Sunday, December 28, 2003

China - Thousands of Rock Carvings - 240 LexiLine Journal

As written on December 22, 2003 in the English version of mainland
China's People's Daily at

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200312/22/eng20031222_130951.shtml

in an article entitled "Prehistoric oriental 'Venus' carved on cliff
discovered in Ningxia"

Chinese archaeologists in Zhongwei county, northwest China's Ningxia
Hui Autonomous Region, have found the figure of a pregnant woman
carved into a cliff on Beishan Mountain.

Zhou Xinhua, curator of the museum of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous
Region, stated that this stone carving was similar to Paleolithic
carvings of women found in Europe and was the first of its kind
found in China.

THOUSANDS OF ROCK CARVINGS on BEISHAN MOUNTAIN
(for one picture see http://faculty.risd.edu/faculty/pdematte/web/)

Beishan Mountain has no fewer than 3,000 groups of cliff carvings
and over 10,000 carvings of individual figures. Indeed, near
Damaidi, the county seat of Zhongwei, the mountain has a cliff area
containing 1,509 group cliff carvings and over 6,000 individual
figures with images of men, women, hunters, warriors, sun, moon,
rivers, "mountain stones", sheep, horses, oxen, deer, tigers, swords
and axes. They also have images of men and women, hunters and
warriors.

A concentration of 200 images is found in a 12-square meter area of
rock near the Zhongwei county seat, Damaidi area.

LEXILINE COMMENT

Zhongwei county is in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous
Region of which the capital is Yinchuan - see
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/data/province/ningxia.html for a
map of the location of Ningxia.

As noted at page 362 of my book Stars Stones and Scholars

see http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/robots/03-1722.html
and http://www.starsstonesscholars.com/

the region of Yinchuan (Yin-CHUAN) represented the constellation
Cepheus on the Great Wall of China, which marks the Milky Way. CHUAN
in Chinese means "Central Point" - it was the protuberance of the
Milky Way around which the stars of heaven seem to rotate, as the
central "horn" of the celestial dragon of heaven.

CHINESE ROCK DRAWINGS ARE ASTRONOMICAL

We know from my previous decipherment of the Great Wall of China
that the rock drawings here are astronomical in nature. Indeed, due
to my decipherment of the Great Wall of China as representing the
Milky Way of heaven on the ancient "Silk Road", i.e. as a
terrestrial hermetic map, we know that many of the cliff carvings of
Zhongwei in Ningxia Hui will date to ca. 3117 BC reflecting an
ancient surveyor's system marking a planisphere of the heavens.

ZHONGWEI = "central star", "pole star"

In deciphering the rock drawings, what clues do we get from the
hermetic Chinese place names?

ZHONG in Chinese means "clock" or "central" and
the phrase ZI WEI means "polar star"
Hence, this region of China takes its name from that ancient
astronomical function.

BEISHAN = "North Mountain" = Northern Celestial Hemisphere ?

Bei or pei in the name Beishan means "north" and bai means "white"
Shan means "mountain"
So that this originally meant "north" or "white" mountain.
Presumably, the carvings represent the northern celestial hemisphere
or "mountain" of heaven.

For more information on these rock carvings see
Writing the Landscape: Petroglyphs of Inner Mongolia and Ningxia
Province (China) by Paola Demattè, Assistant Professor, Chinese Art,
Rhode Island School of Design, at the URL

http://faculty.risd.edu/faculty/pdematte/web/MyResearch/RA%20paper.htm

Saturday, December 27, 2003

The Upshot of Oakeshott - 239 LexiLine Journal

A good friend of mine sent me the following link

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/27/opinion/27BROO.html

to a December 27, 2003 New York Times article by David Brooks
entitled "Arguing With Oakeshott". Brooks writes:

"One of the most important philosophers of the 20th century,
Oakeshott lived and died, in 1990, in England. As Andrew Sullivan,
who did his dissertation on him, has pointed out, the easiest way to
grasp Oakeshott is to know that he loved Montaigne and Shakespeare.
He loved Montaigne for his skepticism and Shakespeare for his array
of eccentric characters. Oakeshott seemed to measure a society by
how well it nurtured idiosyncratic individuals, and he certainly
qualified as one.

Oakeshott was epistemologically modest. The world is an intricate
place, he believed, filled with dense patterns stretching BACK INTO
TIME. We have to be aware of how little we know and how little we
can know." [block script added by LexiLine]

The "Upshot of Oakeshott" is contained in that wonderful phrase by
Brooks in recounting Oakeshott's observation that "The world ... is
filled with dense patterns stretching BACK INTO TIME". Recall, this
IS a list on the HISTORY of civilization....

The next time you read articles by scholars on man's history -
including the postings on this list - look BEHIND the words, phrases
and sentences - and ask yourself - WHAT is actually being said by
WHOM and WHY? - and WHERE did the uttered ideas, concepts, beliefs,
indeed, ALLEGATIONS, etc. come from? What "dense patterns" do you
see in the writer's historical view? Is the writer aware of how
little we know? Is the writer aware that the world is an intricate
place and has been for quite some millennia?

Let us take an example. Look at the megaliths. Is the mainstream
view simplistic or complex? Compare this view to the view of ancient
man that LexiLine presents. Do the mainstreamers see the dense
fabric of history? What view of the brain of man is manifested in
their writings - for our ancestors of only 5000 years ago - a mere
250 generations (of 20 years each) ago? Can stone age man have been
as primitive as he is made out to be by the mainstream? which would
mean that we have made radical changes in only 250 generations?

Or is Oakeshott closer to the truth? Should we EXPECT to find
carved "pictures" in stone, drawn by our ancestors in days before
pen and ink, and formal writing?

