Bornin London, The United Kingdom
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“Popular opinion, journalistic cliché and misinformed historians notwithstanding, recent research has shown that the Middle Ages was a period of enormous advances in science, technology and culture.”
“Before we criticize Gerbert and his compatriots for their foolish adherence to ancient Greek and Hebrew authority, consider this: if someone asked you today to demonstrate that the earth orbits the sun, you almost certainly could not do it. You could show them every book and ask every expert, but you could not provide them with direct evidence without a telescope, a lot of time, and a lot of mathematics. Gerbert lacked the telescope and the math, so we cannot blame him for believing his books when they so clearly echoed common sense. The idea that the earth moves was absurd, and it would take a great deal of careful thought before people realized that it was even possible.”
“In traditional histories, the rise of humanism is usually portrayed as ‘a good thing’, but the truth is that the humanists almost managed to destroy 300 years of progress in natural philosophy.”