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

1027AD Early ideas of deep time and naturalism (Persia)

Avicenna outlined the principle of superposition while discussing the origins of mountains in The Book of Healing ( Al-Shefa). Of mountains his writes "Either they are the effects of upheavals of the crust of the earth, such as might occur during a violent earthquake, or they are the effect of water, which, cutting itself a new route, has denuded the valleys, the strata being of different kinds, some soft, some hard... It would require a long period of time for all such changes to be accomplished, during which the mountains themselves might be somewhat diminished in size.."

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