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What Is the Critical Period Hypothesis?

Abbreviated Geologic Time Scale

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Efficient-market hypothesis - Wikipedia

More than any other technical innovation, the control of fire marked humanity’s rise. In his , Darwin called making fire humanity’s greatest achievement. The only possible exception that he noted was the invention of language. Even today, in our industrialized and technological world, almost all of our energy practices are merely more sophisticated ways of controlling fire. The initial control of fire was at once a social act, a mental act, and a technical act. Although making stone tools represented the big break between the human line and its ancestry, it only allowed apes to mimic what other animals could do. Stone tools represented artificial claws, teeth, and jaws of animals far larger and more capable than apes at killing and eating flesh and bones. Protohumans with stone tools could scavenge more effectively and maybe defend themselves and even attack others, but it was not initially different in kind from what other animals could do, and was a pathetically small advantage when their first stone tools were merely rocks with sharpened edges, about on the order of brass knuckles. Would you want to fend off a lion predation attack (and perhaps multiple lions) with a rock, and at night? Controlling fire was the radical break from all other organisms that ever lived on Earth.

The History and Salient Points of the Documentary Hypothesis

These philosophies have carried us from Greece to Rome. In the later Roman Republic and the early Empire, no restrictions were imposed on opinion, and these philosophies, which made the individual the first consideration, spread widely. Most of the leading men were unbelievers in the official religion of the State, but they considered it valuable for the purpose of keeping the uneducated populace in order. A Greek historian expresses high approval of the Roman policy of cultivating superstition for the benefit of the masses. This was the attitude of Cicero, and the view that a false religion is indispensable as a social machine was general among ancient unbelievers. It is common, in one form or another, to-day; at least, religions are constantly defended on the ground not of truth but of utility. This defence belongs to the statecraft of Machiavelli, who taught that religion is necessary for government, and that it may be the duty of a ruler to support a religion which he believes to be false.

08/04/2013 · This should not be news to you

A History of Freedom of Thought - Critical Thinking

Exceptions, cases where the interference of the authorities is proper, are only apparent, for they really come under another rule. For instance, if there is a direct instigation to particular acts of violence, there may be a legitimate case for interference. But the incitement must be deliberate and direct. If I write a book condemning existing societies and defending a theory of anarchy, and a man who reads it presently commits an outrage, it may clearly be established that my book made the man an anarchist and induced him to commit the crime, but it would be illegitimate to punish me or suppress the book unless it contained a direct incitement to the specific crime which he committed.

Such is the drift of Mill’s main argument. The present writer would prefer to state the justification of freedom of opinion in a somewhat different form, though in accordance with Mill’s reasoning. The progress of civilization, if it is partly conditioned by circumstances beyond man’s control, depends more, and in an increasing measure, on things which are within his own power. Prominent among these are the advancement of knowledge and the deliberate adaptation of his habits and institutions to new conditions. To advance knowledge and to correct errors, unrestricted freedom of discussion is required. History shows that knowledge grew when speculation was perfectly free in Greece, and that in modern times, since restrictions on inquiry have been entirely removed, it has advanced with a velocity which would seem diabolical to the slaves of the mediaeval Church. Then, it is obvious that in order to readjust social customs, institutions, and methods to new needs and circumstances, there must be unlimited freedom of canvassing and criticizing them, of expressing the most unpopular opinions, no matter how offensive to prevailing sentiment they may be. If the history of civilization has any lesson to teach it is this: there is one supreme condition of mental and moral progress which it is completely within the power of man himself to secure, and that is perfect liberty of thought and discussion. The establishment of this liberty may be considered the most valuable achievement of modern civilization, and as a condition of social progress it should be deemed fundamental. The considerations of permanent utility on which it rests must outweigh any calculations of present advantage which from time to time might be thought to demand its violation.

Associates For Biblical Research - Patriarchal Era

Research Articles: Patriarchal Era

Likewise, a basic epistemology of historical knowledge can bedescribed. Historical knowledge depends on ordinary procedures ofempirical investigation, and the justification of historical claimsdepends on providing convincing demonstration of the empiricalevidence that exists to support or invalidate the claim. There is sucha thing as historical objectivity, in the sense that historians arecapable of engaging in good-faith interrogation of the evidence inconstructing their theories of the past. But this should not beunderstood to imply that there is one uniquely true interpretation ofhistorical processes and events. Rather, there is a perfectly ordinarysense in which historical interpretations are underdetermined by thefacts, and there are multiple legitimate historical questions to poseabout the same body of evidence. Historical narratives have asubstantial interpretive component, and involve substantialconstruction of the past.

