A friend asked me a question last night which caught me by surprise. I had honestly never considered this question and am still digesting it’s implications.
Rather than give an answer right away, let me pose the question to you:
Why did such wide forms of progress (societal, scientific, medical, moral, religious, economic, governmental) occur in Europe (during times such as the reformation or the renaissance) and not in Africa?
This question is of especial importance for several historically cultural and certain current events. The legendary Dr. Watson (not of Holmsian fame but of DNA) has recently raised news and hackles with his claim that Africans have lower intelligence. (If you want an opinion of this event showing the ugliness of the evolutionary philosophy and relativist philosophy while making several very valid points, read here). And radical Islam, in it’s eons-old battle against light and right, spread rapidly across North Africa, preventing much exploration based on over-land expeditions.
Is this just an ethno-centrist or xenophobe who doesn’t appreciate the fear which prevented most Europeans from learning more about the dark continent or the difficulty of mounting a meaningful expedition to enlighten the interior? I think not. While there was general human progress, the tribal structure enjoys a mutually supportive relationship with human evil, allowing jealousy, avarice, and greed to rule. There were medicinal benefits, but none along the lines of antibacterial discoveries and exploration of the human body such as Europe enjoyed. It would seem that scientific and cultural progress happened in spite of, instead of because of, any passing of time in these two vast cultures.
And what of Asia? How does Asia affect this question? Was Asia a superior culture to Europe or not? Why?
I don’t have answers to all these, but as I continue to ponder the nature of this beast I hope to write a few bits here and there.