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Tag: Dark Ages

The Lost Books of Photios’ Bibliotheca

The Lost Books of Photios’ Bibliotheca

If New Atheists know anything about ancient Greek and Roman learning, they know that Christians destroyed it. They will grudgingly admit that at least some ancient works of wisdom, science and rationalism were preserved in the “Dark Ages”, but generally this is quickly followed by laments that these represent only a fraction of the storied wealth of ancient learning and thundering condemnations of the Christian destruction, suppression and neglect that led to this learning’s ultimate loss. But is this accurate?…

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The Great Myths 5: The Destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria

The Great Myths 5: The Destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria

If there is a story that forms the heart of New Atheist bad history, it’s the tale of the Great Library of Alexandria and its destruction by a Christian mob.  It’s the central moral fable of the Draper-White Thesis, where wise and rational Greeks and Romans store up all the wisdom of the pre-Christian ancient world in a single library, treasuring science and reason and bringing western civilisation to the brink of a technological and industrial revolution.  But then a…

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Cats, the Black Death and a Pope

Cats, the Black Death and a Pope

New Atheists really love their internet memes.  There are whole Facebook groups that seem devoted to nothing more than the posting and exchange of snappy quotes and pithy mockery of religion, all served as an easy-to-share GIF or JPEG, each accompanied by a chorus of approval and agreement in the comments.  These are often quotes from leading atheists or expressions of disbelief at stupid things said or accepted by religious believers, which forms a rich seam of material to be…

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