Islam and the Left are enemies of science 2

Islam is inherently inimical to science.

This article is not new (first published 2012), but is of permanent interest and importance:

Frank Tipler on Muslim Contributions to Physics and Astronomy

[Frank Tipler is a world-class mathematician, physicist, and cosmologist.]

In his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, President Barack Obama claimed: “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam — at places like Al-Azhar University — that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing.”

Obama is not much of a “student of history” if he believes this. Almost every advance he attributes to the Muslims was due to someone else.

The non-Muslim Chinese invented the magnetic compass and printing (Gutenberg invented not printing, but movable type). The non-Muslim Hindu Indians invented algebra and the decimal numbering system. The non-Muslim European Christians invented the university.

I can’t address advances in medicine, but I have studied the history of astronomy and physics. The Muslims contributed nothing.

All modern physics descends from Galileo (1564 -1642); all modern astronomy from Copernicus (1473-1543). If you study Galileo’s works carefully, as I have, you see that he started with the achievements of the Greek mathematical physicist Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287 BC – c. 212 BC). If you study Copernicus’ works carefully, as I have, you will see that Copernicus’ great book On the Revolutions is essentially a heliocentric re-working of the geocentric astronomy textbook by the Greek Ptolemy (c. 90 AD – 168 AD). Copernicus mostly used even Ptolemy’s data for the positions of the planets. Note the dates for Archimedes/Galileo and Ptolemy/Copernicus. It is as if the Muslim world never existed. As far as their fundamental contributions to physics and astronomy, it did not.

If one reads history of science textbooks prior to about 1980, one will find very little mention of Muslim “contributions” to physics and astronomy. This is reasonable, because there weren’t any. In the past generation, however, political correctness has dictated that Muslims be given credit for discoveries they did not make.

Certainly, the Muslims were a conduit for the discoveries of others. The word “algebra” is indeed derived from an Arabic word. The books of Archimedes and Ptolemy used by Galileo and Copernicus were indeed translations into Latin from the Arabic. But let us never forget that Archimedes and Ptolemy wrote their books in Greek, not Arabic. They were Greeks, not Muslims.

Most of the names for the brightest stars are of Arabic origin, because the names of these stars given in Ptolemy’s textbook were never translated from the Arabic. But do you think that the Arabs were the first humans to observe Rigel and Betelguese, the first and second brightest stars in Orion?

The reason Muslims never developed fundamental physics is because the leading Muslim theologians declared the idea of fixed physical laws to be heretical. The Qur’an (verse 6:64) states: “The Jews have said, ‘God’s hand is fettered.’ Fettered are their hands, and they are cursed for what they have said. Nay, but His hands are outspread; He expends how He will.” The standard Muslim interpretation of this passage has been that there cannot be unchanging physical laws because Allah may change the laws at any moment. In 1982, the Institute for Policy Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan, criticized a chemistry textbook by saying: “There is latent poison present in the subheading Energy Causes Changes because it gives the impression that energy is the true cause rather than Allah. Similarly it is unIslamic to teach that mixing hydrogen and oxygen automatically produces water. The Islamic way is this: when atoms of hydrogen approach atoms of oxygen, then by the Will of Allah water is produced.” The implication is clear: next week, Allah may change his mind about water being a compound of hydrogen and oxygen. With this sort of worldview, how could one possibly be a scientist?

The cosmology of the Qur’an is obviously geocentric, and as a consequence, Al-Azhar University, which Obama singles out for praise in his speech, still teaches Ptolemaic astronomy.

There was one truly great “Muslim” physicist, the Nobel Prize winning Pakistani, Mohammed Abdus Salam. I put “Muslim” in quotes, because Salam belonged to the Ahmadi sect of Islam, a sect that accepts modern science. But in 1974, the Pakistani parliament declared the Ahmadi sect heretical, and its members are currently being persecuted in Pakistan. Contemporary Muslim historians generally do not list Salam as an important Muslim scientist. Had he remained in Pakistan, he quite possibly would have been killed.

During the Cold War, it was commonplace for leftist academics to attribute many discoveries to scientists in Communist countries, discoveries that had actually been made in the West. So now leftist academics attribute to Muslims discoveries that had actually been made by others.

I never expected to hear a president of the United States do so.

