Friday Link Roundup #27

  • If you’re not already reading Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, you should start! I’m not even a Harry Potter fan, and I love it. If anything, it makes me like J.K. Rowling’s books a little less, because it highlights just how awesome they had the potential to be. (Some background understanding of the series is helpful though.)
  • Yes, this sort of thing is happening in Australia too.
  • Mark your calendars for February 20th: One Day, No Religion.
  • Here’s an interesting piece about scientific advancement during the not-so-Dark Ages. There’s a distinction the article perhaps misses between doing some math and making some scientific observations, and accepting scientific grounded conclusions even when they contradict dogma — but it’s a good read, at any rate.
  • Marshall Brain, founder of HowStuffWorks as well as Why Won’t God Heal Amputees? and God Is Imaginary, has a new project. It’s an organization called Deciding To Be Better, and it’s in its pre-launch phase now. Go check it out and give him your feedback!
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  1. Aristarchus

     /  January 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    The Dark Ages link was pretty interesting, but I think the author oversells her point a little. The particular pope she’s talking about seems pretty cool, but she argues that the “Dark Ages” weren’t really so dark and that superstition and hatred weren’t so prevalent. She then mentions this:

    Less than a hundred years later, a pope would launch the first Crusade, and The Scientist Pope would be branded a sorcerer and devil-worshipper for having taught the science that had come into Christian Europe from Islamic Spain.

    If teaching science gets even a pope branded as a devil-worshipper, it’s hard to imagine that there isn’t at least a decent amount of truth in the standard characterizations of the era.

  2. The read was interesting but nothing new.
    Yes there was a lot of ‘science’ back then if you mean basic math (not taken too far) and engineering (not taken too far-as it may be mistaken for magic).
    Yes they may not be as ‘dark’ as many think but they were more then dark enough.
    Just look at the here and now, we think the science is bright but 50% of the USA thinks evolution is BS and outlaw stem cell research cuz they ‘believe’ is it immoral. Ya it aint very ‘dark’ now either but it is still dark enough.

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