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Friday, May 18, 2012

Why mathematics should be mandatory for History students.

#mathematics# #history# #holocaust# #conspiracies#

Since I woke up to the truth behind 9/11 thanks to Dylan Avery's Loose Change, I began to question EVERYTHING.

Only a few years ago the math skills of elementary school teachers were tested in The Netherlands. They were so poor that the results made the national news headlines. The requirements changed since then. If you want to become an elementary school teacher in The Netherlands you have to pass an additional test in mathematics. Period. When I was in high school there were roughly two groups of students. Those that could do math, and those that couldn't. The first group could study everything they wanted and the second group could only continue their studies in areas where math wasn't required. A popular study in the second group was history. Think about that for a minute. A person with a Ph.D. in History likely has the math skills of a second year high school drop-out. Functions, Trigonometry, Elementary Calculus, Combinatorics and Elementary Linear Algebra are high school subjects they did not do. They can basically add and multiply, with a calculator. They ( the history Ph.Ds ) can't do simple questions like how much is 4 divided by a third, or how much is 27^2, without a calculator.

An example. I learned in high school that there were 4,000,000 people killed in Auschwitz ( a concentration camp ) during the second world war. From 1945 to 1990 that was the official number. In 1989 historians however had to revise this number. They revised it down to 1.3 million, they sliced two thirds off the original estimate. It is very important to understand that people questioning this number prior to 1990 were considered 'conspiracy theorists' or 'Holocaust Denialists'. ( I also found out that from 1945 onwards to the early fifties it was said that there were more than 20 concentration camps with gas chambers. This number was brought down to three in the early fifties. )

How is it possible that an official statistical figure can be revised from 4,000,000 back to one-third? This is a very complicated and sensitive (!) issue I can't completely answer but that the math skills of historians are an issue I am certain. I would like to plead for adding mathematics to the requirements for studying history.

Another example. Even today there is a group of historians who are still questioning the official figures of the Holocaust. ( They are of course execrated because they are questioning the official party line. ) Now look at a video where a historian completely breaks down a fact in the official literature using elementary mathematics. In my opinion these kinds of grave errors in the scientific literature are possible because few scientists in the history community can do their maths. But as we have seen historians can 'revise' their figures. ( In any other science this would be a grave embarrassment of course. )

The video: " Treblinka Burial Space." What do you think?

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