Author Topic: The truth about the Islamic "golden-age" and its' contributions  (Read 1951 times)


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The truth about the Islamic "golden-age" and its' contributions
« on: December 05, 2010, 04:43:05 AM »
Occasionally up here on this forum we will be inundated by how much Islam has contributed to the world through science and justice. The justice claims are all to easy to disprove but the scientific claims are distinctly more difficult to address. The reasons for this is a general lack of knowledge about the history of scientific advancement, both in western civilization and the middle-east, and it is easy to take for granted that Islam is no real contributor to scientific advancement when one considers that the most technologically stunted, and intellectualy stagnant societies in the world are Islamic countries.

In an endeavor to help set the record straight I will include a quick overview of the myth of Islamic contributions and a quick rebuttal from

The Myth:

Muslims often claim that their religion fostered a rich heritage of scientific discovery, “paving the way” for modern advances in technology and medicine.  On this topic, they usually refer to the period between the 7th and 13th centuries, when Europe was experiencing its “Dark Ages” and the Muslim world was acquiring new populations and culture through violent conquest.

The Truth:

Although there is no arguing that the Muslim world was relatively more advanced during this period than the “Christian” world, the reasons for this have absolutely nothing to do with the Islamic religion (other than its mandate for military expansion).  In fact, the religion tends to discourages knowledge outside of itself, which is why the most prolific Muslim scholars have always tended to be students of religion rather than science.

There are four basic reasons why Islam has little true claim to scientific achievement:

First, the Muslim world benefited greatly from the Greek sciences, which were translated for them by Christians and Jews.  To their credit, Muslims did a better job of preserving Greek text than did the Europeans of the time and this became the foundation for their own knowledge.  (One large reason for this, however, was that access by Christians to this part of their world was cut off by Muslim slave ships and coastal raids that dominated the Mediterranean during this period).

Secondly, many of the scientific advances credited to Islam were actually “borrowed” from other cultures conquered by the Muslims.  The algebraic concept of “zero”, for example, is erroneously attributed to Islam when, in fact, it was a Hindu discovery that was merely introduced to the West by Muslims. 

In truth, conquered populations contributed greatly to the history of “Muslim science” until gradually being decimated by conversion to Islam (under the pressures of dhimmitude).  The Muslim concentration within a population is directly proportional to the decline of scientific achievement.  It is no accident that the Muslim world has had little to show for itself in the last 800 years or so, since running out of new civilizations to cannibalize.

Third, even accomplished Muslim scientists and cultural icons were often considered heretics in their day, sometimes with good reason.  One of the greatest achievers to come out of the Muslim world was the Persian scientist and philosopher, al-Razi.  His impressive works are often held up today as “proof” of Muslim accomplishment.  But what the apologists often leave out is that al-Razi was denounced as a blasphemer, since he followed his own religious beliefs – which were in obvious contradiction to traditional Islam.

Fourth, even the contributions that are attributed to Islam (often inaccurately) are not terribly dramatic.  There is the invention of certain words, such as alchemy and elixir (and assassin, by the way), but not much else that survives in modern technology which is of practical significance.  Neither is there any reason to believe that such discoveries would not have easily been made by the West following the cultural awakening triggered by the Reformation.

As an example, consider that Muslims claim credit for coffee, since the beans were discovered in Africa (at the time, an important venue for Islamic slave trading) and first processed in the Middle East.  While this is true, it is also true that the red dye used in many food products, from cranberry juice to candy, comes from the abdomen of a particular female beetle found in South America.  It is extremely unlikely that the West would not have stumbled across coffee by now (although, to be fair, coffee probably expedited subsequent discoveries).

In fact, the litany of “Muslim” achievement often takes the form of rhapsody, in which the true origins of these discoveries are omitted - along with their comparative significance to Western achievement.  One often doesn't hear about the dismal fate of original accomplishments either.  Those who brag about the great observatory of Taqi al-Din in [freshly conquered] Istanbul, for example, often neglect to mention that it was quickly destroyed by the caliphate.

At the end of the day, the record of scientific, medical and technological accomplishment is not something over which Muslim apologists want to get into a contest with the Christian world.  Today’s Islamic innovators are primarily known for turning Western technology, such as cell phones and airplanes, into instruments of mass murder.

To sum up, although the Islamic religion is not entirely hostile to science, neither should it be confused as a facilitator.  The great achievements that are said to have come out of the Islamic world were made either by non-Muslims who happened to be under Islamic rule, or by heretics who usually had little interest in Islam.  Scientific discovery tapers off dramatically as Islam asserts dominance, until it eventually peters out altogether. 

