Heroes of the Enlightenment

Here is a two part BBC series, Heroes of the Enlightenment, which provides an interesting examination of that crucial period in the history of Western Civilization.  The first episode describes the impact that Issac Newton, Denis Diderot, the Marquis de Pombal, and Erasmus Darwin made upon the advancement of science and knowledge in the Age of Reason, while the second episode discusses the impact of the ideas and actions of the French philosopher Marquis de Condorcet, American statesman and philosopher Thomas Jefferson, and King Frederick the Great of Prussia in shaping the Enlightenment.

One cautionary note: the series is unfortunately imbued with the residual ahistorical bias against the Roman Catholic Church of Andrew Dickson White’s two-volume A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896). White’s conflict thesis has been widely disputed among contemporary historians of science (see notes 35, 36, and 37). This discredited warfare depiction unfortunately remains a popular view among critics of religion and the uninformed general public, and the secularists of the BBC series continue to further this historical distortion.

For a corrective and objective overview and analysis of the true relationship of the Church and scientific inquiry and exploration, see Thomas E. Woods’ authoritative How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. 


11:49 am on September 30, 2018