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The dark ages is the period of time right after the fall of the roman empire. It is as if your shared human history went blank.

From about 476 to 1000 AD, very little writing or history survived. It was as if our history and development went backwards in time.

With todays society, what would it take to cause another dark ages? Right before the dark ages, the roman empire was the most developed nation this world had ever seen. China and the middle east had well developed cultures and societies, and all of a sudden, things went blank.
 

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With todays society, what would it take to cause another dark ages?
Extermination.

The average college student of today knows more about the universe than what Einstein knew at the end of his life. Are they geniuses? No. They are just the beneficiaries of the collective knowledge acquired by those who came before them.

The teenager living next door could probably build a computer from scratch more sophisticated than anything NASA had in the 70's.

Walk into a highschool and start reading their textbooks, and you will have access to more knowledge than the entire world had just a few hundred years ago.

In order for there to be a dark ages, there would have to be an elimination of knowledge.
 

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Information is Ammunition
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With the availability to collect and distribute information at the speed of thought, and the fact that most of us work while sitting on our duffs, I think that the next dark age will have more in common with the Permian Extinction than the dark ages.

We built ourselves on technology so far and for so long we've depended on them. Will there be enough the western world to survive the crash? Even we here that try to stock up, prepare, and LEARN can be taken down by bands of starving have nots. Would anything of western civilization survive?
 

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With the availability to collect and distribute information at the speed of thought, and the fact that most of us work while sitting on our duffs, I think that the next dark age will have more in common with the Permian Extinction than the dark ages.

We built ourselves on technology so far and for so long we've depended on them. Will there be enough the western world to survive the crash? Even we here that try to stock up, prepare, and LEARN can be taken down by bands of starving have nots. Would anything of western civilization survive?
That's a good point.

The most educated may be the least suited to survive in the end, ironically. They may be too accustomed to their comforts to endure more difficult times. It may be the uneducated laborer who proves to be more fit to survive.

But then again...

Human beings are naturally social creatures. We cooperate (when we're not killing each other) to achieve common goals. The strengths of one compensates for the weaknesses of another, and vice versa. It is in the best interests of us all to work together.
 

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Marooned - That is very true about the social pemise of humans, but that door swings both ways. What i mean is that kind people helping kind people leads to good being done....what about when bad people team up with bad people. I recently saw a program on msnbc about gang mentality in prisons, scary stuff.

More on topic...The dark ages were also a period where a lot of 'leaders' destroyed the written history, with that gone, oral passing of history got diluted and forgotten with generations, takeovers, mass killings, genocide, religious conversions etc. In our society i feel much of the same "could" happen, if the server farms for the internet are destroyed, everything that hasnt been hard copied will probably be lost...however, our texts and books contain most of that data. Provided people dont go out and destroy schools, libraries, bookstores etc i think knowledge and history would survive.

But thats a dark ages of knowledge....i fear the dark ages of power, resources, and according to some new article time.
 

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With more and more of our collective knowlege being on computer, it is more vulnerable. Let's say that we were subject to a huge EMP. bang, it's all gone. This is why I prefer books rather than computer files.
Yes, but as long as there are survivors who already have the knowledge in their heads, they can write new books. The only way knowledge can be completely lost is if all those who have it are dead.
 

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If by Dark Ages, Kev, you mean not only a paucity of learning but absolute regression . . . hmmm, I personally believe that such a scenario would only be possible if what another member has already suggested were to come about, that being absolute and utter tyrannical government take-over of some sort -- such as that which has existed in many still-feudal societies (like certain areas of Africa and Afghanistan where tribal lords rule and oppress other religions, women, and progress itself) in the name of adhering to their personally held belief systems.

I can't imagine such a dark time occurring again but with lunatics such as Kim Jong II of North Korea possibly possessing or developing nuclear weapons, I could be sadly mistaken.
 

