This week I read a good number of articles about darkness being a “new” force in the history of science. There’s this popular book published by a popular author, and there’s this popular film coming out this week. These two articles were posted in The New York Times and The Guardian. I’m not sure what they mean, but I can definitely see why they’re popular.
When I think about modern science in context with its history, I think of a world that is very well known for being quite dark. At the same time, I also think there was a time when science was somewhat more light. Here are just a few examples of science in Europe during the 16th Century: Galileo Galilei, the 16th century mathematician Isaac Newton, the 16th century scientist Johannes Kepler, and finally modern scientists like Einstein, whose ideas are now at the heart of modern physics. It’s no wonder there’s such a strong connection between science and darkness.
Modern science has made a great deal of progress in the last several hundred years, even as the dark time has continued. Here on this blog, I try to understand how science can progress so rapidly despite being dark. For example, the dark time was caused by an event that made the world’s populations much happier. People had better access to medicine, and better sanitation. As a result, the poor became healthy.
So, did that work to make the world a much healthier place? No more so than the previous work. We still have plenty of diseases, from malnutrition to the flu, but the world is much cleaner, and the world’s population is much healthier, and that’s the kind of progress that science was able to make.
What about today? Is dark magic still around? I recently read a book that argues dark magic and witchcraft is still a big problem in much of the world. I have my reservations about the premise of this book, but I believe it’s an interesting suggestion.
Here’s a quote from it:
For some reason, people are willing to believe that supernatural forces still control our lives. A good example is the case of dark magic, witchcraft, and ritual sexual abuse. According to my sources, there is a belief in more than 70 percent of men in some areas of the world that they can cure cancer with blood from the devil. These individuals believe their magical abilities come from a vampiric blood flow from the dark. People are quite willing to believe that this kind of blood flow will
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