jeudi 15 décembre 2011

The Origin of the Myth

Yesterday i had quite a good evening. Having finished writing my book i decided to take an evening off. I watched two old movies that i have come to love and never grew tired to watch. I started with the exciting movie: "V for Vendetta". I still believe that there will never be anymore movie like it, just like there will never be any other movie like "The Matrix 1". After that i watched the fabulous and most amazing movie turned in medieval time i have ever seen "The Gladiator". Still awe-inspiring, despite having watched it regularly for a decade now. Some work of arts deserves to be eternally praised! This reminds me this sentence made by Maximus in the Gladiator: "what we do in life echoes in eternity".

Since i finished my evening in a late antiquity positive note, i felt the urge of reading some middle age documents. For a time now, i have been reading an atheist blog writer who happens to be an amateur historian. Contrary to most atheists that i have come to consider shallow thinkers, this one is quite something else. I even quoted him somewhere in my book. Despite being an atheist, he somehow find a way in being objective in his analysis. So i opened again his blog and retrieved some of his 2009 writings, and i just loved what i read. He made an interesting case about a subject i have already spoken about here in the past and even debated in a different forum. It is about the Myth that the Dark Age was caused by the Christian Church (read - the Catholic Church).

I have used snippets of his writings below, if you want to read the whole thing during this weekend feel free to check the link at the end of these quotes:

"... the myth that the Catholic Church caused the Dark Ages and the Medieval Period was a scientific wasteland is regularly wheeled, creaking, into the sunlight for another trundle around the arena. The myth goes that the Greeks and Romans were wise and rational types who loved science and were on the brink of
doing all kinds of marvellous things (inventing full-scale steam engines is one example that is usually, rather fancifully, invoked) until Christianity came along, banned all learning and rational thought and ushered in the Dark Ages. Then an iron-fisted theocracy, backed by a Gestapo-style Inquisition, prevented any science or questioning inquiry from happening until Leonardo da Vinci invented intelligence and the wondrous Renaissance saved us all from Medieval darkness."

"I love to totally stump them by asking them to present me with the name of one - just one - scientist burned, persecuted or oppressed for their science in the Middle Ages. They always fail to come up with any. They usually try to crowbar Galileo back into the Middle Ages, which is amusing considering he was a contemporary of Descartes. When asked why they have failed to produce any such scientists given the Church was apparently so busily oppressing them, they often resort to claiming that the Evil Old Church did such a good job of oppression that everyone was too scared to practice science. By the time I produce a laundry list of Medieval scientists - like Albertus Magnus, Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, John Peckham, Duns Scotus, Thomas Bradwardine, Walter Burley, William Heytesbury, Richard Swineshead, John Dumbleton, Richard of Wallingford, Nicholas Oresme, Jean Buridan and Nicholas of Cusa - and ask why these men were happily pursuing science in the Middle Ages without molestation from the Church, my opponents have usually run away to hide and scratch their heads in puzzlement at what just went wrong."

"Far from being a stagnant dark age, as the first half of the Medieval Period (500-1000 AD) certainly was, the period from 1000 to 1500 AD actually saw the most impressive flowering of scientific inquiry and discovery since the time of the ancient Greeks, by far eclipsing the Roman and Hellenic Eras in every respect. With Occam and Duns Scotus taking the critical approach to Aristotle further than Aquinas' more cautious approach, the way was open for the Medieval scientists of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries to question, examine and test the perspectives the translators of the Twelfth Century had given them"

"These men were not only the first to truly apply mathematics to physics but also developed logarithmic functions 300 years before John Napier and the Mean Speed Theorem 200 years before Galileo. The fact that Napier and Galileo are credited with discovering things that Medieval scholars had already developed is yet another indication of how "the Myth" has warped our perceptions of the history of science ... Buridan was one of the first to compare the movements of the cosmos to those of another Medieval innovation - the clock. The image of a clockwork universe which was to serve scientists well into our own era began in the Middle Ages... These men are hardly the products of a "dark age" and their careers are conspicuously free of any of the Inquistitors and threats of burnings so fondly and luridly imagined by the fevered proponents of 'the Myth'."

"In the academic sphere at least the "Conflict Thesis" of a historical war between science and theology has been long since overturned. It is very odd that so many of my fellow atheists are clinging so desperately to a long-dead position that was only ever upheld by amateur Nineteenth Century polemicists and not the careful research of recent objective peer reviewed historians. This is strange behaviour for people who like to label themselves "rationalists". I'll leave others to ponder how "rational" it is."

Read it completely by clicking here.

I hope you are all doing well and still growing stronger and bolder in your most righteous faith in Christ Jesus.

May the Lord who cherish the spirit he put in you bless you again during this weekend in Jesus' name.

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire