History of Science in Islam

Thread starter #1
"With about 1.6 billion adherents, Islam is the second largest religion on Earth. Yet, its followers represent less than one percent of the world’s scientists. Only a handful of people from Muslim-majority countries have won Nobel Prizes in science. However, up until the Mongol siege of Baghdad in 1258, Islamic science was the most advanced in the world. In comparison with the past, the modern disparity is staggering. Thus, to understand the present-day lack of scientific accomplishments, we must explore the past. In this first instalment of a new series, we will go over the rise and decline of Islamic attitudes towards science. "

 
#2
Nothing Islamic about science.
 
#5
Muslims invented chess, algebra and the numbers that you have on your mailbox right now... :whip:

To name just a few... facepalm:
What exactly did Islam have to do with any of their inventions?
 

ambush80

Senior Member
#6
I think the point is that a VERSION of Islam can coexist and even influence an Age of Enlightenment. The same way that a VERSION of Christianity can allow for and fuel an Enlightenment or a Dark Ages.
 
#7
Muslims invented chess, algebra and the numbers that you have on your mailbox right now... :whip:

To name just a few... facepalm:
Nope. Chess and "Arabic" numerals both originated in India before Islam existed, and both were later adopted and refined in the Arabic world. The Muslims called the numbers "Hindu numerals."

The basics of algebra were developed by the Greeks, Algebra was refined and popularized by an Arab, right at the beginning of the Muslim era. If anything, it seems that the strict tenets of Islam has crushed the creative potential of a once innovative people, much as the Christian church suppressed scientific research and understanding in Medieval Europe.
 
#9
much as the Christian church suppressed scientific research and understanding in Medieval Europe.
Other than shake my head and laugh I don't know what else to say about this. Maybe suggest "The Genesis of Science" or the lectures of Thomas Madden.

Please don't tell me y'all believe, everyone but Columbus thought the world was flat.
 
#10
Other than shake my head and laugh I don't know what else to say about this. Maybe suggest "The Genesis of Science" or the lectures of Thomas Madden.

Please don't tell me y'all believe, everyone but Columbus thought the world was flat.
No, Eratosthenes the Greek, had already pretty accurately figured out the circumference of the world around 250 BC. The church held to the theory that the Earth was the center of the universe, which was known to be false by many cultures. It says so in the Bible, they said. You can't tell me that the religious/political control structure in Europe at the time didn't control the lives of people and suppress scientific advancement because they viewed it as a threat to their control if a discovery differed from their dogma. People who went against the teachings and edicts of the church were executed for heresy, quite commonly. Christianity was at the stage then that Islam is now. And yes, I believe that the rise of Islam stifled scientific creativity in the Arab world.
 
#11
No, Eratosthenes the Greek, had already pretty accurately figured out the circumference of the world around 250 BC. The church held to the theory that the Earth was the center of the universe, which was known to be false by many cultures. It says so in the Bible, they said. You can't tell me that the religious/political control structure in Europe at the time didn't control the lives of people and suppress scientific advancement because they viewed it as a threat to their control if a discovery differed from their dogma. People who went against the teachings and edicts of the church were executed for heresy, quite commonly. Christianity was at the stage then that Islam is now. And yes, I believe that the rise of Islam stifled scientific creativity in the Arab world.
Actually I can tell you that if not for the Church, the dark ages might have really been dark. It was popular during the "Enlightenment " to try and discount anything that came between them and the Greeks. Again I'd recommend the lectures of Thomas F. Madden.
 
#12
Actually I can tell you that if not for the Church, the dark ages might have really been dark. It was popular during the "Enlightenment " to try and discount anything that came between them and the Greeks. Again I'd recommend the lectures of Thomas F. Madden.
It was popular during the Spanish Inquisition to discount the lives of people who were at odds with the church. I recommend not relying on one biased person for all your history needs.
 
#13
It was popular during the Spanish Inquisition to discount the lives of people who were at odds with the church. I recommend not relying on one biased person for all your history needs.
I don't rely on a single person. There are many scholars out there who will tell you the same thing. Madden just does a good job of explaining things in laymans terms.
 
#15
I don't rely on a single person. There are many scholars out there who will tell you the same thing. Madden just does a good job of explaining things in laymans terms.
OK then, I'm convinced. The Middle Ages were a great time, and the church was all into inclusiveness and tolerance, didn't want to control anything or anybody, and stuff like the Inquisition never happened. Galileo wasn't convicted by the Church of heresy, forced to recant his silly notions of the earth revolving around the sun because they were "foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture," and he didn't spend the rest of his life under house arrest with his works banned from the public at their orders.

They loved Darwin, too.
 
#16
OK then, I'm convinced. The Middle Ages were a great time, and the church was all into inclusiveness and tolerance, didn't want to control anything or anybody, and stuff like the Inquisition never happened. Galileo wasn't convicted by the Church of heresy, forced to recant his silly notions of the earth revolving around the sun because they were "foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture," and he didn't spend the rest of his life under house arrest with his works banned from the public at their orders.

They loved Darwin, too.
:bounce:
 
#17
However, up until the Mongol siege of Baghdad in 1258, Islamic science was the most advanced in the world.
You do realize that's what's pretty much commonly referred to as the "Dark Ages". Not exactly a high bar.
Just sayin.
 
#18
Mohammed advised sick people to drink camel urine. Muslims to this day are still looking for ways to validate that advice. That's Islamic science for you.
 
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