Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2013 July 26

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Humanities desk
< July 25 << Jun | July | Aug >> July 27 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Humanities Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.

July 26[edit]

British monarchy[edit]

Could the British monarchy survive in/migrate to one of the Commonwealth nations if it was abolished in the UK but support for its existence continues in the Commonwealth?--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 06:02, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

I believe so, but cannot point you in the direction of any sources. This has arisen during republican discussions in Australia. When it's been pointed out to monarchists that there is a movement to abolish the monarchy in the UK, some respond that we can still have a monarch even if the UK doesn't. HiLo48 (talk) 06:22, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Even if it wasn't any longer a "ruling" family it could still be a Government in exile which has many precedents throughout the world and royalty. As far as ruling it would really matter what any "host" nation's people chose at that time. Simplifying it to "ruling" per se, the U.S. of 1960 voted down Richard Nixon but the U.S. of 1972 wanted him in a landslide. So is it possible, everything is possible given enough time. Market St.⧏ ⧐ Diamond Way 06:34, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
A "Queen(King)-of-UK-in-exile" whose rule has been abolished by UK law is a mere pretender, with no legal status: see Jacobite succession. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 11:06, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
If the UK abolishes monarchy, the monarchy will (without more) automatically survive in each of the other 15 Commonwealth realms as a necessary implication of the separate but shared monarchy system estabilshed under the Statute of Westminster and other specific legislation applying to individual realms.
The formerly imperial law governing the succession of the throne has been adopted (and repatriated) into the individual laws of each Commonwealth realm, so the abolition of the Act of Settlement (say) in the UK will not affect the continued validity of that law in each of the realms.
This position is the one adopted by the UK and some of the "larger" realms such as Canada and Australia, and that is why the Commonwealth realms collectively decided that the Perth Agreement to change the succession to the various Crowns needed to be implemented individually by each realm.
However the actual course of implementation of the Agreement has shown that it is not universally accepted in all of the Commonwealth realms. In this case, many of the smaller realms have decided that any amendment to the laws governing the succession in the UK will automatically extend to change the laws governing succession in those realms.
I find this position difficult to reconcile with the modern regime and suspect some confusion on the part of those realms as to their own constitutional status, but only they have the right to decide that.
So, in summary, if the UK abolishes the monarchy, the monarch will probably continue as Queen or King of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc, but perhaps not all of the other 15 realms because some of them will probably decide that the changes to the UK law of succession automatically extended to change their own laws. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 11:06, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
As described in Commonwealth realm, each of those countries has the Queen as monarch, entirely separately. Therefore she or her successor would still be head of state there, even if the monarchy was abolished in the UK. MarketDiamond's answer is, if I may say so, irrelevant, as the monarch does not "rule" in any real sense in any of the realms, and is not considered a government. Rojomoke (talk) 11:09, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
If the countries, or whoever is at power at the time, wants to, then sure. King/queen is just someone who is considered to be king/queen. Another different question would be whether this is probable. Although if I remember correctly Portugal/Brazil had a similar situation, where the emperor was in Brazil but couldn't reign in Portugal. OsmanRF34 (talk) 18:07, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
See Transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil; they stayed thirteen years. A similar policy was considered in World War II should the UK be invaded; it was anticipated that the monarch would be sent to Canada and a government in exile formed around them. (This is not the same as abolition in law, of course!) Andrew Gray (talk) 18:47, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Inheritance of courtesy titles in absolute primogeniture monarchies[edit]

In the event that Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland (ignoring any influence her husband's choice to remain a non-royal may have) were to have a child and her brother also had a child? Would they both be accorded the title prince/princess of Sweden as the grandchildren of the reigning Swedish monarch or does the title only pass to male-line grandchildren and that absolute primogeniture only applies to succession rights not titles? --The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 08:15, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

