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SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 10:26 AM
I've been following a series of programs on PBS about Muslims, their faith, devotions, and their dissidents who speak about about various topics of interest. Tonight they had a profile of a woman "America at a Crossroads." who was an outspoken critic of how women were treated in mainly Muslim countries.

She remarked, at some point, how Muslims had invented many (things) that contributed to the success of Muslim countries. I wondered what these things were because, frankly, I can't recall a single Islamic inventor who is noted in history as contributing to the benefit of mankind. I was stumped to think of a single person.

Can someone help me here? Why can't I think of any person or device that made a significant difference toward the advancement of medicine, manufacturing, telecommunications, etc.

Well?

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 10:32 AM
P.S. Don't cheat and google a search. Be honest. Who comes to the top of your head.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 10:32 AM
Zero.

Seriously, they invented zero in mathematics, as I understand it.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 10:33 AM
Look up Algebra. Look up the pointed arch, the one used in Gothic cathedrals; a side effect of the Crusades; the Astrolabe -- these are the ones from the top of my head; there are lots of others.

Oh, there are medical instruments too, that entered the West via Rome, but were from Islamic doctors.

ETA: There's a first hand report from a Muslim traveler to Europe in the late Middle ages that I use in teaching; he's appalled by the squalor and barbaric customs. I'll see if I can find it online.

Robert Toy
04-20-2007, 10:33 AM
Google much?

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/article350594.ece

It is not called cheating, it is called research, or you just say I can't think of a thing so they must not have done much. ;)

WarrenP
04-20-2007, 10:34 AM
I don't know of any inventions (meaning like products, devices, etc) off hand, but to be fair, have not done any researching into this...

I wanted to see the film Islam versus the Islamists, which was commissioned to be part of this series, paid for, filmed, produced, and has now been cut from the viewing list.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 10:41 AM
Okay, I got the zero bit, but didn't make the algebra connection. Math was never my strong suit.

Astronomy, too, by the way. Muslim astronomers named most of the stars. I guess there were inventions which led them to be leaders in the field.

WarrenP
04-20-2007, 10:42 AM
I think that the concept of zero was in Babylonia first, around 300BC, then the Mayans later on had their version, then the Indians had theirs. I belive those three were the ones that "came up" with zero (or at least the concept) on their own. From India it went to China, then to the Arabia and Europe.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 10:45 AM
I'm no math scholar, but I heard zero was a muslim concept. I've been wrong before. (I have been wrong since I got married.) You might be right, Warren.

Does the astronomy hold up?

aruna
04-20-2007, 10:45 AM
Zero.

Seriously, they invented zero in mathematics, as I understand it.

I don't know if that person was Muslim, but definitely the zero was discovered (hardly invented?) in India. Indians (but I'm not sure if Muslim or Hindu) also contributed a great deal in other areas of mathematics and in particular, astronomy.

That is off the top of my head. Now I'm going to check it out! I'll be back!

Joe270
04-20-2007, 10:48 AM
Aruna's going to google! That's cheating! No fair!

McDuff
04-20-2007, 10:48 AM
Off the top of my head, without reading the rest of the thread, I'm pretty sure that they invented a bunch of key concepts in mathematics, astronomy and ethics, although without doing some more research I couldn't give you specific names or dates. There was a lot of cross-cultural dissemination of ideas between the Middle-East, North Africa and Europe during the last thousand years, so it's hard to pin down in my head what came from where, but I'm pretty sure that without the influence of Islamic culture our intellectual climate would be far less rich than it is now.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 10:50 AM
So the most notable discover was zero? I'm thinking t.v. stuff or artifical heart. Medicine or sciences since zero was invented. I know Marconi, Bell, and a few others. But Muslim inventors escapes me. Is this because many of the inventions I am used to (like computers) are western and not something I could easily peg as Muslim?

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 10:50 AM
Algebra is actually an Islamic name, after the inventor.

And there are high tech patents that are Islamic created and owned.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 10:51 AM
Off the top of my head, without reading the rest of the thread, I'm pretty sure that they invented a bunch of key concepts in mathematics, astronomy and ethics, although without doing some more research I couldn't give you specific names or dates. There was a lot of cross-cultural dissemination of ideas between the Middle-East, North Africa and Europe during the last thousand years, so it's hard to pin down in my head what came from where, but I'm pretty sure that without the influence of Islamic culture our intellectual climate would be far less rich than it is now.Who, what, when and where? Can you tell me who invented the telephone?

blacbird
04-20-2007, 10:53 AM
Okay, I got the zero bit, but didn't make the algebra connection. Math was never my strong suit.


The very word "algebra" derives from the Arabic.

Six hundred years ago, the Islamic world was far ahead of Europe in most academic fields. It is shameful (and many Muslims recognize this) that the emergence of Wahabi fundamentalism and its anti-intellectual emphasis served to truncate this flowering of knowledge and inquiry.

caw

Joe270
04-20-2007, 10:53 AM
A russian invented the telephone, Spooky. Bell stole the idea.

blacbird
04-20-2007, 10:54 AM
Who, what, when and where? Can you tell me who invented the telephone?

I once nominated another comment as the stupidest I'd ever seen on these boards. I hereby withdraw that nomination.

caw

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 10:56 AM
I once nominated another comment as the stupidest I'd ever seen on these boards. I hereby withdraw that nomination.

cawA simple no would suffice. Geeezzee...no need to get all riled up.

WarrenP
04-20-2007, 10:57 AM
I'm no math scholar, but I heard zero was a muslim concept. I've been wrong before. (I have been wrong since I got married.) You might be right, Warren.

Does the astronomy hold up?

