More or Less: the Norwegian massacre and statistics

What happened in Norway last Friday is too awful for me to make any comment– except to wonder, what is it about the Knights Templar that attracts madmen and conspirators?  It’s easy to blame Dan Brown – but hardly his fault.  Hitler found the Teutonic Knights intriguing too, and it’s too easy to blame Wagner.

Chartres Cathedral west wall

Much more seriously, Anders Breivik was influenced by claims that Muslims would outbreed Christians in Europe, to become a majority of the population.  He called his manifesto ‘Knights Templar 2083’, 2083 being the year in which, according to these claims, the population of Europe will become predominantly Muslim.

The BBC produced an excellent rebuttal of these claims in their statistics program More or Less in 2009 – here.

A rational argument will have very little influence on those who are irrational – but for those who can be persuaded by sensible argument, please pass this on.

4 responses to “More or Less: the Norwegian massacre and statistics

  1. Rosemary Cameron

    I agree Marion, the issue is mental illness not the politics of Anders Breivik.

  2. I think that Umberto Eco said it best in Foucault’s Pendulum: ‘The lunatic is all idée fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars…There are lunatics who don’t bring up the Templars, but those who do are the most insidious. At first they seem normal, then all of a sudden…’

  3. Pingback: Portrait of Spain at the Queensland Art Gallery | Historians are Past Caring

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