At the outset, it must be stated that I am, in fact, an atheist.
Upon reading Sam's The End of Faith twice in succession, I must conclude that I absolutely adore the book. It is marvelously well-written, and evinces a plethora of information to a steadily widening audience. This is wonderful. Now, on to my question:
On page 109, Sam quips:
There is no telling what our world would be like had some great kingdom of Reason emerged at the time of the Crusades and pacified the credulous multitudes of Europe and the Middle East. We might have had modern democracy and the Internet by 1600.
While I think the possibility of an event of such magnitude cannot be overlooked, I'm a bit apprehensive toward Sam's confidence in the statement. Adding salt to the wound, there is very little factual grounding of the statement involved.
A key word in the above quotation is "might," but that doesn't alleviate the necessity of citation of some sort.
Any thoughts? Spirited debate is welcome.