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Tag: Draper-White Thesis

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,…

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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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