Zero is tough, as the concept of "nothing" is different from the concept of "no math value" to the concept of the numerical zero. The closest to what we call zero, as in the numerical value of zero was in India, but the Babylonains and the Mayans both had the concepts of nothing waaaay earlier....

I'm not sure about the astronomy concept.

The hard part here is we are talking ideas, which are much harder to pin down when compared to devices.

Take the Algebra discussion. The math that is used in Algebra was around well before the word Algebra even existed. The word Algebra is most definately Islamic in origin, but the concepts and equations we associate with Algebra were being used and debated hundreds of years before the word came into being.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 10:58 AM
The very word "algebra" derives from the Arabic.

Six hundred years ago, the Islamic world was far ahead of Europe in most academic fields. It is shameful (and many Muslims recognize this) that the emergence of Wahabi fundamentalism and its anti-intellectual emphasis served to truncate this flowering of knowledge and inquiry.

cawNot bad. But can you name any specific person besides the abundance of generalities attributed to the sciences or arts? Who (a name) comes to mind when you think of Muslim inventions?

Joe270
04-20-2007, 11:00 AM
Ok, Blacbird, if you're so quick:

Who's buried in Grant's Tomb?

No fair googling it. No help from the peanut gallery.

aruna
04-20-2007, 11:04 AM
OK, the zero came not from Muslims but from Hindus - as I thought. Wikipedia has much to say about it here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_and_technology_in_ancient_India
Those are all Sanksrit terms and names.
Spooky, it's not relevant to "name individual inventors" when speaking of these cultures. In India, for instance, it is simply not customary to attributre greatness in any discipline to a single person, as anonymity is considered a virtue.

And remember that there may have bene a parallel development between East and West, so that even if you have only heard of the Western developments, it means nothing more than that - you have not heard of the Esatern parallels. Doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Anyway, I did my research and found out the following:
Abul Hasan is distinguished as the inventor of the Telescope, which he described to be a “Tube, to the extremities of which were attached diopters".

The Pendulum was invented by Ibn Yunus, a genius in science who lived in the reign of Aziz Billah and Hakim bi-Amr-illah, the Fatimid monarchs of Egypt. The invention of the Pendulum led to the measurement of time by its oscillations. His outstanding work Sijul Akbar al-Hakimi, named after his celebrated patron Hakim bi-Amr-illah, was acknowledged to be the masterpiece on the subject replacing the work of Ptolemy. It was translated into Persian by Omar Khayyam in 1079.

The first watch was made by Kutbi, a renowned watch-maker of his time. During the Abbasid reign the use of a watch became quite common and the famous Harun-ar-Rashid once despatched a watch as a gift to his celebrated contemporary, the French Emperor Charlemagne.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 11:06 AM
So if we can't google we can wiki? Foul! I cry foul!

BottomlessCup
04-20-2007, 11:06 AM
Not bad. But can you name any specific person besides the abundance of generalities attributed to the sciences or arts? Who (a name) comes to mind when you think of Muslim inventions?

Is that really relavent, Spook? We know our own culture and history much better than any others.

The fact that nobody here knows the name of the guy who invented something doesn't mean it's not a valuable contribution to society.

Plus, "Muslim inventions" is kind of a weird idea. Do we refer to Edison's work as "Christian inventions?"

aruna
04-20-2007, 11:07 AM
Not bad. But can you name any specific person besides the abundance of generalities attributed to the sciences or arts? Who (a name) comes to mind when you think of Muslim inventions?

I explained in my former post why this question is irrelevant. Muslims and Hindus deliberately seek anonymity.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 11:07 AM
Blackie, methinks you have sought aid on the above question. Hmmm.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 11:09 AM
Spooky, it's not relevant to "name individual inventors" when speaking of these cultures.I'm sorry, but that is not the point of this exercise. I simply stated (after the narrator on PBS expounded on Muslim inventions) if anyone could recall a single invention or inventor within recent times who made a significant contribution to humanity.

I don't think it's fair to look up past contributions because if someone on a national program tells the public about generic inventions of a society then I want to know what they were and by whom. That's just my curiousity.

I'm not making any valued judgements about Muslims. This is a pop quiz and research means you failed the test..

BottomlessCup
04-20-2007, 11:10 AM
I don't think it's fair to look up past contributions because if someone on a national program tells the public about generic inventions of a society then I want to know what they were and by whom. That's just my curiousity.

Huh?

oswann
04-20-2007, 11:12 AM
I'm not making any valued judgements about Muslims...

Bollocks.

Os.

aruna
04-20-2007, 11:13 AM
“ We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made. ”
—Albert Einstein

Indian Mathematics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_mathematics)


Hindu-Arabic numeral system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu-Arabic_numeral_system)

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 11:13 AM
Take the Algebra discussion. The math that is used in Algebra was around well before the word Algebra even existed. The word Algebra is most definately Islamic in origin, but the concepts and equations we associate with Algebra were being used and debated hundreds of years before the word came into being.

Err . . .some of them, yes. But the body of theory as a whole, is generally regarded by historians of mathematics as Arabic, and Islamic. Here's the American Heritage definition (http://www.bartleby.com/61/52/A0195200.html).

from Arabic al-jabr (wa-l-muqbala), the restoration (and the compensation), addition (and subtraction) : al-, the + jabr, bone-setting, restoration (from jabara, to set (bones), force, restore;

And yeah, I was wrong; it's not a dude's name.

Finally, I 'm a discomfitted by the tenor of this thread, in some parts. It's a bit too ethnocentric. That's not, I hope, the intention.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 11:14 AM
Bollocks.

Os.So this response is I don't know of any? Please leave me out of any antagonistic ideals you may have. I am genuinely curious if anyone can name a specific person or invention that made a significant difference to humanity. What's wrong with being curious?

