Did Christianity destroy ancient science? Debunked.

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Ficino

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
6,963
Romania
There is a good reason why Gibbon(just as many others) are not used as introduction for the students of history in the 21th century after all.
The students of history should first be taught to read primary sources and draw conclusions by themselves, not to take things as granted based on the "academic authority" of a certain historian, no matter if he is Gibbon or a contemporary one.
 
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Kookaburra Jack

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,940
Rural Australia
The students of history should first be taught to read primary sources and draw conclusions by themselves, not to take things as granted based on the "academic authority" of a certain historian, no matter if he is Gibbon or a contemporary one.
Well said Ficino.

I have been attempting - unsuccessfully - for some time now to point these same things out to the anti-Gibbonic El Cid. His motivation for discussion appears to be based on ideological grounds - the most common one being that Gibbon's books should be burnt and Gibbon should be shot on the basis that he has contributed to the promulgation of "myths" in ancient history. Without Gibbon, the great scientist Carl Sagan would not have been subverted to think that Christians in the time of Theodosius destroyed libraries (such as that in the Serapium) and other pagan cultural monuments, temples and shrines of Alexandria.
 

Kookaburra Jack

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,940
Rural Australia
The bonehead of Charles Freeman is not a professional scholar employed as a professor at a top university, and his work and theories are also rejected by the vast scholars in the academia.
Gibbon should be shot and his books burnt.

Freeman is a bonehead.

Momigliano - a continuator of Gibbon (and therefore completely wrong) - wrote before 1960 and is therefore out of date.


A vast dose of ideology.



The quality of a historian's work is not dependent on him being 'a professor at a top university', many good historical works have been written by people who were not university lecturers or professors; but if you want to appeal to authority, two of his main works were published by the Yale University Press, which does not make a habit of publishing rubbish written by amateurs. Nor is it true to say that his work has met with general condemnation, it has often received a very favourable reception. I have generally found that when people try to dismiss a scholar's work in this facile manner, it is because they want deter other people from actually reading it because they disapprove of it on ideological grounds. :)

Search | Yale University Press
 
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Kookaburra Jack

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,940
Rural Australia
First of all- its NOT a PHOBIA to propose that christian ideology may have suppressed ancient teachings about the natural world. MOST of the folks who ever proposed this were actually christians.

Its not fear of christian religion, its just looking at history and noting the confluence of Rome becoming officially christian, and its subsequent rapid decline and fall- followed by a long "dark ages' in which christianity held sway- and NOTHING of note was discovered. Mistaking correlation for causation is the most common mistake of the scientifically illiterate.


But like all correlational theories- it either stands or falls on the strength of supporting causal data and there really is none.
The library at alexandria burning did NOT destroy a bunch of human knowledge- Just Alexandrias COPIES of them. Greco-roman culture continued undiminished for another 3 centuries.

It is actually true that the Christian monasteries of the dark ages DID manage to preserve a great many pre-christian works on philosophy, natural science and such.... They just didn't let non-clerics READ them.

But it was the VANDALS and other barbarian sackers of the Roman cities that did most of the destruction. ( hence the terms "vandalism" and "defacing" - literally knocking the noses off roman statuary )

The centuries between the fall of Rome and the rise of charlemagne are a free for all melee of competing migration, usurpations, invasions and sackings all across the former Roman empire. I have a lovely little book that contains nothing but maps showing the cultural upheavals of the Roman world during the dark ages.... and the author had to produce a separate map for every 30 year period just to try and keep up with how much various territories changed hands.

This is where most ancient knowledge was lost and THAT is WHY its called the dark ages.


However.... that the Christian church did not really destroy ancient knowledge does not exculpate the christians from their part in thwarting the advance of science in the time leading up to and after the renaissance.
They DID torture people to get them to recant, They DID suppress the publication of new knowledge. They only recently admitted that Galileo was right.

They STILL preach, all over the third world, that condoms are evil and cause diseases, rather than prevent them. They still elevate charlatans like Mother Theresa, who's 'charity' was to allow the dying to lie on stiff mats without their relatives, so that they could really focus on their suffering which she spent not one penny to alleviate- because she believed suffering to be spiritually cleansing.

They still try to stifle the teaching of evolution , and cast doubt on science in general... ( just like most OTHER delusional beliefs about a magical sky daddy )


The OCCASIONAL clerical genius- like Copernicus, or Mendel- proves that not all priests were so myopic and foolishly authoritarian... but they do not exculpate the much more widespread practices of organized religion thru the centuries up to and including the modern day.

and BTW- religious fundamentalism absolutely DID destroy the Arab Caliphate's scientific awakening of the 12th thru the 14th centuries. The imams snuffed out scientific inquiry like they were snuffing out a candle.


