Studying History Is a Waste of Time
Studying history is a waste of time because it prevents us from focusing on the challenges of the present. People live in this present. They plan for and worry about the future. History, however, is the study of the past. Given all the demands that press in from living in the present and anticipating what is yet to come, the speaker concludes that studying history is a waste of time because it distracts us from current challenges.
However, I do not agree with this opinion because history is essential to individuals and our society. In the first place, history helps us understand people and societies. It offers a storehouse of information about how people and societies behave. Understanding the operations of people and societies is difficult, though a number of disciplines make the attempt. An exclusive reliance on current data would needlessly handicap our efforts. How can we evaluate war if the nation is at peace—unless we use historical materials?
How can we understand genius, the influence of technological innovation, or the role that beliefs play in shaping family life, if we don’t use what we know about experiences in the past? Some social scientists attempt to formulate laws or theories about human behavior. But even these resources depend on historical information, except for limited, often artificial cases in which experiments can be devised to determine how people act. Major aspects of a society’s operation, like mass election, missionary activities, or military alliance, cannot be set up as precise experiments.
Consequently, history must serve, however imperfectly, as our laboratory, and data from the past must be served as our most vital evidence in the unavoidable quest to figure out why our complex species behave as it does in societal settings. This fundamentally, is why we cannot stay away from history: it offers the only extensive evidential base for the contemplation and analysis of how societies function, and people need to have some sense of how societies function simply to run their lives. The second reason history is inescapable as a subject of serious study follows closely on the first. The past causes the present, and so the future.
Any time we try to know why something happened—whether a shift in political party dominance in the American Congress, a major change in the teenage suicide rate, or a war in Iraq – we have to look for factors that took shape earlier. Sometimes, fairly recent history will suffice to explain a major development, but often we need to look further back to identify the causes of change. Only through studying history can we grasp how things change; only through history can we begin to comprehend the factors that cause change; and only through history can we understand what elements of an institution or a society persist despite change.
A Review of A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
The field of Science, particularly cosmology or the physical science concerning the history and evolution of the Universe, is truly an interesting and remarkable subject matter. However, understanding and eventually appreciating the significance of the said discipline are another aspects.
Hence, it is valuable that such field is introduced, explored, evaluated and fully realized in both analytical and fascinating ways. This is because it is only under such circumstances that a complicated matter like Science, specifically the facts relating to the creation and development of the Universe, is simplified and ultimately recognized of its purpose and essence.
Presented with such situation, it is now practical to ask how can people and the society in general is able to simplify a complex and apparently an intriguing field like Science. In particular, the challenge of effectively presenting the historical account and all the essential details about the beginning and evolution of the Universe may be difficult to achieve.
This is where a non-traditional approach to the field is necessary helpful. That is, the technicalities of the origin and eventual development of the Universe are presented in ways understandable to lay people or the non-scientific public. The successful transformation of Science, from a complicated to a simple field or subject, manifests the undeniable effectiveness on the part of a person or material that aimed to modify Science or the study of the Universe.
The said condition was the efficient effort undertaken by theoretical physicist and author Stephen Hawking in his 1988 book “A Brief History of Time.” The said literary work succeeded in presenting the field of Science, particularly the circumstances regarding the start of the Universe, in a manner only true physics is able to do and provide.
Apart from such strict scientific presentation however, the author and his book are best to be acclaimed for the ability to illustrate, explain and eventually made people understand the topic in simple manner. The important scientific features of the book definitely serve as its assets but it is therefore one’s impression especially towards the simplicity of the book that makes the material ultimately valuable.
At the onset, the important features of the Hawking book rely on its strict adherence to the scientific creation and evolution of the Universe. As far as true-blooded physicists are concern, “A Brief History of Time” offers little or even nothing new details and insights about the study of physical science, the Universe in particular.
For people who are new or unfamiliar especially those who are totally oblivious of the said subject matters, the book however definitely serves as a valuable material. In fact, Hawking through his book provides a venue where readers are comforted in their search for answers to scientific questions. This is because the technicalities of the topics featured in the book were presented and explained in ways understandable to ordinary people.
The features of the book include a general and wide look at the major concepts or theories on the field of theoretical physics. The book also features clear-cut presentations and explanations of complicated topics concerning the study of Physics like the origin of the Universe. Additionally, the author engages in attractive approach as the book shows inviting illustrations all throughout (Hawking, 1988).
