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What did early Muslim scientists and Philosophers achieve
01-25-2010, 08:11 PM (This post was last modified: 01-25-2010 08:11 PM by Ahmadi.)
Post: #1
What did early Muslim scientists and Philosophers achieve
Dear Forum friends

I am listening today to a Teaching Company course on Relativity and Quantum physics. It is a 24 lecture series by Professor Richard Wolfson who is a Benjamin F Wissler Professor of Physics at Middlebury College, where he has taught for 25 years. I am enjoying the course and he is a good teacher.

But I was appalled to find that when he was describing history of astronomy in the second lecture, from Ptolemy in 150 AD he jumps to Copernicus in 1500 AD as if the world had come to a stand still in between! So, I paused the lecture to create this thread.

Such inaccurate history, has given rise to serious misconceptions in our day and age when we have become a global village. To rectify that I have taken upon myself to start this thread and will slowly develop to show my fellow brothers and sisters as to what Muslims achieved between the 7th and the 15th centuries. The idea is to be able to welcome all human beings in Univeral Brotherhood without discrimination based on race, color, religion and heritage etc. etc.

My first exhibit:

Islam and Science – a BBC Documentary
by Prof. James Al-Khalili

Al-Khalili is professor of physics, and professor of the public engagement in science, at the University of Surrey, UK. He is author of several books on physics and producers of several movies. In this documentary he very precisely examines the heritage of Muslim scientists, including the calculation, of earth’s circumference, by Al Biruni within 1% of the correct value. Every now and then an idea takes form that changes everything, it revolutionizes the way we see and understand the world around us. Al-Khalili believes that just such an idea took form in the medieval Islamic world. It is the idea that everything from the stars above to the working of our own bodies is not arbitrary or whimsical, but subject to certain systematic rules, and we humans may be able to work out what those rules might be. This idea with additional refinements led to what we now call the scientific method. The documentary has three episodes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k52UsFUBPs4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRrehLDyZv0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdUfPJCxRuA

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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01-25-2010, 10:23 PM (This post was last modified: 01-25-2010 10:34 PM by Phill.)
Post: #2
RE: What did early Muslim scientists and Philosophers achieve
(01-25-2010 08:11 PM)Ahmadi Wrote:  Dear Forum friends

I am listening today to a Teaching Company course on Relativity and Quantum physics. It is a 24 lecture series by Professor Richard Wolfson who is a Benjamin F Wissler Professor of Physics at Middlebury College, where he has taught for 25 years. I am enjoying the course and he is a good teacher.

But I was appalled to find that when he was describing history of astronomy in the second lecture, from Ptolemy in 150 AD he jumps to Copernicus in 1500 AD as if the world had come to a stand still in between! So, I paused the lecture to create this thread.

Such inaccurate history, has given rise to serious misconceptions in our day and age when we have become a global village. To rectify that I have taken upon myself to start this thread and will slowly develop to show my fellow brothers and sisters as to what Muslims achieved between the 7th and the 15th centuries. The idea is to be able to welcome all human beings in Univeral Brotherhood without discrimination based on race, color, religion and heritage etc. etc.

My first exhibit:

Islam and Science – a BBC Documentary
by Prof. James Al-Khalili

Al-Khalili is professor of physics, and professor of the public engagement in science, at the University of Surrey, UK. He is author of several books on physics and producers of several movies. In this documentary he very precisely examines the heritage of Muslim scientists, including the calculation, of earth’s circumference, by Al Biruni within 1% of the correct value. Every now and then an idea takes form that changes everything, it revolutionizes the way we see and understand the world around us. Al-Khalili believes that just such an idea took form in the medieval Islamic world. It is the idea that everything from the stars above to the working of our own bodies is not arbitrary or whimsical, but subject to certain systematic rules, and we humans may be able to work out what those rules might be. This idea with additional refinements led to what we now call the scientific method. The documentary has three episodes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k52UsFUBPs4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRrehLDyZv0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdUfPJCxRuA

Don't even go down the path of Islam and science. Religion has nothing to do with it. Give credit to human achievement yes, but dont credit it to Islam as it has nothing to do with it. AS for Algebra well he didnt invent it, he borrowed it and slightly improved it. It has been around since Babylonian times.
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01-26-2010, 10:02 AM
Post: #3
RE: What did early Muslim scientists and Philosophers achieve
Phill your suggestion is well taken. I will keep this thread secular, just trying to examine the evolution of human thought in different fields.

