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How the West Won : The Islamic Worldview and the End of Science
Breakpoint ^ | 1 Jan 03 | Chuck Colson

Posted on 01/02/2003 12:34:04 PM PST by Mr. Silverback

Breakpoint with Charles Colson

Muslim scientists were once the best in the world. A professor of the history of science at the University of Oklahoma says, "Nothing in Europe could hold a candle to what was going on in the Islamic world until about 1600."

The question of how they achieved it and then lost it is more than of academic interest. Many analysts believe one motive for September 11 was Islamic resentment against the United States for having displaced it in science and technology.

The book, THE BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE AND NATURE WRITING OF 2002, contains a thought-provoking article titled "How Islam Won, and Lost, the Lead in Science" by Dennis Overbye. Overbye says that by the Middle Ages, Islamic academics had invented algebra, named the stars, and produced a million-word medical encyclopedia. And the requirement to face Mecca when praying required knowledge of the size and shape of the earth.

A science advisor to former Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat said knowledge was part of Islam's creed. "When you know more, you'll see more evidence of God."

For five centuries, the Muslim world pioneered cutting-edge science. Today, by contrast, Abdus Salam, the first Muslim to win a Nobel Prize in physics, calls modern Islamic science "abysmal." Dr. Osman Bakar, of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, says, "Muslims have a kind of nostalgia for the past, when they could contend that they were the dominant cultivators of science." But a Pakistani physicist says that now, although Muslims are almost 20 percent of the world's population, they produce fewer than one percent of the world's scientists.

What dimmed the light of Islamic scholarship? A Pakistani professor says one major factor is an increasing emphasis on rote learning based on the QUR'AN. In his words, "The notion that all knowledge is in the Great Text is a great disincentive to learning. It's destructive if we want to create . . . someone who can analyze, question, and create." A Muslim astrophysicist in Paris adds that Islamic fundamentalists reject science "simply because it is Western."

On the extreme edge, some groups have abandoned the principle of cause and effect. For example, the Institute for Policy Studies in Pakistan once issued guidelines recommending that physical effects not be related to causes. Allegedly the Islamic worldview prohibited saying that combining hydrogen and oxygen would make water. A Pakistani physicist explained, "You were supposed to say that when you bring hydrogen and oxygen together, then, by the will of Allah, water was created."

That would be as if Sir Isaac Newton observed an apple falling, but shrugged off any thought of gravity by simply saying, "God did it," without asking how God did it.

So what made Islamic science great for centuries? Worldview: embracing the universe as God's creation and studying it as God's handiwork. And what caused Islamic science to decline? A change of worldview: rejecting science as the invention of "the great Satan."

The Muslim world needs to revisit its past and get over its anger toward the West. But there's a lesson here for Christians, as well as for Muslims: A healthy worldview promotes healthy science. A flawed, or false, worldview leaves you in the dark.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: duhhhhhh; greatsatan
No wonder bin Laden pines for the 11th century...
1 posted on 01/02/2003 12:34:04 PM PST by Mr. Silverback
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To: Mr. Silverback
A science advisor to former Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat said knowledge was part of Islam's creed. "When you know more, you'll see more evidence of God."

President Sadat chose to think for himself and was rewarded by his Islamic brothers. Sad.

2 posted on 01/02/2003 12:41:22 PM PST by DeFault User
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To: Mr. Silverback
What dimmed the light of Islamic scholarship? A Pakistani professor says one major factor is an increasing emphasis on rote learning based on the QUR'AN.

There is a superb analysis of this in the book "The Arab Mind" by Raphael Patai (1973), chapter 15, "The Question of Arab Stagnation." There too this is pointed out as a major factor, but not the sole factor.

This book was strongly recommended to my father-in-law by the foreign relations department of the (giant) corporation he worked for, before he went to the Middle East as a corporate exec.

3 posted on 01/02/2003 12:45:20 PM PST by Eala
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To: Mr. Silverback
A healthy worldview promotes healthy science. A flawed, or false, worldview leaves you in the dark.

tm...

The evolutionists are going to lose in America and they may end up having to find some other place to peddle their wares.

Perhaps Haiti...

1877 posted on 01/01/2003 7:14 AM PST by titanmike

4 posted on 01/02/2003 12:46:23 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: Mr. Silverback
>>Overbye says that by the Middle Ages, Islamic academics had invented algebra,

More lies. Imported from India by an arab named Al-Jahabra.