And the Left is increasingly hostile and injurious to science:  

Here John Tierney joins John Stossel to talk about the politicization of science and how the dominance of left-wing thinkers in academia and the scientific community impedes progress. For years, liberals have portrayed themselves as champions of science and maligned conservatives as anti-science. As Tierney points out, though, the Left’s opposition to important advances like genetically modified food and the study of human genetics (among others) has done much more damage than, say, conservative creationists, who have zero impact on scientific funding or decision-making.

Posted under Islam, Science by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 25, 2022

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Brought to book 0

Documents from the secret archives of the Vatican have been published in a book by a Belgian publisher, VdH Books.

Some are of great interest.

From the Telegraph:

The book documents the Roman Catholic Church’s often hostile dealings with the world of science and the arts, including documents from the heresy trial against Galileo and correspondence exchanged with Erasmus, Voltaire and Mozart. …

Voltaire? Whatever did he say and to what pope?

One document shows the Mongols pursuing world conquest in the manner of Islam, to which they were soon afterwards to convert –

In a letter dated 1246 from Grand Khan Guyuk to Pope Innocent IV, Genghis Khan’s grandson demands that the pontiff travel to central Asia in person – with all of his “kings” in tow – to “pay service and homage to us” as an act of “submission”, threatening that otherwise “you shall be our enemy”.

Of course popes had their fingers in many a foreign pie –

Another formal letter in the archive highlights the papacy’s political role. In 1863 Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States, wrote to Pope Pius IX claiming that the civil war raging across America was entirely due to “Northern aggression. We desire no evil to our enemies, nor do we covet any of their possessions; but are only struggling to the end that they shall cease to devastate our land and inflict useless and cruel slaughter upon our people.”

They were not punctilious about paying their debts –

Other letters in the archive are more personal. In a 1550 note, Michelangelo demands payment from the papacy which was three months late, and complains that a papal conclave had interrupted his work on the dome of St Peter’s Basilica.

Some of the paper evidence is hard to square with what actually happened –

A yellowed parchment covered in neat black script reveals details of the 14th century trials of the Knights Templar on suspicion of heresy, after which members of the warrior-monk order were pardoned by Pope Clement V.

Pardoned by a pope they may have been, but the last of their Grand Masters was burnt to death in Paris by King Philip the Fair in 1314 in a not unusual display of Christian love and forgiveness.

Some of the documents are already well-known, including a parchment letter written by English peers to Pope Clement VII in 1530, calling for Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon to be annulled. An entreaty written to Rome by another British monarch, but in very different circumstances, is also reproduced in exquisite detail. In 1586 Mary, Queen of Scots, wrote from Fotheringay in Northants to Pope Sixtus V, a few months before she was beheaded for plotting against her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, pledging her eternal allegiance to Rome.

Some need to be read in full –

The documents include letters written to Hitler by Pope Pius XI in 1934 and one received by his controversial successor, Pius XII, from Japan’s Emperor Hirohito.

What, we wonder, has persuaded the Vatican to reveal some of its secrets? And what is it still hiding that would illuminate its own history? Are there documents that would shame it even more than it has openly shamed itself? Hardly seems possible!

Disenlightenment 1

Roger Simon looked in on the Copenhagen Mysteries. These apt observations of his are quoted by Power Line:

On the last day of COP 15, staring at a Jumbotron where Hugo Chavez was addressing the conference, something was nagging at me besides the obvious (that half the audience was enthusiastically applauding a maniac). I was trying to figure out what it was about the conference that so perplexed and disturbed. And then, before the Caudillo had concluded his tedious remarks and long before the “meaningful deal” between the world leaders was announced, I realized what it was. We had returned to the Middle Ages.

A high tech Middle Ages, of course, but still the Middle Ages. Forget the Renaissance, forget the Enlightenment, forget Spinoza, Locke, Galileo and everybody else, we had returned to our roots as gullible and idiotic human beings, as willing to believe in the primacy of anthropogenic global warming [AGW] as we would in the sighting of the Madonna at a river crossing twelve kilometers south of Sienna in 1340.

What puzzles us a little is that Roger Simon is a self-confessed believer in ‘God’. In a recent Pajamas TV video he advised atheists to pray to ‘God’ every day for 30 days to cure them of their atheism. But surely ‘God’ is no less of a superstition than ‘AGW’ or a ‘Madonna’ manifestation?