What would the world be like today if the dark ages never occurred. If, in an alternate timeline for some reason the dark ages never happened what would modern life most likely be likely be like today

  • $\begingroup$ What dark ages are you thinking of? $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 16, 2017 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP Maybe all of them? $\endgroup$
    – B.fox
    Dec 16, 2017 at 22:14
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    $\begingroup$ @B.fox: Early Middle Age era of western Europe, maybe. Constantinople did not participate in the traumatic loss of civilization experienced by parts of the Western Roman Empire. (It's dark moment came later, when a cruel history brought the rise of Islam at a most inconvenient moment.) Anyway, the Early Medieval period was a necessary step towards the High Medieval period, which was a necessary step towards the Renaissance and so on. The classical world was very different from the modern world in several key aspects; without the intevening Middle Ages the world would be very different... $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 16, 2017 at 23:24
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    $\begingroup$ The only way to find out is to take several years of your life and recreate the history which never was; if you are careful and inventive you may reach a point where you will be able to describe a possible modern world developed in the absence of the Late Antiquity and western European Middle Ages. In this timeline nothing will be the same as in the real timeline after in the point of divergence. I suggest that you begin with avoiding the Crisis of the 3rd Century; for example, kill Caracalla and have Geta assume the purple. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 16, 2017 at 23:34
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    $\begingroup$ The so called dark ages were only such in the minds of people who romanticized the old Roman Empire. In reality they were a period of steady improvement in technology and sciences. It is true that towards the end the overall standard of living declined, but that was because the general population had increased to where there was insufficient energy available to support the population. The discovery of how to burn coal gave a new energy source that allowed the so called renaissance to begin. $\endgroup$
    – pojo-guy
    Dec 17, 2017 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


Short Answer: It would be the exact same as ourselves in the future. Reason: Assuming that there are extraterrestial species, let each of them have a number $K_i$ representing the amount of setback each "dark age" caused them. In addition, assuming that $K_{earth}$ is nothing special compared to other species (which holds true if and only if there are other species in this universe a.k.a our assumption), there will be some $K$-values that are higher than those of Earth and some that will be lower. On a separate line of reasoning, the only things different from our species and others could be advancement in culture, life, technology, and anatomy (this was figured out by comparing us humans and homosapiens). Hence, the only difference that the delta $K$ could have caused would be exactly this: culture, life, technology, and anatomy. Therefore, by super-imposing the relationship between prehistoric humans and modern humans onto humans and other advanced-forms of alien life, we see that the relationship with $K$ is directly proportional to advancement in these fields a.k.a if we did not have the dark ages, our species would just be more advanced.

--This answer may not be entirely correct. It is just a feeble attempt to answer an extremely generalized question. Please help me edit, thanks.

  • $\begingroup$ What does advanced mean? You seem to believe that the early western European Medieval period was a setback. History is not directed; that is, it does not have a goal: as a consequence, one cannot speak of setbacks. The modern world is the result of the history as it was; any change may have a massive effect centuries later. For example suppose the price of Indian commodities crashed towards the end of the 6th century, preventing young Muhammad ibn Abdullah from acquiring his wealth, thus preventing the rise of Islam, thus allowing the continued development of the Roman and Persian empires... $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Dec 16, 2017 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ Some advancements are born of the disasters caused by our own doing. Like WW2, it sucked if you lived in it, but would we be advanced as we are without it. Some advancements that came after the dark ages may not have happened at all without them. The mother of invention is necessity $\endgroup$ Dec 17, 2017 at 2:12

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