The answer is simple. When the arabs ran out of lands to conquer -- to plunder for their wealth and knowledge, their love affair with science stopped.

The Ottomans and the Arabs resisted the Gutenberg Press. Perhaps one of the critical reasons. They have no one to blame except themselves.
5 posted on 01/02/2003 12:48:11 PM PST by swarthyguy
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To: Mr. Silverback
I have seen some interesting arguments that in fact Muslim science has NEVER been "the best in the world," and that in very small pockets, and only for very brief times, did the Muslim scientists ever "lead" anything; rather, they borrowed HEAVILY from the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans.
6 posted on 01/02/2003 12:55:03 PM PST by LS
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To: Mr. Silverback
What a load of crock!!! See:

Whoever wrote this is lying through their teeth to peedle how wonderful Islam was when actually it destroyed quickly any creative thought and advanced civilizations it invaded. One of the most glaring errors with regard to the entire mathematics claim in the article is that everything was entirely of Indian origin from the complete numerical system used today to the development of advanced mathematics which are mistakenly attributed to Arab and Western mathematicians. See: Islam's Other Victim: India

And one can go on about the Chinese, Egyptians, Persians from whom these Arab interlopers stole original ideas and claim as their own.

7 posted on 01/02/2003 1:23:11 PM PST by TransOxus
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Mr. Silverback
Even for the 11th century, this article gives too much credit to Islamic societies. Basically, these things all came from the societies Islam conquered. These societies usually had about 100 years before Islam snuffed out native culture, learning and art. It would be much faster now because communications (and hence control) are much better. Those are modern inventions Islam would keep. Big Brother Mullah needs his tools, after all.
9 posted on 01/02/2003 1:31:19 PM PST by livius
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To: Mr. Silverback
The Muslim world needs to revisit its past and get over its anger toward the West.

The Western Crusades ended, mainly due to reformation in the Western Church, a long time ago. It is past time to let it go. Get over it, even if it takes a reformation within Islam.

10 posted on 01/02/2003 1:34:10 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: LS
The myth of the preponderance of Muslim advance in the sciences as versus that of Europe--is just--that a myth.

All that contributed to Muslim science came out of Graeco-Roman and Indian civilization. Even the proposition that they invented algebra is absurd. Any good student of the history of mathematics recognizes that this algebra was nothing more then a set of propositions used to develope algorithms. They consisted of logical statements in written form of axioms such as the communitive law for addtion and multiplication. The true advancements which constitute what we now consider to be algebra i.e. the definition of a variable, how we write and equation etc. were all created by European mathematicians of the Renaissance.

The reason for the popular myth of the superiority of science in the Muslim world as versus that of Europe has always been driven by the same reason that they present the fact that the Mayans had a more complex calendar than the Europeans--proof that the West is not the superior culture, which it is, with respect to all others.

11 posted on 01/02/2003 1:37:00 PM PST by Coeur de Lion
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To: Coeur de Lion
proof that the West is not the superior culture, which it is, with respect to all others.

In 1003, 1000 years ago, the West was dead. The Byzantines and the Muslims were definitely alive. The Byzantines and the Muslims got along fairly well. When the West came out of its stupor, Arabic scholarship was the source of much of the light that came into the West. That was then, of course, and this is now. A lot has happened in the meantime.

12 posted on 01/02/2003 1:47:15 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: RightWhale
Every time I hear about the crusades of 1000 years ago, and the great injustice done, I invite a look back 300 years earlier. Egypt, Syria, and other such now-Moslem lands were once Christian. Then the invaders came. Do you think everyone converted because earnest young men came to everyone's front door and said, "I'd like to share the Qu'ran with you today?" No, conversions were done at the point of the sword, as opposed to how Christianity had spread in those lands. I'll hold no brief for the Crusades, but I'll not grant the Moslems that were attacked any moral superiority.
13 posted on 01/02/2003 1:56:05 PM PST by RonF
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To: Mr. Silverback
The modern islamics blew their load with 9/11. If they do anything in that range of destruction again, SLBMs/ICBMs/B2's will fly, loaded with B61-11's or possibly D5 Tridents.

