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  • The Dark Ages – what if they'd never occured?
  • psychle
    Member

    Saw this on another thread… not looking to get another Christian/Religion bashing going, more interested to hear peoples thoughts about whether it's (even partly) accurate?

    I've always wondered what single invention/discovery/theory of the past few hundred years pushed us the furthest forward or sparked the most further innovation etc?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    has to be the printing press with movable type – allowed the fast, cheap dissemination of information.

    I've always wondered what single invention/discovery/theory of the past few hundred years pushed us the furthest forward or sparked the most further innovation etc?

    Tubeless tyres?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Silicon chips.

    Sliced bread.

    Theory of Evolution.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I'm not entirely sure how accurate that graph is, TBH. Things got a whole lot worse in Britain after 1066, and stayed that way for a long time. The Saxons had a pretty good handle on things up until William the Bastard wormed his way in.

    clubber
    Member

    Printing press as above. Allowed most people to learn about things rather than just trusting biased/manipulative/etc people to tell them about things (eg the Church in many cases – sorry but it's true. Allowing people to read the bible in English was a massive step as they could then question it and the way they were being interpreted).

    psychle
    Member

    when was the printing press invented?

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Didn't the bikini win one of those top invention polls a while ago?

    Hard to argue with that.

    soulrider
    Member

    we would all be riding hover scooters by now… or maybe we would all be in Matrix like bubbles living our lives in a virtual world???

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    No one show this thread to Woppit, OK?

    BigDummy
    Member

    That graph is silly. Who is the "we"? It appears to give credit to ancient Egyptian learning but not that of the Islamic world. As the dark ages in Europe roughly coincided (on that graph's timeline anyway) with the high points of Islamic achievement (not previously replicated by ancient greek or roman scholars) it is not obvious that any time was lost by the world at large.

    I'd also suggest that the rate of progress is accelerating, but that there's no reason to assume it would have taken off like a rocket exactly when that graph suggests it would have done. Without thinking about it too hard, I reckon I'd expect to see something more hockey-stick like than that. It's a bit of a reach to suggest that the only reason man hadn't invented the computer in about 1385 was the influence of Christianity. 🙂

    Going back to the Islamic learning issue, there's no doubt that that scholarship flourished in a very religious society. It just wasn't religious in the very specific way that got you killed for pointing out that the earth was a bit more spherical than previously thought (much has changed in Islam and many islamic countries since). So it's another big reach to say that Christianity per se had an impact – christianity clearly could have been immensely beneficial, if it had been slightly different.

    Anyway, I'm donning my Woppit-proof suit and retreating from these tentative observations. 😉

    psychle
    Member

    or maybe we would all be in Matrix like bubbles living our lives in a virtual world???

    Or… maybe we already are? 😯

    Premier Icon duckman
    Subscriber

    You also have to factor in the repeated waves of Bubonic Plague,which killed between a quarter and a third of the population for 300 years,and then 10-20% for the next 200.At the same time there was a long run of poor crops throughout Europe,at a time before staples such as spuds.And the fact Europe was a large number of small states,more interested in defence that science(with a few exceptions)Monks were the only people who were writing and it was not unusual for you to never travel more than 10 miles from your birthplace in the 35-42 years you existed.As the resident Christian on this site I am not really willing to take the blame on any of the above.The Gutenburg press was invented in the 1400's,but was nicked from the Chinese.

    No real difference. The chinese and muslims were inventing and encouraging learning whilst europe was in the dark ages and they still haven't been to the moon 🙂

    Also that graph looks so dodgy. How do you quantify the Y axis and surely the Greeks did as much for science (natural philosophy) and technology as the Romans.

    Eccles
    Member

    That graph is worthless without the corresponding "Number of people paying the slightest bit of attention and with whom you would gladly share a spaceship" curve being shown alongside.

    "Hey I've had this great idea about securing the future of humanity"
    "Yeah, whatever. Strictly come dancing's on, innit?"

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Printing press for science, discovery of Nero's palace for art 🙂

    Btw never heard them called the Christian dark ages before…?

