In this lengthy read on The New Atlantis, writer and former assistant editor of National Affairs Hillel Ofek, explains the gradual demise of Arabic science, which went from a Golden Age that gave us algebra, navigational tools, pens, printing and understanding of disease, to a world "buried in profound darkness."
To anyone familiar with this Golden Age, roughly spanning the eighth through the thirteenth centuries a.d., the disparity between the intellectual achievements of the Middle East then and now particularly relative to the rest of the world is staggering indeed. In his 2002 book What Went Wrong?, historian Bernard Lewis notes that for many centuries the world of Islam was in the forefront of human civilization and achievement. Nothing in Europe, notes Jamil Ragep, a professor of the history of science at the University of Oklahoma, could hold a candle to what was going on in the Islamic world until about 1600. Algebra, algorithm, alchemy, alcohol, alkali, nadir, zenith, coffee, and lemon: these words all derive from Arabic, reflecting Islams contribution to the West.
Today, however, the spirit of science in the Muslim world is as dry as the desert. Pakistani physicist Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy laid out the grim statistics in a 2007 Physics Today article: Muslim countries have nine scientists, engineers, and technicians per thousand people, compared with a world average of forty-one. In these nations, there are approximately 1,800 universities, but only 312 of those universities have scholars who have published journal articles. Of the fifty most-published of these universities, twenty-six are in Turkey, nine are in Iran, three each are in Malaysia and Egypt, Pakistan has two, and Uganda, the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, and Azerbaijan each have one.
|One of the Missing Ships from the Franklin Expedition Has Been Found|
|Mini Museum: Portable Collection of Authentic Curiosities|
|Every Attack Made Against #WikiLeaks, Was Made Against Daniel Ellsberg When He Released the Pentagon Papers in 1971|
|MSN Messenger's Obituary|
|Combat in 15th Century Armour|
|3D Printed $10,000 House|
|“Facebook played a 'determining role' in stirring up hatred against Rohingya Muslims.”|
|Future Horizon's Plasma Lightsabers|
|“The Pentagon’s relatively quiet tip-toe into converting the U.S. Armed Forces to a machine-majority force.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“New green policies so hard-hitting and extensive they can be felt across the world.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“Amazon Paid No Federal Taxes In 2017.”|
|“Traditional path to economic growth may close to all but a handful of developing countries.”|
|“Contains all the same components as cow’s milk, [...] but doesn’t use any animals in its production process.”|
|“Clearly, no one is going to build weapons that have sufficient general intelligence to, for example, decide and execute a plan to take over the world.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|