The lesson overall is- Religious delusions generally seek to stymie scientific inquiry- because scientific inquiry undermines their magical narratives.

Well said sculptingman.
 

Kookaburra Jack

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,940
Rural Australia
Censorship was already known in Antiquity when Paganism ruled.

Everyone knows that. Both Gibbon and Freeman are discussing the censorship imposed in the 4th century by the Christian Emperors.


Their focus was upon the political events in the rule of Theodosius. (NOT the Library of Alexandria)

Why don't you address the evidence of Christian censorship from the 4th century?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_persecution_of_paganism_under_Theodosius_I

This is the issue that El Cid and the video creators in the OP must address.

How many times would you like to try and sweep this key and fundamental historical evidence under some ideological carpet?

The Christian persecution of paganism under Theodosius I began in 381, after the first couple of years of his reign as co-emperor in the eastern part of the Roman Empire. In the 380s, Theodosius I reiterated Constantine's ban on pagan sacrifice, prohibited haruspicy on pain of death, pioneered the criminalization of magistrates who did not enforce anti-pagan laws, broke up some pagan associations and destroyed pagan temples.

Between 389 and 391 he issued the "Theodosian decrees," which established a practical ban on paganism; visits to the temples were forbidden, remaining pagan holidays abolished, the sacred fire in the Temple of Vesta in the Roman Forum extinguished, the Vestal Virgins disbanded, auspices and witchcraft punished. Theodosius refused to restore the Altar of Victory in the Senate House, as requested by pagan Senators.

In 392 he became emperor of the whole empire (the last one to be so). From this moment until the end of his reign in 395, while pagans remained outspoken in their demands for toleration, he authorized or participated in the destruction of many temples, holy sites, images and objects of piety throughout the empire[ in actions by Christians against major pagan sites. He issued a comprehensive law that prohibited any public pagan ritual, and was particularly oppressive of Manicheans. He is likely to have suppressed the Ancient Olympic Games, whose last record of celebration is from 393.
 
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Kookaburra Jack

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,940
Rural Australia
Hi Jack!

Thx for watching my video! Im going to post a substantially responce to the comment you made but I wan´t to dubbel check with some of my litterature first. Some of the books i referd to were libary books that I don´t have on me at the moment. Im going to post my responce in a few days.

Wishing you a happy weekend :)

You too.

But you'll need to ask yourself the question as to whether the purpose of your video is to promote some ideology. As others have mentioned, for appearances sake, you should also use a spelling checker. And if you intend to start with the thesis of Charles Freeman, then you are obliged to focus on the Christian revolution of the 4th century between the rules of Constantine and Theodosius.
 
Mar 2013
1,441
Escandinavia y Mesopotamia
The students of history should first be taught to read primary sources and draw conclusions by themselves, not to take things as granted based on the "academic authority" of a certain historian, no matter if he is Gibbon or a contemporary one.
Both these things are done already in the first semester here.

Source criticism in order to analyze primary sources and draw conclusion so we don’t make the same mistake as Gibbon did when he fabricated the hoary myth of the Burning Library of Alexandria. Then we have also general history lessons which contains secondary sources which in NO WAY are using outdated works such of Gibbon as introduction but always newer scholarships close to year 2000.
 
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Mar 2013
1,441
Escandinavia y Mesopotamia
Everyone knows that. Both Gibbon and Freeman are discussing the censorship imposed in the 4th century by the Christian Emperors.
That has been already addressed where you shot yourself in your own foot when you awkwardly provided work you had not read that contradicted you :lol: :

The work of Dirk Rohmann you provided without having read it, is not supporting your narrative as he states that “As a cultural practice, book-burning was known and performed throughout Antiquity…” and that “the concept of censorship was already known to Plato…”, and later in page 242 is stating that ”Augustus himself had canonized the Sibylline books by burning more than two thousand prophetic writings that were anonymously circulating in order to avoid unwanted prophesies about his reign from circulation.”
From:

http://historum.com/ancient-history/123776-there-decline-fall-classical-historian-4th-century-12.html
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,603
Florania
First of all- its NOT a PHOBIA to propose that christian ideology may have suppressed ancient teachings about the natural world. MOST of the folks who ever proposed this were actually christians.

Its not fear of christian religion, its just looking at history and noting the confluence of Rome becoming officially christian, and its subsequent rapid decline and fall- followed by a long "dark ages' in which christianity held sway- and NOTHING of note was discovered. Mistaking correlation for causation is the most common mistake of the scientifically illiterate.