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 11:17 AM
I'm sorry, but that is not the point of this exercise. I simply stated (after the narrator on PBS expounded on Muslim inventions) if anyone could recall a single invention or inventor within recent times who made a significant contribution to humanity.

Uh, no, that isn't what you said at all:


She remarked, at some point, how Muslims had invented many (things) that contributed to the success of Muslim countries. I wondered what these things were because, frankly, I can't recall a single Islamic inventor who is noted in history as contributing to the benefit of mankind. I was stumped to think of a single person.

Can someone help me here? Why can't I think of any person or device that made a significant difference toward the advancement of medicine, manufacturing, telecommunications, etc.

I don't think it's fair to look up past contributions because if someone on a national program tells the public about generic inventions of a society then I want to know what they were and by whom. That's just my curiousity.

I'm not making any valued judgements about Muslims. This is a pop quiz and research means you failed the test..

I didn't, look again, dude. I'm not convinced that you're not making value judgments, but you are being ethnocentric.

oswann
04-20-2007, 11:18 AM
So this response is I don't know of any? Please leave me out of any antagonistic ideals you may have. I am genuinely curious if anyone can name a specific person or invention that made a significant difference to humanity. What's wrong with being curious?

This reeks of ethnocentricity which your so-called curiousness is masking thinly. I don't know of any life changing Norweigan inventions either but I'm not going to point my finger at them.

Os.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 11:18 AM
Ethnocentric? Oh gwad. I got to run and look up another word from Lisa. Gee, please give me a time out on the verbose use of allegory words. I'm plum tucker tonight. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 11:20 AM
Ethnocentric? Oh gwad. I got to run and look up another word from Lisa. Gee, please give me a time out on the verbose use of allegory words. I'm plum tucker tonight. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Geeze Spooky; you're a writer.

I'm a lot of things, but I generally use words with care, and that's one you'd usually learn in high school western civ classes. It's damn easy to figure out from context and the roots: ethno + centric (http://www.bartleby.com/61/93/E0229300.html).

oswann
04-20-2007, 11:21 AM
eth∑no∑cen∑trism http://cache.lexico.com/g/d/premium.gif http://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pnghttp://cache.lexico.com/g/d/speaker.gif (https://secure.reference.com/premium/login.html?rd=2&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdictionary.reference.com%2Fbrowse%2 Fethnocentric) /ˌɛθhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngnoʊˈsɛnhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngtrɪzhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[eth-noh-sen-triz-uhhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation Ėnoun 1.Sociology. the belief in the inherent superiority of one's own ethnic group or culture.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 11:26 AM
Spooky, it seems you got the answer. No one seems to know of a single invention. Contributions, certainly, inventions, no.

I wonder why folks attack such a simple question, seems odd to me. Why can't Spooky ask this question?

I've heard questions asked about American inventors, Canadian scholars, Japanese inovation, Israeli scientists, european influence, asian influence, jewish influence, german influence ad nauseum. No one can mention muslim without fear of retribution, is that the point here?

He asked a simple question. He was answered.

WarrenP
04-20-2007, 11:28 AM
Err . . .some of them, yes. But the body of theory as a whole, is generally regarded by historians of mathematics as Arabic, and Islamic. Here's the American Heritage definition (http://www.bartleby.com/61/52/A0195200.html).
...

We can split algebra into pre- and post- math equations, with the pre and post based on the Islamic word. Basic algebra equations were around in Egypt and Babylon, with linear and quadratic equations, all before the mid 800s (or so) that the term "Algebra" came into being.

If we just go to the term, then it will naturally only include the history of the term itself, but if we go to the math theory, the equations were around before the word.

All that being said, I do think it is fair to say that modern Algebra, the stuff we deal with and is taught in school today, is Islamic-based.

poetinahat
04-20-2007, 11:29 AM
Another question: Why is this thread in Politics & Current Events? Doing so puts the question in a political context.

blacbird
04-20-2007, 11:33 AM
Another question: Why is this thread in Politics & Current Events? Doing so puts the question in a political context.

It was intended to be in a political context by the OP. That is the sole reason for its posting.

caw

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 11:33 AM
This reeks of ethnocentricity which your so-called curiousness is masking thinly. I don't know of any life changing Norweigan inventions either but I'm not going to point my finger at them.

Os.Did I fail to mention that I was watching a series on PBS where the narrator mentioned the numerous (vague) Islamic inventions? I was curious, as I still am, as to what they were or why don't I recall any one specific invention. As for ethnocentric, I haven't had a chance to look it up but it can't be a good thing.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 11:34 AM
Spooky, it seems you got the answer. No one seems to know of a single invention. Contributions, certainly, inventions, no.

I wonder why folks attack such a simple question, seems odd to me. Why can't Spooky ask this question?

I've heard questions asked about American inventors, Canadian scholars, Japanese inovation, Israeli scientists, european influence, asian influence, jewish influence, german influence ad nauseum. No one can mention muslim without fear of retribution, is that the point here?

He asked a simple question. He was answered.

Ahh if I'd seen the same question asked about Walloons, I'd have the same reaction. The question as asked, and the context of the thread, is quite clear.

Moreover, he didn't like the answers, and then proceeded to quibble; that's also an interesting reaction.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 11:35 AM
Did I fail to mention that I was watching a series on PBS where the narrator mentioned the numerous (vague) Islamic inventions? I was curious, as I still am, as to what they were or why don't I recall any one specific invention. As for ethnocentric, I haven't had a chance to look it up but it can't be a good thing.

Jingo forbid you should click a link or read the definition posted . . .

