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what did the west/arabs etc invent before china


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#46 TMPikachu

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 06:47 PM

But Christianity is organized into a heiarchy of undisputed power, the Church. I think democracy stems more from the philosophers of Europe of...
ah nuts, i forgot the time, and the name of the philosophers... that "life, liberty, and property" guy, and they were generally not very Religious, like the founding fathers of America.
"the way has more than one name, and wise men have more than one method. Knowledge is such that it may suit all countries, so that all creatures may be saved..."

#47 somechineseperson

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 06:55 PM

But Christianity is organized into a heiarchy of undisputed power, the Church. I think democracy stems more from the philosophers of Europe of...
ah nuts, i forgot the time, and the name of the philosophers... that "life, liberty, and property" guy, and they were generally not very Religious, like the founding fathers of America.

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The founding fathers of America were actually very religious people. The belief in God is written into the American Declaration of Independence.

There is a lot more to Christianity than the "Church". It is true that the Church did not really contribute to the development of democracy at all, but certain basic ideas of Christianity did have an influence.

#48 snowybeagle

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 09:25 PM

The founding fathers of America were actually very religious people. The belief in God is written into the American Declaration of Independence.


Actually, many of them were agnostics, or hardly the traditionally religious types : Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin etc.

It is true though that many early European settlers came to America in order to practice their beliefs more freely - Catholics from England, Protestants from continental Europe.

#49 ih8eurocentrix

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 06:16 PM

Mechanical Clock (Europeans) that is not true china invented that.
Number Zero (Indians/Arabs) china invented that didnt they
Batteries (Egyptians) were invented by babylonians
Abacus (Babylonians) u sure i thought china did

#50 Tibet Libre

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 09:05 PM

Number Zero (Indians/Arabs) china invented that didnt they


Out of curiosity, I recently researched the history of the Decimal system and the Number Zeo. From the evidence I gathered I'd say the best way to put it is the following: There has been no single inventor of the Zero (nor of the Decimal system), rather several civilizations contributed each its own share to the decimal system we use today.

Important landmarks on the way to our current decimal system were:

Egypt (2900 BC): decimal system without zero
http://en.wikipedia....yptian_numerals

Sumer: (3200 BC) sexagesimalsystem with placeholder P for the zero in between numbers (-> 105 = 1P5)
http://www.computers...ion/decimal.htm

China (1400 BC): decimal system with placeholder P for the zero not only in between numbers, but also at the end of the number (-> not only 105 = 1P5, but also 1P=10)
http://www.computers...ion/decimal.htm

Ptolemaios (around 150 AD): Introduction of a written symbol for zero (in a sexagesimalsystem) . He writes the zero as a small circle with a broad horizontal line above it
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero

India (400 AD): decimal system with written zero as we know it today
http://en.wikipedia....Arabic_numerals


-> Nobody single-handly invented the zero. It was rather the result of century long research in numerous societies, of a sort of intercultural teamwork, if you like.

I am inclined to think that for the other inventions you mentioned a similar genesis is likely (especially the mechanical clock and the abacus).

#51 Liang Jieming

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 09:16 PM

Mechanical Clock (Europeans) that is not true china invented that.


Hmmm.. interesting. When was the first European mechanical clock invented? I have 8th century A.D. for the first chinese mechanical clock.

"In the 8th century, military engineer Liang Ling-tsan together with learned Buddhist monk I-hsing, in trying to devise a more precise calendar, constructed a great astronomical clock on the grounds of the palace in Ch'ang-an. This ancestor of all modern clocks, completed in A.D. 721, was the first machine known to employ an escapement, the basic device that is still used to regulated clocks. It divided the power from a water-wheel into exactly similar unit impulses so that the apparent motions of stars and the less regular wanderings of the planets could b duplicated by the measurable movements of a bronze microcosm of rings and little spheres, while wooden figures struck out the sequence of the hours."

Even earlier, during the Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25-220) Zhang Heng developed the water driven clock though I'm not sure if this was mechanical enough to be considered a "mechanical clock".

#52 Tibet Libre

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 10:41 PM

Hmmm.. interesting.  When was the first European mechanical clock invented?  I have 8th century A.D. for the first chinese mechanical clock.


I think the way you are posing the question is already misleading. "When was the mechanical clock invented? It's a hard question -- not because people wrote too little about early clocks, but because they wrote the wrong things. The problem is that the mechanical clock seemed at first to be a mere improvement on the older water clock, which had been around for well over a thousand years. The existing records ignore working details, so it's hard to tell when the changeover took place." (http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi72.htm)

Inventing is a complex process, the term "mechanical clock" lacks a precise definition and just like day turns into night gradually, water clocks developed into mechanical clocks gradually. But Needham tends to ignore these basic truths in order to come up every time with some exact date. Check out this brief article about the complicated nature of inventions for what I mean: No complex technology is invented by one person or

---

Anyway, I did a Google search and unsurprisingly there is a wide range of different opinions:

If we define a "mechanical clock" as a clock which works with an escapement mechanism then most commentators date the appearances of the first European mechanical clocks to the 1200s (only a single one dated them back to the 900s).