Specifically, the Hawking book features several valuable scientific topics. These include the Big Bang Theory, the law of gravity, black holes, time quality, light cones and answers to a string of scientific theories that even physicists have long been searching for.
The book’s clear presentation of deep science or the technical circumstances of the origin of the Universe and other physics-related concepts, in effect, shows the effectiveness of the author in the field that he masters. Through these features, the book succeeds in its purpose to strictly focus on key scientific topics. While the book presents the origin of time through the image of tortoise at the start, such attempt paves the way for the realization that people indeed learn about science because of its historical perspective (Hawking, 1988).
The relevance of the book is apparent for it enables the readers to leave valuable impression or feeling towards the content and significance of the material. On a personal note, “A Brief History of Time” allows me to have a glimpse of the historical evolution of the Universe or the field of theoretical physics in general. The book offers real physics in a manner that is understandable to both science-oriented people and non-scientists. Beyond such effort, my important view and impression about the book is all about its effectiveness in simplifying the field of science to an ordinary reader like me.
It is definitely important that a science material like the Hawking book strictly observes or follows the fundamentals of science. However, the public is fortunate enough that the material simplified the field and its concepts for a non-science person like me to understand and realize.
Simply put, the value of this book is the author’s ability and effectiveness in presenting and explaining scientific ideas like the origin and evolution of the Universe in simple as well as more perceivable and appreciating manners. Hence, beyond the book’s technical approach and scientific adherence, it is its efficient modification of a rather complex subject matter that leaves a person with worthy impression of the book.
Analyzing a book like Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” is truly worthy of one’s time and effort. This is because reviewing the book makes one to recognize the significance of scientific concepts and most importantly, the usefulness of making a material easy or understandable to a non-scientist reader.
The vital features of the book are the initial factors why one will be absorbed in reading it further. Aside from these however, it is a reader’s impression or feeling about the book that makes one realizes more its value. That is, the fact that the book effectively simplified a complicated field is an ultimate factor in making a material valuable in the study and appreciation of the origin of the Universe.
Hawking, S. (1988). A Brief History of Time. New York: Bantam.
Essay on Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People
England has always been a strong point of Christianity, as such, the difficult times that came from the conquest of the territory by the Romans up to the moment when finally Henry VIII decides to separate from the Vatican and “their deceptions”; making of England one of the most important places where Christian history has been made.
During such times of change, despite the different forces that shaped and misshaped the path of faith and religion in England, some conducts remained unchanged such as the belief that a person should focus only in what was adequate according to the standards that the Vatican had stated that were adequate.
The first four chapters of Bede’s book only refer to England in the way it was formed, the benefits and paradisiacal surroundings that both England and its surrounding neighbours had to offer in terms of water, soil, vegetation and even animals. In the first book, Bede makes a strong point of reference in the martyrdom that British Christians suffered at the hands of the Roman conquistador empire. It is interesting the difference between other martyr books and references to the ones that Bede states in the book. Jack 2
Here, therefore, the head of most courageous martyr was struck off, and here he received the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. But he who gave the wicked stroke, was not permitted to rejoice over the deceased; for his eyes dropped upon the ground together with the blessed martyr’s head. (Bede, Book 1:VII, 51-52) Other accounts only make strong points of the punishment that God allegedly gives those who inflict the martyrdom in cases against the female virtue and those where the executor is a member of their own family.
Though it is not evidently put, the writing of Bede actually infers that God will claim vengeance to anyone that dares raise an arm against His Flock. In the second book, Bede leaves behind the martyrdom that suffered the Brits at the hands of the Romans and deepens into the creation of the modern day Britannica form of beliefs. It seems that as a result of the preceding changes and strength that the martyrs of days before provided the Christian belief in England gave the Church sufficient hold to unite then flourishing Kingdom by respecting religious festivities such as Easter time.
It should be noted that by the time that Bede is making reference to evidently St. Agustin (or Agustine to some authors) makes no reference to an Irish saint: Saint Patrick that had sufficient leverage among the clergy of the time. Almost 300 years have passed between the death of Albas martyr and the next evident miracle in Bede’s book, the time when Bishop Mellitus by simple prayers suffocates a fire. Jack 3
And thus the man of God, whose mind was inflamed with the fire of Divine charity, and who was wont to drive away the powers of the air by his frequent prayers, from doing harm to himself, or his people, was deservedly allowed to prevail over the worldly winds and flames, and to obtain that they should not injure him or his. (Bede, Book 2:VII, 114-115) According to Bede it is only through the power of prayer and a meditative life, succumbed to the will, power and guidance of God (through the church) that any person can command any forces of nature and prevent damage, injury or even death.