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 11:37 AM
Spooky, it seems you got the answer. No one seems to know of a single invention. Contributions, certainly, inventions, no.

I wonder why folks attack such a simple question, seems odd to me. Why can't Spooky ask this question?

I've heard questions asked about American inventors, Canadian scholars, Japanese inovation, Israeli scientists, european influence, asian influence, jewish influence, german influence ad nauseum. No one can mention muslim without fear of retribution, is that the point here?

He asked a simple question. He was answered.Thanks Joe. I hoped one person would understand the simplicity of my question. I wasn't going on an attack of Islamic culture or their contributions to humanity. I honestly couldn't think of a single, notable, invention from a Muslim country.

My bad. Sorry. I will try to sequester my curiosity in the future.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 11:39 AM
Jingo forbid you should click a link or read the definition posted . . .Forgive me, Lisa, but I am on a die up connection and keep losing it (my connection). I wish I were rich enough to afford suitable internet speeds like the rich folks who can post ten replies in a few seconds.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 11:40 AM
Medi, I'm not looking for an arguement, but my post implied, rather than specified, than no one could come up with an invention.

The only arguement I have is one of semantics.

The tread, I thought, was rather fun until others brought in a political aspect.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 11:42 AM
I am going to remind myself never to ask a question after watching PBS because it will only get me in trouble.

blacbird
04-20-2007, 11:43 AM
Mayans and Chinese independently found ways to predict eclipses, with intricate calendars and astronomical observations far beyond those of contemporaneous Europeans. I think Arabs may also have done this, but I'm not sure. Nobody can attribute these discoveries to any individual. Some anonymous Mongol invented the compound bow, never surpassed as an instrument of projectile warfare until guns came along. Oh, yeah, and somebody in China invented gunpowder. And some Saracen (Arab) invented Damascus steel, a blade-making metal we still can't duplicate with today's technology. An unknown Roman-age Greek created the Antikythera mechanism, which still mystifies us. Refined aluminum artifacts have been found in ancient central Asian archeological sites; nobody knows how they were made, or by whom. Tens of thousands of years ago some anonymous genius painted extraordinary art on the walls of caves in southern France. Who invented the wheel? Who dug the first well?

This is one of the stupidest, most xenophobic and racist threads I've ever seen on these boards.

caw

Joe270
04-20-2007, 11:46 AM
Ah, all fine, Blac, but it seems you still seek the answer to my question to you. Too late.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 11:46 AM
This is one of the stupidest, most xenophobic and racist threads I've ever seen on these boards.

caw
Oh boy. Do watch the series on PBS "America at a Crossroads." which aired tonight. Then when the narrator gets to the point about all the Muslim inventions, and doesn't give any recent ones or specifics, ask yourself which ones? That's what I did because I couldn't simply remember a single one. So where does this fit in your assertions? Can't a person ask a simple question without people inserting their own agendas?

Joe270
04-20-2007, 11:51 AM
I think we have encountered closed minds. No discussion is allowed when people start ranting 'racism, hatred, nazis'.

Of course, it then gets difficult to understand that which you are not allowed to discuss without personal attacks.

Sad.

poetinahat
04-20-2007, 11:52 AM
I am going to remind myself never to ask a question after watching PBS because it will only get me in trouble.
Come on, bud. You posted a question asking "what have Muslims done for the world?" in the Current Events/Political Forum.

Given that there are a whole lot of Muslims and Islamic nations in the headlines these days, people are bound to be skeptical of the "Just a simple question" line.

Peggy
04-20-2007, 11:52 AM
It seems like a weird question - do you think the program you watched was misrepresenting the facts? My impression is that the high point of Islamic science and invention was in the middle ages, and that they did have a lot of technical expertise that spread through Europe via Spain - off the top of my head I'd guess they were in developing developing processes used in alchemy (which I'm pretty sure is an Arabic-derived word), such as distillation, and devices used in astronomy.

poetinahat
04-20-2007, 11:59 AM
Hmmm.

Option 1: Start a thread in Absolute Write Water Cooler - Politics and Current Events.

Option 2: Google search: "muslim inventions".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2006/03/09/1001_muslim_inventions_event_feature.shtml

1001 Muslim Inventions
Coffee, carpets, cameras and clocks: just some of the many 'forgotten' inventions of the Muslim world being shown in a ground-breaking exhibition launched in Manchester. Find out more:

<snipped>

Professor Al Hassani is chairman of the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation. He says there are many things we rely on today which originated centuries ago in the Muslim world. These include:

clocks including the first pendulum
discovering coffee and sherbert, the first soft drink
soap and public baths
advances in medicine from pills to the first surgical tools
astronomy, algebra and architecture

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 12:00 PM
Forgive me, Lisa, but I am on a die up connection and keep losing it (my connection). I wish I were rich enough to afford suitable internet speeds like the rich folks who can post ten replies in a few seconds.

Try graduate school; it's got it's perks.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 12:02 PM
It seems like a weird question - do you think the program you watched was misrepresenting the facts? My impression is that the high point of Islamic science and invention was in the middle ages, and that they did have a lot of technical expertise that spread through Europe via Spain - off the top of my head I'd guess they were in developing developing processes used in alchemy (which I'm pretty sure is an Arabic-derived word), such as distillation, and devices used in astronomy.No, now that I had a chance to think about it. I think the narrator wasn't giving enough details. I wanted more. I wanted specific inventions because that was she was describing to me. I was following her story with great interest. She weaved a story of her life, her book about women's rights in Islamic cultures, and then went on a surrey about the history of Islam. So I was following along and when she got to the point about all their inventions it amounted to "running water".