It would be rather hypocritical of them to accord the princely title to the children of the monarch's sons and not to the children of the monarch's daughters. It would also be very hypocritical to accord the title of queen to the wives of kings but only the title of prince to the husbands of queens; the rationale behind being that the title of queen is lesser than the title of king (and how equality-sensitive is that?). Surtsicna (talk) 09:27, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Courtesy titles are not normally inherited, as fas as I know. I am less certain whether Princess Madeleine's title of Princess is a courtesy title; I would think it's hers by birthright. As for the absolute versus male-preference primogeniture, Swedish Act of Succession (and the Swedish wikipedia version) makes clear the rule applies only to succession to the Swedish throne, not to all titles in general. Sorry my Swedish is not good enough to find what rules apply title of nobility in general. Swedish nobility says only Historically all members of a noble family were generally titled. If the family was of the rank of a Count or a Baron, all members received that title as well. However, following the new Instrument of Government from 1809, a change was made more in line with the British system so that, for later nobility, only the head of the family would be part of hold the title (if there is one). (talk) 11:50, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
The Duke/Dutchess titles of the Swedish royal children and grandchildren are courtesy titles. The Prince/Princess titles are more unclear. When Princess Estelle was born, the court released the following statement: [1]. To me the key thing is that it doesn't state that she's been named princess, but rather assumes that she already is, and announces her names and duchy. Using history as a reference, we can look at e.g. Count Sigvard Bernadotte of Wisborg and Prince Lennart, Duke of Småland, a second son of a king and a grandson by a second son. Despite that, they both had princely titles from birth, but lost them through marrying commoners. I'm having trouble finding examples of anyone more than two generations away, since they all seem to lose their titles by action rather than not inheriting them. (What I'm getting at is that it seems that princely titles are inherited by all sons, not only through primogeniture. That's not an answer to the question about daughters, but it indicates that it isn't a strict "one title-holder only" system.)/Coffeeshivers (talk) 22:11, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Orientation of I Jing hexagrams[edit]

Hexagram 10 (about treading on a tiger) has only the third line from the bottom broken: [2] Judging from the accompanying symbol and description on that site, one counts from the bottom up. This history of Chinese literature has the same passage, but a symbol which indicates counting from the top down. Question: is one of these a misprint? HenryFlower 13:27, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Yes, the first line in a hexagram is the bottom one, and you count up from there. - Nunh-huh 23:23, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. HenryFlower 13:36, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Spaniards and Italians - how did they come to look as they do ?[edit]

Hey, I'm having some questions about Europeans and some ethnicities in Europe, historically.

To be more specific, I have questions about Italians and Spaniards and how they came to have darker skin/hair colour than most other europeans.

I would say that Italians are only slightly darker than those further north and they usually have dark hair, but this is not always true however. I would also say that Spaniards are distinctly darker than Europeans further north.

Let's take Spain first: So is the reason for this simply that the dark-skinned Moors invaded the Iberian peninsula from the south and the Visigoths came from the north, and over many centuries they would "mingle" and spread across the peninsula, with the result of Moorish/Visigothic union being offspring darker than pureblood Visigoth but lighter than pureblood Moors? Or does the skin colour of spaniards/latinos simply come from the fact that they live in a warmer climate, meaning that people on the Iberian peninsula have always been olive-skinned? To be honest I'm not even sure if Visgoths and Moors were ever on friendly enough terms to have offspring together... Obviously there was a big difference in religion and I know that there was a Visigoth nobleman that has been credited with initiating the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula in the early 700's, in the meaning to drive Moors/muslims out.

I have more or less the same question about Italians; The country's proximity to northern Africa and the Mediterranean probably means that there have been much mixture of races in Italy, I should think. Italian, Carthaginians, Tunisians, Greeks and possibly even Egyptians and so on. Directly to the east of Italia there's also Albania, Bosnia and so on, who also tend to be darker in skin and hair colour, and who in turn is close to Turkey etc.

