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View Full Version : Which religion has contributed the most to science, Islam or Christianity?



Europe_is_cool
05-02-2003, 04:10 PM
Since I'm unregistered, I can't add a poll to this thread.

So I am asking you this question, which I would like you to answer; which of the two religions Islam and Christianity has contributed the most to science?

ingall
05-02-2003, 05:17 PM
I am not sure what you mean. Neither religion has contributed much to science, since the aims of science are not those of religion. Are you asking whether Christian or Muslim indiividuals have contributed more? Whether Christian or Muslim civilizations have contributed more?

adrianxw
05-02-2003, 05:48 PM
Scientists.

confuted
05-02-2003, 05:51 PM
Islamic scientists contributed more to modern medicine, but Christian scientists (Catholic and Protestant) contributed more to other fields.

BMJ
05-02-2003, 06:15 PM
Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism.

Clyde
05-02-2003, 07:34 PM
Neither, they have both hindered science.

Unregd
05-02-2003, 08:14 PM
I agree that it's the scientists who've contributed the most to science. I hope this question is not really meant to start civilization/religion vs. civilization/religion flame war.

Scourfish
05-02-2003, 09:05 PM
aheism

seriously, though, Islam was making getting farther than christianity in the middle ages

Silvercord
05-02-2003, 10:34 PM
Scientists.


that's all that needed to be said, honestly. You guys are going to make a sand dune out of an ant hill about this.

vasanth
05-03-2003, 07:33 AM
To add my bit here.. Indians invented 0 (Zero) :D:D:D

-KEN-
05-03-2003, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by adrianxw
Scientists.

YOU'RE A SCIENTOLOGIST?!


BURN HIM!!!

Magos
05-03-2003, 09:17 AM
Originally posted by vasanth
To add my bit here.. Indians invented 0 (Zero) :D:D:D
Ahem... Swedes have invented some nice stuff too (http://www.sverigeturism.se/smorgasbord/smorgasbord/industry/inventions/) :cool:
Some more! (http://www.sweden.se/templates/FactSheet____3127.asp)

One interesting thing I saw was:

Nils Bohlin's Three-point seat belt saves a life every six minutes and is regarded as one of the most important innovations ever for traffic safety worldwide.
...but this is getting OT now...

Zewu
05-03-2003, 10:44 AM
Will you please stop being so patriotic about our sad nation Magos?

Well, I can see why we Swedes have invented these stuff; we haven't been interested in socializing with each other. Instead, we have been sitting there for ourselves, doing our calculations and bla bla.

That's the Swedish atmosphere, and it sucks!

EvBladeRunnervE
05-04-2003, 12:20 AM
well, up until the late renaissance, scientists and religious officials were one and the same, as they were usually rich enough to get educated.

I would have to say islam, islamic scientists gave us the compass, the "0"(invented in india when india was islamic country), and many navigational acheivements, as well as great mathematical and scientific acheivements.

The problem is, islam started regressing its scientific output during the english renaissance, and is now its current, backwards self.

Clyde
05-04-2003, 04:11 AM
"well, up until the late renaissance, scientists and religious officials were one and the same"

That doesn't mean science and religion are related, or that religion aided science in anyway whatsoever.

"in india when india was islamic country"

When was that?

ammar
05-04-2003, 04:13 AM
Originally posted by vasanth
To add my bit here.. Indians invented 0 (Zero) :D:D:D

Are you sure of this?!
I think you are wrong, the Babylonian are the ones who invented the zero.
And as far as I know the old indian numbers didn't look like this 0, 1, 2, ...

Then the symbol of a circle with a dot inside was added by the Arabs, and then people some people used the circle without the dot, and other used the dot without the circle.

Kinasz
05-04-2003, 07:16 AM
Here are some statistics for you people...

Spending on scientific research in the middle east amounted to 0.2% in 1994 as oppossed to 2.5% in western europe.

Islamic scientist Al-Khwarizmi founded algebra in the 9th century.

See 26th April eddition of New Scientist pg 27. There is an article on the halt in scientific developement in islamic countries.

vasanth
05-04-2003, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by ammar
Are you sure of this?!
I think you are wrong, the Babylonian are the ones who invented the zero.
And as far as I know the old indian numbers didn't look like this 0, 1, 2, ...

