The Muslim’s Past

13 01 2008

Again today, I watched a presentation on the glorious past of muslim scientific development and contribution from muslim scientists. I don’t exactly remember how many times I have seen such typical presentation. Countless sources in the Internet, German magazines, Welt der Wunder, History Channel… They’re everywhere. We’re not lacking of them.

I like the “western” presentation style better, because they’re usually presented as a sort of acknowledgment to the contributions made by extraordinary people in the past. My muslim “colleagues”, however, have a different style of presentation. They almost always end by persuading the audience to seek the wonder of the past (THE, that, their past, I mean), so that they can improve their (our) situation in the future.

Of course, 7 centuries of remarkable science and engineering achievements is something not to be ignored. But it is not the ONLY thing that bring changes to the world. The Egyptian, the Greek, the Roman, the French, the English, the German, the American, just to mention some, they have done pretty much the same thing. And thus, I think, it is not something to be overly worshiped. It is one step (a very big step indeed) in the course of science, but it is not the only step.

Moreover, many things have happened since 1492 AD. Gauss, Newton, Leibniz, and hundreds of other mathematicians have laid the ground for modern mathematics, and through it we have, among others, answered the 2000 years question posed by Diophantine equations and Fermat’s last theorem; Two waves of industrial revolution had changed the world of engineering for ever; Wernher von Braun had invented rocket, and man had gone to the moon with it; The wave-particle duality nature of light has been discovered through quantum theory; Modern optics have enabled man to build telescopes to observe the very far end of the universe. And thus, not only our good-old-mother-earth has been mapped, a large part of the UNIVERSE also has; The discovery of DNA, the better understanding on human brain, nervous, and hormonal system, have brought a giant leap from 15th century’s medication system; Navigation? think of GPS for God’s sake!

And 600 quintillion of other bla bla blas…

Therefore, believing that bringing back the knowledge of the 15th century science, and hoping that the future can be better because of it, is, I think, a complete nonsense. There has been a lot of improvement and complexity in science since then, and, I think, these are the things where we need to put our focus on.

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2 responses

18 01 2008
anonymous

Of course not the ancient knowledge has the account in our live today but at least we shall get as much spirit and motivation in gaining success as the past muslims. It’s good that you already do.

12 04 2008
ihedge

cant agree more.

acknowledge the past, understand the current state, participate and collaborate for future progress!

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