Light Years pp 27-50 | Cite as

Out of the Darkness

  • Brian Clegg
Part of the Macmillan Science book series (MACSCI)


The Dark Ages were dark indeed. Those intent on survival had little time for scientific enquiry. When there was peace, the Greeks’ preference for pure thought was joined by a Christian distrust of the pursuit of knowledge. A few islands of advancement remained. Islamic culture, emerging in the seventh century AD, required every Muslim to pursue knowledge (ilm) in order to further justice. After an initial 150 years of bloody conquest, Islam reached a more peaceful period, where this pursuit of knowledge brought light to the fore. In the West, a handful of the inward-looking academics were prepared to risk everything in a stubborn desire for knowledge. The candles of scientific discovery were few, but they burned brightly.


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Copyright information

© Brian Clegg 2008

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  • Brian Clegg

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