Browsed by
Tag: Draper-White Thesis

An Islamic “Reformation”? – Pseudo History meets Politics

An Islamic “Reformation”? – Pseudo History meets Politics

New Atheists generally acknowledge that it was the 9/11 attacks that gave their anti-theistic movement its initial impetus. Not surprisingly, several of their leading lights, led by Dawkins, Harris and comedian Bill Maher, have become trenchant critics of Islam as a key example of the toxicity of unfettered religion. These critics therefore lionise the ex-Muslim atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali and support her calls for an Islamic equivalent to the Protestant Reformation. But is this based on good history? Ayaan Hirsi…

Read More Read More

The Archimedes Palimpsest

The Archimedes Palimpsest

New Atheist discussions of the history of science are almost always based on some form of the Conflict Thesis. Despite the fact this conception of an eternal “warfare between science and religion” has long since been rejected by historians of science, anti-theists have an emotional commitment to this dusty nineteenth century idea, with most naively accepting it without question while a few struggle to prop it up in the face of the consensus of modern historians that it is simplistic,…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More