Personally, I think 9/11 was all we needed for a full scale nuclear assault on the islamic world. Next time though, I think we'll do it.
14 posted on 01/02/2003 1:58:32 PM PST by Monty22
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To: RonF
not grant the Moslems that were attacked any moral superiority.

That's right. No one, including ALL the followers of the God of Abraham, has a clean history. It is time to stop stirring this up. The Wahabis will fail in their new Crusade, the sooner the better. Nobody is going to get anywhere.

15 posted on 01/02/2003 2:01:54 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: Mr. Silverback
For five centuries, the Muslim world pioneered cutting-edge science.

This is a very doubtful assertion. For several centuries, survivors from the civilizations the Muslims conquered continued to work on science and mathematics. For the most part these scientists were slaves and dhimmi, not Muslims as such. The important Muslims were too busy swaggering about to do anything useful.

16 posted on 01/02/2003 2:14:00 PM PST by Cicero
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To: Cicero
The important Muslims were too busy swaggering about to do anything useful.

Hasn't it always been so? Scientists and philosophers stay in their cloisters and leave management of the empire to swaggerers?

17 posted on 01/02/2003 2:19:41 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: RightWhale
I agree with everything you wrote. Indeed Arab scholarship preserved much from Graeco-Roman civilization which had been lost in the West. The issue I raise is that a lot of what drives these demonstrations of the cultural advancement of other cultures with respect to the West is multiculturalism, cultural relativism and an anti-Eurocentric bias. Most people learn very little regarding the history of mathematics or the origins of the science as we know it. All in the name of the need for inclusion.
18 posted on 01/02/2003 2:20:47 PM PST by Coeur de Lion
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To: RightWhale
Hasn't it always been so? Scientists and philosophers stay in their cloisters and leave management of the empire to swaggerers?

That stopped here in the U.S. once the first atomic bomb was dropped.

19 posted on 01/02/2003 2:26:43 PM PST by RonF
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To: Mr. Silverback
A professor of the history of science at the University of Oklahoma says, "Nothing in Europe could hold a candle to what was going on in the Islamic world until about 1600."

This sentence alone is ridiculous. I can't believe that a professor of the history of science would never have heard of Albertus Magnus or Jean Buridan just to name two.

20 posted on 01/02/2003 2:35:52 PM PST by wideawake
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To: RonF
There are some activist scientists and activist philosophers these days. Their opinions on matters of state are worth as much as anyone's, but they don't often get into positions of real power. Once in a while an engineer such as Hoover or Carter might end up in the top slot. When that happens, look out!
21 posted on 01/02/2003 2:38:27 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: RightWhale
THE BYZANTINES WERE THE WEST.
22 posted on 01/02/2003 2:40:22 PM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake
until about 1600

That date is very late. The statement was true in 1148, but by the time of Galileo/Mersenne, things were cooking nicely in the West.

23 posted on 01/02/2003 2:41:29 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: wideawake
The Byzantines probably seemed like the West to the Muslims, but they weren't the West. The Byzantines were Greek, the West the former Rome. The West consisted of a miserable, backward, disease-ridden, warring set of barbaric kingdoms until about the First, Frankish [Norman,] Crusade in 1099. Quite a fall from the glory of Rome.
24 posted on 01/02/2003 2:46:38 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: Coeur de Lion
A lot of what we might consider 'simple' was profound for the time. Even the idea of "zero" had to be understood and developed. Much of Greek mathematics - even Euclid - was 'forgotten' in Europe until 1200 AD or so. So much of it is not obvious.

The Caliphate of Islam from the 7th to 10th centuries, learned from the christians of syria who held the byzantine texts which came from the Romans and Greeks - this was the conduit for the Arabs learning the Greek science and philosphy. in this way the Arab empire came to learn the science of the the Greeks and Romans, and developed it further in some cases (eg astronomy). In Europe's 'dark ages' much of this learning was lost. In 1100 AD, Europe could not build things the romans could. Of the civilizations of the world, Europe was behind both the chinese and the Arabs - probably CHina was the most advanced civilization in 1300AD.

When christians reconquereed spain in 1100-1300, much of the Greek learning that was lost was 'rediscovered'. It started cycles of learning that accelerated with the Renaissance in the 1400s. We tend to discount the learning of the middle ages, but a book I am reading right now makes the case that Europe's technological revolutions began as early as 1150 AD witht he cathedral building boom (the 'cathedral crusade').

