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The Myth of the Medieval Repression of Science

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 cling 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 behavior for people who like to label themselves "rationalists".-- The Dark Age Myth: An Atheist Reviews “God’s Philosophers”
posted by Pater Aletheias on Dec 29, 2013 - 95 comments

An Elegant Weapon For A Less Civilized Age

They were the finest European swords the day, superior to almost any other on the battlefields of the Viking Age. Made from steel no one in Europe would know how to make until the Industrial Revolution. Stronger, more flexible, almost magical in combat, engraved with the mysterious name "+ULFBERH+T" by unknown makers, these swords were the both fearsome weapons and incredibly expensive prestige possessions. Only 171 have every been identified. And no one had made one from start to finish, using only hand tools, for over 900 years. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Mar 6, 2013 - 38 comments

I don’t believe just doing this means I can be forgiven for what I did.

A couple days ago, Minami Minegishi, a 20 year-old member of the wholesome, innocent idol group AKB48 posted a video of herself, head shaved, tearfully begging not to be fired from the group. What horrible crime did she commit? What awful, unpardonable sin caused her demotion and public humilation? Dating. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah on Feb 1, 2013 - 76 comments

Ancient people on the move in the news

Britain Is More Germanic than It Thinks, and Kon-Tiki explorer was partly right – Polynesians had South American roots. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 19, 2011 - 51 comments

Inflicting a historical atlas on the world

Physicist Howard Wiseman has a hobby, history. On his website he has three history subsites, filled with lots of information: 1) Ruin and Conquest of Britain 2) 18 Centuries of Roman Empire 3) Twenty Centuries of "British" "Empires". Especially informative are his many maps. As he says himself: "Drawing historical maps of all sorts has been a hobby of mine since my mid teens. Now I can do it digitally, and inflict it upon the world!"
posted by Kattullus on Feb 19, 2008 - 18 comments

Cranks of the Dark Ages

The dark ages of western Europe – nasty, brutish, and short -- did nevertheless produce technical innovations in metallurgy, agriculture, and, as identified in the Utrecht Psalter, a groundbreaking simple machine: the crank.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 8, 2007 - 22 comments

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