Then the symbol of a circle with a dot inside was added by the Arabs, and then people some people used the circle without the dot, and other used the dot without the circle.

Yes i am sure that the Indians invented 0.
http://hyper.vcsun.org/HyperNews/projects2/get/math331/w2.g1/4.html?nogifs


though the Babylonian had a representation for 0 they did not consider it as a numeral but just as a space..

http://hyper.vcsun.org/HyperNews/projects2/get/math331/w2.g1/4.html?nogifs

vasanth
05-04-2003, 09:27 AM
The Indian Numeral System

Although the Chinese were also using a decimal based counting system, the Chinese lacked a formal notational system that had the abstraction and elegance of the Indian notational system, and it was the Indian notational system that reached the Western world through the Arabs and has now been accepted as universal. Several factors contributed to this development whose significance is perhaps best stated by French mathematician, Laplace: "The ingenious method of expressing every possible number using a set of ten symbols (each symbol having a place value and an absolute value) emerged in India. The idea seems so simple nowadays that its significance and profound importance is no longer appreciated. It's simplicity lies in the way it facilitated calculation and placed arithmetic foremost amongst useful inventions."



Brilliant as it was, this invention was no accident. In the Western world, the cumbersome roman numeral system posed as a major obstacle, and in China the pictorial script posed as a hindrance. But in India, almost everything was in place to favor such a development. There was already a long and established history in the use of decimal numbers, and philosophical and cosmological constructs encouraged a creative and expansive approach to number theory. Panini's studies in linguistic theory and formal language and the powerful role of symbolism and representational abstraction in art and architecture may have also provided an impetus, as might have the rationalist doctrines and the exacting epistemology of the Nyaya Sutras, and the innovative abstractions of the Syadavada and Buddhist schools of learning.
Emergence of Calculus

In the course of developing a precise mapping of the lunar eclipse, Aryabhatta was obliged to introduce the concept of infinitesimals - i.e. tatkalika gati to designate the infinitesimal, or near instantaneous motion of the moon, and express it in the form of a basic differential equation. Aryabhatta's equations were elaborated on by Manjula (10th Century) and Bhaskaracharya (12th Century) who derived the differential of the sine function. Later mathematicians used their intuitive understanding of integration in deriving the areas of curved surfaces and the volumes enclosed by them.

ammar
05-04-2003, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by Kinasz
Here are some statistics for you people...

Spending on scientific research in the middle east amounted to 0.2% in 1994 as oppossed to 2.5% in western europe.

Islamic scientist Al-Khwarizmi founded algebra in the 9th century.

See 26th April eddition of New Scientist pg 27. There is an article on the halt in scientific developement in islamic countries.
No one doubts that spending on scientific research in the middle east is very low!

My comment was on:


Indians invented 0 (Zero)

And what I knew was that the Babylonians are the ones who invented the zero, since there was no representation of the zero before them, and the zero was just not written!
And even the source that vasanth gave says:


The Babylonians are attributed with the first recording of the number zero in the 3rd century B.C. the Babylonians used the zero in their place value system.

So Indian didn't invent it, but they - if we can say - "developed" the zero.

minesweeper
05-04-2003, 10:50 AM
Is it actually possible to 'invent' zero? I mean the concept was always there. It's like Newton didn't 'invent' Gravity.

the Wookie
05-04-2003, 01:59 PM
well i dont really think you can invent a concept..its more of discovering one.

http://islamicity.com/science/
http://www.asa3.org/

both are pretty interesting reads imo

tgm
05-04-2003, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by Clyde
Neither, they have both hindered science.

I disagree (at least in a contemporary perspective). Religion has provided scientists with many things to explain. There has been a great deal of scientific research done because of religion.

Which religion had contributed more? I don't care.

Clyde
05-04-2003, 02:50 PM
"I disagree (at least in a contemporary perspective). Religion has provided scientists with many things to explain."

... religion has denied scientific explanations in favour of divine ones.

"There has been a great deal of scientific research done because of religion."

Like what?

EvBladeRunnervE
05-04-2003, 08:47 PM
"I disagree (at least in a contemporary perspective). Religion has provided scientists with many things to explain."