So to sum it up with a simpler and shorter question, does the skin colour of Spaniards and Italians come only from the climate they live in, meaning they have always looked as they do today (generally speaking of course), or is it much more due to a mix of cultures as I have rambled about above? (talk) 15:33, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

"To be honest I'm not even sure if Visgoths and Moors were ever on friendly enough terms to have offspring together..." Many of the Moors in Spain had offspring with Slavic women who had been imported for that purpose, surely there is an article for that but I forget what the name for them was. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 15:51, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Found it... Saqaliba. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 15:54, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
As a rule, wherever men and women come together, they have sex, and wherever they have sex, they have babies. I'm not aware of any place where racial taboos or national or tribal vanities have stopped that completely. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:00, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Really, how about the Shakers? Also, more recently, the International Peace Mission movement? Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 03:01, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
They are both historical glitches, but still, I bet there was plenty of "shaking" going on in both cases. And, more to the point, both communities shed members left and right, so genetically they did intermingle with other groups. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 06:34, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
According to Human skin color it is a matter of climate.
Map of human skin color distribution in the world for native populations in 1940 based on Von Luschan's chromatic scale.
This map is for indigenous populations not counting emigrants; note the line separating Spain, Italy and Southern Europe from areas farther north. (talk) 16:18, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Hm.. It says in the human skin colour article that skin colours tends to even out and become what the climate around them makes it, meaning that if the entire population of Spain moved to Scandinavia, they would all likely look like a scandinavian within 2,500 years (Provided that Spaniards or other at least relatively dark-skinned people didn't keep mixing with the Spanish-Scandinavians). But I guess that is over a much, much longer time-period than I had in mind, and besides, with mixing of cultures happening pretty much everywhere quite constantly it will probably always be a question of in how big a a degree..

I appreciate your answers and links, and I guess I've gotten a partial answer at least. I should still think that the mixing of two peoples, like Visigoths and Moors would result in their offspring and the offspring of those again and so on would have a big impact over quite some time, even if it would even out according to the climate eventually (talk) 17:20, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

There are two main evolutionary drivers to skin color changes: vitamin AD deficiency and UV protection. In modern society, the former is largely provided by nutrition and supplements, and the latter by sunscreen and clothing. Thus, evolutionary pressure on skin coloration is less than it was in the past (compare Inuit, whose diet contains plenty of vitamin AD in the form of fish oil and liver, and who maintained a relatively dark skin tone even in the arctic). Also, speaking as someone who turns pasty white in winter and dark brown in summer, don't ignore the direct influence of the environment. Most Spaniards and Italians probably get a lot more sunshine over the year than Swedes, so even if they had the same skin type, you would experience them, on average, as darker. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:00, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't know if UV protection was indeed a factor that caused humans to get darker skin tones during evolution. White people, as you, have some protection in the form of tanning. If you were constantly exposed to the sun, you'll tan to a pretty dark tone and keep it all year long. Is any evidence available that humans got darker somewhere? I find it plausible that they were pretty dark at the beginning of times and got lighter due to the vitamin A D deficiencies that you cite. OsmanRF34 (talk) 19:24, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
OK, sort of a nitpick but on the other hand kind of important, it's vitamin D, not vitamin A. Vitamin A (in retinol form rather than carotenoid form) comes from many of the same sources as vitamin D, both being fat-soluble vitamins, but there is no connection between vitamin A and sunlight. --Trovatore (talk) 19:27, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
It is probably not the case that the genetic background of Spaniards and Italians comes mainly from peoples who have migrated into Spain and Italy during historic times. Most studies of genetic material preserved since prehistoric times show that the genetic composition of European populations has undergone surprisingly little change over thousands of years. Especially in areas with relatively large populations at the dawn of history, such as Spain and Italy, invaders such as Visigoths or Moors would have accounted for a small percentage of the population, and their genetic impact would have been limited. It is much more likely that skin coloring in Italy and Spain is the result of the evolution over thousands of years of populations whose ancestors arrived in paleolithic or early neolithic times. Innate skin color (as opposed to tanning) seems to be mainly a response to the intensity of solar radiation over dozens of generations. (talk) 20:13, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
I do not dispute the relationship innate skin color <-> solar radiation. But in which direction did it happen? Were primitive humans kind of black - and got lighter when adapting to regions with less sun? Or were primitive humans not that dark, but got darker when colonizing Africa and got lighter when colonizing higher latitudes? OsmanRF34 (talk) 21:01, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
This is getting into territory where there are conflicting beliefs in existence today wrt the answers to these questions, so don't be surprised if you get conflicting answers. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 21:17, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
IIRC, chimps have mostly light skin (under dark hair). Human (well, hominids ;-) evolved darker skin when they lost body hair. Skin tone got lighter when they moved out of tropical Africa. I once read a paper that claimed that human skin colour is a very adaptive trait, and changes comparatively easily. I wouldn't be surprised if Australian or southern Indian skin coloration has re-revolved from lighter-skinned ancestors. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:19, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Are blacks in South Africa then less black that say Nigeria?
And I'd like to know more about this paper. If you could remember any extra detail, so it can be sourced... OsmanRF34 (talk) 00:09, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Skin coloration in Africa varies, yes. Also, people in Africa do migrate, see in particular the Bantu expansion. The Zulus arrived at about the same time as the Boors in South Africa. I don't remember the exact paper, but try this PNAS paper. And this one from the Journal of Human Evolution has the "chimps are white" bit. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:04, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Thnx for great response to all of you. Much better than I had dared hope. Cheers :D (talk) 12:56, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

