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#704 - drcroccer (05/12/2012) [-]
As someone who studies history this hurts my brains. There's so much wrong with this on both a historical and just logical level that it'd take an entire essay to carefully explain every detail that is incorrect.

For one, the absolutely retarded notion that you can just chart scientific progress as if it were some objective game of numbers. Secondly, the fact that this chart pretends that there was no scientific progress at all during the Middle Ages. Thirdly, the notion that the 'Christian Dark Ages' lasted from the late 5th century until 1400. And, most importantly, the notion that Christianity was the cause.

I'm really not going to delve too deep into this, as that would take way too long, but I'm just going to point a few things out. For example, the Roman empire was Christian (with some minor intervals) since 380. Anyone who knows basic history knows that the cause of the Dark Ages was primarily the decline and ultimate demise of the Western Roman Empire due to political, economic and social reasons, and its replacement by Germanic kingdoms. The irony is that Christianity was one of the few things remaining from the Roman times that wasn't destroyed, and was vital to the intellectual rebuilding of Western Europe. Monasteries were centres of scientific learning and culture, and were connected to eachother as a web over Europe. They not only advanced sciences, but spread them across the Catholic world. It wasn't until much later, with the Pope becoming more powerful and the Church more centralized, that conflicts arose. Even then, it's been greatly exaggerated by post-Medieval scholars who wanted to portray the age as backwards as possible.

Next OP will try and convince us that Medieval people thought the Earth was flat, and that intellectuals only debated about the number of angels that could stand on a pin.

My faith in humanity is somewhat restored reading the comment section and seeing all the people voicing the same complaints I do.


#728 to #704 - bithcwits (05/12/2012) [-]
From an Archaeologist, Anthropologist and Egyptologist....... The entire motiving notion behind the graph is pathetically evolutionist in its outlook, seeing civilisation as a continuous chain of progress towards some ill defined goal of "SCIENCE!", which it quite emphatically is not.
Moreover, the implied continuity of Egyptian, Greek and Roman "civilisation" is moronic, since the latter two knew very little about the Egyptians (Whose advances are often overstated, and who, in the later years of their culture, were almost as clueless as the others,), as is the absurd shift in locus of "Scientific advancement" from the Near East and Mediterranean to Western Europe, which is likewise a rather sad case of Eurocentricism.
Of such an outlook, I can only say that "It belongs in a museum."



TL:DR OP can suck a dick
#718 to #704 - anonymous (05/12/2012) [-]
Thumbs up from a fellow historian. Might I add another remark? The implied continuity between the Egyptian and Greek civilization, as if the 'Greek' civilization chronologically succeeded the Egyptian one. The same counts, in a somewhat lesser extent, for the implied Greek-Roman succession as well.
User avatar #726 to #718 - drcroccer (05/12/2012) [-]
That's very true as well. One can argue that the Romans made full use of the Greek knowledge and culture when Hellenic areas were incorporated into the empire, though on the other hand it has been stated that the Romans stinted some intellectual development.

The same can be said to a lesser degree about the Greco-Egyptian link. The Egyptians did, indirectly or directly, give the Greeks the alphabet and their characteristic realistic art, and it's been argued that philosophy originated in Egypt as well.

That having been said, none of these were really continuous. Not much more than the continuity between Classical and Medieval sciences anyway.
User avatar #729 to #726 - bithcwits (05/12/2012) [-]
The Egyptians did not give the Greeks their alphabet, the Greek alphabet is based upon the Phoenician script from the levant, which developed independently for Hieroglyphic script, and, as a set of purely phonetic symbols, differs considerably from hieroglyphic. Likewise, Hellenic art was not taken from Egypt; it was a mixture of indigenous styles and influences from across the Med.
User avatar #740 to #729 - drcroccer (05/12/2012) [-]
You're right about the alphabet (not sure why I said that), but I wasn't saying that Greek art came entirely from Egypt, but that the Egyptian style influenced that of the Greeks , with archaic, very expressive statues becoming increasingly realistic, and eventually surpassing the Egyptian variants.
User avatar #742 to #740 - bithcwits (05/12/2012) [-]
The closeness of the link is debatable, partially in the motivation of the sculptors; the Egyptians were concerned with making an idealised replica of an actual person, whilst the Greeks were aiming to create THE idealised person. Egyptian sculpture was also bound by far tighter restrictions.

Moreover, the high point of Egyptian sculpture (Arguably in the Amarna period) occurred several hundred years before the high point of Greek sculpture; the period when Greek sculpture was developing was one in which Egyptian sculpture was in a serious low, the late Third Intermediate Period and the Assyrian periods. If one compares contemporaneous Mycenaean and Cretan sculpture with New Kingdom and 3rd Intermediate Period sculpture, it is noticeably different, both in style and technique. Although there was dialogue between the civilisations, as shown by finds of Hellenic/Helladic pottery in Egypt, Minoan frescoes in Avaris, and multifarious Egyptian finds across the Aegean, the influence of Egyptian styles upon Hellenic/Helladic styles appear to be quite limited.


Yay for reasoned academic discourse on Funnyjunk!
#756 to #742 - anonymous (05/12/2012) [-]
(same anon as four posts above this one): I love you guys. Gives me hope in humanity and the academic world.
#715 to #704 - anonymous (05/12/2012) [-]
Well that was a lot better than anything I could've typed out, although I was going to try.
User avatar #713 to #704 - Kajekillz (05/12/2012) [-]
Also during the middle ages there was great scientific advancement around the middle east in areas of medicine leaving behind the days of leeches and torturing patients rather than healing them
User avatar #716 to #713 - drcroccer (05/12/2012) [-]
Indeed. The funny thing is that most things that held them back were ancient dogmas dating back to Greco-Roman times. Galen's theory of the 4 humors was basic stuff in both Christian Europe and the Islamic world until well into the 17th century, even though basic autopsies revealed it to be incorrect. Doctors would just shrug their shoulders and assume that there was something wrong with the body, rather than the ancient medical philopsophy they adhered to.
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