I thought, "what?" is she talking about. There had to be more than that and I came here and asked a question "Can anyone think of a single, recent, invention or Muslim inventor who made a significant contribution to humanity?"

Fair enough question given my curiosity because I couldn't relate to what she said. I couldn't fill the void she left me. Some writers do this and it is aggravating. They leave out stuff and I go away scratching my head. Does this make sense?

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 12:05 PM
Medi, I'm not looking for an arguement, but my post implied, rather than specified, than no one could come up with an invention.

I did. The astrolabe. Now, yes, the Greeks did have astrolabes, but the astrolabe as popularized and used by Western Europe was the very much better Arabic astrolabe.

The only arguement I have is one of semantics.

The tread, I thought, was rather fun until others brought in a political aspect.

You know, I'm trying to be patient, but it's a little difficult. Go back and look at the initial posts from Spooky; whether or not he was aware of it, his text is exceedingly ethnocentric in tone.

I don't see a political "tone" as you put it, in the responses, but this is a political forum, so presumably Spooky thought it was political.

WarrenP
04-20-2007, 12:05 PM
In addition to searching "Muslim inventions" I think there would be better results in searching "Persian inventions".

Just like I think you would get better results searching "American inventions" instead of "Catholic inventions".


...

Option 2: Google search: "muslim inventions".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2006/03/09/1001_muslim_inventions_event_feature.shtml

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 12:05 PM
Try graduate school; it's got it's perks.Too old and set in my ways. Undergrad is my best achievement for this life.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 12:07 PM
Wow, Poet, impressive list of acomplishments.

I think the Romans had some pretty impressive bathing techniques a touch earlier. Ooops, can't make sense, must stay in lock-step. . .

I am cowed by the righteous indignation heaped onto this tread. I agree, Muslims invented everything, starting with zero. There was nothing before them.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 12:08 PM
Come on, bud. You posted a question asking "what have Muslims done for the world?" in the Current Events/Political Forum.

Given that there are a whole lot of Muslims and Islamic nations in the headlines these days, people are bound to be skeptical of the "Just a simple question" line.Does current events include PBS or just print media. I watched an educational program and came back with questions I didn't know the answers to.

As for world events and my agenda. Nope, my brain doesn't work that way. Sorry, I can't focus on more than one topic at at time without a sticky or assisted aid.

blacbird
04-20-2007, 12:09 PM
I wasn't going on an attack of Islamic culture or their contributions to humanity.

The hell you weren't. Your note that you're on a "die up" connection could not be more appropriate.

caw

Joe270
04-20-2007, 12:10 PM
Jesus Christ, (Oops.), Mohammed, I can't type fast enough for this tread.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 12:12 PM
Blacbird still seeks the elusive answer to the common question.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 12:12 PM
Wow, Poet, impressive list of acomplishments.

I think the Romans had some pretty impressive bathing techniques a touch earlier. Ooops, can't make sense, must stay in lock-step. . .

I am cowed by the righteous indignation heaped onto this tread. I agree, Muslims invented everything, starting with zero. There was nothing before them.

No, actually, the Romans didn't. They got their system of alternate cold and hot bath from Roman contact with Africa.

They got soap from the Celts, who invented it independently from the Arabic world.

Ya'll need to read medieval lit a heck of a lot more. It improves the mind.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 12:14 PM
Medi, that's all way before there were muslims. Don't split hairs. We're not supposed to google here, remember?

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 12:15 PM
The hell you weren't. Your note that you're on a "die up" connection could not be more appropriate.

cawWow, hidden aggression. A die up connection is slang for dial up. Sorry, I'll try to be more PC in the future.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 12:17 PM
No, actually, the Romans didn't. They got their system of alternate cold and hot bath from Roman contact with Africa.

They got soap from the Celts, who invented it independently from the Arabic world.

Ya'll need to read medieval lit a heck of a lot more. It improves the mind.Cool. I didn't know that about the Celts. Thanks. I did know about the Roman occupation of England until around 635a.d.?

Joe270
04-20-2007, 12:18 PM
Watch it, Spook, you said PC and aggression in the same paragraph. You're deep in the doo-doo, now.

There's no saving you. The light, seek the light of the enlightened ones . . . the same ones who won't let you ask a question.

blacbird
04-20-2007, 12:20 PM
Blacbird still seeks the elusive answer to the common question.

Enlighten me. I must have missed it. Is it "Why do non-American cultures suck?"

caw

Peggy
04-20-2007, 12:21 PM
Fair enough question given my curiosity because I couldn't relate to what she said. I couldn't fill the void she left me. Some writers do this and it is aggravating. They leave out stuff and I go away scratching my head. Does this make sense? Sure. It's just that the "don't peek via Google" admonition at the beginning of the thread gave me the impression that you were only interested in Islamic inventions that were famous enough that we'd know off the top of our heads. I got a "if we don't know about them they can't have been too important" vibe. Maybe I was reading too much in to it.

Actually the question of modern Islamic science is an interesting one (to me). For example, despite the power of religious fundamentalists, Iran has been trying to make itself into a science powerhouse (http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2006/08/22/iran_looks_to_science_as_source_of_pride/) by developing advanced research programs, particularly in human stem cell biology and physics.

Also surprising to me is the fact that undergraduate science and engineering programs in many Middle Eastern countries are dominated by women (http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2007/0201kuwait.shtml). Even in Saudi Arabia, at the universities that admit women, women make up almost half of the science students - essentially the same percentage in the U.S. The women often have trouble finding work after graduation, it's true, but, again, the percentage of women on the science faculty at the Saudi universities is not too far different than in the U.S. I suspect that that says something about cultural attitudes about science in Islamic countries, but I'm not exactly sure what.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 12:22 PM
It was a quick question. You shot a quick question to Spook, so I thought it fair. Now you've had time to research. No longer in play.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 12:22 PM
Medi, that's all way before there were muslims. Don't split hairs. We're not supposed to google here, remember?

