Society was essentially treading water for the entire Middle Ages, and this is due in no small part to the influence of the church.
The Dark Ages, or the Middle Ages? The Dark Ages were more first-millennium AD, the Middle were more early second-millennium. And I'd like you to take note of Bertrand Russell on the topic:
"With great difficulty, beginning in the eleventh century, the Church succeeds in emancipating itself from the feudal aristocracy, and this emancipation is one of the causes of the emergence of Europe from the dark ages."
-- The History of Western Philosophy, p. 303
"For the first time since the fall of the Western Empire, Europe, during the eleventh century, made rapid progress not subsequently lost. There had been progress of a sort during the Carolingian Renaissance, but it proved to be not solid. In the eleventh century, the improvement was lasting and many-sided. It began with monastic reform; it then extended to the papacy and Church government; towards the end of the century it produced the first scholastic philosophers."
-- The History of Western Philosophy, p. 407
Another large factor, of course, was the re-discovery, mostly by monks, of classical thought which had been lost or forgotten after the fall of the Roman Empire.
Aquinas made some laudable attempts but much of his work is derided by others in the field who contend that rationality and faith cannot co-exist, for when something can be demonstrated rationally there is no need for faith.
Don't mind me, I've only got a degree in the stuff. It's not like I know what I'm talking about or anything. Seriously, faith and reason is and has been a tenet of Catholicism for a long time, including a vast number of thinkers besides Aquinas.
And really, nobody in the Church argues with Aquinas; you don't disagree with someone who's a saint and a Doctor of the Church, so his writing on many topics simply is Catholic doctrine.
And no-one ever really argued "well if you can show it with reason you don't need faith"; they argued "all of these things which are taught by Christianity can be demonstrated by unaided reason, so probably the rest of these things Christianity teaches are true, too. Wouldn't you like to convert?" Seriously, it was a missionary tactic (that's literally what the monumental Summa Contra Gentiles was -- its full Latin title translates as "Treatise on the Truth of the Catholic Faith, against Unbelievers").
Finally, the science of the Greeks was basically status quo by the time the church came around. They didn't have to fight that advance because it was already there (e.g., not advanced during their sphere of influence), but they made damn sure no one did much with it afterwards.
I hate to break it to you, but for most of the Dark Ages nobody knew anything about what the Greeks or Romans had done; Aristotle's work, for example, was not widely known again until the twelfth or thirteenth century. The rediscovery of classical thought around that time spurred a lot of innovation and creative thought in the Church and elsewhere in the centuries which followed; for example, science as we know it is often said to have been "invented" by Francis Bacon, but it was one Roger Bacon -- a thirteenth-century Franciscan monk -- who really deserves a lot of the credit. Unfortunately, most public schools these days gloss over that and teach that nothing interesting happened between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Renaissance.
You cooin' with my bird?
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