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Ideas of Peter Watson, by Text

[British, fl. 2005, At the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge University.]

2005 Ideas
Intro p.9 The three key ideas are the soul, Europe, and the experiment
Ch.01 p.30 DNA mutation suggests humans and chimpanzees diverged 6.6 million years ago
Ch.01 p.50 The three basic ingredients of religion are: the soul, seers or priests, and ritual
Ch.03 p.72 The big idea: imitation, the soul, experiments, God, heliocentric universe, evolution?
Ch.04 p.112 Babylonian thinking used analogy, rather than deduction or induction
Ch.04 p.129 Mesopotamian numbers applied to specific things, and then became abstract
Ch.05 p.142 In ancient Athens the souls of the dead are received by the 'upper air'
Ch.05 p.143 During the rise of civilizations, the main gods changed from female to male
Ch.05 p.152 The Gathas (hymns) of Zoroastrianism date from about 1000 BCE
Ch.05 p.153 Zarathustra was the first to present a god who is an abstract concept
Ch.05 p.154 Zoroaster conceived the afterlife, judgement, heaven and hell, and the devil
Ch.05 p.155 Hinduism has no founder, or prophet, or creed, or ecclesiastical structure
Ch.05 p.161 Confucius revered the spiritual world, but not the supernatural, or a personal god, or the afterlife
Ch.05 p.164 Taoism aims at freedom from the world, the body, the mind, and nature
Ch.06 p.171 Modern democracy is actually elective oligarchy
Ch.06 p.179 Greek philosophers invented the concept of 'nature' as their special subject
Ch.07 p.202 Modern Judaism became stabilised in 200 CE
Ch.07 p.208 The Israelites may have asserted the uniqueness of Yahweh to justify land claims
Ch.07 p.209 Monotheism was a uniquely Israelite creation within the Middle East
Ch.07 p.221 Paul's early writings mention few striking episodes from Jesus' life
Ch.08 p.232 Jesus never intended to start a new religion
Ch.31 p.875 Because of Darwin, wisdom as a definite attainable state has faded
2016 Convergence
04 'Conception' p.109 The interference of light through two slits confirmed that it is waves
05 'Against' p.134 The Uncertainty Principle implies that cause and effect can't be measured
05 'Three' p.152 The shape of molecules is important, as well as the atoms and their bonds
06 'Inorganic' p.158 In 1828 the animal substance urea was manufactured from inorganic ingredients
11 'First Three' p.262 Only four particles are needed for matter: up and down quark, electron, electron-neutrino
13 'Emergence' p.305 Humans have been hunter-gatherers for 99.5% of their existence
16 'Intro' p.373 Traditional ideas of the mind were weakened in the 1950s by mind-influencing drugs
16 'Physics' p.380 There are 23 core brain functions, with known circuit, transmitters, genes and behaviour
17 'Dreams' p.400 Information is physical, and living can be seen as replicating and preserving information
18 'Evolutionary' p.439 Electrons rotate in hyrogen atoms 10^13 times per second
4 'Intro' p.107 Quantum theory explains why nature is made up of units, such as elements