There should be more discussion of the role of trade in the ancient Mediterranean and the fact that most of the shore of the Mediterranean, north and south, was part of the Roman Empire. As I understand it, groups like the Phoenicians scarcely seemed to care which shore they landed on. I think focusing on invasions may be a red herring - the real point is that the Mediterranean was as much a highway as a barrier. Wnt (talk) 13:48, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Theodore Bilbo and point of view[edit]

Is labelling Theodore G. Bilbo a racist not a neutral point of view even though he certainly was pouud of being one? Is it a violation of the point of view policy? (talk) 20:47, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

No real person can be fully defined by a label. Reliable sources support describing Bilbo as a segregationist US politician. DreadRed (talk) 21:21, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
If he actually said "black people are inferior", then he qualifies. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:09, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Right, but Wikipedia still wouldn't go from "...who has declared (something)" to "...who is (something)" even if the latter follows by definition from the former. Wikipedia has to go through sources. It's an interesting question if something is completely common knowledge, can Wikipedia then make that jump?
For example, can Hitler be called a mass-murderer or at least antisemitic? In fact, Hitler is not identified as a 'mass-murderer' (adjective) or even antisemite. The lede lists far more neutral terms, and the intro ends with "His antisemitic policies and racially motivated ideology resulted in the deaths of at least 5.5 million Jews, and millions of other people [he] deemed racially inferior." It does not make the jump of calling even Hitler an adjective (any adjective). (talk) 23:57, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Which is as it should be. We can all agree about the enormity of his deeds, but I'm sure there are people who would describe Hitler personally as merely "misguided", "well-intentioned" or whatever, rather than "evil". They're entitled to their opinions, and all opinions are subjective. It's enough to record his monstrous deeds, which are factual and indisputable (despite the David Irvings of the world). -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:38, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Baseball Bugs, stop making conclusions that reflect personal opinion, opinions don't belong in articles. Johnny Rebel admitted that his songs are racist, but denied that he is one. Even if Trahan is one, labelling him "personally" as one doesn't belong. Would it be better to say Bilbo held racist beliefs because it is simply stating beliefs that others are inferior, not labelling him as a personal attack? (talk) 22:17, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
It's totally clear that Bilbo was a racist, and labeling him as such in the article is redundant, because his own words speak loud and clear, and prove the point. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:16, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Regardless of the wisdom of BB's words, you are at the wrong place. If you have problems with an article, please take it to the article's talk page and use some other form of WP: dispute resolution if need be and don't try to argue article content on the RD. Nil Einne (talk) 05:39, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Theodore Bilbo took things so far that even many of the other racists/segregationists of the era considered him to be a loud-mouthed buffoon... AnonMoos (talk) 02:37, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

If that is the case, can Woodrow Wilson also be labeled as a racist? (talk) 00:58, 31 July 2013 (UTC)