Dude, I'm a Medievalist -- I don't have to Google, even though Islam is not one of my areas; I can barely read Arabic, for crying out loud.

Check out the sig; sheesh.

What do you all think Medievalist means, anyway?

Joe270
04-20-2007, 12:26 PM
Medi, the point was baths pre-dating mohammed and the founding of said religion.

Not doubting your knowledge of the time, no. Never. I'll come to you for advice for my next "Bill and Ted" screenplay.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 12:27 PM
Cool. I didn't know that about the Celts. Thanks. I did know about the Roman occupation of England until around 635a.d.?

No, they pretty much scampered around 409 or so. Give or take a few years for stragglers and what not.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 12:29 PM
1.) Sure. It's just that the "don't peek via Google" admonition at the beginning of the thread gave me the impression that you were only interested in Islamic inventions that were famous enough that we'd know off the top of our heads. I got a "if we don't know about them they can't have been too important" vibe. Maybe I was reading too much in to it.

2.) Actually the question of modern Islamic science is an interesting one (to me). For example, despite the power of religious fundamentalists, Iran has been trying to make itself into a science powerhouse (http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2006/08/22/iran_looks_to_science_as_source_of_pride/) by developing advanced research programs, particularly in human stem cell biology and physics.

3.) Also surprising to me is the fact that undergraduate science and engineering programs in many Middle Eastern countries are dominated by women (http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2007/0201kuwait.shtml). Even in Saudi Arabia, at the universities that admit women, women make up almost half of the science students - essentially the same percentage in the U.S. The women often have trouble finding work after graduation, it's true, but, again, the percentage of women on the science faculty at the Saudi universities is not too far different than in the U.S. I suspect that that says something about cultural attitudes about science in Islamic countries, but I'm not exactly sure what.1.) Well the part about not doing a google search was because I figured if the smart people here can't come up with anything specific then that means I ain't alone with the "huh?" gimme more details.

2.) I got that too from the broadcast. I think this area of intellect and religion is an interest read. For later.

3.) I already knew that from previous readings and research.

Nice talking with you.

Medievalist
04-20-2007, 12:30 PM
Medi, the point was baths pre-dating mohammed and the founding of said religion.

Not doubting your knowledge of the time, no. Never. I'll come to you for advice for my next "Bill and Ted" screenplay.

Feel free; they used me for the Joan of Arc bit in the first film.

poetinahat
04-20-2007, 12:30 PM
Wow, Poet, impressive list of acomplishments.

I think the Romans had some pretty impressive bathing techniques a touch earlier. Ooops, can't make sense, must stay in lock-step. . .

I am cowed by the righteous indignation heaped onto this tread. I agree, Muslims invented everything, starting with zero. There was nothing before them.
No need to be nasty, Joe.

In your own words,

He asked a simple question. He was answered.

I was just providing a link for context. The point was that, if you really want to know the answer to a question, there are better ways to do it than starting a thread in a Current Events forum.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 12:33 PM
No, they pretty much scampered around 409 or so. Give or take a few years for stragglers and what not.How interesting. I watched the PBS series on Roman occupation, but forgot the details on dates. Pity, there is so much to know and learn and such little time. Oh well, I did learn a lot tonight from this thread and will do a little googling tomorrow on Muslim inventions because I'm still curious and nobody answered my question.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 12:35 PM
Feel free; they used me for the Joan of Arc bit in the first film.


Cool, Medi, now my daughter will have to read all your posts.

Man, I really hope you didn't participate in that beastiality thread in Office Party.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 12:37 PM
I was just providing a link for context. The point was that, if you really want to know the answer to a question, there are better ways to do it than starting a thread in a Current Events forum.But, but, Rob that wasn't the original point of my exercise. And if I watch a show on PBS does that make it current event material. Or am I to only discuss what is in print? I think Public Television offers some good material for discussion. But is it current or politicial and belong here? I leave this answer and fate to the founders of logic in AW.

Good night, and bless you folks for putting up with a stupid old man.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 12:39 PM
Poet, I don't get the nasty part. Seems to me others have taken this to nasty.

I've approached this thread lightheartedly from my first post, the first response on the thread.

Where the heck else does this go? I dunno, I've had threads moved from other forums. The moves were appropriate, I fully agree. Perhaps this should move, got any suggestions?

MacAllister
04-20-2007, 12:40 PM
Part of it, Jon, is that --as already pointed out -- other cultures don't place nearly the significance on individual accomplishment or achievement, as Westerners, particularly Americans, do.

That's why the question seems so very ethnocentric.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 12:44 PM
Spooooook. Noooo. I stand alone. I surrender. I am Borg.

Peggy
04-20-2007, 12:45 PM
1.) Well the part about not doing a google search was because I figured if the smart people here can't come up with anything specific then that means I ain't alone with the "huh?" gimme more details. Got it. Like I said, that wasn't the vibe I got. Maybe there should be a "curious minds want to know" emoticon.

2.) I got that too from the broadcast. I think this area of intellect and religion is an interest read. For later.

3.) I already knew that from previous readings and research. Maybe interesting topics for another thread?

2 Nice talking with you. You too :)

poetinahat
04-20-2007, 12:48 PM
First, Spook, no worries. As always.

