Friday, February 15, 2008

Cum More-than-a-Grano Salis

Wikipedia is quite a useful website for the gathering of information on some topics, and especially as a starting point for online research. I like to mine it for images and anniversary dates, and I use it to put together my year-end wrap up posts for December 31st. Because anybody can write a Wikipedia article, or change articles, it is often said that materials on Wikipedia should be taken with a grain of salt.

But I needed about three-quarters of a ton of salt when I saw the following entry in the list of events for February 16th:
1568 - The entire population of the Netherlands - three million people - was sentenced to death by the Roman Catholic Church for heresy; see Eighty Years' War.
If this is a joke, it's not funny. But somebody, having made this assertion, has thereby assumed the burden of proving it (unless I'm missing something, not even the heavily biased article on the Eighty Years' War mentions the allegation). I'm waiting to be convinced.

UPDATE: As of February 16th, the above calumny has disappeared from the list of events.

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