Even in 1300AD, the Muslims could construct 'astrolabes' that Europeans could not - but they became models for clocks and other instruments that Europeans developed at later dates. And Islam had silk weaving that was imported into Europe. Probably after 1350AD or so, there was not much that Islamic nations knew that Europe didnt.

I think there is an over-reaction to the book's premise here by saying the Arabs developed nothing. There was much done in years 800 to 1200, in particular in Moorish states in Spain, that was advanced. The premise that Arabs were ahead of Europe up to 1600 might be untrue as once Europe had gunpowder, the press and dicsovered the new world, it had opportunities and powers not all found elsewhere. In 1492, Spain discovered the New World and kicked out the Jews. Many Jews fled to the Ottoman Empire and helped support him financially in finishing off the vestiges of the Byzantine empire, the same empire that the Saracens (Arab warriors) first defeated and the Arab Caliphate learned from back in the 7th and 8th centuries.

To sum up: Yes, the Arab Caliphate was advanced vs. Europe from 800 to 1350. Most but not all of that learning was from other civilizations.
While Europe advanced after 1500 rapidly, other civilizations were not, and by 1600 Europe has the printing press, universities and had initiated, thanks to men like Galileo, conceptions of scientific inquiry that enabled them not just to learn what had gone before, but discover new truths in organized ways. The laid the groundwork for Newton and our modern scientific and technological revolutions.

It is quite possible that China might have advanced, but I think their lack of pluralism and their unified state prevented the kind of diveresity needed to advance and push societies towards change. The same with Islam - it was a culture of stasis much like Europe in the Middle Ages - and did not have large numbers of nations vying for power, but was dominated within an economic zone by a single power. We should not over-criticize a culture for this, because stasis was in fact the assumption of the whole world and all cultures and European plurality was an accident of history and certainly not the design of anyone.
25 posted on 01/02/2003 2:56:15 PM PST by WOSG
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To: RightWhale
See my other comment ... Culturally, Europe owes almost everything to Byzantium, because this was the conduit for Greco-Roman culture and learning ... Greece -> Rome -> Byzantium -> Arabs -> Europe. (NB. note the Greeks and Roman culture pretty much fused ... what Byzantium controlled in 600AD was similar to the Greek/Alexandrian empire of 300BC; Rome's conquest of Greece had fused the cultures, and Europe's 'debt' to Rome is really the debt to the ancient Greek philosophers and scientists.)

Without Byzanium, Christianity would not have come to the Rus, Europe would likely be Islamic and/or would be a medieval backwater still (who knows?).

Why it took 600 years and such a route for Europeans/ex-Romans to learn was was known 1000 years prior? blame the German hordes that destroyed the Western Roman empire in the 400s AD, ie, blame the Franks --- the French!


Coming soon to a bookstore near you ...
"How the French Screwed Up Civilization"
26 posted on 01/02/2003 3:03:50 PM PST by WOSG
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To: RightWhale
The Byzantines and the Muslims got along fairly well. (1000AD) Er, the Muslims had carved out most of the Byzantine Empire by then and destroyed their dominance... It's like saying we get along well with Canada. :-) ...

The Arabs started becoming more intolerant of Christians around this time (1000AD), which raised hackles in Europe and helped kick of the Crusades wanting access tot eh 'holy land' for pilgrimages ... which if you do the James Burke imitation of how every innovation is connected to another, could be said to lead to our modern age of science, our building of WTC, jumbo jets and thus 9/11. That is, Islamic Arab intolerance was both the immediate and distant cause of 9/11.

27 posted on 01/02/2003 3:10:14 PM PST by WOSG
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To: RightWhale
Another thought --- according to Tynbee we are still the Roman civilization --- and so was Byzantium. Given that Byzantium was also Orthodox Christian - a christianity undivided from the West prior to 1050AD, with a culture that survived in many respects in Russia, and given that politically Byzantium was just the Eastern Roman empire, you could indeeed put it in the West. I would.

28 posted on 01/02/2003 3:13:17 PM PST by WOSG
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To: WOSG
Muslims had carved out most of the Byzantine Empire by then and destroyed their dominance

That would have been Turks, who adopted Islam just as the Normans adopted Christianity, by deliberate, conscious, voluntary action.

