I trace concepts within cultures. It requires a slightly different tactic.

I spent a lot of time in Google Books.
I also use other quote investigators but then investigate their conclusions to see if they match to my satisfaction.

I even had to subject one of my favorites to it: Carl Sagan and his Star Stuff. I wanted to see if it was his and really “From Ancient Times People Believed”. I wanted to believe that, and did because, well he’s Carl.

But alas, I tracked it down as far as I could go, and it wasn’t his.

I drew up this cruddy graphic to show the results of my investigation. I was disappointed in Carl Sagan but then I had to remind myself that he was a Science promoter and motivational speaker, and complete accuracy wasn’t really critical for his teaching methods.

Yeah, he lied. But I’m ok with that. Most of what he talked about was fantastic and really, he’s human and had a job to do and did it very very well.

He was waxing poetic and I can forgive that but I like finding out when concepts originated.

It’s not easy to figure out when concepts originated within history. Words change with the times, Hard to find exact quotes when you get beyond a certain point and so you have to settle sometimes.

There’s mythological components to nearly every area of human inquiry, including within the sciences, and I like piecing apart where the traceable stuff is, and where the mythology is.

You can count that if you like. I’m going for historical continuity that leads to today. If there’s broken lines, then I leave it behind with their originators.

Another example: Gnosticism. For me, gnosticism died out when the gnostic movements broke up in the 2nd 3rd centures ad.

Later on, other groups considered themselves gnostic.

But they weren’t gnostic to me, even if they picked up original texts and attempted to start over from them. It’s not the same. Culture is gone and buried and dead and any recreation belongs with the generation that did the reenactment, not with the originals.

Yes, I believe he did that as well. String of pearls threaded through history… .although there’s no traceable threads inbetween. That’s why I consider them separate occurrences of similar ideas.

It’s likely he read it somewhere and was inspired and then forgot where it came from. Happens to me all of the time; a trait I’m trying to get rid of but it’s not easy smile emoticon

We view history differently that’s all. I see pockets of civilizations and then look for the threads that connect them, and then the threads that don’t connect with continuity. I’m not suggesting that everybody else think like me

Not at all. Evidence is in this thread. You see history one way, I see history another.

Do you suggest there is a singular manner in which to approach history?


I’m not saying they didn’t.
I’m saying there’s no historical continuity I can find that links culture-to-culture with that belief.


yes, I’m aware. I study mythologies and tracing concepts within cultures.

We are in a culture right now. We have our own mythologies.

100 years from now, dominant cultures will have THEIR mythologies. Some will link up to today. Perhaps someone will find an ancient unknown text and start talking about it as if people “always believed it” when we currently don’t even know about it.

You’re not wrong. The Historical Methodology is not wrong.

I’m working at it from a different angle that’s all. I’m sorry if you don’t like it.


It’s bad form to presume your conversation partner is dumb. I don’t believe I assumed you were. If I did, I apologize. I trace concepts within cultures. It requires a slightly different tactic.

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