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Ian Phillips

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About Ian Phillips

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  1. As a history teacher in an English University I am always willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. my reasons for editing the post were based on reading Sid Walker's biography: a Friends of the Earth activist, not a historian, I thought that my suggestion that the way he was using evidence was typical of the tactics used by holocaust deniers was perhaps a little harsh. Perhaps he was just a little misguided, a little naive I thought. Having read the threads in the political conspiracies area I realise I do need to rein in my liberal and charitable nature. Andy Walker's assessment of Sid Walker, is probably, and regrettably very accurate. It is also a pointless exercise trying to reason, debate or argue with such people as their failure, or inability to understand concepts like evidence and historical methododology mean their minds are closed. In one of my favourite books Focauld's Pendulum by Umberto Eco there is a marvellous line which goes something like: 'When someone mentions the Templars you know they are the real lunatics' I think there would be general agreement amongst all rational people that today you could do a search and replace and substitute Holcaust Deniers and conspiracy theorists for the Templars. The only good thing about the internet and bulletin boards which have conspiracy theory discussion threads is that it is the electronic equivalent of a good old fashioned 19th Lunatic Asylum and you know the inmates are securely locked up on the top of the moors. Hopefully I'm not being too arrogant if I claim that some replies might simply confirm some of the assertions made in this post
  2. got this from a friend in US, there is hope! How many members of the Bush Administration are needed to replace a light > bulb? The Answer is TEN: 1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed . 2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed . 3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb . 4. One to tell the nations of the world that they are either: "For changing the light bulb or for darkness." 5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Haliburton for the new light bulb . 6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a stepladder under the banner "Light Bulb Change Accomplished." 7. One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally "in the dark." 8. One to viciously smear #7. 9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light bulb-changing policy all along . 10. And finally one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country. > > >
  3. There is one issue surrounding these Christian fundamentalists which I find quite confusing. It's their ability to cherry pick the bits of the bible they find convenient. The logic of their position must be - if Genesis is right then they have to accept everything else in the bible from Genesis right through to Revelations. This means that Galileo and Newton were wrong and they have to insist that physics teaching returns to the Ptolemaic system whichputs the earth at the centre of the Universe just as God intended. Similarly all the instructions in Leviticus, all the dietary laws, all the commandments about what should be done to adulterers etc. The business with Jonah and the whale also raises important issues - whales were fishes according to the bible therefore I guess that the Christain fundamentalists have to accept biblical authority and reclassify whales as fishes rather than mammals. In the UK one of the sponsors of a number of Christina fundamentalist academies is Reg Vardy, well known car salesman. Now if he were a true Christian he would condemn the sin of usury - lending money for interest. I know that since the reformation the church and Parliament have changed their position on usury but being people of principle they would recognise that these changes were instigated by man and not sanctioned by biblical authority. Mr Vardy - why no 0% finance on all your car deals? If you sign up for Creationism - in whatever form - intelligent design you have to accept bibllical authority on everything else or else lay your self open to accusations of hypocrisy
  4. Ian Phillips, history PGCE tutor Edge Hill College, treasurer and membership secretary HTEN history Teacher Education Network.
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