This (forwarded to me from Jeff, from a powerpoint by Willam Gawthrop) wins not on form but on content:
Really this graph should stand alone but it’s so wonderful that I can’t resist pointing out a few things:
- The gap between 610 and 622 A.D. seems to be about the same as the previous 600 years, and only a little less than the 1400 years before that.
- “Pious and devout” Jews are portrayed as having steadily increased in nonviolence up to the present day. Been to Israel lately?
- I assume the line labeled “Bible” is referring to Christians? I’m sort of amazed to see pious and devout Christians listed as being maximally violent at the beginning. Huh? I thought Christ was supposed to be a nonviolent, mellow dude. The line starts at 3 B.C., implying that baby Jesus was at the extreme of violence.
Gong forward, we can learn from the graph that pious and devout Christians in 1492 or 1618, say, were much more peaceful than Jesus and his crew.
- Most amusingly given the discussion of religious militancy, the above graph is itself an expression of religious fundamentalism! Look at that “Torah” line carefully. It starts in 1400 B.C.!
According to Spencer Ackerman, this presentation was shown as part of a training for FBI agents. Fortunately, “the views expressed in this presentation are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any agency of the United States Government.”
Perhaps the same crew can arrange a presentation for the Army Corps of Engineers, discussing the techniques used in the parting of the Red Sea?