I think we should. Else our whole sculptural and painting talent
developed only in the last 250 generations - and that is not very
likely, is it?

Rather, as far as art, painting, sculpture, yes, and even astronomy
are concerned, "The world ... is filled with dense patterns
stretching BACK INTO TIME"... far back.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Science and Wisdom - Scientia et Sapientia - Vaira Vike-Freiberga (On the benefits and deficits of science) - 238 LexiLine Journal

Professor Vaira Vike-Freiberga is the current President of Latvia, a
country which - after a half-century of occupation - obtained its
independence from the former Soviet Union in 1990. A biography was
written about Vike-Freiberga and her unusual life recently by Ausma
Cimdina as the book, In the Name of Freedom (Jumava (www.Jumava.lv),
Riga, ISBN 9984-05-685-6), a book which was just sent to me to read
by my good friend Prof. Rolands Rikards, one of the world's leading
authorities on composite materials at Riga Technical University (see
http://www.lza.lv/scientists/rikardsr.htm). In that book, Cimdina
writes (pp. 107-109) about a 1991 speech held by Vike-Freiberga
entitled "Scientia et sapientia" [science and wisdom] in which Vike-
Freiberga discussed the nature of science in our modern world,
arguing that science without wisdom was useless.

[beginning of quoted excerpts from the book]
"In her speech, [Vike-Freiberga, herself a much respected mainstream
scientist in her fields of study] integrated both an affirmation and
a criticism of science ... [stating that] ... during the Soviet
regime, the humanities had adopted the totalitarian government's
attitudes and its authoritarian versions of the "truth." ... Vaira
Vike-Freiberga presented a thumbnail history of science.... She
emphasized that the evolution of scientific thinking has gone hand
in hand with the evolution of the humanities, and that the
historical processes of democratisation and European-style democracy
as such are basically a product of the scientific mode of thinking.
At the same time, however, the speaker criticised some aspects of
science... [presenting] examples from the history of the sciences in
Europe and from contemporary scientific developments that do not
speak well of science. The roots of these negative aspects were to
be found in science itself ... not outside it.

... [In the] Middle Ages ... "mouldy parchments" were copied from
generation to generation, full of "wild and untested foolishness".
In the early years of the European universities ... authorised
knowledge "had degenerated into petty disputes" ... intellectual
debates "were reduced to claims from each side based on quotations
from ancient authorities, each side trying to line up as many dead
supporters for their views as possible." [T]he recognized
authorities of the day frequently oppressed their colleagues with
their power and authority (when they did not persecute them). The
history of scientific discovery has been, to a great extent, a
battle against authorities, real or bogus, throughout human history.
As a result, many of the world's greatest thinkers have suffered
tragic fates. The Professor's remarks about science in the Middle
Ages resonated powerfully with the more recent history of the
humanities and the social sciences in the Soviet Union. The USSR
claimed to be the embodiment of a scientific worldview, and yet was
anti-humanistic in orientation.

[T]hese were not problems limited to the Soviet era or the Middle
Ages, but [were] a deeply rooted tendency that is a fundamental part
of science and scientists to this day. "Scientists are most fond of
posing as 'scientific authorities'," she said. "They bitterly
denounce other kinds of knowledge and ridicule scientific evidence
as unsubstantiated and misleading, as if science could presume to
offer absolute truths. Such attitudes are actually incompatible with
the tentative nature and inevitable ambiguity of scientific
discoveries, which are often controversial and are constantly being
replaced by others." Excessive 'scientism'... is particularly
dangerous in countries "governed by political short-sightedness and
economic greed, where science and technology are subject to
irresponsible and irrational mandates." She also discussed social
self-defence mechanisms that offer protection against abuses of
scientific discovery or application. She reminded her audience that
even in the "so-called developed countries, there is an overall
disposition toward science that is, at best, ambivalent."

Her lecture "Scientia et sapientia" [indicated that] ... Only the
wise and strong dare to be self-critical and the same must apply to
science if it is to succeed."
[end of quoted excerpts from the book]

My comment is - I could not have written that better if I had
written it myself.

Many mainstream scientists in the West - if asked - would distance
themselves greatly from previous authoritarian Soviet academic
practices, not realizing how closely to the former Soviet model the
actual "practice" of science in the West operates - when pushed.
Just try to rock the mainstream scientific boat and you will see
this "authoritarian science" in operation quite quickly. On the
other hand "if you join the club", get "your party card", "mind your
p's and q's", and "praise the authorities that be", your academic
life can be quite enjoyable and "successful". I have been bucking
this system for 30 years. Nothing has changed.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Japanese Jomon rock image a fake - 237 LexiLine Journal

See the Stone Pages Archaeo News at
http://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/000447.html
for a story concerning a Japanese rock image - allegedly from the
Jomon period - as a fake.

What is disturbing about this report is the archaeologist's
statement that this artifact had never been investigated
before "since it was considered an important historical object",
i.e. people just accepted it as legitimate on its face.

Is that the scientific standard used in mainstream archaeology? The
more important the object - the less seriously it is investigated?

As some of you know, I have several times recommended the re-study
of the Turin Canon by new thermoluminescence methods, since I am
sure some of the pieces of this important historical papyrus have
been mis-pasted in the reconstruction process. Thermoluminiscence
would easily determine where the pieces should properly be pasted
(by grains on the paper, etc.). My suggestions have fallen on deaf
ears in Egyptology, for the same reason as given above - the object
is "too important" to study - it might be damaged.

And so, erroneous conclusions drawn from a - surely - falsely
reconstructed document are used to map the chronology of ancient
Egypt, for which the Turin Canon is of eminent importance.

Is this good science? Not in my book.

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