... religion has denied scientific explanations in favour of divine ones.

"There has been a great deal of scientific research done because of religion."

Like what?"

you have a problem with religion or something? I myself am nonreligious, not even spiritual, but i dont deny that christianity and islam have contributed to science.

For example, a monk in the 19th century, in an attempt to understand "God's Creation" founded the modern field of genetics, by studying pea plants. The religious fervor, and the want to convert and rule others to the religion of islam probably was behind the islamic invention of the compass.

now, one could argue that these people werent doing it for religious reasons, but were doing it out of there "secular" self , but in that case, should i say that artists must be religious, as creativity doesnt usually coincide with scientific,rational,logical thinking?

Kinasz
05-04-2003, 09:56 PM
Maybe they should start a field of science to study why everyone is getting worked up so much about this.

Anyway, we all know it was the christians who did the most!

beege31337
05-05-2003, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by minesweeper
Is it actually possible to 'invent' zero? I mean the concept was always there. It's like Newton didn't 'invent' Gravity.

This all reminds me of the day I invented ice.

Fountain
05-05-2003, 03:31 AM
I suppose in the old days in UK, if you were a scientist you were walking on thin ice.

You may find yourself being killed for inventing or discovering 'the devils' work.

Does that show hindering? I guess so.

Fountain
05-05-2003, 03:31 AM
Originally posted by beege31337
This all reminds me of the day I invented ice.

Lol :) thats funny

Clyde
05-05-2003, 04:33 AM
"For example, a monk in the 19th century, in an attempt to understand "God's Creation" founded the modern field of genetics, by studying pea plants."

The logic is faulty, just because Mendel was a monk does not mean religion was the driving force behind his discoveries.

Chances are the what drove Mendel is exactly the same thing that drove every other scientist, the drive to understand, that has nothing to do with religion.

You seem to think that Mendel being a monk and believing in "God's creation", is key to his interest in genetics, what evidence do you have to support that claim?

"now, one could argue that these people werent doing it for religious reasons, but were doing it out of there "secular" self , but in that case, should i say that artists must be religious, as creativity doesnt usually coincide with scientific,rational,logical thinking?"

I don't just think that they "weren't doing it for religious reasons", I think they were doing it DESPITE religious preference.

Religion did not help science because it DENIED naturalistic explanations in favour of divine ones, science seeks to explain the universe, religion already has all the answers.

Science: Why is there wind?
Religion: God wishes it.
Science: Why?
Religion: Do not question the mind of God INFIDEL!
Science: Why is the sky blue?
Religion: God wishes it.

etc. etc. etc.

Your reasoning seems to boil to: "Many scientists were also religious therefore religion must have been a driving force behind science"

Which is in essence no more valid than:

"Many scientists often ate oranges, therefore eating oranges must have been a driving force behind science"

"I myself am nonreligious, not even spiritual, but i dont deny that christianity and islam have contributed to science."

Then explain how.

EvBladeRunnervE
05-05-2003, 09:27 AM
Chances are the what drove Mendel is exactly the same thing that drove every other scientist, the drive to understand, that has nothing to do with religion.

The drive to understand has many influences, some want to understand this world, then some people learn stuff to better understand their diety.


Religion did not help science because it DENIED naturalistic explanations in favour of divine ones, science seeks to explain the universe, religion already has all the answers.

only if you are fundamentalist. Most christians, and in fact muslims, are not fundamentalist, and consider some things to be merely the superstitious ramblings of 3000 year old jews.

The thing is, Neither of us can have evidence to support either of our claims about people doing or not doing for religious reasons, as we werent there, and we arent inside the people's heads.

All this "religion has hampered science" stuff is based upon catholiscms hate for anything that threatened there power over the individuals that were part of the religion. Now, in that case, for the most part, christianity for around 1400 years was hampering science. But as the Protestant reformation came about, and people actually read religious manifestos' etc., they had more inquisitive minds.

But as i said, neither of us can prove our claims, except by saying, "well, such and such was done by such and such scientist, and he did it because of such and such reasons".

tgm
05-05-2003, 10:13 AM
Clyde:
Science: Why is there wind?
Religion: God wishes it.
Science: Why?
Religion: Do not question the mind of God INFIDEL!
Science: Why is the sky blue?
Religion: God wishes it.