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Shuriken snowflake
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I definitely think it will happen. Is it such a bad thing? I don't know. Life during the dark ages was probably sometimes just as good. We now live in an extremely vulnerable world and we are way too many. The power of the western world would be wiped out if something happened very fast. The so called third world would stand a much better chance to come back. They might be the new power. Just as the poor ones could grab any piece of land after the plagues. So from their point of view, it's probably the best thing that could happen. Gone the people using up their labor and resources. Our civilization wouldnt leave much trace. If there has been similar high tech civilizations long time ago, we wouldnt know. It's not like a computer lasts the same way the pyramids do. Maybe some parts of the world would leave behind higher radiation. Some people believe that is why India radiates more than the rest of the world. I don't know what grounds they have for this. I am sure as long as earth can host us, there will be new civilizations. Humans are pretty stubborn. I've actually thought of carving a sort of rune stone for those not knowing much about our times. But I don't know what to put on it yet. It's hard to compact it all to a few sentences. There are already artists doing stone carvings, but they ore carry an esthetical message. I guess grave stones will be whats carried on to the next worlds. Funny, since it's mostly graves that tell us how people lived from the stone age and during the other ages. It might be somewhat saddening to believe all knowledge will be gone. But humans are inquisitive. That is our nature. So I think everything is going to be just fine.
 

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Dwind makes a great point on this, technology will be the downfall which is the irony since it was technology that has caused the great advancements.

Look at hospitals as one example, without electricity all the equipment is all but useless,

Same thing with car repair being almost all computerized these days

the list goes on
 

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Chains keep us together.
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Well religion was to blame for the first dark ages and history repeats itself.
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If Religion was in such a state of influence, I doubt history was recorded well to begin with then.
What emerged out of the Dark ages was many religions from the collapse of a New World Order.

If we entered into a new Dark Age we would loose a lot of technology faster because we have more knowledge to loose, but I think maybe we would skip the first half of the Middle ages and and maybe enter a new Age of Enlightenment, after a few thousand years or so.
I don't know what the population drop was during the Dark ages but I think it would be substantial now. I wonder what the world would look like in a thousand years with 1/2 the population and 1/10 the energy and production?
 

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Chains keep us together.
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Gone the people using up their labor and resources. Our civilization wouldnt leave much trace. If there has been similar high tech civilizations long time ago, we wouldnt know. It's not like a computer lasts the same way the pyramids do. Maybe some parts of the world would leave behind higher radiation. Some people believe that is why India radiates more than the rest of the world. I don't know what grounds they have for this. I am sure as long as earth can host us, there will be new civilizations...... So I think everything is going to be just fine.
A lot of people believe in a ancient man theory, and if true it would take a long time for a comeback from a global collapse like that had to have been. Maybe they poked a hole a mile deep in the ocean into a endless stream of abiotic oil and poison gas too!
 

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under prepared patriot
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I think a combination of things could send us to the Dark Ages again. A huge EMP as mentioned earlier, severe plague, really any number of things small or large I think could domino and topple this increasingly fragile world. Lack of people and order would quickly lead to no power, sanitation, communication. a collapse would see at least a temporary end of schooling and intellectual pursuits. I honestly believe we are frighteningly close to something like this happening. The entire world is subsisting on massive falsely inflated overshoot of the planets ability to produce enough food and water. I hope it doesn't happen because when the dust settled im guessing billions would die and it would take a very long time for society to come back, then again in a completely logical stance thats probably just what the world needs.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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The underlining causes of the dark ages are mostly happening again today. In a lot of ways this is just the normal reaction to a world wide civilization that out grows its food and water sources and struggles to maintain its borders against invasion. Just like the Romans, the US conducts trade in every known part of the world and most of us live in incredibly crowded cities.

When the societal structure is fractured by an external crisis, famine and pestilence will take over. A very large percentage of the world population will be killed by the four horsemen and the dark ages is a good description of what comes next.
 

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highly doughtful,but if the world was to get hit with a LARGE world wide disaster that would change all ways of life on the planet (mad max), then i think it is highly possable that we would loses lots of tech, info, and basic siences and be throwen into a back to the basics life style
 
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