Food For Thought

I’m not sure the data supports a graph like this, nor whether there is any data that could be analyzed,  but as I say in the title, it’s sure food for thought.

Thanks to No Beliefs Dot Com

10 thoughts on “Food For Thought

  1. I would have to argue that the chart is a gross oversimplification.

    One thing that needs to be understood is that following the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West, Western Europe was a patchwork of barbarian kingdoms. To expect that Europe in 500 A.D. should be leaps and bounds ahead of Europe in 400 A.D. is not realistic. After so much continuous warfare and the collapse of a central authority, Western Europe in the early Middle Ages could hardly be expected to have been a font of scientific and technological advancement.

    Europe in the Middle Ages, had to contend with threats such as the Vikings, the Magyars, and the Moors. Except for a brief period under Charlemagne, there was no large European state with the capability to muster the manpower and resources that would have been available to the Roman Empire at its peak.

    It is possible that the Catholic Church might have served as some kind of obstacle to scientific and technological progress in the Middle Ages. I am not knowledgeable enough on the subject to say. But I believe that regression in Western Europe following the collapse of the Empire owes more to the replacement of a central authority with smaller barbarian states estblishing themselves on the Empire’s former territories during an extended period of social upheaval.

  2. SI,I’ve seen this before but it still hits home. Doesn’t this coincide with the Council of Nicaea? To think that humanity wasted a thousand years on all manner of progress because of religious rule. Mind boggling.

  3. It is possible that the Catholic Church might have served as some kind of obstacle to scientific and technological progress in the Middle Ages.

    Gosh, you think? 😉

    The graph is both an oversimplification and pure speculation. No argument here. Instability contributed to the lack of development as well. Of course one could make a case, I guess, that part of that resurgence came from stealing the advancements of the muslims during the Crusades, so way to go church. There, how’s that for open-minded?

  4. It must be an accurate rendition of reality. After all it looks just like one would expect the Slough of Despond to look, all black and flat and scary.

    Ex –

    Excellent insight on the bell curve thing. 🙂

  5. Some people have said that the collapse of the Roman Empire and ensuing Dark Ages were due to Chritianity. I think it is a complex issue, but probably more likely the collapse was due to the decadence of the Romans. If you look at how the pagan Romams actually lived, you may be glad that Christian ethices were introduced at some point. Here is a qoute from one famous person that agreed with you that Christianity ruined the Roman Empire:

    “The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scrourges: the pox and Christianity. Christianity is a prototype of Bolshevism: the mobilization by the Jew of the masses of slaves with the object of undermining society. Thus one understands that the healthy elements of the Roman world were proof against this doctrine (Christianity).”

    Adolf Hitler from the book “Hitler’s Table Talk”.

  6. Hmm, this is an interesting theory, but I’m not sure how much I agree. This graph is an attempt to simplify a very complex history, as previous commentors have mentioned. And the idea that science experienced rapid growth in the absence of Christianity is really mistaken. I would say that there is significant evidence that religion actually contributed to the beginnings of science and it’s methodology of addressing the natural world…

    A good book for an in-depth look at the changing relationship between science and religion would be “Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives” by John Hedley Brooke.

    It’s a dry read, but an insightful one.

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