Second, I agree that "what did Muslims invent" is not the same as "what Muslim inventions can you think of". If your point was to highlight that Western people are generally unaware of how many inventions are traceable to Muslim civilisations, then fair enough. If the question was, "Did these people invent anything ever?", then it's a different ballgame. Starting the thread here made some people suspicious; there's been some high-voltage discussion around the place lately, and you were involved in some of 'em.

Third, of course it doesn't matter whether news is in print, on the telly, or in another medium. I never suggested that at all -- never even questioned what prompted your thread.

I remember watching Are You Being Served? on PBS. That doesn't make ribald innuendoes a current events issue. Is the series you talk about presented in a current-events context? That would be my question.

Take care, Jon.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 12:52 PM
I have been assimilated.

But Blac never did answer the question.

poetinahat
04-20-2007, 01:01 PM
Poet, I don't get the nasty part. Seems to me others have taken this to nasty.

I've approached this thread lightheartedly from my first post, the first response on the thread.
I know, Joe -- that "nice list" comment just took me aback (especially since it was only a small representation of what the exhibition was showing).

Where the heck else does this go? I dunno, I've had threads moved from other forums. The moves were appropriate, I fully agree. Perhaps this should move, got any suggestions?

I guess, if it were just out of general interest, it could've gone in Office Party. If Spooky had been doing some background digging for a piece, it might go in Story research.

I'm not sure it ought to be moved, but is it really about current events or politics? I just meant to point out that having it in this forum gave the question a particular context that, perhaps, wasn't intended.

oswann
04-20-2007, 01:02 PM
The thread is bollocks and you are trying to dig your way out Spooky, and it just ain't working. It came across as you meant it to, I got it, didn't like it, and called you out. That's the way it goes sometimes. Good night.

Os.

Joe270
04-20-2007, 01:04 PM
I posted a downer thread on Office Party about the VT shootings which came here. OParty doesn't seem appropriate, either.

Hey, on the up side, I found this forum. Cool, huh?

Stacia Kane
04-20-2007, 01:04 PM
Stitches.

The earliest use of stitches I found in a medical capacity, catgut stitches, came from Muslims in the 7th or 8th century.

I discovered this when researching stitches last year.

I think it's impossible not to look at some of the stunning architecture of cities like Jerusalem, or read anything about the Crusades, and not know that the Muslims were far, far more advanced than they were given credit for at the time, or that Crusaders brought a lot more home than sand.

As for modern inventions, none come to me offhand, but I think the idea that there are no Muslim scientists at work in the world today is laughable. Which doesn't mean I think that's what the OP is trying to imply (she says, edging away from the political discussion bits), just that anyone with eyes can see that isn't true.

robeiae
04-20-2007, 07:11 PM
ETA: There's a first hand report from a Muslim traveler to Europe in the late Middle ages that I use in teaching; he's appalled by the squalor and barbaric customs. I'll see if I can find it online.
There's also the Alexiad by Anna Comnena, which gives a lovely first-hand account of the Crusaders, from a Byzantine perspective. Smelly, dirty, rude, crude...Of course, she was a Christian.

Really, the problem with this thread is the partitioning of people into religious and/or ethnic groups, then assuming a responsibility for the group for creating/providing an invention/discovery. Hell, it's a problem with the PBS special, too.

"Muslims" didn't invent anything. Neither did "Christians" or "Persians."

The cotton gin is not an American invention. It's an Eli Whitney invention. His creativity in this regard says nothing about me, simply because we share the same nationality.

Bravo
04-20-2007, 07:45 PM
spooky, you can enjoy joe's support all you want, but he hasn't been around long enough to see you go on verbal rants saying things like: i care about muslims about as much as i care about paper i wipe my ass with (mac might remember that b/c she deleted the post) and there was the time you went off on me for suggesting that mousaoui might be schizophernic.

youre not fooling anyone with this thread.

stand by your intentions and suck up the responses.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 07:48 PM
spooky, you can enjoy joe's support all you want, but he hasn't been around long enough to see you go on verbal rants saying things like: i care about muslims about as much as i care about paper i wipe my ass with (i'm sure mac will remember that one b/c she deleted the post) and there was the time you went off on me for suggesting that mousaoui might be schizophernic, as well as countless other anti-muslim/anti-islam posts here.

youre not fooling anyone with this thread.

stand by your intentions and suck up the responses.Bravo, I think you have me mistaken for someone else. Would you care to show me where I posted anything related to anti-muslim or islamic beliefs. I don't recall all these insults that I am accused.

FatTire
04-20-2007, 07:50 PM
Forgive me, Lisa, but I am on a die up connection and keep losing it (my connection). I wish I were rich enough to afford suitable internet speeds like the rich folks who can post ten replies in a few seconds.


Aren't you the guy who told us all that you make $100K + a year? I'm a teacher and even I can afford broadband!

Your question isn't genuine. It reeks of American Self Centeredness. Just because you canít think off the top of your head what Muslim contributions have been to the world society does not make them any less, or any more significant than American inventions. This thread is just one more attempt to rip a culture down and insight a flame war.

The mere fact that you now try to hide behind your words makes you a coward in my book. Instead of asking a pointless question, Google it and answer it for yourself. Save us the trouble of having to read your hyperbole.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 07:58 PM
Believe what you want. I can't change that, so maybe Mac should just lock the thread and move on. I had my question answered within a few mintues of posting the original question. If you choose to make more of it than that then I guess that's your agenda and not mine.

Bravo
04-20-2007, 08:05 PM
Bravo, I think you have me mistaken for someone else. Would you care to show me where I posted anything related to anti-muslim or islamic beliefs. I don't recall all these insults that I am accused.

i dont have the energy to go thru all your old posts, so im just going to delete that last part.

hopefully you got what you wanted out of this thread.

better luck next time.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 08:19 PM
hopefully you got what you wanted out of this thread.

better luck next time.I did. Poet said it best or close enough to what I was wondering about:

Second, I agree that "what did Muslims invent" is not the same as "what Muslim inventions can you think of". If your point was to highlight that Western people are generally unaware of how many inventions are traceable to Muslim civilisations, then fair enough.

