Arabic science

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Xelasnave.1947, Dec 6, 2017 at 10:24 PM.

  1. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    There was a time where they seemed to lead the world in science.
    Think of how many stars were named by them.
    Their contribution to maths.
    You could make a list.
    We know what went wrong but imagine if they were still on track what else they may have contributed.
    Alex
     
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  3. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I admire their ability to eke out an existence in the desert.
     
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Most aren't eking out an existence.
     
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  7. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes they go out there with just pointed sticks and shovels made out of animal bones and drill for oil.

    Alex
     
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    You could just as well be talking about the US.
     
  9. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I am probably more upbeat about the US than most.
    Even though it seems you have a fair share of problems your country certainly engages in research and seems to value education.
    Alex
     
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    For now. I'm sure the decline of the Arab world did happen overnight either.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  11. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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  12. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I watched a utube video.
    Neil DeGrasse said it started going downhill when one of their holy men said that maths was the work of the devil and his words took root.
    I don't know but I plan looking into their history but busy with Chinese history at the moment.
    If he is correct it will be yet another example of how religion takes humans backwards.
    I started watching the video Bowser posted but stopped it and will watch all of it later.
    But it seems encouraging that maybe they are getting back on track as I suspect they employed a little math with their city..although the math may be limited to foreign contractors.
    Alex
     
  13. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you.
    I started it but will watch more of it later.
    Alex
     
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    What do you know went wrong?
     
  15. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    All I know is what I parrot from a DeGrasse where he suggests the end of their golden age came about from
    Abu Hamid al Ghazali influencing their society by saying in effect maths was the work of the devil.
    Alex
     
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    That wouldn't help, certainly. But I think it was a bit more complicated than that.
     
  17. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I have no doubt that you are correct.
    Part of my motivation in my post was to start discussion on the matter motivated in part by contributing something that folk may care to talk about and in part by side stepping the effort to actually do my own research.. Although I did not see it that way at the time of posting.

    Alex
     
  18. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I'd take anything de Grasse Tyson says outside the narrow confines of physics itself with a large pinch of salt. This is a man who thinks philosophy is a waste of time. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/mass...on-and-the-value-of-philosophy_b_5330216.html If he's that ignorant, I wouldn't trust his knowledge of the history of science at all.

    He may possibly be right about muslim science, but I'd want to see references to a more authoritative source than deGrasse Tyson. From what I have found quickly on the internet, there does seem to be a view that the rise of a new clericism froze science in the muslim world some time around 1500: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_attitudes_towards_science

    But it seems unclear whether this was the real reason, or something else to do with the traditions and priorities of the Ottomans, as the decline in contributions to science seems to have set in around the time they became the dominant muslim power. Interestingly it seems muslim science survived the reconquest of Spain by Christianity, which I might otherwise have thought could have been be a factor.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 8:33 AM
  19. river

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    Interesting
     
  20. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I would think most folk have had such a thought cross their mind at some stage...particularly in their early assessment of its worth.

    Sortta like rejecting religion...when one encounters an untruth or what they perceive to be nonsense in the bible they will reject it and not bother to learn more.

    And if one does not persist in its study that dismissive approach possibly will remain.

    I only changed from thinking similar after reading Popper.
    I had read History of Western Philosophy and although most impressed by its author generally felt that, well, that was a waste of time.

    However it may be that it is history that he presents.

    At utube U I am starting on the Arabic Golden Age and the first clip and only clil so far mentions how this holy man was mainly responsible as he introduced a law I think that required folk to follow... He presented the proposition that society should not question but listen to an experts interpretation of their holy book and you guessed it he was the expert they should listen to.
    Reading between the lines I suspect his approach was most acceptable to the ordinary folk who regarded the scientists as taking away the role of God and the word of their Joly book.

    And already I see a parallel between those times and ours.

    There is a push back against the intelligencia world wide from science to economics, politics and medicine.

    I may not have been taking notice but I think when I was young science was more highly regarded than I notice these days...certainly when I went to church there was no discussions against science and I never heard of anyone who took the bible literally.
    Science was at a pinnacle sputnik was up there.
    Kids wanted to be scientists.

    Many influences swing back and forth and one does not have to look hard to find many folk who think science is wrong, that current medicine is best replaced by herbs...

    That a rich property developer with no political experience would make the best president.

    I suspect our holy man listened to the common folk who felt threatened by knowledge and capitalised on the mood of the multitude.

    I am not political but I feel Trump used the annoyance felt by the less educated masses to his advantage.

    Probably the holy man ran a similar deal... After all one man can't change things he needs to touch something sensitive for the masses otherwise the establishment takes him out...one way or another.

    Anyways those are my initial thoughts so hopefully someone can add or subtract to the subject.
    Alex
     
  21. river

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    Why ?
     
  22. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I felt Popper explained well the limitations of science and what it could do and what it could not do.
    I would recommend reading Popper before anything else certainly before attacking the straw men folk build which serves no useful purpose.
    Alex
     
  23. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

    I think you nail it when you mention Karl Popper. Many of us have almost continual recourse to Popper when explaining what science is and what it is not, to people on this forum. Also the concept of scientific theories as models of how the world works, rather than depictions of absolute reality. And the avoidance of claims about "truth" in science. And then there are the continuing debates about what quantum theory really says about the nature of the world and the paradoxes thereby arising. And the clarification of the distinctions between methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism, physicalism etc, which so often come up in discussion with creationists. These are all philosophical issues. If one ignores them one rapidly finds it impossible to communicate properly with non-scientists or to link science to other fields of thought.

    So it seems to me glib and fatuous to dismiss the relevance of philosophy to science, let alone its relevance to people's thinking about themselves and the world outside the discipline of science. Scientists often seem to forget that the world of ideas does not begin and end with the study of nature!

    It is interesting to speculate that the decline in scientific prowess in the muslim world might have been due to the clerics putting a stop to explorations that seemed to conflict with religious teaching. This was the very thing that in Christendom, at the same period of history, did not take place, in spite of forces within the church that tried, at various times, to put the genie of science back in the bottle.

    The Christian church has always had powerful leadership, whereas the sources of authority in Islam are more diffuse. One might have expected it would have been Christendom that would have snuffed out science. But then church leaders were educated people with a long tradition of interpretation of sacred texts and creating doctrines themselves, so maybe it was easier for them to produce authoritative workarounds for the new discoveries than proved to be possible in islam.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 10:05 AM

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