The dark ages are relative to whom you are speaking. To the inhabitants of what is now the islands of the United Kingdom and those in the north and west of Europe, times were normal. Civilizations closer to the equator called these northern folks barbarians which insinuates the slow ascension to modernization. Based on the spread of education and learning, it is clear that “enlightenment” would spread like the ripples from a drop of water in a pond. The civilizations of the dark ages were merely behind the times. There was no inferiority or lack of capability. The truth is that knowledge had to travel on foot and people far from the epicenter of creation were last in line to receive it.
Devout atheists may not be opinionated, however anyone from any religion in the world will agree with my next statement. Life started somewhere. Considering humans of our current state, we also originated from some place. We do today what we did in the beginning, we multiply. Fortunately for us in our current present we can be thankful for the expanse of Earths land surface area as we are exploiting the last of our natural resources. Most major religions have origins close to what is known as Mesopotamia. We have all learned this in history, religion, and anthropology classes in our education systems. With any thesis there will always be contradictory evidence and ideas. Nevertheless this is an unbiased presentation of the meaning, reason, and timeline of the dark ages.
Much speculation can be talked about Jesus Christ. Nevertheless it is widely accepted that our current measure of time be presented as increments of years before and after his birth. Years counted before Jesus are succeeded with a “b.c.” which is short for “before Jesus”. Years after the time of Jesus are succeeded by an “a.d”.
“Abbreviation for Anno Domini - Latin for The Year Of Our Lord - used in the Gregorian Calendar to refer to the current era. A date such as 1945 A.D. literally means 'the 1945th year of our lord', the lord in question being Jesus Christ, providing a religious context and clearly distinguishing the time from an earlier era, where B.C is used instead. The use of A.D. was popularized by Bede.”
Wilde, R. (n.d.). A.D.
As cities grow, the dynamics of the economy change. This encourages population density within congested areas. Dense populations have a need for food, water and every other physical, social, and religious need that is found everywhere. As more people occupy a specific parcel of land, less ground is available for families to grow vegetables and raise animals. In dense cities, foraging can essentially be written off the menu. This trend encourages specialization. Growing populations eventually get hungrier and hungrier until someone has the brilliant idea of designating a specific person to travel further from the town to unoccupied land and grow crops. Today we call this person a farmer. People eventually catch on that this farmer has a surplus of goods and a trade would be desired. The idea that someone can do what they like, love and are good at is simply the driving force of choosing your place in this new world of specialization. People now do whatever it is they are good at to produce a good or a service to use as trade for whatever they desire. Should a population have a designated currency the barter system would not change much. The currency becomes a middle man in the game of barter and if you think about it, currency is a completely man made idea for the act of taxation. The natural needs of human beings and selfishness is the driving force behind expansion. People eventually want more and more and there is no better way to do this than by exploitation. Using more than you need is our current humanistic motto. Use it once, and throw it away.