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View Diary: “He’s a great science teacher, but he doesn’t believe in evolution.” (45 comments)

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  •  We sometimes forget the Byzantines... (0+ / 0-)

    they were Greeks and had those texts too... maybe they did not do much with them... but they were Europe as well and were pretty civilized and "advanced" right up till they were conquered just in time for the renaissance in Western Europe...

    So the "loss of knowledge" in the West was also due the split in the Christian church... the Roman Church in the West... and the the Byzantines Orthodox church in the East... the Catholics had not a lot to say to the church of the surviving Eastern Roman Empire... ... who still had a good chunk of Europe, Asia Minor etc. under their influence.

    Since "our" part of Europe forgot or suppressed a lot of Greek learning we tend to forget that the rest of Europe had a different history. The Islamic empires never had a city quite like Constantinople till they finally conquered it after @ 800 years of trying.

    And when the long "lost" texts finally came back to the West... where they were "new" and yet not a stifling authoritative chain around the minds of the educated elite, holding them back or effectively denying or suppressing alternative concepts for long. There was just enough questioning of what was in Aristotle and Plato etc. that ideas that conflicted with all of that eventually were allowed to improve on and move beyond its limitations. The Islamic world seems to have accepted most of it more unquestioningly (medical advances seem to be a big exception)... and gave them almost scriptural authority which ultimately suppressed contradictory learning for a very long time.

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Thu Nov 26, 2009 at 05:35:38 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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