So far Bede has been able to demonstrate the power and benefits of being a truthful Christian to those readers without dabbling into politics. However, by book three, Bede can make a strong statement of this since Chapter I, when he states that a Christian king (Oswald) can restitute the faith of the people in the nation and in his own kingship. One of the most important things to remember when reading this book is that monarchies were believed to be granted by God Himself, thus it was a “divine right”.
Most of Book three is devoted to two main characters: King Oswald who vaguely resembles king Arthur in the importance that he receives from this historian as a God following king who, happened to be so saint that even after being slaughtered in battle performed miracles. The other person of importance is Bishop Aidan who was a strong supporter of King Oswald’s piety actions, much like the wizard Merlin in King Arthur’s descriptions; this was a particularly important character in the development of the king’s ruling.
Jack 4 However, it seems that when the kingdom lacked of religious stability, the worst circumstances were present: In the above¬mentioned year of the aforesaid eclipse, which was presently followed by the pestilence, in which also Bishop Colman, being overcome by the unanimous consent of the Catholics, returned home, Deusdedit, the sixth bishop of the church of Canterbury, died on the I4th of July.
Erconbert, also, king of Kent, departed this life the same month and day; leaving his kingdom to his son Egbert, (Bede, Book 4:I, 204) It seems interesting that a terrible disease such as pestilence (or plague) might have been deemed common enough not to deserve any of the religious teachings that the book of Bede is full of. There are no prayers that will stop or detain the disease in its tracks, but more over, it refers to mundane affairs such as the setting the affairs in order of a specific archbishop.
Despite this, most of the book is full of miracles that happened during the pestilence, people who in their dying beds saw the Glory of Heaven or deaths that were simply “heavenly” with no pain or misery. Naturally, as the book progresses in dates, other important events happen; such as the assassination of royal heirs, though not in the way that Shakespearian artists would do, but simply stating that anyone who knows the basis of Christianity will deem his or her Jack 5
life in little value because the promise of everlasting life would conquer their hearts in a moment. Finally, book five speaks of basically the same things than the other four books, nonetheless, chapter XII has a significant detail: Having stood there a long time in much dread, not knowing what to do, which way to turn, or what end I might expect, on a sudden I heard behind me the noise of a most hideous and wretched lamentation, and at the same time a loud laughing, as of a rude multitude insulting captured enemies.
When that noise, growing plainer, came up to me, I observed a gang of evil spirits dragging the howling and lamenting souls of men into the midst of the darkness, whilst they themselves laughed and rejoiced. Among those men, as I could discern, there was one shorn like a clergyman, a layman, and a woman. (Bede, Book 5:XII, 286) The importance of this description is the imagery that it gives, since this description until our days souls in purgatory damnation have been depicted in the same way and even using the same three human elements: The clergyman, the layman and the woman.
Nonetheless, the entire chapter portrays a vision quite similar to the one that Dante provides almost 600 years later: An afterlife divided into sections that are populated by those who are “less than perfect”, “barely repented” and “outwardly evil”. Just like Jack 6 Dante, the visionary in Bede’s book five chapter twelve has a guidance that explains things to him so that he might return to life and tell everyone. What is the truth? Well, it is difficult to state it.
According to the Bible, Jesus came to earth to create a final covenant, one of the eternal love and forgiveness; nevertheless, the Church had gone out of their way to create an environment of fear and uncertainty. During the time of Bede, it is evident that Church in England used hell and purgatory as means of control and coercion both in social and political atmospheres. Undoubtedly, the use of these “boogie men” for the society in early Christianity and the first years of medieval era was beneficial providing church and rulers with sufficient authority to handle and create empires.
Would it work nowadays? Yes it will as it has begun to work with the new age belief; the uncertainty of what lies beyond the natural death is something that will present a problem in the human mind; as a result, whatever we can find that will soothe us will become a leverage for those who provide it to us. Jack 7 Works Cited Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Penguin Classics, revised edition, May 1991. Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1969 Internet medieval source book November 30th,2008 <http://www. fordham. edu/halsall/basis/bede-book2. html>
According to Pane’s account, what part did caves play in human origins?
