Re: [asa] History of Science article

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Tue Jan 06 2009 - 09:46:06 EST

What if al-Hassan's ideas were publicised by others from 1200 onwards and his name was forgotten?

In the 12th century many arabic science books were translated into Latin and then built upon by Western "scientists" and then those after Copernicus built on them.

Thus was much good science before Copernicus and we go wrong to insist that science started in a Christian context after 1500. That context helped no end but it was not cause.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Don Winterstein
  To: asa ; Christine Smith
  Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 2:34 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] History of Science article

  The author states that Western science owes many advances to al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham. While not wishing to minimize what he did, I've always heard that Western scientists made these advances independently. You don't really owe a debt to someone unless you've received something from him. What's the evidence that Newton et al. knew about al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham's accomplishments? Newton can't have "stood on his shoulders" if he hadn't heard of him.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Christine Smith
    Sent: Monday, January 05, 2009 6:03 AM
    Subject: [asa] History of Science article

    Hi all,

    Thought you'd find this BBC article of interest--any history-of-science buffs out there want to comment on this?

    In Christ,
    Christine (ASA member)

    To unsubscribe, send a message to with
    "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Tue Jan 6 09:46:40 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Jan 06 2009 - 09:46:40 EST