In addition to these words from consider the reality of this claim today.

"The Global Islamic population is approximately 2,000,000,000 or 33% of
the world's population.  They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

1988 - Najib Mahfooz

1978 - Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1994 - Yaser Arafat:
     1990 - Elias James Corey - raised Catholic (erroneously listed as a Muslim in this annonymous email)
1999 - Ahmed Zewai

Economics: (zero)

Physics: (zero)

1960 - Peter Brian Medawar
     1998 - Ferid Mourad - Episcopalian (erroneously listed as a Muslim in this annonymous email)

(A very kind reader brought to my attention that the author of the email copied here was incorrect regarding two of the persons listed as Muslims. Ferid Mourad and Elias James Corey were not. Thus the tally is even bleaker than it had been!)

TOTAL: SEVEN (FIVE is the actual total barring any future corrections)

The Global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000, or about 0.02% of the world's population.

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

1910 - Paul Heyse
1927 - Henri Bergson
1958 - Boris Pa sternak
1966 - Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 - Nelly Sachs
1976 - Saul Bellow
1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 - Elias Canetti
1987 - Joseph Brodsky
1991 - Nadine Gordimer World

1911 - Alfred Fried
1911 - Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 - Rene Cassin
1973 - Henry Kissinger
1978 - Menachem Begin
1986 - Elie Wiesel
1994 - Shimon Peres
1994 - Yitzhak Rabin

1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 - Henri Moissan
1907 - Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 - Gabriel Lippmann
1910 - Otto Wallach
1915 - Richard Willstaetter
1918 - Fritz Haber
1921 - Albert Einstein
1922 - Niels Bohr
1925 - James Franck
1925 - Gustav Hertz
1943 - Gustav Stern
1943 - George Charles de Hevesy
1944 - Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 - Felix Bloch
1954 - Max Born
1958 - Igor Tamm
1959 - Emilio Segre
1960 - Donald A. Glaser
1961 - Robert Hofstadter
1961 - Melvin Calvin
1962 - Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 - Richard Phil lips Feynman
1965 - Julian Schwinger
1969 - Murray Gell-Mann
1971 - Dennis Gabor
1972 - William Howard Stein
1973 - Brian David Joseph son
1975 - Benjamin Mottleson
1976 - Burton Richter
1977 - Ilya Prigogine
1978 - Arno Allan Penzias
1978 - Peter L Kapitza
1979 - Stephen Weinberg
1979 - Sheldon Glashow
1979 - Herbert Charles Brown
1980 - Paul Berg
1980 - Walter Gilbert
1981 - Roald Hoffmann
1982 - Aaron Klug
1985 - Albert A. Hauptman
1985 - Jerome Karle
1986 - Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 - Robert Huber
1988 - Leon Lederman
1988 - Melvin Schwartz
1988 - Jack Steinberger
1989 - Sidney Altman
1990 - Jerome Friedman
1992 - Rudolph Marcus
1995 - Martin Perl
2000 - Alan J. Heeger

1970 - Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 - Simon Kuznets
1972 - Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 - Leonid Kantorovich
1976 - Mil ton Friedman
1978 - Herb ert A. Simon
1980 - Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 - Franco Modigliani
1987 - Robert M. Solow
1990 - Harry Markowitz
1990 - Merton Miller
1992 - Gary Becker
1993 - Robert Fogel

1908 - Elie Metchnikoff
1908 - Paul Erlich
1914 - Robert Barany
1922 - Otto Meyerhof
1930 - Karl Landsteiner
1931 - Otto Warburg
1936 - Otto Loewi
1944 - Joseph Erlanger
1944 - Herb ert Spencer Gasser
1945 - Ernst Boris Chain
1946 - Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 - Tadeus Reichstein
1952 - Selman Abra ham Waksman
1953 - Hans Krebs
1953 - Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 - Joshua Lederberg
1959 - Arthur Kornberg
1964 - Konrad Bloch
1965 - Francois Jacob
1965 - Andre Lwoff
1967 - George Wald
1968 - Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 - Salvador Luria
1970 - Julius Axelrod
1970 - Sir Bernard Katz
1972 - Gerald Maurice Ed elman
1975 - Howard Martin Temin
1976 - Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 - Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 - Daniel Nathans
1980 - Baruj Benacerraf
1984 - Cesar Milstein
1985 - Michael Stuart Brown
1985 - Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 - Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 - Gertrude Elion
1989 - Harold Varmus
1991 - Erwin Neher
1991 - Bert Sakmann
1993 - Richard J. Roberts
1993 - Phillip Sharp
1994 - Alfred Gilman
1995 - Ed ward B. Lewis

TOTAL: 129

A Muslim mentioned that the email copy and pasted above missed Ahmed Hassan Zewail, not noticing that it missed the category of Chemistry altogether.



