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Jim,Feel free to rip this post apart .The Dark Ages is not really cienodersd to be all that dark in academia today. It originated as a lazy term that basically described an age that scholars knew little about. And if we know little about it, well then it can't be all that good, can it? The myth that it was some horrible anti-intellectual, anti-scientific time period caused by backwards-thinking Christians is not only ridiculous, but it's also no longer very credible. I can put you in touch with Dr. Kevin Herlihy, a Middle Ages historian at UCF and University of Dublin (also a communist and no great lover of Christianity) if you'd like more information on that.As a matter of fact, contrary to Western-centric myth propogators who have turned the Enlightenment into some age of sheer awesomeness, instead of the newly racist and elitist time period that it was, the Dark ages was a time when the foundation of modern medicine, as well as the Scientific Method (see Grossteste), was founded. And let's keep in mind, it was monastaries and the Catholic church that was funding, patroning and leading this time period. Schola Medica was a medical university that an English monastary started during the Dark ages. 12th century Italian monstaries (maybe 11th century, the memory fails me) began a time period of historically significant medical advances. The intellectual stagnation of the 5th and 6th century was the result of the fall of Rome and the loss of Greek texts, which had been the foundation for medical advances up until that point. It slowed progress up a little bit, and then the world quickly rebounded. The Dark ages simply didn't exist in a way that 20th century Western-centric historians believe that it did.All of this came BECAUSE of the church. The monastaries is where any texts was found, and it was where any new texts were writtes. Monastaries started universities (Cambridge and Oxford) and led the advancement of science and medicine. I don't love the Catholic church anymore than I love the idea of science being anything other than faith, but I also can't pretend that the Dark ages was an anti-scientific time. It wasn't. Galileo wasn't threatened with torture, and it wasn't neccessarily because of his heliocentric beliefs, since, after all, Copernicus dedicated his book to the pope. Modern historians aren't quite sure how or why that myth began, but it's a myth nonetheless. He was put under some form of house arrest, so that was correct, but it probably had more to do with his critique of the Pope (who, until that point, cienodersd Galileo somewhat of a friend, insofar as Popes can have friends) and Galileo's insistence on turning it into a theological, Biblical debate (Galileo was convinced Scripture backed his argument, which it probably does.) Again, as a Protestant, I'm no great fan of the Catholic church. But history is history.Your last sentence is probably overly-simplistic, but technically true in some sense. I can't quibble with it .Please know that I make this post with all respect, and as a fun debate. I harbor no ill-will or anything. I'm sure I don't have to build this bridge, but the internet can be a nasty place, and motives can be misconstrued very easily.
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