Islam and Science

Interesting observation from American Thinker. This is from Anthony Bostom's review of Spencer's new book: Religion of Peace? Why Christianity is and Islam Isn't.

o Spencer cites Professor Rodney Stark's observation that Islam lacks "a conception of God appropriate to underwrite the rise of science...Allah is not presented as a lawful creator, but is conceived of as an extremely active God who intrudes in the world as he deems it appropriate. This prompted the formation of a major theological bloc within Islam that condemns all efforts to formulate natural laws as blasphemy in that they deny Allah's freedom to act." Not surprisingly leading historians and sociologists of science have concluded " is indisputable" that modern science -- an organized, empirically directed effort to explain natural phenomena through theory construction and testing -- that modern science "emerged in the seventeenth century in Western Europe and nowhere else".

o Moreover, even notions about supposed Islamic contributions to pre-modern science and philosophy -- fostered by the triumphalism of the jihad conquests -- are purely mythical. Despite taking credit for the invention of algebra, the Arabs did no more than copy the treatises of Diophantus of Alexandria, who lived in the fourth century. The numerals commonly referred to as Arabic, and the system of notation which bears the same name, derive from Hindustan. The Arabs themselves called arithmetic "Indian reckoning," and geometry "Indian science" (hendesya). Arab knowledge of botany was obtained either from the treatises of Dioscorides, or from Hindu and Persian works. In chemistry, or rather alchemy, they were the pupils of the Alexandrian school. Djeber and Rhazes, the latter an Islamized Persian, did no more than copy the works of Alexandrian Hermetism. There is the same absence of invention regarding medicine. Greek physicians, from the third century of the Christian era, made their way into Persia, where they founded a celebrated school which soon became the rival of Alexandria. But earlier it was especially at Alexandria that Greek medicine emerged from empiricism and assumed a truly scientific character. Aaron, a Christian priest who lived at Alexandria in the seventh century, compiled and translated into Syriac the treatises of Galen, under the name of Pandects of Medicine. This Syriac version was translated into Arabic in 685, becoming a major source used by Arab physicians, most notably Serapion, Avicenna, Albucasis, and Averroes-whose own Koullyat is merely a translation of Galen. Rhazes best known work, the Kanoun, is a compilation of the treatises of Galen, from the Syriac versions. And the Arabs left the doctrines of Aristotle (and of the Jewish and Christian philosophers) just as they were transmitted to them by various non-Muslims-reproduced, but neither invented nor improved.

Abu Daoud says: I would like to invite our readers to provide, with references, any information to contribute to this discussion. Muslims in the ME generally think that they are almost entirely responsible for advanced science today, the depressing--and it is depressing--state of science in the Muslim world is due to colonialism and Zionism and the usual suspects. Some Muslims I have spoken to are very sanguine about the topic. One man, when asked about the scientific backwardness of Islamdom today, simply said, "Maybe they got lazy." Spencer is proposing that Islamdom was never a genuine contributor.


Robert Sievers said…
The article ponders the origin of scientic branches. Interestingly enough, most Muslims believe the Qur'an is the world's most amazing science book, claiming it contains everything from embryology to the speed of light.

I believe the backwardness of science within Islam stems from this belief, rather than lazyness or fear of questioning the sovereignty of Allah.
Rob said…
I think the "backwardness" of Islam may have more to do with the preponderance of men who study theology in madrassas, rather than with any innate "stupidity". If most Catholic men go to seminaries and theology schools, then Catholics will probably be "backward" scientifically. Same goes for Islam. I am sure that when the number of Muslim men in scientific institutes go up, this will be a non-issue.

"Why do so many Muslim men presently choose otherwise?" might be a question woorth looking into, though.
USpace said…
Ms. Amanpour is a total dhimmidiot. The more people that discuss the truths of Islam and Islamic Jihad, the more the Jihadis
will be put in there place. The rule of law must apply, the US isn't letting Muslim gangs run around raping schoolgirls.

If they ever try that stuff over here, I'm sure the cops will crack down hard.
This is what is happening less and less in Europe. And that is just like spoiling little kids rotten.
If the law continues not to clamp down and enforce law regarding violence it will just get worse and worse.

Robert Spencer is a hero! Islam as practiced by the Islamofascists will never be peace because if
Earth ever became ruled by Sharia Law all the multitudes of Islamic factions that hate each other would keep fighting each other forever.

Educate ourselves and others!

The Religion of Peace

Prophet of Doom

The Brussels Journal

Jihad Watch

Gates of Vienna

Hard To Swallow

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
allow religions to kill

believe its followers
when they claim to be peaceful

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never criticize prophets

there is no hateful scripture
claim it can't be translated

Robert Spencer Gets Peaceful Death Threats

Do American Liberals Want a Taliban Europe?

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