However, if we define a "mechanical clock" as a water clock mechanized to a high degree, then there is a case to be made for either Ctesibius (280-220 BC) or some Macedonian engineer named Andronikos (1st century BC).

Ctesibius: http://www.tmth.edu....n/aet/1/31.html
Ctesibius: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ktesibios
Andronikos: http://en.wikipedia....iki/Water_clock

I am sure an in-depth search could produce many more possible results since the term "mechanical clock" is already ill-defined and the changeover between water and mechanical clocks was a fluent process.

#53 Daniel

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 05:57 AM

How about the phonetic alphabet? First developed by whom, the Phoenicians? And not adopted in China until the Pinyin system came along.
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#54 Tibet Libre

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 09:09 PM

How about the phonetic alphabet?  First developed by whom, the Phoenicians?


The Phoenicians were the first to come up with the idea of representing sounds by letters, that is to use a phonetic alphabet, but they still had only letters for consonants (like modern day Arabic still has). The Greeks then adopted the Phoenician alphabet and used some of the letters they didn't need to represent vocals.

Phoenicians = first consonantic phonetical alphabet
Greeks = first full phonetical alphabet

#55 jwrevak

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 12:51 AM

The founding fathers of America were actually very religious people. The belief in God is written into the American Declaration of Independence.

On the other hand, it is not written into the Constitution which is the supreme law of the land.
JAMES W. REVAK
子張曰君子尊賢而容眾嘉善而矜不能
Zizhang said, The superior man honors the wise and tolerates the
common man, praises the virtuous and has compassion for the incapable.

#56 jwrevak

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 12:54 AM

But Christianity is organized into a heiarchy of undisputed power, the Church.

This sweeping generalization is false. Only some forms of Christianity are organized into a hierarchy of power. Even then, such hierarchies have been challenged from time and time and sometimes very effectively. For example, the Reformation.
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子張曰君子尊賢而容眾嘉善而矜不能
Zizhang said, The superior man honors the wise and tolerates the
common man, praises the virtuous and has compassion for the incapable.

#57 dragonknight

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 04:50 AM

im just wondering what the west or arabs or any other countries invented before china before modern times of course!,so far i can think of concrete(romans),public entertainment(colliseum),counterweight trebuchet(arabs),aqueduct(romans),Public bath,saddle?,horse shoe?? ps im probaly wrong about some of these things.also what kind of sewage systems did chinese have

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The West have always hijacked inventions and discoveries made by the ancient Chinese. Until very recently, this was possible due to their superior wealth and media in contrast with China's decline and isolation from the rest of the world. Here is a classic analogy: Chinese gooseberry (as the name suggests, is a native fruit of China) is now popularly known in the West as Kiwi fruit, implying that it is a New Zealand fruit. It was brought to New Zealand from China but that doesn't mean you can claim it as your own by changing its name.

Edited by dragonknight, 22 June 2005 - 04:53 AM.


#58 Daniel

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 07:46 AM

The West have always hijacked inventions and discoveries made by the ancient Chinese.    Until very recently, this was possible due to their superior wealth and media in contrast with China's decline and isolation from the rest of the world. 

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But the West was using Chinese inventions and discoveries even when China was far superior to the West in wealth and media. The compass, silk, gunpowder, and paper, all Chinese inventions, passed to the West during the Middle Ages, when China was the most powerful country in the world.
What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite.
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#59 Tibet Libre

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 07:53 PM

The gooseberry is hardly a human invention and therefore perhaps not the most fitting subject for a political discussion, but anyway wikipedia says that the gooseberry is indigenous in Europe and western Asia, growing naturally in alpine thickets and rocky woods in the lower country, from France eastward, perhaps as far as the Himalaya.

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Gooseberry

Apropos Himalaya - how many snowboards have they excavated at its slopes again? ;)

#60 Yue Fei

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 12:02 AM

The founding fathers of America were actually very religious people. The belief in God is written into the American Declaration of Independence.

There is a lot more to Christianity than the "Church". It is true that the Church did not really contribute to the development of democracy at all, but certain basic ideas of Christianity did have an influence.

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Generally, it is recognised that the founding fathers of America derived their concept of Freedom from their Christian beliefs. Thus the "Christian" influence in their concept of Freedom.

Which Asians can claim credit to because ultimately, Christianity was birthed in the middle-east, Asia. :D




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