indo-Europeans into history.
  • (2) The edit of mine this morning (which corrected, not "censored" the article) was a paraphrase of the "Times Atlas of Archaeology" page on the Cities of the Indus. It has the Aryan Invasion much earlier than Penguin, but is based on more up-to-date scholarship. It makes no mention at all of an earlier Aryan invasion. Neither does any reference work I have ever read. The page on "Early Farming in South Asia" covers the period in that area up to the development of townships - no mention of any Aryan incursion. Indeed it talks about "indigenous" development.
  • (3)In the other half dozen or so references I have dug up since returning home and finding your reversion, I can not find any reference at all to Aryans/Indo Europeans entering what would become the "Known world" before about 2000 B.C. (although there is obviously a "homeland" before they went their separate ways.
I request that you consider reinstating at least the intent of my edit, or at least give some reference for your statement about these "3000B.C. Aryans". I really am trying to help mentioned re the China article, I would have tried to discuss this before I edited but the page was locked. AlanE 20:34, 11 February 2009 (EST)
Nothing has happened. It now remains to be seen whether there is a homework question that mentions the Ayrans entering the Indus area (twice, according to Andy - once about 3000 BC, which not only goes against all historical references but also Andy's own writings elsewhere - then again in the 2nd millenium BC, which is the correct one) and what the students write concerning this matter.
One would think that normal standards of courtesy would dictate that I at least receive a reply to my concerns about such a drastic deviation from the accepted historical record. AlanE 19:49, 18 February 2009 (EST)

Earliest Chinese archeological findings

I'm not sure what source indicates that the earliest signs of civilization in China were circa 1766-1122 B.C., but that doesn't seem right. According to this link from the Metropolitan Museum in NYC, early Chinese cultures were making objects like flutes circa 7000–5700 B.C.: [1] Here's a secondary reference as well: [2] --DinsdaleP 13:48, 16 February 2009 (EST)

Older date claims boost the number of visitors to museums, the sales of newspapers, and government funding. But there's no independent verification of the date claims, and they are implausible.
Claims about intelligence in outer space have sold billions of dollars in books, newspapers, movies, etc., also.--Andy Schlafly 14:07, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Andy is correct in that the first archaeological signs of civilisation (ie written records, inscriptions etc) are dated to the 1700s B. C. There are artifacts from before then, just as there are artifacts from Egypt and Iran that predate the so-called civilisations in those areas. Chinese civilisation is dated from about 1700, but legend and logic have it that it didn't suddenly appear fully formed and accoutred like Pallas Athena from someone's forehead. For instances there is traditionally, and in records written a few hundred years later, a period of five named "Sages" before the first (Shang) dynasty. There are settlement finds dated well before 1700 but they are not indicative of Chinese culture as we would think of it. It is generally accepted that the Chinese Civilisation began about 1700. AlanE 14:52, 16 February 2009 (EST)
I can see the point about there being a difference between finding artifacts like musical instruments versus evidence of an active civilization. However, it's not the age of an item that make it significant - it's the importance of that item towards improving our understanding of the world and its history that counts. I would also doubt that the Metropolitan Museum would publish findings unless there was some corroboration, and don't see why the date claims are implausible. --DinsdaleP 18:47, 16 February 2009 (EST)
I agree. There is archaeological evidence of villages and (in China's case) millet and wet-rice cultivation going back millenia before the advent of writing, just as there is in the Middle East, Egypt and the Indus valley. I am just saying that Chinese culture as we know it dates to about 1700 B.C. AlanE 20:31, 16 February 2009 (EST)

Saint Paul

The lecture currently calls him "Paul of Taurus". I think it should be "Paul of Tarsus", as in the article Saint Paul. --FrederickT3 14:24, 13 September 2011 (EDT)


In World_History_Lecture_Three#China, second paragraph, change "vary" to "very". I'd do it myself, but the lecture seems to be locked for editing. --FrederickT3 16:01, 19 September 2011 (EDT)


Don't you think that the page should be unprotected now? Regular 00:31, 6 February 2015 (EST)