Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why Was There a Pause in Science?

Michael Flynn theorized in “De revolutione scientiarum in ‘media tempestas’” in the July/August 2007 Analog that a scientific revolution nearly occurred in Medieval Europe (discussed here earlier). He also speculated that that there was a pause between the High Middle Ages and the Baroque due to the bubonic plague epidemic that cut down the number of scholars.

Bubonic plague probably played a role, but there was another factor. This was the same period when only governments had guns (1350—1650). It was a period of intolerance and authoritarianism all across Eurasia.

There were centralized absolute governments in Russia, Turkey, India, China, and Japan. There was no such takover in Europe but there was absolute monarchies everywhere and the Hapsburgs nearly took over everything. As a result of this. there was the expulsion of Jews from western Europe, the Mogul persecution of the Sikhs, and the Japanese persecution of the Christians. The era 1350—1650 was a terrible period for any dissenting group and potential scientists may have decided to keep their heads down.


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