It may be useful to close with a sketch of a possible framework for anupdated philosophy of history. Any area of philosophy is driven by afew central puzzles. In the area of the philosophy of history, themost fundamental questions remain unresolved: (1) What is the natureof the reality of historical structures and entities (states, empires,religious movements, social classes)? Can we provide aconception of historical and social entities that avoids the error ofreification but gives some credible reality to the entities that arepostulated? (2) What is the nature of causal influence amonghistorical events or structures that underwrites historicalexplanations? Historical causation is not analogous to naturalnecessity in the domain of physical causation, because there are nofixed laws that govern historical events. So we need to provide anaccount of the nature of the causal powers that historical factors arepostulated to have. (3) What role does the interpretation of the“lived experience” of past actors play in historicalunderstanding, and how does the historian arrive at justifiedstatements about this lived experience? Is it possible to arrive atjustified interpretations of long-dead actors, their mentalities andtheir actions? How does this phenomenological reality play into theaccount of historical causation? (4) Can we give an estimate of theoverall confidence we can have about statements about the past, aboutthe features of past institutions, structures, and actors, and aboutthe explanatory relations among them? Or does all historical knowledgeremain permanently questionable?

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Karl Popper (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The new States which Napoleon set up in Italy exhibited toleration in various degrees, but real liberty was first introduced in Piedmont by Cavour (1848), a measure which prepared the way for the full liberty which was one of the first-fruits of the foundation of the Italian kingdom in 1870. The union of Italy, with all that it meant, is the most signal and dramatic act in the triumph of the ideas of the modern State over the traditional principles of the Christian Church. Rome, which preserved those principles most faithfully, has offered a steadfast, we may say a heroic, resistance to the liberal ideas which swept Europe in the nineteenth century. The guides of her policy grasped thoroughly the danger which liberal thought meant for an institution which, founded in a remote past, claimed to be unchangeable and never out of date. Gregory XVI issued a solemn protest maintaining authority against freedom, the mediaeval against the modern ideal, in an Encyclical Letter (1832), which was intended as a rebuke to some young French Catholics (Lamennais and his friends) who had conceived the promising idea of transforming the Church by the Liberal spirit of the day. The Pope denounces “the absurd and erroneous maxim, or rather insanity, that liberty of conscience should be procured and guaranteed to every one. The path to this pernicious error is prepared by that full and unlimited liberty of thought which is spread abroad to the misfortune of Church and State and which certain persons, with excessive impudence, venture to represent as an advantage for religion. Hence comes the corruption of youth, contempt for religion and for the most venerable laws, and a general mental change in the world—in short the most deadly scourge of society; since the experience of history has shown that the States which have shone by their wealth and power and glory have perished just by this evil— immoderate freedom of opinion, licence of conversation, and love of novelties. With this is connected the liberty of publishing any writing of any kind. This is a deadly and execrable liberty for which we cannot feel sufficient horror, though some men dare to acclaim it noisily and enthusiastically.” A generation later Pius IX was to astonish the world by a similar manifesto—his Syllabus of Modern Errors (1864). Yet, notwithstanding the fundamental antagonism between the principles of the Church and the drift of modern civilization, the Papacy survives, powerful and respected, in a world where the ideas which it condemned have become the commonplace conditions of life.

Human Knowledge: Foundations and Limits

DURING the last three hundred years reason has been slowly but steadily destroying Christian mythology and exposing the pretensions of supernatural revelation. The progress of rationalism falls naturally into two periods. (1) In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries those thinkers who rejected Christian theology and the book on which it relies were mainly influenced by the inconsistencies, contradictions, and absurdities which they discovered in the evidence, and by the moral difficulties of the creed. Some scientific facts were known which seemed to reflect on the accuracy of Revelation, but arguments based on science were subsidiary. (2) In the nineteenth century the discoveries of science in many fields bore with full force upon fabrics which had been constructed in a naïve and ignorant age; and historical criticism undermined methodically the authority of the sacred documents which had hitherto been exposed chiefly to the acute but unmethodical criticisms of common sense.

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