Duh, science

Some of the reporting on science these days has been odd, to say the least. Some articles try to sensationalize what is, to be kind, a wilde-ass-guess (that’s a technical term). Some are reporting facts as if, ZOMG, nobody has ever known these facts (or theories, or hypotheses, etc.) have never seen the light of day (or Katy Perry) in the history of mankind (or, to go back even further, McDonalds).

Case in point - Saint Patrick and the snakes:

If Ireland never had snakes, why make such a big deal about St. Patrick? Many think the snake legend is symbolic. Several pagan religions in and around Ireland used serpent imagery. So when stories say that St. Patrick cast out the snakes, they actually mean that Christians cast out the pagans.

News flash, folks: this has been known for a long time. But that won’t stop the Catholic church, as Galileo found out (posthumously).

Next, let’s take a bunch of measurements, mash them together, fold-spindle-mutilate, and come up with something that might, someday, inspire a half-assed hypothesis:

The whale (Ziphiidae) lived when the East African plateau was substantially lower and covered by dense forests, the researchers said. Scientists have long tried to figure out when the uplift occurred, because when it did, the moisture from the Indian Ocean could no longer reach the trees and vegetation, and the area turned into a savannah, research suggests.

So, a whale skull of uncertain providence will tell us when the plateau was uplifted (nothing to do with David Brin, sorry), which will tell us when humans started walking upright?

You’re more likely to figure out when the first snow day happened.

Got more to add? (Please keep the conspiracy theories and faith-vs-science false dichotomy to a dull, outraged, foaming-at-the-mouth roar)

Galileo wrote a book that put the words of the sitting Pope in the mouth of a character named Simplicio, a name with the connotation of “Simpleton” in Italian, who made several logic errors and looked the fool for quite a bit of the book. The Pope was in serious political trouble with the Cardinals for not being tough enough on various matters, this was the pope who had been Galileo’s friend as a Cardinal, likely not the best person to piss off. Galileo took the fall, though with his medical issues it wasn’t like 8 years of house arrest was really that big of a deal.

The church didn’t kill Galileo, they removed him from a position of influence in order to maintain their own. Politics more than religion. Which is often the case with the Catholic Church.

I didn’t say they killed him. They didn’t admit their error until far after he had died. They finally officially and explicitly admitted the error in 1992.

There were political reasons for their actions against him, as there were in most cases during the Inquisition, but the effect was banning his work on science for many years.

Though, keep in mind, without the Catholic Church there would be no European science until after the 100 years war at best. Or none that would have survived until now.

An awful lot of scientists were either clergy or sponsored by or in the name of the Church.

Um, no.

Most scientists were not attached to the Church. It’s just the ones that were attached to the Church weren’t hounded, persecuted, etc., and their publications were allowed to be printed and were preserved.

It also helps one’s control over science and education when one owns most of the printing presses and, before that, almost all of the scribes.

Nicolaus Copernicus himself was church educated and a member of the clergy. Galileo was taught in a monastery.

Mathmatics, Geometry, Architecture, Astrology, all of these preserved through the fall of the Roman Empire and advanced by the church. Gregor Mendel set some of the initial steps towards the theory of evolution as a monk. Even the Big Bang was theorized at a Catholic University by a professor.

There may have been many great minds in history that weren’t attached to the Catholic Church in one way or another between 1200 and 1800, but I doubt hardly any of them had the free time, money, and education to actually discover much beyond initial theory. We’re talking about a time period where if you got an education it was a Catholic one.

Hell, even evolution wasn’t that big of a deal until stupid Americans got hold of it, and those were the descendants of Protestants.

Just as I’m sure right now there is a genius in High School that won’t accept the revisionist history and bias in his education that is failing school and won’t have the opportunity to invent “X”. If you cannot accept the philosophy of the gatekeepers of education you get nothing. Hell, even business schools are progressive now.

They weren’t disallowing anyone else from writing something down. No one else had time to care.

Please don’t take all this to mean that the church isn’t elbow deep in it’s bloody hands in some serious issues. But without the church, or if the church fell, we’d have been set back hundreds of years, again. Think of how advanced the Egyptians were, or the Axumites, or any number of other empires. The knowledge of the Roman’s and their vassals was preserved by the church, which outlived the nation that started it’s power. And many nations since. I don’t think you get permanent advancement without some sort of apparatus that exists outside the nation. Canticle of Lebowitz style even.

And I’m not saying that the Church was charcoal-black. But the fact of the matter is they did in fact, suppress a lot of science and medicine. Perhaps it was because it didn’t come from one of their approved sources.

Midwives were persecuted during the Inquisition. Arabian books and scrolls were burned wholesale, and even contemporary physicians and scientists admitted that Muslims had some advanced science and medicine. Hebrew physicians and surgeons were tightly restricted.

I find it odd that Asian medicine wasn’t as controlled, but considering how much of it was based on pure superstition, perhaps it’s not that surprising.

And the science that the Church was behind, usually had to go through a lengthy vetting process, which could take years.

The one requirement for scientific advancement is access. People need to be able to access and procure the knowledge. The second is a permanent(ish) record, which would require printing. The third is education, which is dependent on the first two; the underlying principles need to be communicated to students. The church sharply curtailed all of that.

It’s “A Canticle for Leibowitz”.

Oh, and let’s not forget that it was the church that persecuted physicians and others who were trying to expand the knowledge of anatomy and physiology by dissecting cadavers. This was called “vivisection”, even though it was on cadavers (although there were some who used live people).

The church seems to have protested on grounds that it somehow endangered the soul of the deceased, which goes back to how many so-called Christians are eager to chuck their own mythology to impose rules that have nothing to do with the source matter.

Yeah, but the demand for cadavers was so high at points that some graveyards were better guarded than the prisons.

I think that’s because it wasn’t exported wholesale until the Church(s) lost a lot of their secular power.

I think for modern cases of this exact issue we only have to look at Syria and Iraq right now. The destruction of priceless historical artifacts is insane. And not just ISIS, this has happened in Africa and Timbuktu also. If the library were still at Alexandria I’m sure they’d burn it again. Even the Catholic Church of 400 years ago seems modern compared to this.

Almost as bad as the FDA.

I think we are pretty close to agreement here. I’m just saying that the bad was worth it since so much was preserved. My point is that without the church you had no access, records, or education. It’s not like the Jews are famous for sharing knowledge, and without Catholics I’m not sure Islam gets off the ground.

of/for, it came off the top of my head.