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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.24 p.674 Machiavelli emancipated politics from religion
Ch.31 p.875 Because of Darwin, wisdom as a definite attainable state has faded