The James Burke series “Connections” from 1979 argued that, and I use my own interpretation of his words, if a dirt farmer in china invented the airplane, the ruling class would thank him and give him the boot back to his farm. There was no incentive to be inventive. Meanwhile, western civilization worked hard to protect the rights of the inventor to keep any profits it generated. This incentivized countless tinkerers to change the world rather rapidly.
The reference I posted stated that the Chinese impediment was their ancestor worship. They couldn’t develop “new” things because their ancestors were to be revered as if they knew everything possible. Now that I think about it, this is the total OPPOSITE of modern day humanism!
And as for the Muslims, “doing science” meant that you inherently expected consistency in creation, which would be “chaining Allah”, a blasphemy.