    My guess is that the philanthropic movements of the Victorian age had a huge impact. People giving scientific education to normal folk and whatnot. Previously, any education was either being trained for the clergy or how to kill people and sing songs..?

    jon1973
    Member

    surely the Greeks did as much for science (natural philosophy) and technology as the Romans.

    What have the Romans ever done for us?

    clubber
    Member

    or how to kill people and sing songs..?

    A bit like X-factor, right?

    Premier Icon duckman
    Subscriber

    Jon1973

    What about the roads?

    Faraday and his 'Elastic Trickery!'

    soulrider
    Member

    from BigDummy's prose.. it is bizarre that the Christian world has become more relaxed and open eyed and less of an influence on governments peoples lives.
    Whereas Islam has gone the other way, becoming more extreme and controlling some governments of countries.. therefore directly affecting many peoples lives..

    I have no point to this I just find it interesting..

    Ok,apart from the roads, what have the romans ever done for us?

    Romanes eunt domum!

    jon1973
    Member

    …apart from the Roads

    Premier Icon mtbfix
    Subscriber

    Premier Icon duckman
    Subscriber

    Sanitation,do you remember how bad the city used to be like?

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    this thread is only going one way…

    A rather strange graph. Without thinking too hard the following obvious points occur:

    1. The Roman Empire in western Europe was Christian when it fell, and was replaced by non-Christian 'barbarians' – it was only several hundred years later that Christianity became a feature in western Europe.

    2. The Christian Roman Empire in the eastern mediterranean (Byzantium or Constantinople) continued much as before.

    3. The Islamic world which arose later and first competed with and then took over from the Byzantine empire did nothing to destroy the Greek and Roman learning and in fact moved science and maths on quite a long way (ever wonder why we use arabic numbers, or why words like algebra or algorithm sound arabic?)

    4. What about China and India?

    But then you knew that…

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Single invention or theory…

    Energy equals mass times gravity, squared.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Bloody hell porterclough.. an informed person on STW.. get out!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Woppit that's rubbish.

    (uh oh.. )

    BigDummy
    Member

    this thread is only going one way…

    You say that, but the Master of Strident Dialectical Reasoning has arrived and no-one's been made to feel worthless yet. It may pass off peacefully. 🙂

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    You say that, but the Master of Strident Dialectical Reasoning has arrived

    That is so crying out for some proper intro music…Duh Duh DUH Dumm dummm dummm

    gonefishin
    Member

    arabic numbers

    I'm pretty sure the arabic number system is actually Indian.

    Talkemada
    Member

    from BigDummy's prose.. it is bizarre that the Christian world has become more relaxed and open eyed and less of an influence on governments peoples lives.
    Whereas Islam has gone the other way, becoming more extreme and controlling some governments of countries.. therefore directly affecting many peoples lives..

    Don't be so sure of the 'lack of influence' Christianity has in the West. In the UK, the Church still wields a lot of power, we are 'ruled' by a monarch born with the 'divine right', Lords Spiritual have the power of veto over new laws, and many of our laws are borne of Christian morality. Elsewhere, Catholicism has a great influence over people, such as in South America. And a fair amount of 'Islamic Extremism' is the construction of a sensationalist Western Media. Perhaps China is a nation less organised along religious grounds, than most others.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Not today.

    Agriculture and the calender. A long time back but it was only once humans had some time to spare from grubbing around for food that they had the opportunity to sit back and think – I wonder what would happen if……….? And thus science was born.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    "Perhaps China is a nation less organised along religious grounds, than most others."

    Chinese state has the religion of 'the status quo' to maintain and an all consuming fear of losing it's grip on the populace.

    soulrider
    Member

    We have strip clubs.. Egypt has strip clubs.. Iraq had strip clubs til recently..Iran I have no idea..(but I doubt it)

    the Gentlemans club (not brothel) is a good indicator of how much influence religion has over a society

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Why is E=mc2 the most important invention or discovery, Woppit?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    the Gentlemans club (not brothel) is a good indicator of how much influence religion has over a society

    I doubt that. As many strip clubs in the USA as here, I'd wager.

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