The idea of the Dark Ages is a myth.
After the fall of Rome Europe turned into a group of non co-operative feudal monarchies that spent most of their time arguing with each other. This is actually a pretty typical result when an empire falls. It doesn't matter if you call them warlord or monarchs or sheiks or maharajah, when a strong, large empire falls every leader worth a crap starts up his own empire. If one of them is outstanding then that one kicks butt on the others and a new empire is created. Until a strong leader shows up and brings everyone in line, the way Genghis Khan did, the leadership in charge fight among themselves.
Rome falls, taking quite a long time to disintegrate.
After Rome falls a bunch of monarchies pop up all over Europe and all these leaders decide that the Pope is in charge because they are used to having someone in Rome be in charge so they never argue with the Church in Rome and let the Pope walk all over them for around 900 years until the superior European mind breaks through the limitations imposed by the Church and takes a sudden technological jump into the renaissance.
(deliberate run on sentence because it is so stupid a statement it does not deserve correct grammar)
So not happening. What crap!
The Chinese are just as smart as the Europeans, how come a big technological jump didn't occur there? They didn't have a really evil church imposing limitations.
The Indians (from India) are just as smart as the Europeans, how come a big technological jump didn't occur there? They didn't have a really evil church imposing limitations.
The (insert favorite non-European ethnic group here) are just as smart as the Europeans, how come a big technological jump didn't occur there? They didn't have a really evil church imposing limitations.
Okay so Europeans are not any smarter than anyone else, how could the technological advance that is called the renaissance occur in Europe?
My opinion is that any time an organization evolves with the ability to work with many different disparate political groups and collects some of the smartest people within a small geographic area that organization will eventually come up with some really great ideas no matter how evil or good they are.
One of the differences between the Catholic Church and other religious organizations, like Islam and Judaism, is that the Catholic Church was collecting all the smart people into one area. Collected into Italy where the renaissance just happened to start.
So by now some closed minded person is tying a hangman's knot while reading and is preparing to run out and drum up a figurative lynching party if not a literal lynching party.
I ain't a shock jock, or a troll, and IF people think I am than I am happy to be a shock jock or troll because Galileo and Martin Luther were also shock jock trolls stirring up trouble for no particular reason, well, the search for the truth but who cares about that reason.
Certainly not the people thinking of censoring or lynching people who challenge the ideas of others, like the idiots tying lynch knots as they read.
Now maybe I am wrong, maybe when you collect a bunch of really smart people into a particular area for a long time it won't inspire technological or academic advancement. No, that is a ridiculous statement. I'm right, tough shit.
The people who challenged Galileo were supporters of the Aristotelian view of the Universe. Not a Christian view because Aristotle was not a Christian.
Aristotle had defined the academically correct view of the universe at the time. Back then, just as in current times, when you challenge your academic advisers your academic advisers begin sharpening up their knives for the death of one thousand cuts. The same figurative death Galileo was subjected to. This might sound weird, but, before it was considered wrong to hit students teachers hit students all the time.
In fact it has only been recently that some locations have ceased corporal punishment for challenging a teacher. When I was a kid teachers often had paddles and that was the 1960's. Imagine what people who challenged teachers were subjected to in the 1500's. Thumb screws, the rack, all in a good day educating students not to tell their teachers they were full of shit!
In my experience there are teachers who would love to go back to torturing students who challenge stupid, bigoted ideas like the "Dark Ages". Ooooh, the evil church kept the superior European intellect from blossoming. Of course Asia had a civilization far advanced of anything in Europe a thousand years before Rome. If I was going to bet on any ethnic group having a technological revolution like the renaissance it would be China, not Europe.
Now what was going on in Europe that wasn't happening in China? Spaghetti maybe? Nope, Chinese invention.
Hmmmm, what could have impacted the culture in Europe such that Europe advanced faster than China? What major cultural influence occurred?
How about a central political and intellectual organization interacting with all of the governments in Europe and attracting the intellectuals and academically oriented MEN from all of those governments? Yeah, guys can do some smart stuff if you get enough smart guys together and give them enough time. Hundreds of years in this case. Maybe if women had been allowed an education Europe could have jumped from mud huts to space travel.
You know what is really hilarious? The Catholic Church of the middle ages is actually indicative of the result when academic intellectuals are allowed to govern anything.
Of course for academics to admit this would take a miracle roughly the size of half the multiverse. Yes, half of the infinite is still infinite. The infinite sub set of the infinite set.
As a result of the lack of this miracle; intellectual academic egoists actually refuse to admit that the Church was the primary intellectual academic institution in Europe for the 900 years that it was supposedly preventing technological and academic advancement.
See, for these egoists, not elitists they are egoists, to admit that the Church actually primed the renaissance would be tantamount to admitting that they were egoists and not the elite.
So here we are, 500 years of denial. My suggestion, GET OVER IT! The church primed the renaissance. The church was the group of academic, intellectual egoism until the intellectuals advanced beyond it.
It is kind of kewl that intellectuals advanced beyond requiring a political authority and eventually rejected it. It is also kind of stupid that the Church receives the blame for Europeans advancing so much faster in technological innovation than the rest of the world.
After all, the superior Europeans would have jumped right from mud huts to space travel if it hadn't been for the church. Now that is really stupid.
How about, Europeans would have progressed faster than any other culture in the world if it hadn't been for those evil time traveling priests who kept the Europeans in mud huts while the Egyptians and Chinese were developing much more technologically advanced civilizations. Nope, that is really stupid too.
I ain't buying into no "Dark Ages" bullshit.
Empires in Rome, Egypt, China and even Greece kept education for the rich in their societies. They all behaved about the same, except for the church. The church went beyond political lines to collect and educate the smartest of the poor as well as the rich.
Yeah, like any political entity it killed, tortured, murdered, waged war, blamed others for their own mistakes and, in my opinion, still does not seem to embody the attitude of Christ. Regardless of the authenticity of the religious convictions of the church or the extent of the evil which the church committed I still believe it is a no brainer that the technological advancement in Europe over other cultures is primarily due to the church.
Not that the church meant to, the act of bringing a bunch of really smart people together for a really long time probably also built the foundation for the political fall of the church.
Now that is my conclusion. So sharpen the knives all you inquisitors, ready the hang nots (sic) and prepare the lynching parties because I just proved the "Dark Ages" is a stupid, bigoted myth propagated by academic egoists and a serious case of denial whether anyone will admit it or not.