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Old 02-01-2018, 11:10 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,112 posts, read 10,148,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
The total and complete 'answer' will probably never be reached, because of the complexity of the history.
Well, you did answer your own question. There are way too many independent variables, not to mention unknowns, there is no proof of direction in terms of cause and effect among them.


Better question, why is this question relevant?

Who remembers the first people who started agriculture? Does it matter now?

Better question, who, which group of powerful people - names, addresses, phone numbers - will develop and use new technologies to their best advantage over the next 50-100 years? What sectors of the population will also benefit, which groups of currently powerful people and which sectors will be pummeled into the dust?

Good Luck!
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Old 02-01-2018, 03:30 PM
 
2,730 posts, read 1,211,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimRom View Post
I didn't have a lot of time for my previous post, but I wanted to address the Islamic side of the occasion. I've spent a great deal of time studying the early history of the area, due to my fascination with the Crusades.

The Islamic Golden Age started around 790 AD and lasted anywhere from 500 to 700 years, depending on which historian you ask. That was the period when there was the most innovation in just about every aspect of life, from economics to culture for that area of the world, but most of the innovation was during the first 200 years or so. Then the rest of the world realized that they were there and pretty much destroyed the original Islamic culture over a few centuries. First, the Europeans spent 200 or so years crusading, then Genghis Khan and a fairly minor Islamic sultan got into a tiff over a fairly minor misunderstanding - at which point Genghis and his Horde rolled over the Islamic States in an invasion that would ensure that the name "Khan" would still strike fear in the hearts of humans even well into the age of star travel (my fellow Trekkies will get that one), and then the Ottoman Empire came in and swallowed the area whole after it was nice and tenderized around 1500 AD.

The argument can be made that prior to the beginning of the Crusades, Islamic culture set the entire world on a course that we are still somewhat following today. If you regularly deal with math or science, you can ultimately thank a Muslim.
If only they knew math and science they wouldn't be as they are portrayed to be now.
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Old 02-01-2018, 03:48 PM
Status: "Trapped but not by Minnesota" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Somwhere
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Years ago, I read that innovation was discouraged or even punished during the Samurai period in Japan. If a peasant stood out in any way, he might be seen as opposing the rulers, and may be executed. The article posited that this is why Japanese favor conformity even today.

I don't know much more about this, and it could all be hooey.

But, if true, it could explain the lack of progress in that time frame. It doesn't explain the rest of Asia or anywhere else, though.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanv3 View Post
If only they knew math and science they wouldn't be as they are portrayed to be now.
What most people don't realize is that the Islamic state of today has very little to do with the Islamic Empire of the golden age. The entire are was decimated, more so by the Horde than by the Crusaders. The Crusaders had specific goals, while the Mongols were just ticked off. The Horde invasion of the Islamic Empire was more in the nature of punishment rather than procurement. Afterwards, the Ottoman Empire made some radical changes in the culture.

All that being said, the Islamic Empire during the Golden Age boasted some of the best scientists and mathematicians in the world. There are still some extremely talented examples of both in the Islamic State today. Never forget, news is for profit and salacious stories bring viewers. What you see on the news is not an example of every member of Islam, not even of the majority.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 13,576,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimRom View Post
I didn't have a lot of time for my previous post, but I wanted to address the Islamic side of the occasion. I've spent a great deal of time studying the early history of the area, due to my fascination with the Crusades.
...
The argument can be made that prior to the beginning of the Crusades, Islamic culture set the entire world on a course that we are still somewhat following today. If you regularly deal with math or science, you can ultimately thank a Muslim.
An interesting factoid was that the astrolabe (measuring device for navigation by stars) was invented in the Islamic world. The astrolabe was important to the European 'age of discovery' that started in the 15th century.


Also, as Prof. Darwin points out in the book cited in post 1, the Chinese invented the first magnetic compass, which they used in navigation. Something from the book that I didn't know was that a Chinese ship sailed as far as East Africa in the 15th century, even before the Portuguese had started to colonize islands off the coast of West Africa. Such long distance exploration was frowned on by the Chinese rulers, and that was that.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
An interesting factoid was that the astrolabe (measuring device for navigation by stars) was invented in the Islamic world. The astrolabe was important to the European 'age of discovery' that started in the 15th century.


