Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The history of science 

It is a good thing for Columbia alumni that Professor Saliba did not say this on campus:

Muslim scientists have made all discoveries of the current age, said University of Columbia’s Arabic and Islamic Studies prof George Saliba at a seminar at the Government College University (GCU) on Monday.

Who knew Albert Einstein was Muslim? Maybe the Jewish lobby is all-powerful!

Of course, nobody begrudges the contributions of Islam's great scholars of the Middle Ages. The question is, why have they not invented anything important in the last six centuries? Perhaps it was the failure of Muslims to integrate their faith and science.



By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Nov 07, 04:45:00 PM:

James Clerk Maxwell?
Alfred Gibbs?
Max Planck?
Edwin Hubble?
Thomas Edison?
Paul Dirac?
Enrico Fermi?
Neils Bohr?
Erwin Schroedinger?

All Muslims? Yeah, right.

NAME one major scientist of the last century that WAS a Muslim. Even in their so-called "age of ascendancy" (the Middle Ages), they cribbed much of what they claimed from the West or Hindu India.

For as much grief as the Catholic Church still catches for Galileo, name a significant Muslim scientist from the same era.

Anyone? Bueller?


By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Nov 07, 06:53:00 PM:

Many of the 'muslim scholars' of the Abbassid period were actually Christians and Jews who just happened to live under Muslim rule at the time.

Whom Muslims like to take credit for, by the way, as evidence of the Muslim Empires' tolerance and enlightenment. Some of them, such as Maimonides the Jewish physician and philosopher, actually fled the 'enlightened' Muslim lands because of systematic persecution.

"...although Maimonides is frequently referred to as a paragon of Jewish achievement facilitated by the enlightened rule of Andalusia, his own words debunk this utopian view of the Islamic treatment of Jews: 'The Arabs have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discriminatory legislation against us... Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they.'"
-Legacy of Jihad, Andrew G. Bostom, 2005

He fled to Cairo, which was ruled at the time by Fatimid Shi'a and had a large Jewish community.  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Wed Nov 07, 07:27:00 PM:

Yeah, you're right. I guess I'm thinking about the integration of "faith and science" by, uh, Sam Brownback and Pat Roberston and the book burners in my neighborhood (oh and what was the name of the clown from Tennessee who embarassed himself, Princeton and the GOP in the Terry Schiavo case? Bueller...Bueller...oh yes, Bill Frist)...hmmm...yes they are quite enlightened. Yet again you are projecting on Muslims then and now the same conservative fanaticism you either shrug off or ignore in your own back yard.

And thanks TH for at least DEIGNING to give these folks their due for past accomplishments. Yeah, whilst Europeans were squatting in their own sh*t and burning women as witches...or burning Jews, always a nice leisure activity...they were keeping civilization alive. Art, architecture, medicine, algebra (their word), literature, astronomy, hyrdraulics, damn even gardening hahaha. The Crusaders actually leanred things like bathing, using pepper, wearing silk instead of coarse wool. Wow. Sure they borrowed a lot from Hindu India--they traded with them, and even the Muslim kingdom conquered by the Mongols (which the Moguls didn't flatten) became huge trading centers and universities.

Look douchebags and Hannity fans, the every reason Europe slinked into the Renaissance was the fall of the Moorish strongholds to flea-bitten Spaniards...and the concurrent destruction of the Byzantines. Muslim art and science were either appropriated in the case of Spain, or brought by refugees from Constantinople...

Whew...let me catch my breath...so, so much more I could do here, but I'm sure there'll be a freight train's more posts and/or comments I can jump on. I guess it'sgoing to be an interesting winter...besides so many right wing/neo-con chickens coming home to roost for the cold weather. Night night...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Nov 07, 08:09:00 PM:

Very entertaining, CC. How long did that take- 4 minutes @ 70 wpm? Stream of consciousness at its best.

Compare how Averroes’s banishment, versus treatment accorded St. Thomas Aquinas, and ponder which was more hospitable to philosophy in the Medieval era, Christian or Muslim.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Nov 07, 08:31:00 PM:

Now we know Global Warming is an evil Islamic Plot.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Nov 07, 09:33:00 PM:

You have an amazingly distorted view of history. Reality, even, judging from your history here.

A few minutes referencing online sources is all this took. You might try the same technique, should you ever tire of being consistently and horribly wrong.


Which was completely unknown in Europe, of course. All those illustrated medieval manuscripts? Cheap knockoffs. The Bayeux Tapestry? Rubbish. The Hagia Sophia? Wasn't that built by the Turks? Hmm...


Gothic cathedrals are well-known to have been built by Muslims. Castles and citadels derived from Roman design? Lies!



You can thank the Persians for most of that. The Zoroastrian Persians.


"algebra (their word)"

Oh wow, we use a borrowed word. I suppose that proves that the Babylonians and Greeks, who predated the Arabs in such mathematics, had nothing to do with it then.

Did the majestic arab civilization also invent alcohol? (which is also derived from arabic; odd for a culture that eschews alcoholic beverages, isn't it?) What about sugar?


Why don't you name some well-regarded medieval Arabic literature? Cuz I don't know of any.

To head off the inevitable, "Thousand and One Nights" was a collection of short stories from many sources, including India, Persia, and Jewish and Egyptian folk-lore, not a work of literature.


I'll acknowledge this one with regards to Europe, but American and Asian civilizations did just fine in this field.


Heron of Alexandria, who wrote a work called Pneumatic that included hydraulics, predated Islam by at least 7 centuries. Both the Romans and Byzantines used hydraulics in large scale engineering projects.


" damn even gardening"

This is stupid.  

By Blogger pst314, at Wed Nov 07, 10:57:00 PM:

"This is stupid."

Not completely. While CC does display jaw-dropping ignorance matched by world-class arrogance, his drive-by comments do serve a purpose: To gain attention for his own blog and for his dead-tree writing.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Thu Nov 08, 12:15:00 AM:

Yet again you are projecting on Muslims then and now the same conservative fanaticism you either shrug off or ignore in your own back yard.

Because of course the USA is such a stagnated backwater of scientific and engineering development, right?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Nov 08, 12:31:00 AM:


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Nov 08, 10:59:00 AM:

Of course.

A. Q. Khan, physicist. Of Pakistan.

How could we forget him?


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