In 'God's Philosophers', James Hannam makes the irrefutably cogent case that the 'Middle Ages', called by ignoramuses the 'Dark Age', created the modern scientific world. Anyone who has studied the issue knows that this is a truism, even though the popular [not to be confused with intelligent] culture proposes the opposite. How many schools or media outlets teach the following inventions by Catholic bishops, priests and layman, as outlined in Hannam's book?
-Peter the Pilgrim [circa 1269] analyzed magnets, magnetism, and created the idea of a spherical magnet. His work influenced William Gilbert [1544-1603], the famous astronomer and theorist of magnetism whose work partially informed that of Galileo and others.
-John Buridan's theory [1300-1360] of impetus or motion was a vital stepping stone towards modern mechanics. He also explained why we cannot feel any resistance from the earth's rotation.
-Richard Swineshead and the Oxford-Merton 'calculators' [1320-1360], provided mathematical theorems to explain the speed of objects, their acceleration, and their distance travelled; central to physics and understanding gravity.
-William Heytesbury, a Merton-calculator [1313-1372] described the motion of an object subject to constant acceleration.
-Nicholas Oresme [1320-1382] proved Heytesbury's theorem to be valid by using graphs underpinned by higher mathematical calculations.
-Nicholas of Cusa [1401-1464] suggested a limitless, expanding universe and life on other planets, based on logical and mathematical calculations.
As Hannam notes there was no 'scientific' revolution of the 17th century as descried in textbooks. The above personalities are a tithe of what could be listed. The incremental build up of knowledge was both funded by; and encouraged by the Church. Why ? The seeming perfection of the natural world, the immutable laws, ratio's, and the interminable beauty and power of the natural world had to be a product of creative divinity, not random chance. It was up to the human to use god-given reason and intellect to understand both the created world, and the natural physical laws which were so evident.
I love this statement by Hannam, in an age of reality-tv; evolution-is-science [no facts support Darwinism]; the cult of warming or climate changing etc.
“Today you can enhance the credentials of any outlandish theory you like by labelling it 'scientific', as advertisers and quacks well appreciate. But, back in the Middle Ages, science did not enjoy the automatic authority it has today.”
How true. In other words the people of the Middle Ages were in some ways more skeptical, more prescient, less gullible than the public-school educated masses are today. If you want to sell your quackery just scream that you are an expert-scientist. Discussion closed. This however is fraud, not science.