1b. What happpened to Machochael and the men who left the cave to go fishing? If when they went out at night and was not able to return befiore the sun rose, upon seeing the light, as punishment since they were not allowed to see it, were immediately transformed into those trees that yeild plums. These grow spontaneously on that island in great quantity, without being planted.
1c. How did their acts alter the world? 1d. Why did the Taino go on pilgrimages to Iovanaboina?
1e. Why were zemis important?
2a.Pane says the Taino told him that men left the caves “without their women,” How did women come to populate the earth?
2b. Does the narrative suggest that men and women were created more or less as equals?
3a. This Taino origin story emphasizes that humann beings were “transformed” in numerous ways to shape the world. Why did these transformations occur, according to the narrative?
3b. How did theese transformations influence humans who were not transformed?
4a. In what ways is Pane’s religion evident in his account of Taino origins?
4b. Do you think Pane was a reliable recorder of Taino beliefs?
c. What parts of Pane’s account, if any, seem credible to you? Why?
5a. Since Tainos ” never had writing among them and everything is preserved by memory,” do you thing the stories the Taino told Pnae were credible accounts of ancient beliefs?
5b. What evidence suggests that Taino believed these stories?
5c. Is there evidence that their origin narrative had ancient roots?
5d. On the other hand, is there evidence that they might have invented the narrative to please or satisfy Pane?
1a. According to this narrative how did human beings arrive in the world?
b. What was the significance of the “great tree which every year bore corn used for food” and of the angry young men?
2a. Who does the narrative say created the earth, and why?
2b. What relationship existen between animals and the earth?
3.According to the narrative, how did human beings reproduce? Why?
4a. How did Othagwenda (Flint) and Djuskaha (Little Sprout) differ?
4b . Why were those differences important? 5a. Who does the narrative identify as God?
5b. What difference did it make?
1. According to Genesis, how and why did God create the world?
2.Were plants, animals, and human beings in this account more or less equal in God’s eyes? No they were not equal. God said have dominion over the fosh of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over ever living thing that moveth upon the earth.
3. Why did God command human beings to “Be fruiful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion… over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”?
4. Did God make different demands on men and women? Why?
5a.Why did God forbid Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
5b.Why did they disobey God?
5c. How did God punished them?
6. How might the Genesis account of human origins have influenced Europeans as they encountered peoples in Africa and the New World?
1a. According to Aristotle, why were some people “natural slaves”?
1b. Who were these people?
1c. Why was slavery for them natural?
1d. Why was slavery “beneficial and just” for them? 2a. How would you argue against Aristotle’s defense of natural slavery?
2b. Did he make false assumptions?
2c. Were his arguments illogical?
2d. Can you argue against his view starting from his assumptions? How?
3a.To what extent did Aristotle believe that it was good and just for vitors in war to enslave their captives?
3b. Was slavery for Aristotle anything other than the superior power of the master over the slave?
3c. What arguments did Aristotle make against the claim that “all slavery is contrary to nature”?
3d. Do you find his arguments convinving? Why or Why not?
4a. How did the relation of master to slave differ from that of man to woman, husband to wife, parent to children, and statesman to citizens, according to Aristotle?
4b. In what sense were “all housholds… monarchically governed”?
c. Since Aristotle argued that “the relation of male to female is naturally that of the superior to the inferior, of the ruling to the ruled,” would he claim that women were natural slaves?
1a. What are the major differences and similarities among these creation myths?
1b. How do their views of human beings compare to Aristotle’s?
2a. The creation narratives descibe a world before humans existed. To what extent were humans a force for good in the world?
2b. How did humans’ power compare to that of nature of zemis or the creator?
2c. Did Aristotle’s views differ? If so, how and why?
3a. How do the views of women and men in the creation my ths compare to Aristotle’s views?
3b. What do they reveal about gender roles and expectations among Native Americans and Europeans?
4. Because the creation narratives and Aristotle’s Politics originated in oral rather than written communication, to what extent can these documents be accepted as expressions of the views of common folk among the Taino, the Seneca, and Christians?
5. To what extent might the creation myths and Aristotle’s views about masters and slaves have influenced the begavior of Native Americans and Europeans when they encountered one another?
