Eurasian Empires (408 AD-1050 AD)

Often referred to as the 'Dark Ages,' the years between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance were a time of flourishing science and cultural discovery. Alexander's short-lived empire had spread Greek ideas across southern Eurasia, and the great Chinese dynasties had matured scientifically and were developing ideas and technologies rapidly. This was the time of information treasures, when emporers quested for lost and forbidden knowledge and when many of the inventions that presaged the modern era were developed in China. Natural selection was conceived and discussed in central Asia. These were hardly dark ages.

Wood block printing (China) 220ADHeliocentrism outlined in India (Gupta Empires) 499ADAncient Greek works translated extensively in Baghdad 823ADAl Jahiz the Book of Animals 825ADGunpowder (China) 1000ADMoveable type printing (China) 1025ADEarly ideas of deep time and naturalism (Persia) 1027ADNatural selection-like ideas first discussed (Persia) 1030AD

825AD Al Jahiz the Book of Animals

(الجاحظ‎) writes writes Kitab al-Hayawan,
Animals engage in a struggle for existence: for resources, to avoid being eaten, and to breed. Environmental factors influence organisms to develop new characteristics to ensure survival, thus transforming into new species. Animals that survive to breed can pass on their successful characteristics to offspring
The mosquitoes go out to look for their food, as they know instinctively that blood is the thing which makes them live. As soon as they see the elephant, hippopotamus, or any other animal, they know that the skin has been fashioned to serve them as food... all animals, in short, cannot exist without food, neither can the hunting animal escape being hunted in his turn.
It is so unusual that its gazelles and ostriches, its insects and flies, its foxes, sheep and asses, its horses and its birds are all black. Blackness and whiteness are in fact caused by the properties of the region, as well as by the God-given nature of water and soil and by the proximity or remoteness of the sun and the intensity or mildness of its heat.
Many Arabic speaking scholars discussed biotic change and simple natural selection during this time, including Ibn Al Haytham, Ibn Miskawayh, the Brethren of Purity, Al Khazini, Abu Rayhan Al-Biruni, Nasir Al Din Tusi and Ibn Khaldun. For those of you curious about the Illuminati, YES these works were translated into Latin during the Pre-Renaissance and existed in European libraries thereafter.

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