Normally, I respect your logic and generally your arguments are valid; however, that is just silly. God is the creator, not the manipulator (although you could argue causality).
IMHO, religion is not there to explain why things are the way they are. Religion serves as a guide on how to live and gives purpose to an otherwise meaningless existence.

Regarding scientific research:
How about the countless studies done to prove Jesus existed and work done to explain many of the historical events in the bible. Such as the 'parting of the sea' and the 'star of Bethlehem'.


Clyde:
Your reasoning seems to boil to: "Many scientists were also religious therefore religion must have been a driving force behind science"

I repeat: religion has provided scientists with many things to explain.
I fail to see how that says religion is the 'driving force' behind science.

netboy
05-05-2003, 11:20 AM
IMHO, Islam has contributed alot to early science but Christianity has emerged in modern science.

Clyde
05-05-2003, 12:19 PM
"The drive to understand has many influences, some want to understand this world, then some people learn stuff to better understand their diety"

I just don't buy it, i just don't see Newton sitting down and writing out Principia Mathematica to better understand God, science always leads away from God (incidently Newton didn't believe this despite the fact that there was plenty of opposition to his vision of a 'clockwork world') which is why religion constantly represses science; Galileo, Darwin, Kepler, Copernicus, the list goes on.

You seem to be saying that religious scientists are motivated by different reasons to non-religious scientists and it's just that i've never seen that, in fact it just donesn't ring true.

Whilst fascination and curiousity about the universe can LEAD further into theology as was the case with Newton (and perhaps to a lesser extent Boyle) i can't see any evidence nor reason to believe that the reverse is true. I know quite a few religious science students and while some will claim that science and religion are compatible i have never heard any claim that religion aids science or that it inspired them to learn science.

"only if you are fundamentalist"

Fundamentalism is part of religion, in fact if you look at the past fundamentalism was the norm, as far back as Socrates you see religion repressing science and philosophy.

"All this "religion has hampered science" stuff is based upon catholiscms hate for anything that threatened there power over the individuals that were part of the religion"

It wasn't just the catholics, you think Islam opened their arms to evolution? All the creationists around today, guess what, they aren't catholic.

Religion's main argument for God is "look at the world, isn't it amazing, how could such a world possibly exist without a God?", science is repressed because finds answers to that question.

Clyde
05-05-2003, 12:30 PM
" that is just silly. God is the creator, not the manipulator (although you could argue causality)."

Liberals today think that, what do you think the mentality has been for the last thousand years though?

Besides even today people believe he's the manipulator why do you think they pray for things?

"IMHO, religion is not there to explain why things are the way they are. Religion serves as a guide on how to live and gives purpose to an otherwise meaningless existence"

Religion does offer a guide and does give purpose (although is also perpetuates the myth that there is anything WRONG with a "meaningless existence") But it also acted and still does as an explanation for how and why the world is the way it is, the whole point behind your "meaningfull existence" is that there are REASONS behind events, that IS offering an explanation of why things are the way they are, and as such denies and indeed supresses any wish to look further.

Many older religions believed that the weather was controlled by the Gods, they prayed for rain, danced for sun, you think they took kindly to inquiries into the nature of weather that implied it was a naturalistic rather than a divine force?

Witch doctors in Africa continue to DENY that AIDS is caused by the HIV virus instead claiming that people are being possessed by evil spirits.

People STILL resist scientific explanations because of religion, i mean for heavens sake LESS THAN HALF THE POPULATION OF THE US BELIEVES THAT MAN EVOLVED! Religion helps science!???!?? I think not.

"How about the countless studies done to prove Jesus existed and work done to explain many of the historical events in the bible. "

Scientific research != History.

"Such as the 'parting of the sea' and the 'star of Bethlehem'"

Right they have enhanced science loads i mean much of modern day physics and biology rests on the research done into the parting of the red sea...... or...... not, we know now that certain types of seaweed float.... wow, time well spent.

"I repeat: religion has provided scientists with many things to explain."

Like what? What has religion provided scientists to explain? The world? The universe? Right and like... non-relgious scientists aren't interested in those things.....