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Listen: “Not Dark Ages After All”

David Klinghoffer

Dark Ages

On a new ID the Future podcast, host Andrew McDiarmid talks with science historian Michael Keas about his new book, Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion. Up for discussion is the myth of the “Dark Ages.”

As Dr. Keas points out, even calling the period the “Middle Ages” is prejudicial, as if these centuries, which in fact witnessed remarkable scientific advances and the invention of the first universities, were a mere transition, the historical equivalent of Flyover Country. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Keas also tells the enjoyable story of his experience testifying before Texas State Board of Education. He was arguing that it’s good pedagogy for high school students to learn about both the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian theory. Protestors on hand would have none of this, and brandished signs comparing Keas and other Darwin skeptics to “Dark Ages” Christians who supposedly believed the Earth is flat.

One sign showed a picture of a ship sailing off the edge of the Earth. As Keas points out, the joke was on them: Educated people in the medieval period were well aware that the Earth is round, a fact immediately evident when you see a lunar eclipse. What Keas calls the “Flat Myth” is a product of poor education, not in the Middles Ages — which were “not Dark Ages after all” — but in our own time when kids are taught misinformation by educators who are misinformed themselves or who have an axe to grind against the heritage of the European West.

Photo: In a lunar eclipse, the shape of the Earth, round not flat, is obvious; by Rocky Raybell via Flickr (cropped).

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.

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Dark Ages mythDarwin-skepticseducationEuropean WestFlat Earth mythflyover countryhigh school studentsID the Futurelunar eclipseMichael KeasMiddle AgesMoonpedagogypodcastTexas State Board of Education