Humanities Section > History General Discussion

Why the Arabic World Turned Away from Science



I haven't read it till the end and just gave a cursory glance at some point, but among all that bullshit this looks a good one esp. about the historical questions on civilsations in general. One of my friends want to translate it.

--- Quote ---… but it is important to keep in mind that the decline of scientific activity is the rule, not the exception, of civilizations. While it is commonplace to assume that the scientific revolution and the progress of technology were inevitable, in fact the West is the single sustained success story out of many civilizations with periods of scientific flourishing. Like the Muslims, the ancient Chinese and Indian civilizations, both of which were at one time far more advanced than the West, did not produce the scientific revolution. …
--- End quote ---

Our scientific revolution came later so it probably seems like it's sustaining, although under attack.  Whether we go the way of the revolutions that preceded us is yet to be seen.  We all know about the Arabs and their highly advanced science and math, which did eventually get tossed aside, but how long was that period of leadership?  Has the West surpassed that in duration?

The sad thing is watching it happen.  I can't predict the future, and I have this feeling that science will be with us for a long time, but there will always be the objectors.  And it's possible that objectors could throw it all out the window, except for the weapons. We will always hang on to those.

That's the thing though. We actually don't know anything real about that period. They're just starting. A bit like the renaissance and early modern Euope I guess. (I realise that the former is a movement, while the latter is a period with blurred borders.) But we know even less about this period. And if you consider that we know more about Ancient Roman and Greek than we know about is pretty bad in historical terms. It's just the impressions, the massive collective imagery... makes Renaissance sound so known because European nations owned up to it later. It's a mess.  the coffee table books; the mile stone quality. That remained. One of the many reasons why in the middle 20th century onwards Renaissance was defined and evaluated very differently. Eventually, people woke up and stopped looking at it as  some shining contrast compared to the Middle Ages which was supposed to be dark. 19th century as passage to transformation gave a lot off damage and but porvided extra information for future generations while doing so in terms of historical evaluation.

And from what is little known of the period in question, apparently most of the figures are not even Arabic. The period is quite long...according to the paper up to 1600s. It's a huge slice of time esp. when you don't know what was going on in basic terms. 


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