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History It’s the Science of the Past


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Philosophy

Myths and Legends

The Americas

Oriental Countries

Sumeria

Egypt

Europe

India

Israel

Biblical History

Christianity

Islam

World History

Official History

Alternative Histories

 Revisionist History

History: The science of the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information on past events.

History is important because you can not understand the present with out knowing how we got where we are. This because if you have no knowledge of how you got to were you currently find yourself then you can not truly know where your are.

Imaging you wake up in a dark windowless concrete block room and you are told by your only visible captor that you are on an island surrounded by armed guards and shark infested water. You would be less likely to try to escape than if you knew you were in a room in the basement of an apartment building in the middle of New York City with no one guarding the room other than your captor's delay visit, Naturally if you knew were you really were you would spend all of your time trying to get out of the room.   

The same thing goes for history if you do not how the world really got into its current situation you will not know how to handle it. You may even make a decision to your own harm thinking it is the best course of action. This why “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” as stated by George Santayana


Philosophy and Historical sciences

One self evident fact about history is that the further back in time an event occurred the more information gets lost and the harder it is to know the credibility of available information. This means that some means is needed to test the credibility of sources and and to fill in the gaps in the data. A natural result is that the Philosophic assumptions of a given historian play a major role in testing credibility and filling in gaps. So it is obvious that Philosophical assumptions play a major role in studying History.

A good example of this is an historian who holds to the philosophical assumption of absolute naturalism. Such an historian would automatically discount any historical reference to a supernatural event and as such he would automatically dismiss much of the Biblical account regardless of any other supporting evidence.

The result is the fact that Archaeology and the study of ancient World History are heavily influenced by philosophical assumption making it important to understand the assumptions of what any historian you are listening to.


Myths and Legends  

A legend is a traditional but unverified story of the past that may be an exaggerated version of a real event but defining the term “myth” is a lot harder because it is often defined based on what one wishes to include and exclude. Unfortunately popular usage of the term “myth” refers to an untrue claim making even it harder to define.

However in practical historical usage myths and legends are accounts of the past that a given historian wishes to discount. True this is not a formal definition of ether myths or legends but it is the way many historians use them practical practice because calling an unwanted account of history a myth or legend is often used as an excuse to ignore its contents. However many of these stories may be idealized and culturalized versions of real events which is most likely the case when there are mutable versions of  the same story in different cultures, particularly when the cultures had little or no contact.


Official History

Official History: the history promoted by the government and academic establishments.

Such an official history is often protected against criticism by any number of means including government control of artifacts and archeological sites. Some times the official history is true history but at other times official history is nothing but government propaganda. A classic example of an official history that is really government propaganda was found in Nazi Germany.


Alternative Histories

Alternative History: any theory of history that challenges an official history in some way.

While sometimes the bases of an alternative history are legitimate there are other times the bases are bogus. Regardless of the accuracy of a particular alternative history most alternative histories are honest efforts to correct historical errors and they are sometimes the result of philosophical as well as factual issues.


Revisionist History

Revisionist History: any effort to change history for political gain.

Unlike alternative historians, history revisionists are not interested in the truth but in creating a particular attitude in people for political gain.


Conclusions

History is important because it tells us why the present is the way it is so we know best how to deal with it. Unfortunately the further back in time you go the less information is available meaning that the influence of Philosophy increases with the amount of time since the events in question. The result is that the study and presentation of history often affected by philosophic and political maters.


 

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