29 posted on 01/02/2003 3:13:28 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: RonF
Every time I hear about the crusades of 1000 years ago, and the great injustice done, I invite a look back 300 years earlier. Egypt, Syria, and other such now-Moslem lands were once Christian. Then the invaders came. Do you think everyone converted because earnest young men came to everyone's front door and said, "I'd like to share the Qu'ran with you today?" No, conversions were done at the point of the sword, as opposed to how Christianity had spread in those lands. I'll hold no brief for the Crusades, but I'll not grant the Moslems that were attacked any moral superiority.

I agree. Damascus was once a Christian city, and there once wer 80 million Christians in the mid-east regions of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and the 'holy land'. Where is that culture now? Suppressed for 1500 years by Moslem majority.

30 posted on 01/02/2003 3:15:33 PM PST by WOSG
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To: Mr. Silverback
Bump
31 posted on 01/02/2003 3:18:54 PM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: Mr. Silverback
Muslim scientists were once the best in the world. A professor of the history of science at the University of Oklahoma says, "Nothing in Europe could hold a candle to what was going on in the Islamic world until about 1600."

Actually no, muslim scientists never discovered much of anything, and the only reason they could be considered "better" than other scientists is because other scientists did not exist at the time. In fact, a strong argument could be made that there never was such a thing as a muslim scientist. Any honest historian will admit that. The "enlightened muslim" of the european middle ages is largely a myth. The one very important thing they did do was preserve classical knowledge from the ancients. Some history we have only exists because muslims kept the records. That is all. Pretty sad that their positive contributions can be mostly summarized in a paragraph.
32 posted on 01/02/2003 3:24:22 PM PST by newguy357
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To: RightWhale
Me:Muslims had carved out most of the Byzantine Empire by then and destroyed their dominance --- You: That would have been Turks, who adopted Islam just as the Normans adopted Christianity, by deliberate, conscious, voluntary action.

I was referring to the Saracen invasion that carved out half the byzantine emipre ... see this timeline:

639 -Muslim armies conquer the southern territories of the Byzantine Empire (Syria, the Holy Land, Egypt, and Jordan).

http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/Byzantium/time.html

33 posted on 01/02/2003 3:29:09 PM PST by WOSG
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To: WOSG
as early as 1150 AD witht he cathedral building boom (the 'cathedral crusade').

Not a formal Crusade at first, it was a movement among the poor, who remained behind while the rich went off to Jerusalem. It could have been a revolt against the warlike ways of the Crusaders and the disasters that befell the poor pilgrims who accompanied the rich Crusaders. The poor banded together and began to build cathedrals with their own hands and in reverent silence.

34 posted on 01/02/2003 3:31:03 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: Mr. Silverback
the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University

There's a long row to hoe.

35 posted on 01/02/2003 3:36:55 PM PST by Nick Danger
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To: WOSG
By 1099, the First Crusade, the advance of Islam by the sword had pretty well played itself out. It was old news. The residents of the region were getting along fairly well and interacting in a civilized manner. The Crusaders were lucky to reach Jerusalem at all, but when they did, and when they slaughtered the residents, all of them, 40,000, the people back home were distressed. The intent had not been to destroy Islam, but to reach Jerusalem, and by the way come to the aid of the Byzantines, who were under attack by Turks. Further Crusades further screwed up the situation in the ME, and eventually the West did in the Byzantines, their former ally.
36 posted on 01/02/2003 3:41:13 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: WOSG
We should not over-criticize a culture for this, because stasis was in fact the assumption of the whole world and all cultures and European plurality was an accident of history and certainly not the design of anyone

I mostly agreed until this sentence. It is wrong for the same reason that the leftist argument of "the US is prosperous because of luck" is wrong. Prosperity does not happen by accident. In the same way, plurality does not arise by accident.
37 posted on 01/02/2003 3:48:54 PM PST by newguy357
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To: Mr. Silverback
Seriously, and likely knowingly, false thesis. The intent is clearly to try and 'build bridges' of flattery to the stone-age koranic barbarians. In virtually every case, the 'science' attributed to Muslims, was in fact derived from subjugated peoples, Christian, Hindu, etc. From math to medicine. Every single claim for authentic muslim origin of science founders on the rock of Mohammed and Koran and the mulish mullahs of the Madrassas.
38 posted on 01/02/2003 3:54:54 PM PST by Paul Ross
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To: RightWhale
Well, just so. Politicians don't do science. But at least until recently, European and American political systems encouraged science among their citizens, through support of education and support of a free market that enabled technical entrepreneurship. I would differentiate that from conquering a bunch of smart people but doing little or nothing to encourage your own citizens to be innovative in the sciences.
39 posted on 01/02/2003 3:55:17 PM PST by Cicero
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To: WOSG
Bump.
40 posted on 01/02/2003 3:59:33 PM PST by Paul Ross
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To: Paul Ross
``I was a communist(social/political darwinist)* for 30 years...

