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Comment author: Lumifer 26 July 2017 06:44:23PM 0 points [-]

In history, you don't generally have to explain how something happens to assert that it did.

That does not apply to outside-of-the-mainstream views.

once you've translated Herodotus it's hard to claim that you have no real expertise in history

History is a very big subject. Translating Herodotus does not give you any insights into VI-VII century Arabia.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 28 July 2017 04:28:01PM *  0 points [-]

That does not apply to outside-of-the-mainstream views.

It does indeed. Evidence that x is true is not the same as an explanation of how x occurred. For instance, we can see that an ancient city was burned down around a certain year, but not know for what purpose or by whom.

History is a very big subject. Translating Herodotus does not give you any insights into VI-VII century Arabia.

You just complained that he wasn't an academic.

Comment author: Lumifer 26 July 2017 06:03:39PM 0 points [-]

I did read the following sentence and noted that it does not have any footnotes attached to it -- as far as I can see it's an unsubstantiated assertion by some Wikipedia editor.

Besides "I'm not going to admit I was wrong, I just will stop talking/writing about this" counts as abandonment in my book.

As to Tom Holland, he is a writer, not an academic. Pop science, of course, has a rather large liking for outrageous claims.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 26 July 2017 06:18:08PM *  0 points [-]

Refraining from a 'detailed' reconstruction seems quite reasonable. In history, you don't generally have to explain how something happens to assert that it did.

Holland is indeed something of a pop author, but once you've translated Herodotus it's hard to claim that you have no real expertise in history.

Comment author: Lumifer 26 July 2017 03:17:35PM 0 points [-]

Ah, interesting. But it seems that this "Revisionist" school is about critically analysing Koran and hadiths -- basically not taking them at their word which is entirely reasonable. The claim that Islam didn't originate in Arabia is mostly limited to Crone and even she looks to have abandoned this claim: Wikipedia says "Later, Patricia Crone refrained from this attempt of a detailed reconstruction of Islam's beginnings".

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 26 July 2017 05:24:43PM *  0 points [-]

Um... did you read the following sentence? She didn't abandon the idea at all. And there's at least one major work that argues for it: 'In the Shadow of the Sword.'

Comment author: Lumifer 26 July 2017 01:46:33AM 0 points [-]

since whether Islam actually came from Arabia isn't certain.

I haven't read anything which doubts that. What is the alternative theory?

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 26 July 2017 12:30:17PM *  0 points [-]

The idea as I know it comes from Patricia Crone, but it's been picked up by other historians like Tom Holland. Basically, it claims that Muhammad came from Jordan and the idea of Islam originating in Medina was an attempt to 'Arabize' the new religion.

Comment author: Lumifer 26 July 2017 12:48:43AM 1 point [-]

I can't see how that would work out. Except maybe in the case of Islam

So you can see. And the example is the second most popular religion in the world.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 26 July 2017 12:56:10AM *  0 points [-]

I'm not sure it counts. Muhammad certainly existed. Most of the theology wouldn't have been made up as you describe. I'm really just talking about the origin story, since whether Islam actually came from Arabia isn't certain.

Comment author: Lumifer 24 July 2017 09:18:59PM 0 points [-]

I don't see why. Religions mutate and evolve.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 25 July 2017 10:18:16PM *  0 points [-]

I admit it's possible for components of a religion to be taken from political propaganda (certain parts of the NT fit the bill), but inventing the idea as a whole... I can't see how that would work out. Except maybe in the case of Islam, but even then it was just grabbing on to the coattails of Judaism and Christianity.

Comment author: Lumifer 24 July 2017 07:12:44PM 0 points [-]

What is the point that you are making? Religions get born, go through natural/social selection, some survive -- for some time, some do not. This is all uncontroversial, as far as I know.

When you set up a new religion, you don't know how successful will it be, but the probability of it becoming very successful is not zero.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 24 July 2017 08:31:45PM *  0 points [-]

It's a safe assumption that any religion with ancient roots was not made up by someone for political purposes.

Comment author: Lumifer 24 July 2017 03:09:44PM 0 points [-]

People who deliberately set out to create their own cult can't match this.

They can get lucky. Example: Joseph Smith.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 24 July 2017 06:47:52PM *  0 points [-]

Sure, but (without even mentioning how much it takes from mainstream Christianity) Mormonism is... 150 years old. How many Quakers do you see these days?

Comment author: dogiv 24 July 2017 03:22:50PM 1 point [-]

This doesn't actually seem to match the description. They only talk about having used one laser, with two stakes, whereas your diagram requires using two lasers. Your setup would be quite difficult to achieve, since you would somehow have to get both lasers perfectly horizontal; I'm not sure a standard laser level would give you this kind of precision. In the version they describe, they level the laser by checking the height of the beam on a second stake. This seems relatively easy.

My guess is they just never did the experiment, or they lied about the result. But it would be kind of interesting to repeat it sometime.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 24 July 2017 06:29:45PM *  0 points [-]

Would Snell's Law possibly explain it? Someone claimed to me that it makes light refract more with decreasing altitude.

Comment author: cousin_it 24 July 2017 09:35:04AM *  1 point [-]

The claim is correct. The ISS is orbiting right in the middle of the thermosphere, and the temperature there is indeed higher than the melting point of iron. You're one Google search away from learning why the ISS doesn't melt. I know the answer, but it's important that you find it out yourself.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 24 July 2017 10:37:37AM *  1 point [-]

Ah, I already Googled but I got confused because the first guy who came up on the search seemed to be talking about something else.

But I used a different phrasing and got the answer. FWI, Google isn't always reliable for refuting crackpots and Wikipedia is very unreliable. If I assumed that the latter represented the state of human knowledge I'd be forced to concede that most of what Wild Heretic says is true.

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