    1999 - Ahmed Hassan Zewail


    * 1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer
    * 1906 - Henri Moissan
    * 1910 - Otto Wallach
    * 1915 - Richard Willstaetter
    * 1918 - Fritz Haber
    * 1943 - George Charles de Hevesy
    * 1961 - Melvin Calvin
    * 1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz
    * 1972 - William Howard Stein
    * 1977 - Ilya Prigogine
    * 1979 - Herbert Charles Brown
    * 1980 - Paul Berg
    * 1980 - Walter Gilbert
    * 1981 - Roald Hoffmann
    * 1982 - Aaron Klug
    * 1985 - Herbert Hauptman
    * 1985 - Jerome Karle
    * 1989 - Sidney Altman
    * 1992 - Rudolph Marcus
    * 1998 - Walter Kohn
    * 2004 - Avram Hershko, Aaron Ciechanover and Irwin Rose
    * 2006 - Roger Kornberg

I will be adding to this section as I come across more specific cases but for the time this should suffice.
Doth that man love his Lord who would be willing to see Jesus wearing a crown of thorns, while for himself he craves a chaplet of laurel? Shall Jesus ascend to his throne by the cross, and do we expect to be carried there on the shoulders of applauding crowds? Charles H. Spurgeon


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Re: The truth about the Islamic "golden-age" and its' contributions
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 07:32:03 AM »
After posting a link to Muslim inbreeding I recalled this thread after I again read the devastating effects on intellect.

"Lowered intellectual capacity is another devastating consequence of Muslim marriage patterns. According to Sennels, research shows that children of consanguinous marriages lose 10-16 points off their IQ and that social abilities develop much slower in inbred babies.

The risk of having an IQ lower than 70, the official demarcation for being classified as “retarded,” increases by an astonishing 400 percent among children of cousin marriages.

(Similar effects were seen in the Pharaonic dynasties in ancient Egypt and in the British royal family, where inbreeding was the norm for a significant period of time.)

In Denmark, non-Western immigrants are more than 300 percent more likely to fail the intelligence test required for entrance into the Danish army.

Sennels says that “the ability to enjoy and produce knowledge and abstract thinking is simply lower in the Islamic world.” He points out that the Arab world translates just 330 books every year, about 20% of what Greece alone does.

In the last 1,200 years years of Islam, just 100,000 books have been translated into Arabic, about what Spain does in a single year. Seven out of 10 Turks have never even read a book.

Sennels points out the difficulties this creates for Muslims seeking to succeed in the West. “A lower IQ, together with a religion that denounces critical thinking, surely makes it harder for many Muslims to have success in our high-tech knowledge societies.”

Only nine Muslims have every won the Nobel Prize, and five of those were for the “Peace Prize.” According to Nature magazine, Muslim countries produce just 10 percent of the world average when it comes to scientific research (measured by articles per million inhabitants).

In Denmark, Sennels’ native country, Muslim children are grossly overrepresented among children with special needs. One-third of the budget for Danish schools is consumed by special education, and anywhere from 51% to 70% of retarded children with physical handicaps in Copenhagen have an immigrant background.

Learning ability is severely affected as well. Studies indicated that 64% of school children with Arabic parents are still illiterate after 10 years in the Danish school system. The immigrant drop-out rate in Danish high schools is twice that of the native-born.

Mental illness is also a product. The closer the blood relative, the higher the risk of schizophrenic illness. The increased risk of insanity may explain why more than 40% of the patients in Denmark’s biggest ward for clinically insane criminals have an immigrant background.

The U.S. is not immune. According to Sennels, “One study based on 300,000 Americans shows that the majority of Muslims in the USA have a lower income, are less educated, and have worse jobs than the population as a whole.”
Sennels concludes:

There is no doubt that the wide spread tradition of first cousin marriages among Muslims has harmed the gene pool among Muslims. Because Muslims' religious beliefs prohibit marrying non-Muslims and thus prevents them from adding fresh genetic material to their population, the genetic damage done to their gene pool since their prophet allowed first cousin marriages 1,400 years ago are most likely massive. (This has produced) overwhelming direct and indirect human and societal consequences."