and I listened to so much of this demagoguery(ideology/bias)* that now---

with my democratic(God/Truth/science)* views---

I can... no longer(link)---stand it,''

*...my additions!

41 posted on 01/02/2003 4:49:04 PM PST by f.Christian
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To: WOSG
Byzantium may have prevented inroads of Islam into Eastern Europe. But it was those same German hoards of which you speak which prevented it from making inroads into Western Europe, and their elimination from Spain i.e. Franks and Visigoths. The stasis argument you used earlier (which Paul Kennedy quite reasonably proposes in the Rise and Decline of the Great Powers) can easily be applied to the Byzantines as a reason for their defeat at the hands of the Turks.

The Jewish contribution to the Ottomans I believe had more to do with helping them form a stable political system for ruling their empire. The days of Byzantium were well over after 1453.

Such as the accidents of history go. The impetus for maritime exploration by Europe probably goes back to the introduction of spices and silks back into Europe as a result of the Crusades and the closing off of most of those routes by the Ottomans. And the industrial revolution probably is rooted in the fact the British had ample coal reserves in mines which were frequently flooded.

42 posted on 01/02/2003 4:50:20 PM PST by Coeur de Lion
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To: RightWhale
In 1003, 1000 years ago, the West was dead. The Byzantines and the Muslims were definitely alive. The Byzantines and the Muslims got along fairly well. When the West came out of its stupor, Arabic scholarship was the source of much of the light that came into the West. That was then, of course, and this is now. A lot has happened in the meantime.

Nope, that's just another set of myths. Even at the beginning of the very beginning of the millenium just past, western Europe (then more commonly known as "Latin Christendom") was ahead of both Islam and Byzantium in terms of practical engineering. Europe was drawing ahead of the rest of its region of Eurasia technologically as early as the 11th century -- in the application of inanimate power sources, for instance. Other peoples used wind and water mills, but nobody used them on anything like the same scale.

By the late medieval period (14th-15th centuries) Europe was ahead in most fields of technology. Everything involving gearing and power-trains (clocks, for instance); milling (use of wind and water power for hundreds of different functions, and on a far greater scale than anyone else), in mining, ferrous metallurgy (ahead of everyone but the Chinese, there, and ahead of the Chinese in some techniques like heavy castings), agriculture, accounting techniques, etc.

Muslim travellers in Europe as early as 1500 were astonished by the size of European libraries, by the fact that they had scholars who studied other cultures (Islam was profoundly disinterested in the Dar 'al Harb, for the most part), and that there were thousands of Arabic and Persian books in Europe. In fact, that distressed them and they tended to regard the books as captives or prisoners and tried to get them back.
43 posted on 01/02/2003 4:55:34 PM PST by Paladin2b
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To: Paladin2b
I learn so much here, every day.

Thank you all for the fine history lesson.
44 posted on 01/02/2003 6:26:17 PM PST by MonroeDNA
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To: TransOxus
Link is here to my prvious response: Islam's Other Victim: India

Reading some of the posts still being apologetic of the Crusades and other claims without any basis, what is known as Europe then was backward races and primitive cultures resembling what Africa is like today. They closely resembled the aboriginal tribes of today by being inbred and not being injected with some external gene pools by some immigration or by invasions which leads to growth. When Romans invaded Britain they found backward tribes to who they brought civilization. There are those who proudly look back upon their original ancestors purity but strict purity of race creates a stunted aboriginal race and no growth.

