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

1030AD Natural selection-like ideas first discussed (Persia)

Abu Rayhan Biruni Kitab fi Tahqiq ma li'l-Hind (Researches on India) Biruni publishes his 'research' on India, which has ethnographic, geological, astronomical, and evolutionary ideas very clearly presented. In it, among other things, Biruni discusses seashell fossils as evidence for geological change. In 1030, Biruni discussed the Indian heliocentric theories of Aryabhata, Brahmagupta and Varahamihira in his Indica. Biruni attempted to give a naturalistic explanation as to why the struggles described in the Mahabharata "had to take place." He explains it using natural processes that include biological ideas related to evolution, which has led several scholars to compare his ideas to Darwinism and natural selection.

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