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Reader comment on item: On NASA's Strange Priorities
in response to reader comment: Sorry, what contributions to science, math and engineering did muslims make ?

Submitted by PIED~PIPER (United States), Jul 7, 2010 at 19:58

Mr Greend: If I may comment on your post -

You are both right and wrong in your understanding of this issue (Moslems and Science). And, it is important to point out, your ideas are also the ones generally held by the Western public at large in this regard (mainly because they have not really studied the subject).

Credit, however, no matter how minuscule, must be given where due. The fact is, Islamic civilization for several centuries did indeed hold the "reins of power", so to speak, in several scientific fields, at least as compared with what was going on in the West.

That said, the fact remains that:

  1. Even in its heyday, Islamic science could hardly be called "modern" science or even the precursor of it. The major and important scientific breakthroughs leading directly to modern science all happened in Europe with very little, if any, influence from the Islamic world. Basically, what was going on was a continuation of Greek scientific work.

Nevertheless, "some" progress occurred, particularly in optics and astronomy.

  1. In addition, only a tiny fraction of the "scientists" working in the Islamic Middle Ages was of ARAB stock – almost all were of Persian or Turkish origin. This was even true in the field on philosophy. True, they were Moslem and used Arabic to do their work, but they were far from being of Arab descent. And, in my opinion, there's a huge difference between an Arab Moslem and all other Moslems, even to this day. (Especially in this day and age actually....but that's another issue).

3. The important point is that by the 13th century or thereabouts, Islamic science came to

a screeching halt and never progressed from there. The interesting question is WHY this

happened.

I could get into all this, but it would take too long.

As I mentioned in my own posting below, get a copy of Toby Hull's brilliant analysis of this subject: The Rise of Early Modern Science. It's an easy (though long) read and he goes into the subject in detail. Fascinating

Regards…..Pied~Piper

Submitting....

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