Also, as Prof. Darwin points out in the book cited in post 1, the Chinese invented the first magnetic compass, which they used in navigation. Something from the book that I didn't know was that a Chinese ship sailed as far as East Africa in the 15th century, even before the Portuguese had started to colonize islands off the coast of West Africa. Such long distance exploration was frowned on by the Chinese rulers, and that was that.
A lot of inventions and innovations came out of the Islamic world, including my personal nemesis, Algebra.

When it comes to exploration, I think that there was a lot which we don't know about due to lost records and/or lost ships.

The early population of Easter Island, for example, remains veiled in mystery. The examined genomes are Polynesian, but some of the cultivated plants such as the sweet potato were native to South America. There is also some strong evidence of linguistic ties between the native population and South American cultures. Additionally, there are statues in South America that strongly resemble the Moai statues on Easter Island, and legends tell of two different races on the island, including a race with white skin and red hair - traits that are not traditionally associated with Polynesians There is, however, a description of the Chachapoyas people in the Andes that describes them as having white skin. No matter which direction the native population came from though, they traveled at least 2000 miles - on rafts made out of reeds at a time when navigation was pretty much "point the front that way and pray to the gods." We would probably know more about the early population, but any "pagan" writings (yes, they had a rudimentary alphabet) were nearly totally destroyed by early Christian priests who were bent on converting the natives.

Speaking of South America, the reason the Aztecs didn't resist Cortes and the Spaniards at first is that their legends involved a god who looked like a white man. Seems kind of odd that in a hemisphere where white people had supposedly never set foot prior to Columbus the indigenous tribes had legends of long-ago Caucasians. While there is no historical evidence to prove that there had been any earlier contact with Europeans, it wouldn't really be a surprise if a storm-blown ship from the European continent ended up in South America, especially considering that we know the Vikings were in North America circa 1000 A.D.

Both of the above speculations have been argued about in archeological circles since at least the 1980s, with most of those involved seeming to work harder at disproving opposing theories than at proving their own. Anyone who thinks politicians are argumentative has never hung out with a bunch of archeologists.

ETA: When I read the first post, I totally missed the link to the book. After checking out the synopsis, I think I'll add it to my wishlist on Amazon. The Kindle edition is a bit pricier than what I normally spend on Ebooks, but it looks like it's well worth the read. Not that it matters, but is the author any relation to Charles Darwin? I did a quick search, but didn't find anything.

Speaking of books dealing with prehistory, I've picked up a series again that I read years ago. It is purely speculative fiction, but the author did a good job of turning what could have been dry, dull history lessons into readable and engaging short stories. The series is Geodyssey by Piers Anthony. Note: If you're offended by sexual content, these aren't the books for you. While Anthony is more famously known for his fairly innocuous Xanth books, he has a strong tendency to deal with more adult content in his other works. They aren't smut, by any means, but sex as motivation is a pretty solid theme throughout the series.
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
27,425 posts, read 17,619,243 times
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The book Guns, Germs and Steel would explain a lot of it, but it's kinda dry reading.
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
The book Guns, Germs and Steel would explain a lot of it, but it's kinda dry reading.
That is a good book on the subject matter. However, IIRC, I had to tape my eyes open to finish it.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:14 PM
 
2,730 posts, read 1,211,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimRom View Post
What most people don't realize is that the Islamic state of today has very little to do with the Islamic Empire of the golden age. The entire are was decimated, more so by the Horde than by the Crusaders. The Crusaders had specific goals, while the Mongols were just ticked off. The Horde invasion of the Islamic Empire was more in the nature of punishment rather than procurement. Afterwards, the Ottoman Empire made some radical changes in the culture.

All that being said, the Islamic Empire during the Golden Age boasted some of the best scientists and mathematicians in the world. There are still some extremely talented examples of both in the Islamic State today. Never forget, news is for profit and salacious stories bring viewers. What you see on the news is not an example of every member of Islam, not even of the majority.


Names of the scientists & mathematicians please?? Would be glad to know any formulas or any theories as well.
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:55 AM
 
11,583 posts, read 3,242,043 times
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A lot of inventions are credited to "Islam" when it and they had little to nothing to do with them. For instance the astrolabe was first invented in Greece. It was further developed in muslim conquered lands probably by a Persian. Islam gets credit for developments that either happened first outside or before Islam such as Algebra or were the work of people that Islam conquered. The longer the middle east was under Islamic control arguably the less innovation happened.
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