I, including a majority of people who responded, couldn't think of anyone person or invention in recent times attributed toward Muslim society as the narrator on PBS alluded to. I could have done a quick google search, but the question should have been answered by the narrator and not leave me scratching my head at the end of the program.

That's all there was to it. Anyone can make more out of it if they choose.

ETA: On the positive side this thread made me curious to know more about Muslim history as I'm sure did for others as well.

aruna
04-20-2007, 08:25 PM
I still don't undrestand what a guy's/girl's religion has to do with their powers of invention, or why it is of such interest to you.

cletus
04-20-2007, 08:50 PM
Can you name any non-American inventors after the middle of the 1700s? American schooling leads you to believe the rest of the world stopped doing anything worthwhile after colonization.

billythrilly7th
04-20-2007, 09:04 PM
I can't recall a single Islamic inventor who is noted in history as contributing to the benefit of mankind.

Muhammad Ali invented the Rope-A-Dope

http://www.needlenose.com/i/swopa/AliRopes.jpeg

And Kareem Abdul Jabbar invented the SkyHook.

http://www.ael-limassol.net/tickets/jabbar.jpg

Lock thread.

Thank you.

Stacia Kane
04-20-2007, 09:22 PM
American schooling leads you to believe the rest of the world stopped doing anything worthwhile after colonization.

What American school did you go to?

cletus
04-20-2007, 09:26 PM
What American school did you go to?
Graduated from Palmdale High School in California. Before that I was in the Spackenkill School system in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Stacia Kane
04-20-2007, 09:33 PM
Graduated from Palmdale High School in California. Before that I was in the Spackenkill School system in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Well, I can't speak for them, but I can tell you my schools in St. Louis MO most certainly did not ignore "the rest of the world after colonization."

Your school didn't teach you about any of the following?

The English Civil War and Restoration
The French Revolution
The Regency Period
The Industrial Revolution
The Victorian Age
World War One and its causes
World War Two and its causes


None of that rings a bell, huh?

cletus
04-20-2007, 09:38 PM
Well, I can't speak for them, but I can tell you my schools in St. Louis MO most certainly did not ignore "the rest of the world after colonization."

Your school didn't teach you about any of the following?

The English Civil War and Restoration
The French Revolution
The Regency Period
The Industrial Revolution
The Victorian Age
World War One and its causes
World War Two and its causes


None of that rings a bell, huh?
No. Not from school, except The Industrial Revolution and WWI and WWII. But even then the slant was heavily on the US and disregarded most anyone else's involvement.

SpookyWriter
04-20-2007, 09:42 PM
The show I am referring to is Faith Without Fear (http://www.pbs.org/weta/crossroads/about/show_faith_without_fear.html)and aired on PBS last night. Irshad Manji was the narrator who I was referring to in my OP. I suggest to anyone wanting to know more about her visit the PBS site and watch the show.

Stacia Kane
04-20-2007, 09:42 PM
Sorry, man. Your school kind of sucked, huh.

But that's one school. Not an entire country's educational system.

(I forgot to mention the spread of Communism, we covered all of the revolutions too.)

cletus
04-20-2007, 09:45 PM
Sorry, man. Your school kind of sucked, huh.

But that's one school. Not an entire country's educational system.

(I forgot to mention the spread of Communism, we covered all of the revolutions too.)
I also moved across country between my sophmore and junior years. Becuase the states had completely different curriculum there were some things I missed completely and some things I had to do twice!

Stacia Kane
04-20-2007, 10:09 PM
I agree a national curriculum would be a good thing. Then people who move wouldn't face difficulties like that. I know my stepdaughter spent a few months covering old ground when she moved from Vermont to Oregon.

Eeman
04-21-2007, 02:01 AM
If you are interested in Muslim inventions, then visit the following sites:

Muslim Heritage
http://muslimheritage.com/

1001 Inventions
http://www.1001inventions.com/


What do coffee beans, torpedoes, surgical scalpels, arches and observatories all have in common?

Were Leonardo da Vinciís flight ideas originals?

Who devised the casing for pill capsules and where did Fibonacci learn to flex his mathematical fingers?


Find out in this book:

1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World
http://www.1001inventions.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=main.viewSection&intSectionID=405

http://www.1001inventions.com/img/site_020/BookCover3DEd2.jpg

Over 350 pages of colour photographs and written in an accessible style for those with limited knowledge of either Islam or history.

SpookyWriter
04-21-2007, 02:08 AM
Cool, I am going to bookmark them. I'm sure there is a wealth of using information at each site. Thanks for the links.

SC Harrison
04-21-2007, 04:28 AM
Although he was an explorer and not an inventor, Ibn Battuta logged more miles than any other explorer in history.

That was pre-Google, and here's this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Battuta

Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد ابن بطوطة) (born February 24, 1304; year of death uncertain, possibly 1368 or 1377) was a Berber[1] Sunni Islamic scholar and jurisprudent from the Maliki Madhhab (a school of Fiqh, or Sunni Islamic law), and at times a Qadi or judge. However, he is best known as a traveler and explorer, whose account documents his travels and excursions over a period of almost thirty years, covering some 73,000 miles (117,000 km). These journeys covered almost the entirety of the known Islamic world, extending from present-day West Africa to Pakistan, India, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia and China, a distance readily surpassing that of his predecessor, near-contemporary Marco Polo.