Did Christianity destroy ancient science? Debunked.

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Kookaburra Jack

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,940
Rural Australia
"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.
One example provided by Freeman.

Here is a link to Freeman's review of Hannam's book.
Hannam is one of your scholars.
https://newhumanist.org.uk/articles/2416/why-gods-philosophers-did-not-deserve-to-be-shortlisted-for-the-royal-society-prize

Why God's Philosophers did not deserve to be shortlisted for the Royal Society prize

James Hannam's book is a good read but presents a distorted view of the medieval period and the development of science that suits his Catholic agenda, claims Charles Freeman.


Hannam is a Catholic convert (I have passed the other way) and he presents himself as an apologist (in the old sense of the word as "defender") for the positive role of Christianity in Western society. Anyone who accesses his website for God's Philosophers is provided with a link to his articles on the history of Christianity and science. In his article "Catholics Must Fight Back" on the Guardian's Comment is Free site he states that:

"Christianity is the single most important element
in the development of modern Western society".

 
Last edited:
Mar 2013
1,441
Escandinavia y Mesopotamia
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 extremely nonsense and really makes no sense at all.

The vast volume of the classical texts(Herodotus, Aristoteles, Plutarch, Ptolemy etc etc), we have access to today, are indeed caused precisely because of the effort of the Byzantines and monks where they studied and recopied classical texts. Without their effort all the classical texts would have been disappeared today as there would be none to recopy it. If they had destroyed it in the fourth and fifth century(300-500 CE) then the Muslims would not had the opportunity to adopt it either as it was from Christian Byzantium that they gained access to classical texts. Like for instance at the House of Wisdom in Bagdad the vast majority of the translators that translated ancient classical texts from Greek into Arabic were precisely done by Christian natives that previously had lived in Byzantium the last 250 years prior the Arabs’ arrival.

Also the fact that the bonehead of Freeman is using the myths of the Burning Library of Alexandria despite it is very clearly a myth, and the fact that he is also perpetuating the story of Hypatia as a martyr for science when she clearly died because of her political association with Orestes and not because she was a woman or scientist, also make me suspicious over his work. Taking into consideration that Lindberg and Numbers both are/were employed at universities while Freeman is not, and giving that Lindberg and Numbers have relevance expertise field (Science of History) while Freeman have not(only Antiquity), and giving that Freeman is talking about Middle Ages which is not his field either, I would say it is obvious that Lindberg and Numbers have far more weight than the amateur and bonehead of Freeman.
 
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Kookaburra Jack

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,940
Rural Australia
Also the fact that the bonehead of Freeman ...

Have you actually read any of his books?

Let me guess .... you don't need to read Freeman's books because you have found what you needed to find in more authoritative books?



Taking into consideration that Lindberg and Numbers both are/were employed at universities while Freeman is not, and giving that Lindberg and Numbers have relevance expertise field (Science of History) while Freeman have not(only Antiquity), and giving that Freeman is talking about Middle Ages which is not his field either, I would say it is obvious that Lindberg and Numbers have far more weight than the amateur and bonehead of Freeman.

Do some study please! Freeman's thesis is focussed on the 4th century which is still considered as part of antiquity, if perhaps late. His thesis is centred upon these events of the 4th century:

The Christian persecution of pagans under Theodosius.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_persecution_of_paganism_under_Theodosius_I

Until you deal with the political events and the historical evidence from the 4th century (of which the Library of Alexandria is but one small piece of a very large jigsaw puzzle) you are not dealing with Freeman's thesis that critical thinking was suppressed in the 4th century. Copying books does not require critical thinking.
 
Last edited:
Dec 2016
176
SAN
I've read that monasticism saved more knowledge than was lost, including science.

But scripture and theological scrolls were a way more top priority.
 

Kookaburra Jack

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,940
Rural Australia
Last edited:
Dec 2016
176
SAN
I think it is timing. Shortly after Rome fell, and during the rise of Christianity, literacy was very low. Most knowledge was being preserved in one form of monastery or another. I would not say deliberate as much as coincidence.

Why is it so popular to blame Christianity for these sort of things? As others have said, the famous library was destroyed by Caesar, not by Christians. Christianity is even blamed for the fall of Rome.
 
Dec 2016
176
SAN
The vast volume of the classical texts(Herodotus, Aristoteles, Plutarch, Ptolemy etc etc), we have access to today, are indeed caused precisely because of the effort of the Byzantines and monks where they studied and recopied classical texts. Without their effort all the classical texts would have been disappeared today as there would be none to recopy it. If they had destroyed it in the fourth and fifth century(300-500 CE) then the Muslims would not had the opportunity to adopt it either as it was from Christian Byzantium that they gained access to classical texts. Like for instance at the House of Wisdom in Bagdad the vast majority of the translators that translated ancient classical texts from Greek into Arabic were precisely done by Christian natives that previously had lived in Byzantium the last 250 years prior the Arabs’ arrival.
I know nothing about Freeman but this ^^^ is what I have read everywhere. We owe those monks a lifetime supply of raisin bread (old Odd Couple TV show reference).
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,603
Florania
This is extremely nonsense and really makes no sense at all.

The vast volume of the classical texts(Herodotus, Aristoteles, Plutarch, Ptolemy etc etc), we have access to today, are indeed caused precisely because of the effort of the Byzantines and monks where they studied and recopied classical texts. Without their effort all the classical texts would have been disappeared today as there would be none to recopy it. If they had destroyed it in the fourth and fifth century(300-500 CE) then the Muslims would not had the opportunity to adopt it either as it was from Christian Byzantium that they gained access to classical texts. Like for instance at the House of Wisdom in Bagdad the vast majority of the translators that translated ancient classical texts from Greek into Arabic were precisely done by Christian natives that previously had lived in Byzantium the last 250 years prior the Arabs’ arrival.

Also the fact that the bonehead of Freeman is using the myths of the Burning Library of Alexandria despite it is very clearly a myth, and the fact that he is also perpetuating the story of Hypatia as a martyr for science when she clearly died because of her political association with Orestes and not because she was a woman or scientist, also make me suspicious over his work. Taking into consideration that Lindberg and Numbers both are/were employed at universities while Freeman is not, and giving that Lindberg and Numbers have relevance expertise field (Science of History) while Freeman have not(only Antiquity), and giving that Freeman is talking about Middle Ages which is not his field either, I would say it is obvious that Lindberg and Numbers have far more weight than the amateur and bonehead of Freeman.
Saying "the works of Gibbon suck" is quite easy, but proving that his works suck is another thing.
 
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