the Church did set back free thinking and innovation by about 1400 years.
As far as we know. Who knows the technological advances and free thinking and innovation mankind has lost over time.
Look at the Antikythera mechanism that was discovered in 1900. It is dated to the first century BC, yet it took until 2006 to discover it's purpose. And the craftsmanship, complexity and precision of it as a tool, wasn't rediscovered for 1400 years.
If you're not familiar with this device, it was discovered in a shipwreck off of Greece. It contained 20 bronze gears and the device used a small handcrank that allowed setting of the date on the front dial. The action of turning the hand crank would also cause all interlocked gears within the mechanism to rotate, resulting in the calculation of the position of the Sun and Moon and other astronomical information, such as moon phases, eclipse cycles, and theoretically the locations of planets.
It is comparable to 14th century astronomical clocks.
Now, this is but one single piece of machinery that shows the knowledge in the time B.C.. Imagine what could have been lost in territorial wars between civilizations in the thousands of years before that. Imagine the knowledge lost when the Ancient Library of Alexandria was destroyed. Much, much more could have set back civilization, for much longer times, than religion or Christianity.
This post was edited on 3/17 at 7:35 pm