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OfflinePhred
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History or fantasy?
    #2546647 - 04/10/04 02:14 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

From http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,91059-13047091,00.html

CLUELESS ABOUT HISTORY

"... nation of history dunces with many even believing Adolf Hitler never existed, according to a new survey.

A quarter of those interviewed were not sure if the Battle of Trafalgar was a real historic event, while one in seven did not know the Battle of Hastings really took place.

Researchers found that many of the 2,069 adults questioned could not tell fact from fiction.

More than one in 20 thought the sci-fi classic War of the Worlds, in which Earth is invaded by Martians, was a historical event.

Some even believed the Battle of Helm's Deep from the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Battle of Endor from Return of the Jedi actually took place.

Almost half of those asked thought William Wallace never existed and more than half believed King Arthur was real.

A quarter thought Robin Hood was a genuine historical figure, while one in 20 thought Conan the Barbarian was real.

Some of the respondents confused popular television series with fact, with some believing Edmond Blackadder and Zena Warrior Princess had existed..."

More at the link.

pinky


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: History or fantasy? [Re: Phred]
    #2546689 - 04/10/04 02:30 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Every so often I hear these statistics about how incredibly stupid the average person is, and I wonder, "Where the hell are these people?"


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: History or fantasy? [Re: silversoul7]
    #2546704 - 04/10/04 02:34 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

87% of all statistics are wrong.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: History or fantasy? [Re: Phred]
    #2546714 - 04/10/04 02:38 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

More than one in 20 thought the sci-fi classic War of the Worlds, in which Earth is invaded by Martians, was a historical event.





WTF does that mean anyway? That these people believed that Earth really was invaded by Martians? Or did they believe that a reading of War of the Worlds caused some people to freak out tht one time.


Is the author suggesting that event was not technically "historical"?


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OfflinePhred
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Re: History or fantasy? [Re: silversoul7]
    #2546727 - 04/10/04 02:41 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

The summary was interesting enough, but to see the actual percentages is even better:

Real people that some believe never existed

William Wallace 13th-century Scottish hero - 42 per cent
Benjamin Disraeli Prime minister and founder of the English modern Tory party - 40 per cent
Genghis Khan, Mongol conqueror - 38 per cent
Benito Mussolini, Fascist dictator, 33 per cent
Adolf Hitler - 11 per cent
Winston Churchill - 9 per cent

Mind-boggling, no? One in ten believe neither Hitler nor Churchill were real. One in three for Mussolini.

Real events some people believe never took place

Battle of the Bulge 52 per cent
Battle of Little Big Horn Scene of Custer's last stand - 48 per cent
Hundred Years' War 44 per cent
Cold War - 32 per cent

Fictional characters some believe were real

King Arthur , mythical monarch of the Round Table - 57 per cent
Robin Hood - 27 per cent
Conan the Barbarian - 5 per cent
Xena Warrior Princess - 1 per cent

Fictional events some believe did take place

War of the Worlds , Martian invasion - 6 per cent
Battle of Helms Deep , Rings Trilogy - The Two Towers - 3 per cent
Battle of Endor , The Return of the Jedi - 2 per cent

Ah, the power of Hollywood!

pinky


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: History or fantasy? [Re: Phred]
    #2546736 - 04/10/04 02:44 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Fictional characters some believe were real

King Arthur , mythical monarch of the Round Table - 57 per cent
Robin Hood - 27 per cent



Actually, I think those two are debatable. Many historians believe King Arthur was a real Celtic warlord around the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasion. I'm not sure about Robin Hood, but I think there may have been some real-life basis for that legend.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: History or fantasy? [Re: Phred]
    #2546740 - 04/10/04 02:46 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Actually, I believe that King Arthur and Robin Hood were characters that were based on what historical schollars believe may have been real people.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: History or fantasy? [Re: Phred]
    #2546881 - 04/10/04 07:34 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)



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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: History or fantasy? [Re: silversoul7]
    #2547215 - 04/10/04 10:51 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

silversoul7 said:
Every so often I hear these statistics about how incredibly stupid the average person is, and I wonder, "Where the hell are these people?"



In college classes everywhere.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflinePhred
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Re: History or fantasy? [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2547507 - 04/11/04 12:40 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Baby_Hitler writes:

BTW, what does this have to do with politics, activism, or law?

I asked myself the same question the first eleventy-eleven times other contributors to the forum gleefully posted almost identical surveys to show just how ill-informed Americans are. But I eventually decided they were relevant -- the education that government schools deliver is a key factor in shaping one's understanding (or lack thereof) of current and past events, which in turn affects the way one looks at politics.

Also -- because of the past monopoly of surveys illustrating American ignorance -- I thought it might be instructive to post a survey showing ignorance is not an exclusively American characteristic.

pinky


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: History or fantasy? [Re: Phred]
    #2547869 - 04/11/04 03:00 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Oh wow, it's a british survey.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: History or fantasy? [Re: Phred]
    #2548423 - 04/11/04 11:18 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

History or Fantasy: That Pearl Harbor was an entirely unprovoked attack by an evil empire with no real grievances against the USA?

History or Fantasy: The only nation in the world to use the worst WMD, is the most morally balanced nation.


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