Further the advent of Christianity really began the civilization of the backward Europeans whereas Chinese, Egyptian, Persian, and Indian civilzations had flourished for thousands of years before and still were. The closest to the East were the Greeks and then the Romans who developed civilizations now claimed by Europe but in their day was considered in the East. The transformation of Europe into civilized races by Christianity (by monks who were the scholars) took many hundreds of years or over a millenium to achieve from Christ's coming. This aspect is something forgotten by those currently who delude themselves into thinking Africans can self-rule with just a few decades of colonialism (or civilization).

The Christian monks brought back the mysteries of the East and started centres of education and were responsible for opening the eyes in Europe. Pilgrims (from whom tourism has evolved) to Holy Lands brought back the wonders of the East. But this was slow and picked up when the Arab mussalmen began their destructive drive in the East which led to many in the East to flee to Europe and bring knowledge. Charles Martell stopped the scourge of the mussalmen and saved Europe from its destructive traits. Europe were able to take advantage of the creativity and progress of Christianity. But the bridge to the East was in Arab hands including the Holy Lands. The Crusades further opened the eyes of Europe and were extremely important in setting the seeds of Europe's growth but was nearly lost until the Mongol Golden Hordes of Genghiz Khan led to a long stable and peaceful time by suppressing Arabic hate. This led to resumption of trade with the East via the Silk Road which began the acceleration of European civilization: to flex its youthful curiousity and search for the legendary Prester John in the Indies to help rid of the mussalmen in Europe especially in Spain.

When the Mongols eventually inbred with the Arabs and once again the ugliness of the mussalmen restricted the West from the East, the Europeans now more civilized now looked for ways to go to the Indies leading to breaking the Arab monopoly and the likes of "wrong-way Columbus" to open the route to America. The printing press which allowed the Bible to now be in the common man's hands helped develop individuality in Europe with Christian creativity. Knowledge became widespread with more books available. Eventually Europe overtook the East(most of it stagnating under Islam) by the 19th Century but Christianity was its driving force.

The above is a very condensed version expalining things. Like the Sun rising in the East, Civilization as we know of its origins began in the East and progressed Westwards. India, China, Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Goths,Barbarians, Franks, Britons, then the USA then to Japan - a FULL CIRCLE completed!! Has the Sun set yet?

45 posted on 01/02/2003 7:20:15 PM PST by TransOxus
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To: TransOxus
Reading some of the posts still being apologetic of the Crusades and other claims without any basis, what is known as Europe then was backward races and primitive cultures resembling what Africa is like today.

"And indeed when Dumnorix was summoned to return he sought to resist and to defend himself by force, entreating the help of his followers and crying repeatedly that he was a free man and of a free state. The pursuers, as they were ordered, surrounded the man and despatched him" - Gallic Wars V.8

Saepe clamitans liberum se liberaeque esse civitatis

46 posted on 01/02/2003 8:40:15 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: newguy357
The specific accident I refer to is the fact that Europe was one culture (christian) with many poltical entities ... it was an advantage in terms of cultural and technological evolution... I call it an accident because NOBODY EVER ADVOCATED THIS IN EUROPE AS A GOOD THING. EVEN TODAY!

It was an accident of history because the external pressure and geography just made Europe difficult to control as a single political entity -- unlike say China. But always the European kings jostled to make a "Holy Roman Empire" or some European superstate ... from the days of Charlemagne, then in 1500 or so Charles V trying to create a European hegemony - all the way down to Napoleon and Hitler.

They never succeeded - thankfully.

And Even today 'everyone" wants "unity" in Govt: EU and UN etc. ... EXCEPT FOR THAT STRANGE BAND OF ANTI_UN, SMALL GOVT GROUP CALLED "FREEPERS" ... but that tribe wasnt even born until the like of Locke (1688) and Jefferson (1776) showed up. Even since then, thouhgh, there has been little recognition of the benefits of political DISunity and diversity and far too little distrust of central govt in Europe.

:-)
47 posted on 01/03/2003 12:14:53 AM PST by WOSG
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To: WOSG
While it was true, more before 1200 than 1600, that the Islamic world had a lot of thinking going on in it, IT WAS NOT THE MUSLIMS WHO WERE DOING IT! It just so happened they had not yet murdered all the Christians, Hindus, and others capable of thought.

If they had followed Muhammad and murdered all of them up front, then, voila, no flowering of anything under Islam!

Islam rots, you heard it here first.

48 posted on 01/03/2003 12:22:44 AM PST by crystalk
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