Clarence S Day an American writer once wrote:

“The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall; nations perish; civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead.

And even the books that do not last long, penetrate their own times at last, sailing farther than Ulysses even dreamed of, like ships on the seas. It is author’s part to call into being their cargoes and passengers, — living thoughts and rich bales of study and jeweled ideas. And as for the publishers, it is they who build the fleet, plan the voyage, and sail on, facing wreck, till they find every possible harbor that will value their burden.”

The books written in Baghdad and Cordova in Spain from 7th till the 14th centuries certainly did not go waste!

I just inted to track those books to the shores of different parts of the Europe, help me in this endeavor. This is a joint heritage of all the Homo sapiens.

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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01-26-2010, 10:33 AM
Post: #4
RE: What did early Muslim scientists and Philosophers achieve
Would recomend members to read the book, a neutral approach by the non-muslim author.

Title -> What Islam Did for Us
Understanding Islam’s Contribution to Western Civilization , By Tim Wallace-Murphy

http://www.newdawnbooks.info/Reviews/Wha...or_Us.html
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01-26-2010, 10:36 AM
Post: #5
RE: What did early Muslim scientists and Philosophers achieve
Thanks TruthWon

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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01-26-2010, 01:02 PM
Post: #6
RE: What did early Muslim scientists and Philosophers achieve
Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi was a mathematician and an astronomer whose major works introduced Arabic numerals and the concepts of algebra into European mathematics.

Al-Khwarizmi lived in Baghdad, where he worked at the “House of Wisdom” under the Caliphate of al-Ma'mun. The House of Wisdom acquired and translated scientific and philosophic treatises, particularly the ones in Greek. It also published original research. Al-Kwarizmi's work on elementary algebra, Al-kitab al-mukhtasar fi hisab al-jabr wa’l-muqabala was translated into Latin in the 12th century, from which the title and term Algebra derives. The English translation for the name of the book is 'The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing.'

Al-Khawarizi made many contributions to mathematics and gave mankind the concept of zero and Arab numerals. Before him the Roman numerals were followed that are actually alphabets like X, C, L, XII etc. It was not possible to make simple additions. It was Al-Khawarizi and other Arab mathematicians who showed that if we line up 1000, 100,005 and 101 in proper order it is easy to add these three numbers.

1000
100,005
101
_____________
101106

Contrast the simplicity of this addition to adding relatively smaller numbers XXIV and LXXVI to get C. Roman numbers were used in Europe until middle ages. Today simple additions appear as common sense to us but in the past vast majority of population could not do simple calculations. There used to be specialists like modern day accountants who were in charge of the tedious tasks of addition and subtraction, and earned their living as such.

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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01-26-2010, 03:40 PM
Post: #7
RE: What did early Muslim scientists and Philosophers achieve
Europe was basically the butt-crack of the world during Islam's glory day. We had nothing, we did nothing. The Arab world was the true center for scientific thought. We were stuck in feudalism...
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01-26-2010, 03:53 PM
Post: #8
RE: What did early Muslim scientists and Philosophers achieve
Thank you Holy Babylon. You are indeed holy, I mean honest.

‘It was under the influence of,’ wrote Robert Briffault in the Making of Humanity, ‘Arabian and Moorish revival of culture and not in the 15th century, that the real renaissance took place.’

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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01-26-2010, 03:57 PM
Post: #9
RE: What did early Muslim scientists and Philosophers achieve
I agree, we had nothing desirable, in fact, it was the Muslims who got us out of the Dark Ages in the first place. The start of the Crusades was the first true unification of ideas in Europe, although I wish it had been under better circumstances...
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01-26-2010, 04:33 PM
Post: #10
RE: What did early Muslim scientists and Philosophers achieve
(01-26-2010 03:40 PM)Holy Babylon Wrote:  Europe was basically the butt-crack of the world during Islam's glory day...

Not so.

"Increased understanding of the accomplishments of the Middle Ages in the 19th century challenged the characterization of the period as one of darkness, and knowledgeable modern scholars who study this era avoid the term as misleading and inaccurate" (Wikipedia).

http://www.biblicaltraining.org/ --- http://www.ntwrightpage.com/
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