But like all correlational theories- it either stands or falls on the strength of supporting causal data and there really is none.
The library at alexandria burning did NOT destroy a bunch of human knowledge- Just Alexandrias COPIES of them. Greco-roman culture continued undiminished for another 3 centuries.

It is actually true that the Christian monasteries of the dark ages DID manage to preserve a great many pre-christian works on philosophy, natural science and such.... They just didn't let non-clerics READ them.

But it was the VANDALS and other barbarian sackers of the Roman cities that did most of the destruction. ( hence the terms "vandalism" and "defacing" - literally knocking the noses off roman statuary )

The centuries between the fall of Rome and the rise of charlemagne are a free for all melee of competing migration, usurpations, invasions and sackings all across the former Roman empire. I have a lovely little book that contains nothing but maps showing the cultural upheavals of the Roman world during the dark ages.... and the author had to produce a separate map for every 30 year period just to try and keep up with how much various territories changed hands.

This is where most ancient knowledge was lost and THAT is WHY its called the dark ages.


However.... that the Christian church did not really destroy ancient knowledge does not exculpate the christians from their part in thwarting the advance of science in the time leading up to and after the renaissance.
They DID torture people to get them to recant, They DID suppress the publication of new knowledge. They only recently admitted that Galileo was right.

They STILL preach, all over the third world, that condoms are evil and cause diseases, rather than prevent them. They still elevate charlatans like Mother Theresa, who's 'charity' was to allow the dying to lie on stiff mats without their relatives, so that they could really focus on their suffering which she spent not one penny to alleviate- because she believed suffering to be spiritually cleansing.

They still try to stifle the teaching of evolution , and cast doubt on science in general... ( just like most OTHER delusional beliefs about a magical sky daddy )


The OCCASIONAL clerical genius- like Copernicus, or Mendel- proves that not all priests were so myopic and foolishly authoritarian... but they do not exculpate the much more widespread practices of organized religion thru the centuries up to and including the modern day.

and BTW- religious fundamentalism absolutely DID destroy the Arab Caliphate's scientific awakening of the 12th thru the 14th centuries. The imams snuffed out scientific inquiry like they were snuffing out a candle.


The lesson overall is- Religious delusions generally seek to stymie scientific inquiry- because scientific inquiry undermines their magical narratives.
Can we ever have a fair and square evaluation of "What It Really Was"?
Yes, the church attempted to limit free inquiry; on the other hand, it managed to keep many ancient texts.
Scientific inquiries will necessarily destroy the magical narratives of religions.
Painting Christianity black or white would not be realistic; it is grey even today.
Of course, Islam regressed even more severely!
 
Jan 2017
45
Sweden
You too.

But you'll need to ask yourself the question as to whether the purpose of your video is to promote some ideology. As others have mentioned, for appearances sake, you should also use a spelling checker. And if you intend to start with the thesis of Charles Freeman, then you are obliged to focus on the Christian revolution of the 4th century between the rules of Constantine and Theodosius.
"But you'll need to ask yourself the question as to whether the purpose of your video is to promote some ideology."

Hi Jack! That´s an odd question, what ideology would that be and do you think the schoolars I refer to also wants to promote it?
The purpouse of this video is simply to refute the idea that the early christians "destroyed" or held back the study of natural philosophy and to spread litterature on the subject for anyone who is interessted.

"As others have mentioned, for appearances sake, you should also use a spelling checker."

- Yeah I know, Im working on it.

"And if you intend to start with the thesis of Charles Freeman, then you are obliged to focus on the Christian revolution of the 4th century between the rules of Constantine and Theodosius."

I have just read through my own copy of Freemans book and Im right now taking notes on it. This is the thesis Freeman states in his book...

“The argument of this book is that the Greek intellectual tradition did not simply lose vigor and disappear. (It´s survival and continued progress in the Arab world is testimony to that). Rather, in the fourth and fifth century A.D it was destroyed by the political and religious forces which made up the highly authoritarian gouvernment of the late roman empire. There had been premonitions of this destruction in earlier Christian theology”.

- Closening Page 7 & 8.


This is the thesis that I will respond to and If you have reed the Closening you know that the book is 350+ pages that stretches from 600 B.C to 1200 A.D. I will chop down the main theisis in smaler parts and respond to each one accordingly in a longer response in the forum. I will also make comments on Freemans interaction with James Hannam and Tim O´neil if think it will add anything to my response.
 
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