The Most Important Event in Us History
Most Significant Event in U. S. History: The Louisiana Purchase The United States is not the most perfect country, but it is one of the most successful countries of the modern world. Our country’s vast history contains an immense amount of significant and momentous events that have molded our country into the place we know today. As a country, we have had our fair share of triumph, crisis, and everything in between. But overall, the most important event in the history of the United States is the Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson’s purchasing of 828,000 square miles of land in Central America causing the country to double in size.
The purchase of this enormous amount of land advanced us politically as we began to make decisions to start expanding and improving our country, our economy improved due to the gain of the Mississippi River and New Orleans trade port, and it diversified America by introducing new races to us, including the Spanish and French. The President at the time of the Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson, had a great desire for his country’s western expansion. One of Louisiana’s most populous cities at the time, New Orleans, was a popular trading port that sat on the Mississippi River.
Jefferson knew American settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains relied on river transport for trading, so he decided to try to gain its control. When Jefferson discovered that he ended up getting ten times the amount of land he asked for a pretty decent price, he was shocked. The land that America now owned doubled the size of the country. Even though the U. S. was not financially in a position to be spending as much as $15 million dollars, Jefferson could not simply pass up this bargain at nearly 3 cents an acre. This large expansion of our country gave us more land to begin to farm and create settlements on.
Even though this move was inexpensive, many Federalists claimed it was unconstitutional. Nowhere did the Constitution state that the federal government was allowed to purchase new land. Jefferson knew that this was unconstitutional and felt guilty for even going through with the offer, since it went against his strong beliefs for upholding the constitutional rights. But most Americans supported him and his decision, so he decided to stick with it. Jefferson’s risky act of following his dream of western expansion gave inspiration for future presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D.
Roosevelt to take strong executive action even when the constitutional laws were absent. Jefferson’s act of near defiance to take the land our people needed is very important to our country and what it is today. The purchase of this large amount of land made America seem threatening to most other countries, since European colonies were no longer present in North America. The Louisiana Purchase was one of the first major actions that began to unify the country, strengthen, and expand it at the same time.
When New Orleans was still under French rule, American trade was put in jeopardy when Napoleon threatened to block U. S. access to the New Orleans trade port of the Mississippi River. Due to the location of the Appalachian Mountain range, American settlements relied on river transport to trade their goods. So Jefferson made sure he claimed the territory of Louisiana for his country. Once American had access to the Mississippi River and the New Orleans Trade port in time trade was able to flourish. Also, the land purchase included thirteen new states that became a part of our country, which also improved our economy.
When Jefferson decided to send out his secretary, Meriwether Lewis and army officer William Clark to explore his newly purchased land, with the help of a Shoshoni woman Sacajawea, it was another plus for our country’s economy. America gained an expansive amount of scientific observations, and many maps and ideas of the land and its climate and regions. We could now create new states, and create new types of farming and agricultural opportunities, now possible with the vast amounts of land just gained. The Louisiana Purchase helped broaden ways for our economy to grow and expand its horizons with advances in trade, and agriculture.
The Louisiana Purchase benefited our country in many ways, and one of the most acknowledged advancements we see and know today is the racial diversity we received when the U. S. acquired Louisiana. Even before Louisiana was under French control, it was preciously under Spanish reign. The mix of these races, French, Spanish, and also the African American slaves brought to America gave and still gives New Orleans its assorted culture it has to this day. Before the Louisiana Purchase, the majority of the citizens living in America were either white, or slaves brought over from Africa.
The gain of Louisiana gave America the racial diversity it needed to begin to grow culturally as a country. Today New Orleans is one of the most culture rich cities in our country. It has customs all its own. When Louisiana became a state in 1812, it took its French legal traditions with it. Even now, Louisiana has many laws that are quite different than the English common law. The Louisiana Purchase helped diversify our country and was one of the first states that added different culture and races to our country. The U. S. s a country that has been through and abundance of historical events. But by far, the most significant event in our American history is the Louisiana Purchase. It has expanded and improved our country and inspired our country’s future leaders, it introduced new trade and agricultural possibilities, and it gave our country the racial diversity it needed to enrich our country’s culture. The Louisiana Purchase was the breakthrough our country needed to put an end to controlling colonies and to start taking over continents.