Fjordman Files: December updates

[17 - 12] On Atlas Shrugs: A History of Optics, part 2

[11 - 12]
On Brussels Journal: On Deconstructing the Majority: Nothing To Do With Islam? Really?
Apparently, your worth as an intellectual is measured in how grandiose your ideas are. The greater your visions, the more dazzling your intellect is and thus the greater prestige should be awarded to you. Whether those visions actually correspond to reality and human nature is of secondary importance. In fact, many a self-proclaimed intellectual will be downright offended by the petty considerations of his more pedestrian fellow citizens, concerned with what effects his ideas will have in real life. The fact that some people could get hurt from his ideas doesn't discourage him. Truly great advances for mankind can only be accomplished though sacrifices, preferably made by others.

[9 - 12] On Dhimmi Watch the first part of a series that will span at least five posts: A History of Optics, part 1
I will look into all aspects of it, from mathematics via glassmaking, eyeglasses/spectacles, microscopes and telescopes to chemistry, photography and the modern electromagnetic understanding of light. All following quotes by the eminent scholar David C. Lindberg, who is widely recognized to be a leading scholar on ancient, medieval and early modern optics, refer to his book Theories of vision – From al-Kindi to Kepler, except when explicitly stated otherwise. I include page references to longer quotes from all relevant book so that others can use the material if they want to.

[2 - 12] Three new FF's for your pleasure. First, on Gates of Vienna: The Impact of Western Medicine.
I think I can draw a conclusion by now: The first civilization in human history to establish a truly scientific understanding of both the human body and the real causes of diseases was European civilization. I haven’t seen any indication that any other nation or culture was close to achieving a similar breakthrough independently.
Also on Gates of Vienna: The Germanic Languages and the History of English.
We do not know what kind of languages the peoples of Stone Age Europe spoke since only Basque, unique among all the pre-existing languages, survived the Indo-European expansion. Nevertheless, we can be virtually certain that the groups who built Stonehenge in England did not speak an Indo-European language. Celtic-speakers appeared in the British Isles only after this giant monument had been completed. The period which we call the Iron Age began in the centuries before and especially after 1000 BC, and there are indications that the Celts enjoyed an advantage by their early adoption of iron weapons.
And lastly, on Brussels Journal: The Importance of Cicero in Western Thought.
One of the most persistent myths promoted by Eurabian Multiculturalists is that of the "shared Greco-Roman heritage" between Europeans and Arabs which is now going to lay the foundations for a new Mediterranean Union, Eurabia. It is true that countries such as Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Algeria were just as much a part of the Roman Empire as were England, France and Spain. However, the Arab conquerors later rejected many elements of the Greco-Roman era once they invaded these nations. Many Greek classics were translated to Arabic, but Muslims were highly particular about which texts to exclude. There was a great deal of Greek thought that could never have been "transferred" to Europeans by Arabs, as is frequently claimed today, because many Greek works had never been translated into Arabic in the first place. Muslims especially turned down political texts since these included descriptions of systems in which men ruled themselves according to their own laws. This was considered blasphemous by Muslims, as laws are made by Allah and rule belongs to his representatives. Even Aristotle's (384-322 BC) political texts were turned down.

A History of Optics, part 2
On Deconstructing the Majority: Nothing To Do With Islam? Really?
A History of Optics, part 1
The Importance of Cicero in Western Thought
The Germanic Languages and the History of English
The Impact of Western Medicine
The History of the Calendar
A History of Medicine, part 5
A History of Medicine, Part 4
The West and Global Mathematics
A History of the Indo-European Languages
Stained Glass: A European History
Islam, the West and Our "Shared Heritage"
The Eurabia Code — 2008 Updates
Barack Hussein Obama and the Triumph of Marxism

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